Academic Affairs Business Officer Academy (BOA)


"Building the Foundation for UCSD's Future Leaders"

What is a Business Officer?

A business officer is the staff member in an academic affairs unit with overall responsibility for the administrative and business operations of that unit. Business officers are referred to by varying titles including MSO, Chief Administrative Officer, Executive Officer and Administrative Director and typically are responsible for the following functional areas, as applicable to their units: Financial Management, Staff Human Resources, Academic Personnel, Student Affairs, Informational Technology, Facilities Management and Leadership/Strategic Planning. Every distinct unit in academic affairs (academic department or program, organized research unit (ORU), college provost's office, divisional dean's office, etc.) has one individual who is designated as business officer.

The Academic Affairs Business Officer Academy (BOA) is an innovative staff enrichment program that provides training, guidance and support to staff members who aspire to become business officers. The BOA is a one-year program centered around case study, small group discussions and personal interactions such that the participants gain an understanding and appreciation of the role of the business officer at UCSD.

Past Program Materials:


To be eligible to participate in the BOA, you must be a career staff member actively employed at UCSD who:

  • is at the PSS 4 level (or equivalent) or higher,
  • has completed your probationary period,
  • is committed to long-term employment at the University of California,
  • has achieved an “Above Expectations” or better on your most recent performance evaluation, and
  • is seeking advancement to a higher level position within the University/Academic Affairs

First consideration will be given to those applicants who have had work experience in two or more functional areas during their career. Functional areas include fiscal administration, human resources, academic personnel, student affairs, etc.

During open enrollment, eligible and interested staff will apply for the program online.  Applications will be filed electronically and routed through the employee's supervisor for approval of release time to participate in the program.  Your supervisor's endorsement must be received by the application closing date. You will also need to upload a current copy of your resume (Word or pdf format preferred) with your application.

Since it may take you several sessions to complete your application, an editable Word template is available to compose/edit your responses to the questions. Once you feel your application is ready for submission you may cut and paste responses from that document into the on-line application. Only on-line applications will be accepted.


Training Modules (mandatory for all participants): Training modules are broken up into six (6) functional areas: Student Affairs, Human Resources (Session 1: Staff and Session 2: Academic Personnel), Financial/Budget, Information Technology, Facilities Management, and Management/Leadership. The seven modules will be scheduled approximately every six weeks beginning in the fall quarter and ending in the spring quarter from 8:00AM – 12:00 noon. (modules will not be scheduled during the campus closure in December/January). Participants must be able to commit to attending all module sessions. Each module is divided into 3 components and lasts a total of four (4) hours:

  • Pre-Training: comprehensive overview and definition of the functional area using the Academic Affairs MSO handbook as a guide.
  • Scenarios: Scenarios encourage participants to focus on different ways of thinking about issues, thought processes and various approaches that business officers need to employ. The group is presented situations in a particular functional area and asked how they would go about solving the problem. Each scenario is based on the premise that the participants have just become a new Business Officer in the "Department of Fiction."
  • Round Table: Round table discussions include real life topics and experiences of business officers, such as unusual situations and how they were resolved, gray areas, examples of the business officer's role in that particular functional area, etc.

There is an additional component of each training module in which committee members and participants share their career path with the group.

Mentoring/Networking: Each participant will have the opportunity to interact with a different committee member throughout the program. We encourage participants to network with each other as well as with committee members.

Activities planned during the academic year include:

  • Attendance at an ABA meeting
  • Attendance at a divisional MSO meeting
  • Participation in campus/system-wide business officer and management programs such as BOI, BLF and MSAP
  • Mock interviews
  • Job Shadowing
  • Mini-Internships

Please note: The Business Officer Academy is not intended to be a guarantee towards a future promotion or interview for a business officer position. Rather the program is meant to provide you guidance in determining whether or not the business officer career path is the right one for you and help you to become more competitive should you decide to pursue a business officer position. Whatever your ultimate career goal Academic Affairs and the BOA committee look forward to helping you to achieve it.