University of Alaska Southeast- Sitka campus is finally getting a new campus director. Leslie Gordon will begin working in her new role this May. Gordon is the health information management program director. And she graduated from the program she’s now running.
“I came back to Sitka in 1993 and started taking classes at the university, graduated from the program and then worked at Sitka Community Hospital and then at SEARHC for almost 15 years,” Gordon says. “When I was going through the program my kids and I would do our homework together on the kitchen table after dinner, and many of our students are that way.”
She began teaching as an adjunct, accepting a full-time teaching position in 2007. As the campus director, she’ll be responsible for the entire Sitka campus including overseeing the maintenance of the campus — housed in a former WWII airplane hanger — and the academic programs from fisheries technology, to nursing, to puppy kindergarten. But the big challenge isn’t training puppies. It’s the state budget.
“We need to increase our student credit hours and figure out ways to get more students to take classes- offering more classes,” Gordon says.
While the challenges with the state budget are clear, Gordon says she’s excited for the opportunity to expand her work with the university.
“I’m excited about the aspect of working with more people in Sitka,” Gordon says. “I have been so focused on just my program. I look forward to getting involved in the Chamber of Commerce and working with the Sitka Tribe and the school districts, and seeing where we can take the university as a whole community.”
Gordon replaces the previous campus director, Paula Martin who served from 2015 to 2017.