First Vice Chancellor candidate presents at open forum

Candidates for Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services will be presenting at open forums to the UAA community throughout this month. The first candidate to present was UAA employee, Sandra Culver on Jan. 29.

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.

Sandra Culver presents at the first open forum on Jan. 29 in a series of forums held by candidates for the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

Culver has been an employee at UAA since 2011 and has been serving in her current role as associate vice chancellor for Administrative Services since 2015. Culver presented at open forums held for the community last Monday and Tuesday.

Culver has held multiple roles at the university, including one as an adjunct professor for the College of Business and Public Policy and as a Seawolf parent.

“I am a proud alumni mom. [I have] personal experience with the pain points for students and parents as [my daughter] and I navigated her successful journey at UAA,” Culver said. “My leadership style is both democratic and transformational, maintaining a team focus through collaboration and empowerment provides a deep sense of shared purpose.”

Culver spoke about reforming the financial management system, and she advocated for culture change.

“I yearn to be able to say, with confidence that UAA is on the cutting edge. To get there we must empower a new culture to develop,” Culver said. “As a team we can create the environment to facilitate this cultural shift.”

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Four UAA employees attended the first forum, including Glenna Muncy, director of Parking Services. Muncy disclosed to the audience Culver’s position as her direct supervisor before addressing and questioning the candidate:

“…in your [current] role, you perform very different functions, I think, than you would as the vice chancellor,” Muncy said. “What are some strategies that you feel you could use to effectively bring together the diverse teams that you would manage including facilities and all the auxiliary services and the Alaska Airlines Center and their athletic staff. What are some ways that you could unify with our current… operations?”

Culver said she would focus on the things that unify diverse and distinct operations to form a cohesive unit.

“For us, if we didn’t have students who were focusing on obtaining degrees, we wouldn’t be here. So that needs to be prime in what we do,” Culver said.

Steve Rollins, chair of the search committee, asked Culver how she would prioritize the UAA 2020 goal of student affordability.

“In the position that you are applying for, you would have more say in the budget and tuition determinations I suspect with Statewide, so I was just wondering about your thoughts in terms of the role of tuition at the University?” Rollins said. “Anything is a part of this picture about how we try to make it a more affordable higher education experience for students.”

Culver said she wanted to implement an organizational system that would allow anyone to pull a budget or report when they needed.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to not be flying under the radar anymore and to actually be at the vice-chancellor level where I can have an impact and where I can drive change and be more intentional and more impactful about initiating and leading the charge on the changes that I think would be very productive for not only way but for the system as whole,” Culver said.

The second candidate forum will be held Feb. 6-7. Mark Denny, associate vice president at Southern Oregon University, will be presenting. There are a total of six candidates for Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, including Interim Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Pat Shier.