Skip to main content

Meet the Team

  • Ahren Crickard

    Ahren Crickard

    Bringing innovative and transformative leadership to jump-start organizational growth has been the foundation of my success at UC San Diego. As Director of the Center for Operational Excellence out of the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, I am focused on serving our faculty and staff in Academic Affairs by supporting best practices in administration. At COE, we drive continuous improvement and process efficiencies, and accelerate the adoption of transformative change - through collaboration, communication, and professional development. 

  • Kevin Waldrop

    Kevin Waldrop

    As the Assistant Director of the COE, I focus on workflow development, business office & IT support systems, HR processes and other operational efficiencies. Using Lean tools, project management experience and Prosci Change Management, I support Academic Affairs and our campus partners in creating an agile, sustainable, and supportive infrastructure.

    • Program Manager, Business Office Ticketing in ServiceNow (BOTS), an Academic Affairs ticketing process for high-volume business offices.
    • Chair Emeritus, Business Excellence Community of Practice (BECOP), a COE-supported consortium for Change Management, Continuous Improvement based on Lean Six Sigma, and Project Management.
    • Conference Chair, 2023 Lean in Higher Education (LeanHE) International Conference, UC San Diego.
  • Kate Balderston

    Kate Balderston

    As a Senior Strategic Initiatives Manager I provide collaborative leadership consultation, strategic planning, program design and facilitation, and project management for complex issues in order to achieve strategically aligned solutions for the University of California San Diego. By leading outreach efforts that analyze business processes across the university’s landscape down to the smallest details, I specialize in discovering the root causes of inefficiencies that cost time, money, and frustration. From there we can drive positive change by working to reduce those obstacles to establish streamlined and effective best practices.

    One of the initiatives I’m most excited about is the creation of a role-based training center that will make it easier for anyone in our Academic Affairs community to access the resources they need to improve the student, faculty, and staff experience. Overall, I believe that the key to achieving success is to establish engaging relationships that support open communication, foster collaboration, and challenge its members to make a difference.