UAA Interim Chancellor
December 9, 2020
UA Interim President Pat Pitney names Dr. Bruce Schultz as
Interim UAA Chancellor
University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney has appointed Dr. Bruce Schultz to serve as University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Interim Chancellor. Schultz will begin in that role on January 4, 2021 succeeding outgoing chancellor Cathy Sandeen. He is expected to serve in that capacity until a permanent chancellor is named. The search will begin later this month.
“Bruce brings a steady hand and long history of commitment to student success and enrollment management,” Pitney said. “He was instrumental in preparing UAA for the fall semester under a COVID environment, and he knows how to mobilize the UAA community to address the critical issues it faces. He will be a huge asset to UAA and to the University of Alaska system, and I am happy to welcome him to the leadership team.”
As interim chancellor, Schultz will work to create stability as the university adapts to a smaller operational budget resulting from the governor’s compact and the COVID environment. He will also be charged with maintaining momentum for UAA's cost reduction initiatives and setting the groundwork for improving the UAA experience for Alaska Native faculty, students and staff at UAA.
Schultz currently is UAA’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, but his career in leadership roles at UAA spans nearly three decades. As Vice Chancellor, he led the development of a culture of assessment in student affairs, created the Military and Veterans Student Services Office, supported a multi-year transformation of UAA’s enrollment services operations, and restructured student affairs to improve effectiveness while addressing significant reductions in funding.
"I am honored to serve as UAA's interim chancellor and look forward to advancing our mission of teaching, research, engagement and creative expression," Schultz said. "This university plays a vital role in educating the people of Alaska and enriching communities across the state. I look forward to ensuring UAA continues with the progress we have achieved under the leadership of outgoing Chancellor Sandeen until we welcome UAA's next Chancellor in the coming months."
Schultz holds a bachelor's degree in International Business and German from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a Master of Education in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University. He received his doctorate in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne and his doctoral dissertation was a descriptive study of freshmen adjustment to college at the University of Alaska.
Schultz’s selection as interim comes after an expedited but inclusive process led by a four-member review committee, supported by the HR team. The search for the permanent chancellor will begin later this month. The selection process will be extensive with ample opportunity for UAA and public input. Pitney expects to make a selection for UAA’s next chancellor in spring 2021.
The University of Alaska Anchorage is Alaska’s largest university, educating nearly 12,000 students annually. UAA’s mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, engagement and creative expression. Learn more at uaa.alaska.edu.
Read Dec. 9 message from Interim President Pat Pitney to UAA community announcing Interim Chancellor Bruce Schultz. PDF
Finalists announced December 1, 2020:
Dr. Bruce Schultz has served as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) since 2009 and his career in ascending leadership roles at UAA spans nearly three decades. He began his professional career in student affairs in 1992 as the administrative coordinator of UAA’s Residence Life department. In 1995, he became the Associate Dean of Students and in 2005 the Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development. In February 2009, Schultz was appointed interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs with the full appointment occurring in June 2010.
Schultz is responsible for advancing a student-centered agenda across the student
life cycle in the functional areas of student affairs and campus services. As Vice
Chancellor, he led the development of a culture of assessment in student affairs,
championed the adoption of the EAB Student Success Collaborative, created the Military
and Veterans Student Services Office, supported a multi-year transformation of UAA’s
enrollment services operations, and effectively restructured student affairs to improve
effectiveness while addressing significant reductions in funding. From 2009 to 2020,
Schultz co-chaired UAA’s Diversity Action Council which supported the development
of UAA’s first Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and the hiring of UAA’s first Chief
Schultz’s current initiatives include serving on the UA Institutional Research Council, UA Human Resources Council, and UA Student Services Council; managing UAA’s distribution of more than $5 million of CARES Act funding; leading the Anchorage campus transition to an online bookstore; transforming the transition to college experience for first-year students; creating synergy among student engagement and multicultural student programs; and, building more effective collaborations among the administrative services, academic affairs, university advancement and student affairs units to transform the total educational experience of students.
Dr. Schultz holds a bachelor's degree in International Business and German from the
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a Master of Education in Student Affairs Administration
in Higher Education from Ball State University. He received his doctorate in Educational
and Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne and his doctoral dissertation
was a descriptive study of freshmen adjustment to college at the University of Alaska.
Christi Bell, currently the Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the Business Enterprise Institute (BEI), has served in leadership roles at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) for more than 15 years. BEI encompasses the University’s suite of business and economic development programs including the Applied Environmental Research Center which brings new revenues to the University and jobs to Alaska.
Bell serves as a member of the UAA Chancellor’s Cabinet, a chair of the UAA 2025 Strategic Plan development, and contributed leadership to the shared services, Facilities & Administration (F&A), Change & Leadership, and Prioritization task forces. Bell has extensive experience with the overall UA budgeting processes and shared governance and has strong working relationships with faculty, staff, and leadership across UAA and the UA’s campuses.
Bell is regularly called upon by state and federal stakeholders to consult and provide testimony on matters impacting Alaska and the University system. With this experience as a backdrop, Bell’s focus is on providing leadership, vision, and strategic direction towards ensuring students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to engage with and benefit from relationships with public and private sector entities.
Bell holds a CEcD (Certificate in Economic Development) from the International Economic Development Council as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Resource Management, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Read Dec. 1 message from Interim President Pat Pitney to UAA community announcing finalists. PDF
A 3-member review committee, supported by HR, will advise the president in the selection process. The process will include five steps:
Step 1: Develop Selection Process, Communications Plan, and Assemble Committee.
- This process will address the need for an Interim UAA Chancellor for a tenure of 3-5 months. The search for a permanent successor Chancellor will commence immediately and occur concurrently with the tenure of the Interim Chancellor
- The Communications Offices of UA and UAA will confer and develop a unified communications plan in support of the process including a web page to house search information, key dates, and candidate profiles.
- President Pitney will appoint a small committee of 3-5 staff/faculty participants from UAA to assist in the selection process. The role of the committee will be to engage with stakeholders and candidates to gather, share, and evaluate information throughout the process. The review committee will be supported by HR.
Step 2: Identify Desired Attributes.
Between Nov. 10 – 13, 2020, the selection committee will solicit recommended attributes from faculty, staff, students, administrators, and alumni.
UAA interim Chancellor, Desired Attributes:
A passionate connection with Alaska and all Alaskans.
Entrenchment in UAA’s mission and vision, able to assume immediate and seamless leadership of UAA to continue its positive trajectory.
Knowledge of and commitment to UAA academics, research, service, student support, and student-centric activities; recognition and support of all UAA’s campuses, inclusive of those in Anchorage and across Southcentral, AK.
An ability to continue the momentum of ongoing initiatives to focus the organization and grow revenue.
Experience with objective decision-making in large, complex organizations; an ability to make decisions for the overall good of the university, the system, and the state and not be beholden to parochial motives or agendas.
Prepared to make swift and often difficult decisions that serve the mission and best interests of UAA and the UAA Community. Experience with steadfastness in decision-making, in the face of adversity, especially when it comes to health and safety is critically important.
Credible advocate internally and externally on behalf of UAA.
Trustworthy, recognizing the value of all Governance groups when making decisions, and communicating transparently to that end.
Lead the university in its effort to foster diversity and a welcoming and supportive environment for all people.
Step 3: Assemble Candidate Pool.
The review committee, in conjunction with HR, will assemble an initial confidential pool of candidates from many sources including those:
- Identified by President Pitney;
- Recommended to President Pitney directly from inside and outside the university; community;
- Recommended to President Pitney indirectly through Human Resources or Governance Groups; and/or
- Who self-identify for consideration.
On Nov. 16, 2020, HR will compile the initial candidate pool, confirm the interest of the candidates, and share the pool of candidates with President Pitney and the review committee. The review committee will meet and evaluate the candidate pool against the 3-5 evaluation criteria established in Step 2. The committee will then review its evaluation with President Pitney on or about 30 November 2020.
President Pitney will then narrow the pool to 3-5 finalists. HR will notify the candidates and then broadly share the finalist list.
Step 4: Meet the Candidates.
On Dec. 1-2, 2020, the review committee will conduct short interview sessions with the final candidates based on one key question: “Why do you feel you would be the right choice for the position of Interim UAA Chancellor?” The committee will share its observations with President Pitney.
HR will concurrently conduct background and reference checks on the final candidates. On Dec. 3/4, 2020, President Pitney will meet with each of the final individual candidates. The university community will meet the candidates in open forums on December 3 at noon and 4 p.m.
Step 5: Selection and Offer.
On or about Dec. 11, 2020, and after consultation with the Board of Regents, President Pitney will select an Interim Chancellor, agree to terms of employment, and announce the selection within and outside to the university community.
Selection committee survey to UAA community
November 10, 2020
Board of Regents emergency meeting to discuss process
November 11, 2020
List of potential candidates to President Pitney
November 18, 2020
President Pitney narrows the pool to 3-5 finalists
Review committee will conduct interviews with the final candidates
December 3, 2020