April 25, 2008

Rogers named UAF’s interim chancellor

University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton today named longtime Fairbanks resident and businessman Brian Rogers as interim chancellor of the system's first university, the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Rogers, a former UA regent, system vice president and state representative, will assume duties July 1. Until then, Rogers will work with outgoing Chancellor Steve Jones and UAF staff to ensure a smooth transition. Jones recently announced that he’s leaving the position after four years to be closer to children and grandchildren in the Lower 48.

Two public forums featuring Rogers and John Davies, both under consideration for the interim appointment, were held last week at the William R. Wood Center. The events provided UAF faculty, students and staff the opportunity to hear the finalists' backgrounds and philosophies, as well as ask questions.

Hamilton said the events were well attended and demonstrated that UAF and its community campuses--including Tanana Valley Campus, Interior Aleutians Campus and campuses in Nome, Kotzebue, Dillingham and Bethel--strongly support the institution and care about its future. Hamilton said the UAF community shares his view that both men are well qualified to lead UAF as interim chancellor. "The feedback I’ve received for each finalist was complimentary and supportive. I couldn’t be more pleased that two such capable leaders were willing to be considered for this important position," Hamilton said.

"Brian's background in management and finance at the statewide level and as a former regent and state lawmaker make him particularly well-suited for the interim chancellor position," Hamilton said. "John is also talented, smart and extremely capable, with many of the same strengths. The choice was a difficult one. Ultimately, I chose Brian because I believe he'll do the best job leading this institution."

Davies is research director at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center on the Fairbanks campus and served in the state House of Representatives for 10 years. He's a former seismologist and professor at UAF's Geophysical Institute, is a UAF alumnus and president of the UAF Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Rogers is a former UAF student who attended Trinity College and Brown University before receiving his master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served four years in the state House and eight years on the UA Board of Regents, three as chair. In addition he served seven years as the system's finance vice president, working with individual campuses and the statewide administration. In 1996, he formed Information Insights Inc. with several other partners, serving as principal consultant and chief financial officer. The company has offices in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Hamilton said the two-year period is necessary to ensure the interim chancellor can fully focus on the 2010 budget process, already under way. It also allows for flexibility to conduct a national search, a process that can take up to a year to complete.

Rogers said he's excited to serve an institution he's been involved with now for four decades. He said he intends to solicit ideas and involvement from faculty, staff, students and the communities UAF serves.

"I'll rely heavily on UAF's outstanding faculty to ensure we maintain our high standards in research, teaching and public service," Rogers said. "UAF is a complex enterprise, with an amazing diversity of faculty and staff. I plan to work with these groups to ensure we receive the financial and community support needed for the quality education and workforce training our students deserve. Our state, nation and world also depend on the important research conducted here, in a wide variety of disciplines, including energy and global climate change, the biological sciences and many other areas specific to the circumpolar north."

Rogers, 57, is married to UAF alum Sherry Modrow. They have two grown sons, including one UAF graduate. Rogers is a member of numerous community organizations including the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Fairbanks Downtown Rotary and many others. The interim chancellor position pays $262,000 annually.


For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907/450-8102 or Scott McCrea at 907/750-3280.

For a photo of Brian Rogers, go to PHOTO LINK.