Jessica Black appointed UAF associate vice chancellor

April 7, 2023

UAF Vice Chancellor Charlene Stern has appointed Jessica Black as associate vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education effective March 26, 2023.

Black is originally from the Interior Alaskan villages of Gwichyaa Zhee (Ft. Yukon) and Toghotthele (Nenana), and is an enrolled tribal member of the Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from UAF, and both her masters and Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to Black first joining UAF’s College of Rural and Community Development in 2014 as a term assistant professor and Indigenous Studies and Special Projects Liaison, she also worked in the UAF Social Work Department as a term assistant professor from 2006-2009. Since then, she has served in numerous capacities including as an assistant professor appointed jointly between the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development and the Department of Tribal Governance. Black was successfully tenured and promoted in 2021 and the following year, she was appointed as a faculty fellow of Indigenous Research to represent CRCD on emerging research initiatives. Black is also affiliated faculty with the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at UAF where she co-leads several fisheries-related projects including Tamamta.

Black has a demonstrated record of excellence in research and scholarly activities, which make her an ideal candidate for the associate vice chancellor position for RCNE. In this capacity, Black will help to support the operations of the unit, which includes two colleges and five rural campuses, oversee the build out of research capacity given the recent addition of the Center for One Health Research to CRCD, and serve as a lead for the Alaska Native Success Initiative at UAF. ANSI is a University of Alaska-wide effort adopted by the Board of Regents to address and overcome challenges and institute the changes needed to address equity gaps for Alaska Native and Indigenous students. The associate vice chancellor will provide leadership for the UAF ANSI team as well as participate as an ANSI lead representing UAF in meetings with the System Office, UAS and UAA, collaborate across UAF units to share ANSI priorities, and identify opportunities to increase the collective impact of ANSI UAF wide.