Final candidate for vice chancellor presents; chancellor to hire this month

Candidates for Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services have presented at open forums to the UAA community throughout February. Candidate Pat Shier answered questions at open forums on Feb. 21-22.

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.

Shier has been serving as interim vice chancellor for Administrative Services at UAA since the previous Vice Chancellor, Bill Spindle, left for a position at Texas A&M University at San Antonio in 2016. Before assuming the role of Vice Chancellor, Shier was chief information officer at UAA.

Candidate Pat Shier holds his open forum for the position of Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services. Shier has been serving as the interim Vice Chancellor since 2016. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

“The reason that I applied for this position was because there’s a lot to do about fourth months into the interim position. I made a decision to engage, not to be a placeholder,” Shier said.

In his interim capacity as Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, Shier has managed a budget around $300 million. He was also a participant of the UAA 2020 and Diversity and Inclusion Plan, according to his resume. Shier said he believes he could be more effective in his role if he had the full title and duties.

“It is possible to have more directed conversations than are possible as an interim,” Shier said. “I think as an interim, it’s respectful to understand that somebody else may come in and you don’t want to get too many things started and halfway baked. So I think it may be possible to establish a new set of expectations and then begin to provide the training and resources necessary to carry those out.”

Shier got his start in the public sector working as the chief of tax and program integrity at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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“Boy, was I shocked to learn that working in the public sector, contributing to the success of employers in the State of Alaska who were struggling, because it was a tax office after all, was unexpectedly very, very, very rewarding,” Shier said.

In the private sector, Shier has worked in positions ranging from fish camp laborer or truck driver to State Farm insurance salesman.

At the end of his Feb. 21 forum, Shier said he sees, “the capacity to continue some of the good work that’s underway.”

Shier was the last candidate to present at open forums for the vice chancellor position. Steve Rollins, chair of the search committee, presented the committee’s recommendations for the position to the Chancellor on Feb. 28.

In a statement from Interim Chancellor, Sam Gingerich, his office wrote, “We hope to have a preferred candidate next week and begin working through the hiring process – negotiating, formalizing and then announcing the new vice chancellor for administrative services that would likely be mid-to-late March.”

There are a total of five finalists for the position, including Sandra Culver, Mark Denney, Steve Malott and Beverly Cotton Shuford. A sixth candidate, Andrew Harris, has withdrawn his application for the position. You can read more about past candidate forums for vice chancellor at