Presidential Search Update

Dr. Elaine Hairston, the consultant from Academic Search hired by the UA Board of Regents, spent several days in September meeting (either in person or through video and audio conferencing) with UA faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

The purpose of the multiple meetings was to gather feedback and input regarding the next president of the UA System. President Mark Hamilton announced his retirement in June, but said he’ll stay on as long as needed to find a new system president. The meetings with UA and community constituents, a “listening tour” of sorts, will help Dr. Hairston identify common themes to help craft a position profile for recruiting and advertising.

Hamilton has been president of the UA System since August 1998. The president hires the chancellors of the three Major Administrative Units---the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, which includes affiliated rural and community colleges. The president serves as the chief executive officer of the UA System and reports directly to the Board of Regents.

The UA System serves approximately 30,000 students, employs roughly 4,500 faculty and staff, and has a current operating budget of $823 million.

The board also named a 16-member, statewide advisory committee to help with the search. A complete list of members can be found at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/pres-search/ac/.

The purpose of the advisory committee is to help develop the pool of applicants early on in the search process and to evaluate strengths and weakness of final candidates. The Board of Regents itself is the search committee responsible for hiring, but the advisory group plays an important role in providing names of potential candidates and feedback on the finalists.

Hairston expects she’ll advertise the position nationally as well as within Alaska by mid-October or so. She said it may take about two months to develop an adequate pool of candidates. The quality of the applicant pool will drive the timeline, but if all goes quickly, finalists could visit campuses as early as February. After campus visits and receiving feedback from the advisory group, the Board of Regents could potentially choose the next president of the UA System by early spring.

Anyone who’d like to suggest a potential applicant may email Dr. Hairston directly at elaine.hairston@academic-search.com.

Remember to check the official website at www.alaska.edu/bor/pres-search/ for updates.

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