Office of the President

UAF Interim Chancellor Search

Public invited to Tuesday evening forum with candidate for UAF Interim Chancellor

President Jim Johnsen, in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will hold a forum with Dr. Dana Thomas, UAF Interim Chancellor candidate, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 21 in the Schaible auditorium. Employees and members of the UAF community are welcome to meet Dr. Thomas ask questions and provide feedback to President Johnsen.

The candidate forum will be webcast and available at

Selecting a new Interim Chancellor

After a review of nearly a dozen applications, I am submitting the name of Dr. Dana L. Thomas as University of Alaska Fairbanks Interim Chancellor to the Fairbanks community for comment/feedback, and will consult with UAF governance before making a final decision by June 30.

Of the many great candidates who stepped forward and offered their expertise and energy to lead UAF during the next year, there was one person whose qualifications, reputation and experience stood out from all others and that person is Dana Thomas.

If appointed, Dr. Thomas, the former vice president of academic affairs and research, would lead the UAF’s 3,400 faculty/staff and 9,800 students for the next 12 months, succeeding Interim Chancellor Mike Powers who steps down August 1.

In my May message I discussed the involvement of the Fairbanks and UAF community in the selection process. A public forum will be held on the UAF campus, and a feedback form can be found below.

As interim chancellor, Thomas would lead UAF through its continued evolution as the premier Arctic research university, the continued commitment to campus safety, efforts to complete the UAF engineering building, and the celebration of UAF’s 100th anniversary in 2017.


Thank you Interim Chancellor Mike Powers

I want to express my sincere thanks to Mike Powers for his exemplary service to our university as a community leader at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, as an Alaska leader while a member of the Board of Regents, and as a university leader while Interim Chancellor. He stepped in at a very difficult time and has led UAF with energy, passion, and intelligence. I would call out in particular his absolute commitment to ensuring a safe learning environment for all our students. The entire UAF community owes Interim Chancellor Mike Powers and his wife Teri Spires our heartfelt appreciation for their service.


Dr. Dana L. Thomas

Thomas was born and raised in Fairbanks, is an alum of UAF and was the statewide vice president of academic affairs and research from 2012 to 2014. He served six years as Chair of UAF's Department of Mathematics and Statistics. In 2005, Dr. Thomas received the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award for sustained excellence in teaching at UAF. From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Thomas served as UAF's Vice Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities asked him to serve as an institutional accreditation evaluator of other institutions. In addition to his distinguished career in teaching, Dr. Thomas is recognized for his interdisciplinary research on the design and analysis of studies assessing resource (food and habitat) selection by animals. His career also features contributions at the international level, including work for two years in the Republic of Yemen facilitating a national survey of agriculture and two years in the Sultanate of Oman improving their fisheries statistics operations.

Letter of Application READ

Full curriculum vitae (CV) READ

Feedback on Finalist

Click HERE to provide feedback on the candidate or to submit a question for possible inclusion during a candidate forum to be held on June 21st at 5:00 pm in Schaible Auditorium.

Dana Thomas

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