January 15, 1998

Regents Launch Search for New University President

January 15, 1998  NR 2-1998

Regents of the University of Alaska launched the search for a new president at an emergency meeting this week, and their first decision was for the board to function as its own search committee, and to involve the university community and the Alaska general public widely in the board's deliberations.
Fairbanks Regent Mike Kelly, president of the board, said they will retain the services of an executive search firm to expedite the search for a new chief executive of the state's only system of public higher education. He estimated the total cost of the search is likely to be between $100,000 and $125,000.
At the emergency meeting in Anchorage on Wednesday, the board stipulated that proposals from national executive search firms include utilization of an Alaska firm or individual. Kelly said the firm and its Alaska affiliate would be selected by mid-February.

"Having the board serve as a search committee is a departure from past practice," Kelly said, "but the board feels this innovative approach will allow more people to have more input into the process than they would have if the search task were assigned to a small committee.

"The university has a variety of constituent groups, and we want to guarantee that they all have adequate opportunities to help the regents define the qualities and attributes of the university president," Kelly said.

"Our meetings will be open to the public," Kelly said. "We will receive written input and will provide for input by electronic means using the university's web pages. We are all determined to involve the university community and Alaska's general public in the board's deliberations."

The regents' search for a new president was prompted by the resignation earlier this month of President Jerome B. Komisar who said he intends to leave office by June 30, 1998, after almost eight years at the helm.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-7272