June 05, 2009

UA President Mark Hamilton to retire

University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton announced today that he'll retire from his position leading the 16-campus system.

A specific departure date isn't set yet, but Hamilton made his intentions known so the Board of Regents, the system’s governing body, can begin the selection process for a new president.

"Quite simply, I want to spend more time with my family, my lovely wife Patty, who has had to share me with either the U.S. Army or the university system for over 40 years. I want to have time to enjoy our four children and their families, including my ninth grandchild due this fall," said Hamilton. "And I want to spend more time in this Alaska that I love so much. Maybe I'll get in some extra fishing time or an extended moose hunt."

Hamilton made the announcement at the close of a two-day board meeting in Fairbanks. Board chair Cynthia Henry said finding a replacement for the articulate and outspoken advocate for the UA system will be challenging.

“What a magnificent run this has been, with President Hamilton leading this university for these past 11 years," Henry said. "He was hired at a time of rather low morale due to crumbling facilities and chronic underfunding. He was able to communicate with the public, elected officials and numerous other constituencies just how important the University of Alaska is for a strong state economy, especially the need to 'grow our own' for good jobs and careers right here in Alaska."

Henry said it's too early to know exactly how the search process will play out, but that she intends to keep the public and key stakeholders informed along the way. Hamilton, 64, has been at the helm of the system since August 1998.

For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907/388-3506.

For a biography of Hamilton, go to www.alaska.edu/pres/ and click on "biography." For a high-resolution photo, go to www.alaska.edu/pres/photo-300dpi/