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Cathy O’Sullivan selected as 2016 NCCI Leader of Change

CathyOSullivanCathy O’Sullivan, chief of staff to UC Chief Operating Officer Rachael Nava, was selected as one of four 2016 Leaders of Change by The Network for Change and Continuous Innovation: Higher Education’s Network for Change Leadership (NCCI).

Created by NCCI in 2013, the honor identifies leaders of change throughout higher education, recognizes them for their accomplishments and helps link them with their peers to further leverage the impact of their good work.

“This program supports NCCI’s broader strategic effort to identify those individuals who are leading change on their campuses and to grow the network of change leaders within higher education,” said NCCI President Teresa Hartnett, who is the Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Beginning in 2013, O’Sullivan chaired the Efficiency Review Working Group, which reviews and implements staff-submitted ideas to improve productivity at UCOP. She also led the Working Smarter Initiative, a systemwide five-year program, which promoted a portfolio of over 30 projects, designed to produce new savings and revenue across a wide spectrum of functions. This successful endeavor continues to yield positive results.

A 2014 procurement efficiency effort led to legislative changes at the state level in 2015, enabling collaboration across the three systems of California public higher education (UC, CSU and the community colleges). This intersegmental collaboration has paved the way to reduce timelines, improve processes and bring financial benefit to the state’s higher education system.

UC’s former Chief Financial Officer Peter Taylor praised O’Sullivan’s fortitude in leading and managing change initiatives focused on saving money and implementing best practices.

Asked about the honor, O’Sullivan said she is grateful to receive it, but emphasized that she “didn’t achieve any of it alone. I was very fortunate to work with many talented people who are also a lot of fun. They made the harder parts of the work much easier.”

NCCI will recognize the 2016 Leaders of Change during its 2016 Annual Conference on July 15 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In addition to O’Sullivan, leaders selected this year are: Susan Camber, Associate Vice President, Research & Student Accounting, University of Washington; Carol Mullaney, Director, Office of Continuous Improvement, University of Notre Dame; and Katy Rees, Associate Vice President of Administration, California State University San Marcos.

“I congratulate these four outstanding leaders, as well as all of those who have been nominated for this award. These recipients truly reflect the values of NCCI: innovation, continuous improvement, collaboration, excellence and diversity of perspective,” Hartnett said.


NCCI is a professional association dedicated to improving higher education nationally and internationally by providing a collaborative professional network for change leadership. NCCI has 80 institutional members and more than 1,000 individual members worldwide.


Comments ( 3 )

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  1. Pauline Metzgar May 17, 2016 Reply

    Congratulations, Cathy! I hope you get to go to Montreal and receive it in person as well!

  2. Lena Zentall May 17, 2016 Reply

    Congratulations, Cathy!

  3. Jennifer May 17, 2016 Reply

    What a great honor! Congrats!
    From Jen Mushinskie at the UCPath Center

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