Dr. Maria Pallavicini

Interim President

University of the Pacific

Dr. Maria Pallavicini is University of the Pacific’s interim president. She joined Pacific in 2011 as Provost. As chief academic officer, she oversaw Pacific’s eleven schools and colleges on its three campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton and had overall responsibility for the institution’s educational and research programs, library services, registrar, international student services and continuing education and strategic planning.

During her time at Pacific, Dr. Pallavicini led the creation of a new Academic Plan and the refresh of Pacific 2020, the university’s strategic plan. In alignment with these plans, she 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 and health programs that will support a future school of health.

Dr. Pallavicini oversaw the reestablishment of the Graduate School and appointed a new dean in 2017. That same year, to provide greater support for Pacific’s continuing education and degree completion programs, she returned University College to its place as a distinctive academic unit led by a new dean.

She has led efforts for a reimagined university library and renovations on the Stockton Campus that support 21st century learning, including increased digital resources, video production and maker spaces. 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, Dr. Pallavicini has three adult daughters.