Organizational Charts & Biographies

Associate VP of Academic Affairs - Paula Donson

pmdonson@alaska.edu
http://www.alaska.edu/research/
Phone: 907.786.7729

Academic Affairs
University of Alaska
1815 Bragaw Office Building
Anchorage, AK 99505

Longtime UAA faculty adjunct instructor Paula Donson joined the university’s statewide Academic Affairs office as an associate vice president on March 1, 2010. In her position, Donson is assisting with implementation of the Academic Master Plan, participating in the University of Alaska’s Strategic Planning, and overseeing the university’s growing e-learning program (formerly called distance delivery education). She is based in Anchorage at the Bragaw Office Building. 

Since 2001, Donson has been adjunct faculty at UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy as well as the College of Engineering’s Graduate Project Management Program. In fact, Donson helped launch the Master of Science program in project management at UAA. 

Donson earned a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Pennsylvania State University and a post-doctorate diploma in Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Other post-doctorate credentials include an executive certificate in the Advanced Human Resource Executive Program at the University of Michigan. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communications at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. 

In addition to her adjunct work at UAA, Donson has had a long business career in Alaska. She most recently served as director of Workforce & Organization Development for the Alaska Railroad Corp., overseeing employee professional development. While with ARRC, Paula was part of a national committee that developed a Railway Management Program for Michigan State University. She came to Alaska in 1995 to help launch the state’s first wireless phone company, Mactel Inc. She also worked as Vice President for Alaska Seafood International and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, where she launched the State’s first online university that served the financial community associated with Alaska USA in the Lower48 as well as here in Alaska. Called AlaskaUSA University, it provided over 3,000 online courses in all fields of financial services. 

Prior to her career in Alaska, Donson worked for Wakefern Food Corporation, the largest retailer-owned food cooperative in the United States.   While at Wakefern, she initiated a system-wide reengineering project, and subsequent projects in cost containment and work process analysis. She began her corporate career with Unisys, where she designed and implemented a range of executive development programs at their Worldwide Education Center in Princeton, NJ. While at Unisys, she earned several Corporate Excellence Awards for her service to Unisys’ Computer Operations and Defense Systems Groups. Dr. Donson led in facilitating several major restructuring projects following the merger between Sperry and Burroughs Corp. 

Donson was named an Alumni Fellow by The Pennsylvania State University in 2010 and is active in numerous professional and civic organizations inside and outside Alaska. She also enjoys reading, knitting, adventure travel, and Alaska native ivory carving.  

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