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Jones announces plans to pursue new opportunities outside UAF

Submitted by Scott McCrea
Phone: 907-474-7905

03/24/08

Photo caption below.
Photo by Todd Paris, UAF Marketing and Communications
Chancellor Steve Jones

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Citing his desire to be closer to family, University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Steve Jones today announced his plans to pursue other higher education career opportunities outside of UAF.

"UAF has been our life, quite literally, for Judy and me for four years now," said Jones, who has served as UAF chancellor since 2004. "With the arrival of two grandchildren last fall, we have found ourselves in a position where we want to be within easier reach of them. This university has been our calling, but now we feel some competition."

Jones said he is making the announcement now so that University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton can begin the process of talking to the university and Fairbanks communities about selecting an interim chancellor. While there is no firm departure date set, Jones expects to begin leadership duties elsewhere before the start of the fall semester.

"In the meantime, my passion will remain directed to UAF," he said.

Since his arrival at UAF, Jones has led the charge to update the university's strategic plan and convened the Vision Task Force, a body of 55 opinion leaders to help implement it. Jones has also focused on building a culture of philanthropy in support of the university, with overall giving increasing by 45 percent. Jones has helped put the international spotlight on UAF. On behalf of UAF, he chairs the governing board of the University of the Arctic, a university consortium that connects UAF to more than 700,000 students in eight circumpolar nations. His emphasis on UAF research has enabled the university to sustain its success in competitive grants and contracts.

During his tenure, UAF has seen enrollment increases in UA Scholars and in workforce development programs such as engineering, nursing and process technology.

"Steve's contributions to UAF over four years have been significant. As a father and grandfather myself, I completely understand his desire to be closer to family," Hamilton said. "UAF and its community campuses are incredibly important to the overall mission of the UA system. Chancellor Jones and I will work together to ensure a smooth transition."

Hamilton plans to meet with representatives from the UAF campus, including deans, faculty and staff, as well as state and community leaders, before selecting an interim chancellor. Decisions on the interim chancellor, as well as a permanent replacement, will be made in close consultation with the Board of Regents and UAF community, he said.

"Steve has been central to several transformations at UAF," Hamilton said. "He's been an effective advocate for the entire university, but in particular the arctic research that's so important to Alaska's future and the excellent teaching and research faculty we have at UAF."

Hamilton said Jones has overseen significant improvements to UAF and its community campuses, such as completion of the UA Museum of the North addition, building of the Lena Point research facility in Juneau, the ongoing renovation of the Tanana Valley Campus building in downtown Fairbanks and other improvements to UAF's grounds and facilities. He said that Jones has also led major efforts that improved the university's administrative procedures and placed greater emphasis on enrollment management and student success.

As chief executive officer for UAF, Jones oversees the university's programs in Fairbanks and community campuses in Bethel, Dillingham, Kotzebue and Nome, as well as a number of learning centers, extension offices and outreach locations serving more than 140 Alaska communities.

CONTACT: Scott McCrea, UAF director of marketing and communications, at 907-474-7905 or via e-mail at scott.mccrea@uaf.edu.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Jones' complete biography and high-resolution photos are available online at www.uaf.edu/chancellor/.

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