University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific is a nationally ranked comprehensive university and California’s first chartered institution of higher learning. Established in 1851, Pacific has nearly 6,300 students and 10 schools and colleges across three campuses in northern California.
The majority of students and the NCAA Division 1 athletics program are based on the Stockton Campus, often cited as one of the nation’s most beautiful college campuses. The Sacramento Campus in California’s state capital is home to the McGeorge School of Law, the new School of Health Sciences and an array of graduate programs while the renowned Dugoni School of Dentistry is based on the downtown San Francisco Campus. 

Pacific takes pride in providing the highly personalized and caring educational, social and residential environments of a small college combined with the choices and opportunities of a major comprehensive university.

About the Role

University of the Pacific is seeking a dynamic executive to serve as Chief People Officer (CPO) and serve as a steward of the university’s mission.

The CPO will provide strategic leadership for the human resources function in service to the university’s administrators, faculty and staff across its three campuses, acting at all times as the steward of employee resources in service to the university’s mission. The CPO will build and lead a world-class human resources function that focuses on talent acquisition and development and includes benefits and compensation, employee education and development, human resources information systems (HRIS), employee and labor relations, records management and recruitment, with approximately 20 full-time employees who deliver well-conceived and well-designed services to the university’s employees.

The university’s structure and its academic culture require the CPO to lead through a combination of influence, strong partnering, business acumen and the demonstration of exceptional functional expertise. In this culture, he or she will require excellent communication skills, the ability to interact effectively with a wide range of constituents and the demonstrated ability to negotiate and advocate in a manner that advances the mission of the university.

The CPO will lead a strategic, transparent and customer services-oriented human resources function characterized by functional and operational excellence. The ideal candidate will translate broad strategies into specific structures, plans and processes that support strategic priorities and implement them in a measured and focused manner that enhances organizational effectiveness. They also will drive operational, strategic and financial results, working closely with university leaders to align human resources, financial and operational systems for optimal efficiency.



  • A bachelor’s degree is required. A master's degree is preferred.
  • Minimum 10+ years of experience in human resources management, preferably in higher education.


  • Background in compensation, benefits, labor/union relations, HRIS and employee relations.
  • Ability to interact comfortably with a wide range of university stakeholders and be effective at interacting with employees at all levels.
  • Ability to develop excellent rapport with administration and faculty leaders, the leadership of the unions representing university staff, faculty, trustees, university officers and third-party vendors, including health and welfare insurance brokers and retirement plan investment managers.
  • Track record of success in negotiation and advocating contracts and relationships that meet the mission of the university and the needs of faculty and staff.
  • Understanding of an academic research environment and the relations between a central business function and the teaching and research mission of the university.
  • Significant experience and success working in a large, complex, decentralized organization with diverse populations, including direct management experience.
  • Strong understanding and the ability to navigate California labor law and working knowledge of regulations and laws governing California state employee programs, including equal opportunity enforcing regulations and laws.
  • Demonstrated skill and ability to create a shared vision for the human resources function and lead and inspire staff to execute the organization’s commitment to the university and its diverse constituencies.
  • Demonstrated record of being fully dedicated to internal clients and designing a human resources function that helps to develop and implement better people management practices.
  • Proven ability to actively identify gaps and propose and implement changes necessary to cover risks.


Applications and Inquiries

University of the Pacific has retained Blue Rock Search, a national human resources executive search firm, to assist with this search. Inquiries or interested parties should send a resume/CV and contact information directly to Katie Timmons at

Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process.

Learn more about California’s private university of choice

AA/EEO Statement

University of the Pacific is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer dedicated to workforce diversity. In compliance with applicable law and its own policy, Pacific is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff and does not discriminate in its hiring of faculty and staff, or in the provision of its employment benefits to its faculty and staff on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, sex/gender, marital status, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, medical condition, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, or mental or physical disability. The university will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with a disability.