George Pernsteiner

Chancellor, Oregon University System


Photo by Rod Searcey

George Pernsteiner
Chancellor, Oregon University System

George Pernsteiner is Chancellor of the Oregon University System. Before his appointment as Chancellor in September 2005, Pernsteiner served as Executive Vice Chancellor, Chief Operations Officer, and Acting Chancellor of the Oregon University System from July 2004 to September 2005. Prior to joining the OUS, Pernsteiner was a senior administrator at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and served OUS for thirteen years in both campus and Chancellor’s Office senior positions related to finance, planning, and administration.

Chancellor Pernsteiner is responsible for directing the overall administration of the Chancellor’s Office and carrying out existing and new policies, including the ambitious directives of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. He oversees the operations and employees of the Chancellor’s Office, and ensures support for the many initiatives related to the Board’s vision for higher education in the state. Pernsteiner leads the biennial operating and capital budget process, presents proposals to the legislature, supports and facilitates the efforts of universities to achieve overall System goals, facilitates campuses’ efforts to achieve their educational missions, creates partnerships among OUS campuses, community colleges and K-12 institutions, and works closely with the Oregon legislature, the Governor, and other constituencies for support and reinvestment in higher education.

Upon his hire, Pernsteiner said “I am excited about returning to Oregon to help serve the state’s excellent public higher education system. There are many challenges and opportunities ahead of us over the next few years, but I know that through the Boards’ leadership and its work with the legislature, the Governor, the campuses, and other communities with which we work, we will meet the needs of our students to access and afford a higher education.”

Pernsteiner’s career shows a history of managing complex financial systems and a willingness to be a catalyst for positive change. He was Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 2002-2004. As the chief administrative officer for UCSB, Pernsteiner served as a liaison with local government and community organizations on financial management, campus development, housing and facilities planning, and other matters.

Pernsteiner’s career with OUS has many apexes. He was Vice president for Finance and Administration at Portland State University (PSU) from 1995 to 2002. As chief finance, business, and administrative officer for the university, he is credited with devising groundbreaking financial plans that pushed through major development for the campus, including the construction of the Urban Center and public plaza, a multimedia lecture hall, and a Native American Student and Community Center. For three years, from 1996 through 1999, he was simultaneously the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Oregon (UO) and the Vice President at PSU, traveling frequently between the two campuses. While overseeing budget and resource management at UO, Pernsteiner managed the finances behind construction of the $25 million William W. Knight Law Center. He also worked closely with the legislature to change funding mechanisms and realign OUS’ regulatory relationship with state government.

From 1989 to 1995, Pernsteiner served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration for OUS where he oversaw planning, financing and facilities, and represented the System with the Oregon legislature and the executive branch.

Before his service with the Oregon University System campuses and Chancellor’s Office, Pernsteiner was Director of the Department of Administrative Services for the City of Seattle, and served a number of other public administrative positions in Seattle and with the Seattle mayor’s office.

George Pernsteiner holds a B.A. in Political Science from Seattle University and a MA in Public Administration from the University of Washington.