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 ten 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.

Dr. Maria Pallavicini most recently served as interim president 2019-20 during the search for the university's new president. In her year of interim service, Dr. Pallavicini led the establishment of Pacific’s School of Health Sciences to meet the demands of a growing industry. She also oversaw the merger that created Benerd College, which offers academic programs in a variety of formats to meet the diverse needs of today's students. And the transformation of the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center helped bring to life Dr. Pallavicini’s vision for a modern hub of learning and innovation.

In her role as provost, she led the creation of a new Academic Plan and the refresh of Pacific 2020, the university's strategic plan. In alignment with these plans, Dr. Pallavicini has overseen the establishment of new undergraduate and graduate programs including online and in-class hybrid programs on Pacific's Sacramento and San Francisco campuses.

Dr. Pallavicini spearheaded the reestablishment of the Graduate School and appointed a new dean in 2017. She also oversaw the revitalization of the Center for Teaching and Learning to support the use of different instruction modalities including digital pedagogy.

Prior to joining Pacific, Dr. Pallavicini served nearly 10 years at UC Merced as professor and founding dean of the School of Natural Sciences. In this role, she recruited faculty and staff and worked with them to establish undergraduate and graduate programs in mathematics, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences and physics. Prior to joining UC Merced, she was a professor at UC San Francisco, where she taught and ran an active research program for more than 11 years.

Dr. 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 research positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto.

Dr. Pallavicini's research interest is in stem cells in leukemia and breast cancer. She has authored or co­authored more than 80 peer­ reviewed articles in scientific journals and has presented at scientific conferences around the world. She has held leadership positions in numerous professional societies and served on scientific editorial and advisory boards.

A native of San Francisco, Provost Pallavicini has three adult daughters.


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.