Voice

Patrick K. Gamble

Photo by Monique Musick

The University of Alaska Board of Regents has offered the position of system president to Patrick K. Gamble, which he has accepted.

“We believe Pat has the leadership skills, the management expertise and familiarity with the state of Alaska that will serve UA well,” said Board Chair Cynthia Henry. “We are impressed by his support for the University of Alaska and his interest in addressing the issues we face. We’re very pleased he’s accepted our offer.”

Gamble currently is president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Railroad Corp., a position he’s held since 2001. He retired as a four-star general in 2001 after a long career with the U.S. Air Force.

Gamble will replace current UA President Mark Hamilton, who announced his retirement last June. Hamilton has served as president of the 15-campus UA System since 1998. The board expects a smooth transition between the two to occur in June.

“I’m excited but humbled by this opportunity,” Gamble said today. “I have a high degree of respect for the University of Alaska, its mission and its service to students. This is a very important appointment, but it’s not one I’ll do alone. I look forward to working with a variety of people in the months and years ahead, including our students, faculty, staff, community members, elected officials, alumni, donors, business partners and others with an interest in the success of this institution.”

Gamble said his number one priority as president will be to ensure a quality education for students. He also wants to gain more public support for the University of Alaska, continue the university’s strong presence in research important to Alaskans and engage the university in broader state economic development opportunities.

Gamble received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Texas A & M University and a Master of Business Administration in management from Auburn University.

Under Gamble’s tenure at the Alaska Railroad, railroad assets tripled to over $860 million and net earnings more than doubled. Before leading the railroad, Gamble served as the top U.S. Air Force executive in the Pacific Region. As Commander of Pacific Air Forces, Gamble was responsible for planning, programming, budgeting and operations of 14 installations that included 45,000 employees and 400 aircraft, with an annual operating budget of $1.4 billion.

His previous military assignments include, among others, serving as commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, directing all training, policy development, dormitory, food service, military classroom education and logistics support for 4,000 students. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross from his combat tour in Vietnam, as well as other military honors.

As president of the UA System, Gamble will earn a $295,000 annual salary.

The UA System has 15 campuses across the state, as well as numerous outreach and extension sites. The system includes community colleges as well as comprehensive and research-focused universities. The three largest campuses include the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.

The UA System has approximately 32,000 students enrolled, about 60 percent of whom are part-time and the rest full-time---the opposite ratio compared to typical colleges and universities in the Lower 48. UA offers over 500 degrees, certificates and endorsements, and conferred approximately 3,500 degrees in FY09. The system’s current operating budget is approximately $820 million.
 

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