Powers Named Interim Chancellor for University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska (UA) President Patrick Gamble announced July 21, 2015 his selection for the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Interim Chancellor position. Gamble chose UA Regent Mike Powers.
By his own admission, Powers could be considered an unconventional pick since he lacks an extensive academic background. "I am probably unlike any of the other candidates in that regard," Powers said, “yet, as a UA Regent since 2011 I have been deeply involved in the details of the University of Alaska Fairbanks issues. I’ve also had a long and productive association with UAF in my business and community roles during the 30 years I’ve lived
in Fairbanks. Now I look forward to enriching my overall understanding of UAF’s many programs.”
In his interim role, Powers looks forward to helping the new President launch a search for the permanent chancellor, a process that could take up to a year. In the meantime, he will provide leadership to UAF, continuing the process of identifying and strengthening its core academic areas and navigating the tough financial terrain expected due to the state economic condition. “It is my hope I can continue to advance the vision, and wise initiatives of Chancellor Rogers who dedicated four decades of his life to this great institution. UAF consists of a world-class team of faculty, staff and researchers who are shaping Alaska’s future in the classroom, as well as America’s role in the Arctic. They are preparing our students to be involved and committed citizens.”
In April, Chancellor Brian Rogers announced plans to retire. Rogers steps down at the end of August and Powers officially takes over September 1 . He will spend the next several weeks working closely with Chancellor Rogers to ensure a smooth transition. Powers expects to spend his first 90 days balanced between being accessible to and seeking input from faculty, staff and students, as well as area legislators, business leaders and the education community. One of his more immediate challenges will be the development of the University’s FY17 budget in collaboration with his fellow chancellors.
UA President Pat Gamble said, “Finding the right leader to become permanent chancellor will obviously take some time. We want to give the Regents, the new UA President, and the UAF and Fairbanks communities time to conduct a thoughtful and thorough process. Judging from the broad-based support expressed in well over 100 recommendations from individuals and groups, Mike Powers has the full faith and trust he can count on to take UAF forward into a very challenging year to come.”
Powers has been an executive at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for nearly three decades, first as chief financial officer and, for the past 20 years, as chief executive officer. He retired from FMH on July 1. A more complete bio is available on the UAF Chancellor’s website: