The Office of the Provost is responsible for retaining Pacific's high quality academic and research standards. The Provost is the Chief Academic Officer for the university. Our mission is to provide the highest quality academic and meaningful co-curricular experiences for Pacific students and to promote student, faculty and staff success.

Maria Pallavicini, Provost
Provost Maria Pallavicini

Dr. Maria Pallavicini is University of the Pacific's Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. As chief academic officer, she oversees Pacific's nine schools and colleges on its three campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton and has overall responsibility for the institution's educational and research programs, library services, registrar, international student services and continuing education and strategic planning.

Maria Pallavicini joined Pacific in 2011 as provost. In this role, she led the creation of a new Academic Plan and the refresh of Pacific 2020, the university's strategic plan. She has overseen the creation of numerous new undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on Pacific's three campuses.

Pallavicini served as Pacific’s interim president in 2019–20 during the search for the university's new president and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, the university not only successfully transitioned to remote learning and working, but also established the School of Health Sciences, created Benerd College through a merger, and transformed the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center into a modern hub of learning and innovation.

Prior to joining Pacific, Pallavicini served nearly 10 years at UC Merced as professor and founding dean of the School of Natural Sciences. Prior to joining UC Merced, she was a professor at UC San Francisco, where she taught and ran an active research program.

Pallavicini holds a BA in biochemistry from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. She has held academic positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto.

Her research interest is in stem cells in leukemia and breast cancer. Pallavicini has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and has presented at scientific conferences around the world. She is a member of the Sutter Health Valley Area Board of Directors, an advisor to Health Force Partners, Northern San Joaquin Valley, Member of the Community Health Leadership Council and has held leadership positions in numerous professional societies.


Pacific's deans help shape the university's vision and provide strategic input into the connections between that vision and the allocation of university resources. Deans advocate for academic and educational quality and provide guidance regarding universitywide decisions affecting enrollment, academic and co-curricular programs and accreditation.