March 16, 2012
By Roxanne Estrada
Executive plans to battle budget cuts with creative thinking
Ysabel Trinidad enjoys a challenge.
As the new vice president of finance and administration at Cal State Channel Islands, Trinidad is on a mission to create new opportunities for students despite deep budget cuts.
Because the university is young and still growing, she said, the solution to financial blocks is a bit of creative thinking.
“It’s the challenge of building a new campus,” Trinidad said. “I can implement new ideas, and that doesn’t exist in a more traditional and fully developed campus. There’s different ways to apply that creative spirit.”
Trinidad replaces Joanne Coville, who left in June to become vice president of business affairs and treasurer for Scripps College.
As vice president for finance and administration, Trinidad oversees 180 employees and manages operations such as construction, capital development, human resources and safety. She is also responsible for facilities such as the power plant and University Glen, a residential community on college property.
Trinidad earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University Fresno and her Master of Business Administration from St. Mary’s University in Texas.
She has more than 25 years of business administration experience. Trinidad was the associate vice president of administration and planning at the University of Texas for 12 years and vice chancellor for administrative services at the University of Washington Tacoma for five years.
At both universities, Trinidad worked to establish a financial system that would help the campuses expand in facilities and students.
Although the University of Texas had a student body of nearly 30,000 when she left in 2006, Trinidad started the university’s second location downtown from scratch.
Similar to CSUCI, the University of Washington Tacoma has a student population of about 4,000 and was trying to increase student enrollment and modernize campus facilities in the midst of a budget crisis.
Helping young universities such as CSUCI grow and become established is Trinidad’s selfproclaimed passion.
“Ysabel has an exceptional track record of bringing new programs, innovation and efficiency to growing public universities,” said university president Richard Rush in a press release.
“Her breadth of knowledge, experience and expertise in developing a young campus and creatively managing a large budget will serve us well as we continue to find ways to expand within the current budget climate.”
To expand CSUCI within those budget constraints, Trinidad said, steps at all levels of operations must be as efficient as possible. She has begun a new program asking employees at every level how their jobs can be streamlined.
She will also seek out funding opportunities such as grants for energy savings.
“You have to leverage resources and plan to build other revenue streams,” Trinidad said. “We want to know we’re doing the most effective job with the resources we have so we can deploy those resources to serve new program needs for students.”
Trinidad, 58, lives on the CSUCI campus with her husband, John Jackovich. They have one grown daughter, Alexandra.