By Kris Lovekin
Ron T. Coley, an associate vice chancellor at UC Berkeley, will be heading to the Riverside community as UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox recently appointed him as UCR’s new Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services.
Pending approval of UC President Janet Napolitano, Coley will arrive on campus July 23.
Coley will oversee a budget of $89 million and about 600 employees working in a wide variety of important campus business and support services, including financial accountability, architects and engineers, human resources, payroll, purchasing, parking, police, environmental health and safety, physical plant, risk management, and others.
“Ron brings experience, vision, and a commitment to UCR’s institutional values,” Chancellor Wilcox said. “I believe he will make an enormous contribution to the success of the campus and I look forward to working with him in achieving our goals.” Wilcox expressed his thanks to the search committee and its chairman, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Steve Brint.
Coley said he is looking forward to contributing to UCR’s excellence. ”It is my objective to focus on staff development in a way that will result in the creation of an atmosphere where teamwork is the norm and efficient and effective support of the academic mission and Chancellor’s priorities is the operative campus expectation.”
Coley joined UC Berkeley in January 1998. Prior to that, he served for six years as a Senior County Administrator in Orange County, California. Ron also completed 20 years of active military service from 1972-1992, as a Marine Corps pilot, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his military career, he helped the Marine Corps adjust to the changing economic environments caused by the extraordinary defense build-ups in the 1980’s and the equally drastic draw-downs in the 1990’s.
“Throughout my multiple professional careers, one of my primary roles has been to serve as a resource to help the organization and its people cope with the trauma of significant change while, at the same time, steadfastly advancing the objectives of that change,” Coley said.
At UC Riverside, he will earn an annual salary of $295,000.
In 2007, Coley won the Berkeley Staff Assembly’s Excellence in Management Award, which is based on the recommendations of those who work for him.
Among the achievements for which Coley is most proud is the Procurement Initiative that he led which combined the procurement operations of UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco into one department, the result of which has yielded nearly $30 million in savings for each campus. He also envisioned and led the development of the UC system’s UC Ready Continuity Planning Tool, a resource to help the university recover from any emergency.
Coley earned an MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, majoring in Finance and Managerial Accounting, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania’s Drexel University where, as a student-athlete, he majored in Business Administration and Industrial Relations. He was later inducted into Drexel’s Athletic Hall of Fame. His wife is Soraya Coley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University Bakersfield.