UA system seeks new president

by Anessia Hubler

Sun Star Reporter

02/10/2015

As he began to reach the age of 70, UA President Patrick Gamble decided to retire on June 1, 2015. Gamble has spent nearly 50 years in government and state service including his almost five years as UA President.

When asked why he was retiring Gamble said, “In short, it’s time.”

In late January, the UA Board of Regents approved a president search plan. To begin enacting this plan they will hire professional search firms to start looking for someone to fill Gamble’s spot. The search team will be reviewing applications of qualified people from within as well as outside the state.

“The goal is to find someone by May 2015,” Gamble said.

The UA Board of Regents wants to let everyone in the community from students and staff to the public and stakeholders to have a say and be able to get involved in the process of picking a new president, according to Gamble.

Mary Hughes, Board of Regents member, will chair the 15-member presidential search advisory committee.

The role of this committee is to review candidates and then recommend a short list of them to the Board of Regents who will hire the next UAF president.

There has been a lot of talk about Chancellor Rogers’ intent to apply to become the new president, which he mentioned in mid January, but this also leads to questions of what will happen if he takes office as the new president.

“If we do get a new chancellor, they will have big shoes to fill,” freshman Dante Fuentes said.

If the Chancellor does take the place of President Gamble he can do one of two things. He can pick a new chancellor or he can have people apply and go through a selection process as will be done to select the new president.

“The board will be looking for a strong leader who can get us through these difficult financial times,” Gamble said. Gamble will stay in office until a new president is found. After that he plans on splitting his time between Big Lake and Texas.

The 15-member committee includes one student representative, one faculty representative, five Board of Regents members including former CEO of Denali State Bank Jyotsna Heckman, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital CEO Michael Powers, and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council CEO Gloria O’Neill. Other members are Usibelli Coal Mine president Joe Usibelli Jr., Bristol Bay Native Corporation president Jason Metrokin, Alaska Airlines regional vice president Marilyn Romano, Holland America Line government and community relations vice president Ralph Samuels, University of Alaska Foundation vice president Carla Beam, University of Alaska Foundation chair Susan Anderson, UAA Alumni Relations assistant vice chancellor Rachel Morse and the UA Staff Alliance chair Monique Musick.

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