January 07, 2003

Johnsen Named Vice President for Faculty and Staff Relations at University of Alaska

January 7, 2003  NR 01-03

James R. Johnsen, chief of staff to University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton, has been named to the position of Vice President for Faculty and Staff Relations at the University of Alaska. Hamilton made the announcement today.

Johnsen will assume the $130,000-a-year position effective Jan. 20. He succeeds Janet Jacobs who retired at the end of November as Executive Director of Human Resources for the university. Hamilton said the title was changed at the recommendation of an external group of academic and human resources experts to more accurately reflect the scope and importance of the position to the statewide university system.

Johnsen joined the university in 1996 as labor relations director, and was named chief of staff in 1998 soon after Hamilton assumed the presidency of UA. 

Hamilton named Johnsen to his new position following a national search that resulted in about 135 applications from around the country. The search committee narrowed the search to four fi nalists who were interviewed and who met with faculty and staff representatives from each of the three major regional campuses. Hamilton praised the work of the search committee, and said, “The committee made its recommendations, and I agreed with its ranking exactly.”

"Jim has done a great job as my chief of staff over the last four years, no easy task, I assure you," Hamilton said. "He has my full confidence as he takes on this challenging and important role for the university."

Hamilton said Johnsen would not be replaced as chief of staff, and that many of the responsibilities would be taken over by Ann Ringstad, the university’s director of state government relations, and others on his executive staff.
Prior to joining UA in 1996, Johnsen was the assistant director of employee relations for the University of Minnesota, chief labor negotiator for the State of Alaska, and regional manager for the Alaska Public Employees Association. He has also taught courses at UAS and UAF.
Johnsen received his bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his master’s in political science from the University of Chicago. He did postgraduate studies in industrial relations at the University of Minnesota and is working on a Ph.D. in higher
education policy at UAF.
A photograph of Mr. Johnsen is downloadable at:
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-6311