Second vice chancellor candidate answers questions at forum

Candidates for Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services are presenting at open forums to the UAA community throughout February. The second candidate, Mark Denney, answered questions at open forums Feb. 6-7.

Mark Denney, a current associate vice president at Southern Oregon University, held his forum as one of the potential candidates for the Vice Chancellor position on Feb. 6 and 7. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

The administrative services position is one of the highest ranking and paying positions at UAA. The vice chancellor oversees Facilities and Campus Services, Athletics, Human Resource Services, University Police Department, Information Technology Services and Administrative Services at UAA.

Denney has been an associate vice president at Southern Oregon University since January 2014, according to his resume. Before SOU, he worked as a senior budget analyst at Mt. Hood Community College. He started his career in education in 2002 at Modesto City Schools.

“I had found that this is a role and a mission that I can get behind, and I enjoy putting my very best effort forwards and helping work across the lines and helping the institution… to be successful,” Denney said.

At the forum on Feb. 6, Senior Human Resource Services Consultant, Michelle Yerkes, asked Denney how he would manage the smaller departments housed in Administrative Services.

“How would you support us little people, or our smaller groups in the midst of all of these administrative services?” Yerkes said.

“There are really no small departments except in size,” Denney said.

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Part of Denney’s vision for the vice chancellor position is to have all departments report goals to him and explanations of how they would meet those goals in a five to 10-year frame.

The University of Alaska is currently asking for $50 million for deferred maintenance projects around the state, and Parking Services Director, Glenna Muncy, asked Denney what experience he has with a limited budget for annual building repairs and upkeep.

“Can you speak a little bit about your previous experience with deferred maintenance, facilities, projects planning, long-term vision, things of that nature?” Muncy said.

Denney said he likes to focus on projects in a 10-year frame, where an annual percentage of funds would be saved for deferred maintenance.

“You have to be looking at both your deferred maintenance and your capital improvement plans. Those are things, because of their dollar amount, you can’t accomplish them at any one time,” Denney said.

Before his career in education, Denney served as a financial management officer for the U.S. Marine Corps. His experiences in the Marine Corps taught him to, “praise in public.”

Denney is interested in the vice chancellor for Administrative Services position because he wants a larger voice in the decision-making process of this campus.

“I want a bigger role than I currently have at my university, [and that’s] because some of these things I want to be able to do more than just advocate for,” Denney said. “I want to have a more substantial role in making sure they happen.”

The third candidate forum will be held Feb. 12-13. Stephen Malott from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will be presenting. There are a total of six candidates for Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, including Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Pat Shier.