UA launches national search for president

Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska's search for a new president has gone national.

The university this week began a broad-based advertising campaign, placing ads in Alaska newspapers and national trade publications. Direct mailings will go to colleges, universities and higher education organizations across the country.

President Mark Hamilton announced his plans to retire in June but intends to stay until a replacement is hired.

Academic Search, a Washington D.C.-based firm, is in charge of the hiring effort. It will narrow the applicant pool to a recommended list of 12-15 candidates in January, said Cynthia Henry, a member of the UA Board of Regents.

Regents, who have approved as much as $95,000 for the search effort, will then come up with three to six finalists who will visit UA campuses for tours and interviews.

Hamilton, a former U.S. Army major general, has led the UA system since 1998. The search to replace Hamilton's predecessor, Jerome Komisar, took less than six months.

Henry said the deliberate pace of the presidential search isn't unexpected. She said a list of finalists could be made public as early as February, although there is no strict timeline for selecting a new president.

A presidential profile, which is the basis for advertisement and recruiting efforts, was finished last week after feedback from university and members of the community.

"I just thought it was very good participation," Henry said. "People are interested."

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