UAS Chancellor Search

UA President Pat Pitney selects Dr. Aparna Palmer as next UAS Chancellor

Dr. Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer
Dr. Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer

Dr. Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer has been appointed by UA President Pat Pitney to serve as the Chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), located in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau. Dr. Palmer’s first day will be July 1, 2023. She succeeds Dr. Karen Carey, who is retiring on June 30, 2023.

Dr. Palmer currently serves as a Vice President at Front Range Community College (FRCC), which is part of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). She is the chief executive of the Boulder County Campus and interim chief executive of the Larimer County Campus, and brings 25 years of experience in higher education. CCCS is Colorado’s largest system of higher education, with more than 138,000 students across 13 colleges. FRCC is the largest college in the system, with 28,000 students.

Before joining FRCC, Dr. Palmer was the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Colorado Mesa University (CMU), an institution with a dual role and mission to serve both as a regional university with bachelor’s and graduate degrees and as a community college (Western Colorado Community College, WCCC) with associate’s degrees and technical certificates. During her 22 years at CMU as a Professor of Biology, she served as the Director of the Academic Honors Program, Faculty Senate President, and Faculty Trustee on the CMU/WCCC Board. Dr. Palmer holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from Washington State University as well as a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a B.A. in English from Colorado State University. As a scientist, she studies the natural histories and molecular genetics of tardigrades (water bears) and polychaetes (seaworms).

As Chancellor, Dr. Palmer will provide strategic leadership in fulfilling UAS’ mission, including budget development, academic planning and program assessments, student and enrollment services, administrative services, and community relations.


University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Position Profile

Position Profile cover image

The University of Alaska Southeast (“UAS”) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chancellor. The position reports to the President of the University of Alaska System.

With this profile, the Search Committee seeks to provide nominators and potential candidates with information about UAS, the position, and participation in the search.

Final candidates

Candidate Name Campus Visit Dates

Lisa Parady, J.D., Ed.D.
Executive Director, Alaska Council of School Administrators

Watch video of Lisa Parady Public Forum
** Note: UAS had technical difficulties at the start of the recording.

Juneau:  January 23rd and 24th
Ketchikan: January 25th
Sitka: January 26th


James Taylor, Ed.D.
Senior Associate Vice President, Utah State University

Watch video of James Taylor Public Forum

Juneau:  January 26th and 27th
Ketchikan: January 30th 
Sitka: January 31st


Aparna D.~N. Palmer, Ph.D.
Vice President, Front Range Community College

Watch video of Aparna D.~N. Palmer Public Forum

Juneau:  January 30th and 31st
Ketchikan: February 1st 
Sitka: February 2nd


Cathy LeCompte, M.N.P.L.
Division Director, Alaska Vocational Technical Center

Watch video of Cathy LeCompte Public Forum

Juneau:  February 2nd and 3rd
Ketchikan: February 6th
Sitka: February 7th


Joe Nelson, J.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors, Sealaska

Watch video of Joe Nelson Public Forum

Juneau:  February 6th and 7th
Ketchikan: February 8th
Sitka: February 9th



Initial Screening Process

The search committee has scheduled the following interview times:

  • Wednesday, November 30th - 1pm
  • Thursday December 1st  - 1pm
  • Friday December 2nd  - 10am
  •  Wednesday, December 7th -  1pm
  •  Thursday, December 8th - 10am
  • Thursday, December 8th - 12p
  • Friday December 9th - 9am
  •  Friday December 9th - 11am
  • Friday December 9th - 1pm
  • Wednesday, December 14th - 11am
  • Thursday, December 15th - 11am
  • Thursday, December 15th - 12:45pm
  • Friday, December 16th - 3:30pm
  • Thursday, October 20 at 4:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 17 from 1-5 p.m.

UAS Chancellor Position Attributes & Qualifications

The University of Alaska Southeast  (“UAS”) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chancellor.

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Chancellor serves as the University's chief executive officer and is appointed by and reports to the University of Alaska System President. UAS has campuses in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka. The Chancellor's established office is located on the Juneau campus.

The Chancellor will lead UAS at a time of stabilizing resources and to continue this growth, they must possess solid budgetary and management skills and experience as well as a strong disposition to advocate with the Board of Regents, UA President, fellow UA Chancellors, and state government officials.

The Chancellor exercises broad authority over and is responsible for all aspects of the administration of UAS. The Chancellor:

  • Advances the mission and vision of the University by building and maintaining external relationships (including corporate partners, private donors, regional school districts, and State Legislature) critical to the success of the University.
  • Serves on the University of Alaska President's Executive Council and collaborates with the University of Alaska System: University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and UA Foundation.
  • Leads the Chancellor's Cabinet and the University's administration of instruction, finance and operations, safety, and student service and life programs. In doing so, they are effectively advancing the recruitment and retention of quality faculty, staff, and students, and providing a quality education for all students.
  • Develops, updates, and presents to the UA Board of Regents master plans for all UAS campuses.
  • Prepares annual capital plans.
  • Advances items for the UA Board of Regents’ meeting agendas and actively participates in Board of Regents' meetings.
  • Interprets and applies UA Board of Regent policies, University regulations, collective bargaining agreements, FERPA, institutional and specialized accreditation standards and policies, memorandums of agreement.

The Chancellor will lead UAS at a transformational time in the State of Alaska’s higher education domain and will serve as the key leader in the following areas:

Focus on the Uniqueness of UAS
The Chancellor will have the vision to capitalize on the unique programs and attributes of UAS. The Chancellor will work closely with Academic Affairs to promote programs, research and partnerships related to Indigenous Studies (Cultures, Languages, Arts, Histories, etc.), Fisheries, Mariculture, Marine Biology, Glaciology, Marine Transportation, and Outdoor Studies.

Promote Sustainability
Engage in UAS-wide and statewide efforts to secure and maximize budget allocations, consolidate operations, promote efficiency and create new sources of revenue. The  Chancellor will develop new and strengthen existing revenue streams and be an enthusiastic and strategic fundraiser as well as an advocate for the University.

Increase Enrollment
The Chancellor will grow student enrollment in UAS priority programs as well as focus on programs addressing regional community needs. Growing student enrollment must be a university-wide focus. This effort will involve thinking innovatively about how to get more students to complete degrees and credentials to qualify for jobs, updating professional and technical certifications relevant to employers, and supporting exam preparation. Leveraging resources throughout the system to address program gaps while also building strong partnerships and pathways for student success will be essential.

Commit to Alaska Native Student, Staff, and Faculty Success
The Chancellor will work closely with the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Alaska Native Education (CACANE) and the UA Alaska Native Success Initiative (ANSI) to increase staff and faculty diversity, integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into programs and departments, and ensure that UAS is committed to eliminating discriminatory practices. UAS is committed to increasing the number of Alaska Native and Native American staff, faculty, and administration, so the recruitment, retention, and promotion of Indigenous peoples in the UAS workforce is a high priority for UAS. The priorities of ANSI and CACANE are vital to understanding the needs and working collaboratively towards systemic improvements.

The Chancellor will foster an environment where diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are vital to present and future success. The University’s excellence in teaching, research, and service is best realized by faculty, students, and staff who share a commitment to these values and advance the University's DEICS (diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural safety) mission. The Chancellor will be an individual with an ability and desire to work with colleagues from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds while also encouraging the growth and development of diversity at UAS as a whole.

Promote Student Success and Wellbeing
The Chancellor will ensure that students have a positive educational experience by maximizing the delivery of programs and offering unique schedules for traditional and non-traditional students in order to remove obstacles to graduation and attainment. The Chancellor will support continued development of bandwidth, technology, and equipment to deliver effective online instruction. Moreover, the Chancellor will address student needs beyond the classroom including financial aid, advising, tutoring, disability services, accommodations, and mental health. 

Foster Collaboration and Efficiency
At a time of stabilizing resources, rather than competing with other universities within the UA system, the Chancellor will engage with UA executive leadership  to promote  collaboration, consensus-building, and the implementation of common shared practices.

Build Stronger Connections to K-12 System in Alaska
The Chancellor will continue to build strong bridges between Alaska high schools and UAS. This will lead to more K-12 students being career-ready and improve recruitment of high school students into the UA system.

Advocate for the Future of UAS
The Chancellor needs to be politically astute and a strong advocate of UAS by working collaboratively with other UA Chancellors, the UA President, and the Board of Regents to promote the value of the three universities within the UA system.  

The successful Chancellor will possess:

  • Ability and energy to lead a complex, multi-faceted, multi-campus regional University.
  • Ability to translate the UAS mission and goals to external stakeholders.
  • Disposition to willingly collaborate and build synergies within the University and throughout the UA System.
  • Experience establishing and managing budgets with demonstrated success in facilitating revenue enhancement initiatives including private fundraising.
  • Commitment to shared governance.
  • Strong interpersonal skills that energize the University and inspire the community in the advancement of the UAS mission.
  • Ability to analyze complex issues and make difficult decisions.
  • Highest standards of character including, personal and professional integrity and ethics.
  • Ability to adapt to unforeseen challenges.
  • Commitment to engage with local communities, including Southeast Alaska Tribes, ANCSA Corporations, and Canadian First Nations.

In addition to the desired attributes mentioned above, the successful candidate will possess:

Required Qualifications

  • Proven leadership experience including strategic planning, financial management, and management of staff.
  • An earned advanced degree from an accredited institution.
  • A record of commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Commitment to faculty research and scholarship, excellence in university teaching, and workforce development.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a shared leadership environment.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • A solid understanding of and disposition to lead fundraising and revenue generation efforts.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in a public higher education institution and multi-campus system.
  • Senior level leadership and administrative experience within an academic environment.
  • An earned terminal degree from an accredited institution.
  • Experience working successfully in a collective bargaining environment.
  • Experience working in or clear understanding of the mission of an open enrollment institution.
  • A history of innovation in developing and supporting academic programs that support student success goals.
  • Demonstrated ability to support the use of effective information technology for pedagogical, administrative, and student support needs.


Recruitment Timeline

  • October 30                    Deadline for applications for best consideration
  • Week of Nov 14          Committee identifies semi-finalists
  • Week of Dec 5.              Search committee interviews semi-finalists virtually (6-8)
  • Week of Dec. 19          Finalists forwarded to President Pitney
  • Week of Jan. 16.          Finalists have in-person meetings

Search Committee

  • John Pugh (co-chair) Retired UAS Chancellor
  • Jennifer Ward  (co-chair)  Associate Professor of Library and Information Sciences
  • Carin Silkaitis, Dean of Arts and Sciences
  • Paul Kraft, UAS Sitka Campus Director
  • Katie Sill, UAS Sitka Academic Advisor
  • Mike LaBarge, Assistant Professor of Maritime Studies
  • X'unei Lance Twitchell, Associate Professor of Alaska Native Studies
  • Sander Schivens, UAS Juneau Campus Advisory Council
  • Brian Holst, Executive Director Juneau Economic Development Council
Support Staff
  • Glenn Gambrell, HR consultant
  • Louisa Cryan, HR Coordinator

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