Chancellor search committee balanced several criteria



With over 40 applicants for UAF’s future chancellor, not one of the four finalists is a local Alaskan. With the intention of “growing our own” this seems unfortunate. Was there not one viable applicant from Alaska? I am happy to see that at least 50 percent of the applicants were female.

Of the four chancellor candidates, none is from Alaska or UAF, and three of them (Tony Haymet, Sandra Woodley and M. Duane Nellis) recently and rapidly left their last jobs — were fired? Are they even employed now? The fourth candidate, Laura Woodworth-Ney, has been in her current job for less than three years. Is there a reason at this critical time we are looking for a chancellor who is unfamiliar with UAF and Alaska and is not liable to stay here long enough to help us weather the current crisis?



The UAF Chancellor Search Committee balanced a number of criteria in weighing candidates for selection for interviews and in narrowing down the list of initial interviewees to a list of finalists. Alaska experience was definitely one of the criteria considered. Experience weathering fiscal crises was also one of the criteria considered. Although there were only a handful of applicants from Alaska, the overall applicant pool was quite strong. The 16 members of the search committee spent considerable time and effort weighing the options and recommended the four candidates they felt were strongest overall out of the pool.

Each of the finalist candidates will spend almost two days on the Fairbanks campus this week. Now is the time for other UAF stakeholders to meet/listen to/observe the candidates and to offer up feedback. If upon meeting the candidates, it is felt none of the candidates are appropriate for the position, that feedback should be conveyed to President Johnsen and the search committee. Feedback forms are available at

This is an important hire for UAF — staff, faculty and students are encouraged to engage in the vetting process.

— Kari Burrell, vice chancellor for administration