Chancellor candidate forums begin this week

Last week, members of the chancellor search committee conducted phone interviews with seven candidates for the position. Sharon Chamard, chair of the committee, said there were 40 total applicants and that four candidates are coming to UAA for open forums in the next two weeks.

According to Chamard, the four finalists are:

  • Nicol Rae, currently Dean, College of Letters & Science, Montana State University
  • Kevin Reynolds, currently Vice President, Administration and Finance, Portland State University
  • Mark Rudin, currently Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Boise State University
  • Cathy Sandeen, currently Chancellor, University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension

The Northern Light sat down with Chamard to ask her what students could do to participate in the search process.

TNL: How can students become involved?

Chamard: “We’ll have the student forums [tentatively] on the second day of each visit, probably a 45 minute forum, we don’t want to totally burn out these people.

If people are coming to campus, we’ve already determined they meet the requirements, that we think they’re very highly qualified, that we have a very strong interest in them being chancellor.”

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When will the committee make recommendations to President Jim Johnsen?

“The committee will meet on [May] 11 to come up with some determination on how we would like to proceed.

If we have people at the end of this process that we are like “wow” we really want these people, then will forward these names to President [Jim] Johnsen and then it’s up to him. If we don’t find anybody like that, then we’ll just continue with process and we’ll up start back in August.”

What are you looking for in a candidate?

“When the consultants were here, when they took the two visits to campus earlier in the semester, they met with a lot of different people and kind of came up with… the things that we really are looking for. I think there are some key things. We want someone who has demonstrated commitment to student success because that’s a key thing about our university right now. Strategically, that’s our focus.

Obviously, the role of chancellor is one that involves a lot of external constituency interaction, so we’re looking for people who have that experience, particularly in respect to fundraising because that’s a key job for the chancellor.

Obviously the focus on some of the special aspects of UAA. The diversity of the campus is really valued I think here. We want people who share those values.

Experience running a large, complex organization is important. We weren’t limiting our search just to people of traditional academic backgrounds.”

There are 22 members on the search committee that represent student, staff and faculty groups. Sam Gingerich, interim chancellor of UAA, has been in the position since former Chancellor Tom Case retired in June of 2017. Last semester, a search committee was assembled to find a new chancellor, and this semester the committee had their consulting firm, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates hold several listening sessions for the UAA community. For more information visit: