David Abercia, Chief of Staff

18 Dec 2014

The Division of Undergraduate Education is pleased to announce the appointment of David Abercia as Chief of Staff for the Division effective January 5, 2015.

As the Chief of Staff, David will provide division-wide leadership on strategic and operational matters within the Division of Undergraduate Education (UE) with a focus on policy and human resources.  David will serve as the primary policy, personnel, procedure, and communications leader for the division.

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education (VPDUE) Richard Hughey noted that David’s forum presentation showed both a broad understanding of trends in public higher education and detailed insight about UC Santa Cruz examined closely from afar.  VPDUE Hughey expects that David’s expertise in communication and team development will further enhance UE’s broad contributions to past, present, and future students, globalization, student success, and campus revenue streams. 

David states “I am happy to be joining the UE staff and working to increase the incredibly high standards of UC Santa Cruz and the UC system as the university fulfills its quest of educating the best and the brightest students, providing a quality and unparalleled education and undergraduate experience not found anywhere else.”  The Division plays a pivotal role at UC Santa Cruz and the responsibilities within the Division will continue to require increased collaboration and cohesiveness that the Chief of Staff role will help to ensure.

David’s immediate priorities will be to:

  • Work with the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education (VPDUE) to develop programs and strategies to ensure increased divisional cohesiveness, individual development, and recognition of professional accomplishments;

  • Provide leadership and direction to all units, specifically in the areas of staff human resources, academic personnel, multi-unit processes, and complex issues;

  • Work to further enhance academic personnel processes, including recruiting and supervising new staff;

  • Review, clarify, and provide recommendations for UE and campus policies.

  • Develop leadership of and enhance support to all divisional administrative support staff; and

  • Work with the UE Leadership Team and other divisions in the development and execution of strategic plans.

VPDUE Hughey thanks the search committee consisting of Ted Codding, Assistant Dean for Planning and Resource Management; Susan Fellows, Director of Academic Employee Relations in the Academic Personnel Office; and Monica Parikh, Director of Summer Session; for their work during this search, as well as the many participants in the on-campus forums and interviews.

David Abercia, originally from Houston, Texas, moved on to Lubbock, Texas, where he completed his bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Political Science at Texas Tech University (TTU).  He went on to obtain his master’s in education and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Higher Education at TTU.  His research focuses on performance-based funding and he expects to complete his dissertation in early 2015.

Prior to assuming the role of Chief of Staff, David served in various capacities at TTU, most recently in a Chief of Staff role for the Senior Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Student Affairs, assisting the university in its quest to reach 40,000 students and enhance the undergraduate experience, including working towards Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) status, as well as increasing graduation and retention rates.  Before serving in that role, he was in a Deputy Chief of Staff role in the Office of the President, overseeing presidential initiatives related to undergraduate recruitment, space management and community relations.  An active member of the community in his prior roles, he served in various capacities with the Lubbock Area United Way (Annual Campaign Vice Chair, Division Chair, and Loaned Executive), Board President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock-Plainview and was a member of the Keep Lubbock Beautiful Advisory Committee.  David also spearheaded the Greater West Texas State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC), an annual employee charitable giving campaign raising over $1 million for non-profits across the region.  He and his dog, Lily, look forward to living in Santa Cruz and becoming proud Banana Slugs at UCSC, as well as active members in the volunteer community.