UCSC selects Edward Reiskin as next Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations and Administration

City of Oakland’s top administrative officer set to start in early February, excited by opportunities provided by strategic planning, recently approved LRDP

Edward D. Reiskin will be the next Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations and Administration and Chief Financial Officer at UC Santa Cruz.

UC Santa Cruz has chosen Edward D. Reiskin as its next Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations and Administration and Chief Financial Officer. He will start in early February 2023. 

Reiskin has more than 20 years of professional experience as a public sector administrator. He currently serves as the city of Oakland’s top administrative officer. He is responsible for executing and enforcing all of the city’s laws and policies, administering city affairs, and overseeing an operating budget of $2.2 billion, roughly 4,500 employees, and the city’s capital program.

Reiskin is set to begin on campus in early February, capping a national recruitment that began in May with campus stakeholder-engagement meetings. Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer chaired the search advisory committee.

“The scope and breadth of Ed’s experience, his ability to navigate complex environments and diverse stakeholder groups, and his competency in a host of areas over which he will have direct oversight on our campus make him a strong addition to our leadership team,” said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “I am grateful for the efforts of the search advisory committee and appreciative of all in our campus community who shared their insights during the recruitment. We leaned deeply on community feedback throughout this process."

The Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations and Administration is a key position at UC Santa Cruz, as this leader is entrusted with a wide range of responsibilities. Colleges, Housing and Educational Services; Financial Affairs; Physical Planning, Development and Operations; Risk and Safety Services; Staff Human Resources; and Sustainability are all units within the division. The position was previously known as Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services. The name of the division and the position were changed this summer to better reflect the division’s key functions. 

Reiskin has more than two decades of management experience. He began his current role in Oakland in 2020. Previous to that he served as the city’s Assistant City Administrator; Director of the Municipal Transportation Agency for the City and County of San Francisco; and Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Works. Prior to his arrival in the San Francisco Bay Area, he served as interim City Administrator for the District of Columbia, and for two years as the district’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety & Justice. His management responsibilities in these various roles have included finance, infrastructure, transit, housing, capital planning and public safety.

Reiskin earned a master’s of public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; a master’s of business administration from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business; and a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

He said he has always valued working in local government because of the ability to make a tangible impact on the lives of others. “Focusing on programs, projects and policies that help the disenfranchised, the ability to make a difference in people’s lives who have been marginalized, that brings a lot of meaning to the work,” he said, noting the similarity of work in higher education, especially at a public university.

Reiskin said that while many of the responsibilities of the Finance, Operations and Administration Division are “back-office functions,” the work is directly relevant to the lives and experiences of students, staff and faculty. “Payroll, dining, housing, HR, procurement — these are all critically essential functions that matter to people.”

UCSC’s long history of social-equity and environmental-justice advocacy, the campus commitment to research excellence, and the beauty of the landscape itself were big draws for Reiskin, as were strategic planning that’s now taking place and the recently approved Long Range Development Plan.

“Having those elements in place makes it an exciting time to come to UC Santa Cruz,” he said. “I look forward to supporting implementation of the LRDP and guiding the division in support of campus goals set in the new strategic plan.” 

Until Reiskin arrives on campus, Biju Kamaleswaran will continue to serve as the division’s interim leader, a role he has held since January 2022. When Reiskin arrives, Kamaleswaran will return to his post as Associate Vice Chancellor, Financial Affairs and Campus Controller.