When she retires July 1, after a decade as University of the Pacific’s president, Pamela A. Eibeck will leave a legacy of transformational achievements that have elevated the university and positioned it for a strong future.
Eibeck is Pacific’s 24th president and the first woman to hold the post since the university was founded in 1851.
“Pacific is very fortunate to have had Pam as president for the past 10 years,” said Kevin Huber ’86, chair of Pacific’s Board of Regents. “Looking at what she accomplished and what it will mean for this university for years to come, I think people will be impressed with our success under her leadership.”
Eibeck spearheaded the long-term strategic vision for the university with Pacific 2020 and the 2017 update in Pacific 2020R, in which she focused on growing student enrollment with new high-demand programs, such as Masters of Physician Assistant Studies and Media X. She raised the university’s presence throughout Northern California by strengthening the connection among the university’s campuses in the region’s most prominent cities — Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton — and by emphasizing that Pacific is one university with three campuses.
“Pacific looks very different from when Pam first started. The needs of students and the essential skills necessary to compete in our global society continually evolve, and we have to adapt to that,” said Pacific’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Pallavicini. “Within the past two years under Pam’s leadership, we’ve added more than a dozen new academic programs, including several that appeal to working professionals.”
Thanks to a strong endowment, spearheaded by Eibeck, $21 million has been designated to support these and future academic programs in addition to $50 million to new student scholarships. Her efforts have helped raised more than $219 million of the $300 million goal for Leading with Purpose: The Campaign for University of the Pacific, helping to grow Pacific’s endowment from $157 million to more than $450 million.
During a national downturn in law school enrollments, she championed a strong McGeorge School of Law, with a focus on bolstering academically robust enrollments and fortifying the law school’s future. She also led the effort to ensure that Pacific had long-term fiscal sustainability, as reflected in this year’s positive Moody’s rating, and modernized the university’s business practices in human resources, technology, compliance and capital improvements.
Last August, the university celebrated the opening of Calaveras Hall, the first student housing facility built at Pacific since the early 2000s. Prior to that, she established a new, larger campus in downtown San Francisco with state-of-the-art facilities for the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and opened the doors to new enhanced athletics and training facilities at the Stockton campus.
“At the end of the day, Pam Eibeck’s legacy is one of great accomplishments over an extended period of time,” said Kathleen Lagorio Janssen ’68, former chairman of the Board of Regents. “It is a legacy for which she should be proud. It is a legacy for which all of Pacific should be grateful.”
Eibeck’s appreciation extends well beyond the Pacific campuses.
In the community, she’s known for being a stalwart supporter of the San Joaquin region and passionate about improving early literacy for school children. Her passion led her to convene a host of community partners to launch the Beyond Our Gates initiative, a comprehensive effort to increase children’s ability to read at or above grade level by third-grade. Her efforts were recognized with an ATHENA Leadership Award in 2015.
While her awards symbolize her commitment and dedication to others, one of her proudest moments is her work in solidifying University of the Pacific as the global center of research on John Muir, the environment and conservation. Eibeck worked closely with Muir descendants to permanently keep his personal correspondences, journals, notebooks and other valuable documents in the Pacific special collections. On April 13, 2019, the community celebrated the family’s gift to the university of ownership of the world’s largest collection of Muir documents.
“She was absolutely the superior force that backed us the entire way,” Ross de Lipkau ’72, John Muir’s great-grandson and a trustee of the Muir-Hanna Trust, said at the April 13 event. “She started with me in August of 2015. She happened to be in Reno, came to my office and made the offer. She was the motivating factor.
Recognized as a forward-thinking leader and adviser among her peers, she has been appointed and elected to serve on local, state and national boards, including the Association for Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), for which she was chair from 2014 to 2016, and the NCAA’s D1 Committee on Academics from 2015 to 2018, during which time she was vice chair. She currently serves on the boards of directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council and Valley Vision.
About University of the Pacific
Founded in 1851 as the first chartered institution of higher education in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton Campus offers more than 80 areas of study in 11 schools and colleges.
The university’s distinctive Northern California footprint also includes its San Francisco Campus, home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and graduate programs in health and technology fields, and Sacramento Campus, home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and graduate programs in health, education, public policy and data science. Pacific offers more than 30 graduate degrees and three first-professional programs, of which eight accelerated programs. For more information, visit www.pacific.edu.