June 01, 1998

Regents Tap Gen. Hamilton to Head University of Alaska

June 1, 1998  NR 18-1998

U.S. Army Major General Mark R. Hamilton, who is now the commanding general of the U.S. Army recruiting Center in Fort Knox, Kentucky, will become the 12th president of the University of Alaska, the Board of Regents announced today.

Hamilton's selection was announced in Anchorage by Michael Kelly, president of the Board of Regents which held a special meeting on the UAA campus to select a successor to President Jerome B. Komisar who announced his resignation earlier this year.

The other finalist was Dr. David Toppen who is executive vice president and provost of Lake Superior State University in SaultSainte Marie, Michigan. Hamilton and Toppen were chosen for campus visits in Alaska following a national search.

Kelly said General Hamilton will assume the duties of the university's chief executive officer on September 1 at a base salary of $160,000. In addition, the regents approved a deferred compensation arrangement whereby Hamilton would get an additional $25,000 per year if he stays in the position for five years.

Hamilton has been at Fort Knox since early last year, and for two years prior to that was deputy director for Force Structure, Resources and Analysis at the Joint Staff in Washington, D. C. In 1992-93, he was chief of staff of the Alaskan Command at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, and in 1988-90 he was commander of division artillery at Fort Richardson.

Kelly said comments coming back from faculty and staff of the university, and from the public following the campus visits overwhelmingly supported the selection of Hamilton.

"He made an excellent impression on the university and community people with whom he and his wife Patty visited," Kelly said, "and people who had misgivings about the election of a non-traditional candidate for the presidency were turned around by talking with him," Kelly said. "He's an excellent choice."

At each of his campus visits, Hamilton stressed his experience with large, complex organizations, and stressed his commitment to Alaska. He said he and his wife always planned to return to Alaska to live. In his initial letter to the Board of Regents, Hamilton wrote of his past experience, "Bringing together the views and goals of divided and often angry factions is a job that requires patience, integrity and ability to listen. I have accomplished this in two wars, with two different cultures, on two different continents, I am comfortable that I will find common ground and common direction for our university."

Hamilton Recieved his bachelor of science degree from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in 1967, and his master of arts degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1973. He is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff Colloge in Norfolk, Virginia, and of the U. S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

NOTE TO THE MEDIA: Gen. Hamilton may be contacted at 502-943-0791
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-7272