February 28, 2010

UA Board of Regents announces finalists for UA president

For Immediate Release

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010

UA Board of Regents announces finalists for UA president

Campus visits begin Monday

The University of Alaska Board of Regents announces the following finalists for the UA president position:

  • Lisa A. Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia, part of the University System of Georgia, since 1998; and a professor of geology;
  • Patrick K. Gamble, president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Railroad Corp. since 2001; and a retired four-star Air Force general;
  • and John R. Pugh, chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast since 1999, former UAS dean of faculty, education, liberal arts and sciences; and former state Health and Social Services commissioner.

Photos and complete resumes of each finalist are posted on the board’s presidential search website, at www.alaska.edu/bor/pres-search/.

Board Chair Cynthia Henry said the selection process is challenging. “We received many solid applications from well-qualified individuals, both within the state and from the Lower 48,” Henry said. “It’s been a difficult and lengthy process, narrowing the field down to these few. Now we look forward to hearing from our various stakeholders as we move to the next stage of our search---selecting a president to lead the University of Alaska System.”

The finalists will begin a tour of the UA system’s three largest campuses Monday morning, providing the candidates with numerous opportunities to meet students, faculty, staff, community members, business owners, alumni, local officials and elected local and state leaders.

The board encourages members of the public to attend the evening public presentations in each community as well, though public members are welcome at campus sessions if evening presentations are not convenient. Feedback forms will be available at all venues for university stakeholders and the public to provide opinions on the three finalists.

The finalists will visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks tomorrow, Monday, March 1; the University of Alaska Anchorage Tuesday, March 2; and the University of Alaska Southeast Wednesday, March 3. See the above website for detailed itineraries of each campus visit.

“We want to hear from our university stakeholders as well as the public about who they think could best lead this complex institution,” said the board’s vice chair, Tim Brady. “UA offers everything from workforce training certificates to four-year degrees, master’s degrees, doctoral degrees and post-doctoral research opportunities. The UA system provides a $1 billion influx annually into Alaska’s economy and is responsible for educating and training some 30,000 students each year—most of whom are Alaskans. We want a well-qualified president to follow the fine leadership and enthusiasm we’ve seen under Mark Hamilton the last 12 years.”

Hamilton announced last June his intention to retire in 2010. He and his wife Patty plan to remain in Alaska, but hope to spend more time with their children and grandchildren, as well as enjoy more opportunities to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors.

The board will consult with its statewide advisory committee on Thursday (for membership of that panel, check the board’s presidential search website). The regents will then meet again March 15 to discuss and possibly choose a final candidate. A public announcement would follow sometime after that.

For information on the search, visit the Board of Regents’ website at www.alaska.edu/bor/pres-search/.



For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907/450-8102 (office) or 907/388-3506 (cell) or email at klripley@alaska.edu.