A committee from the University of Alaska Southeast is nearing the end of a months-long search for a new chancellor – with help from a pair of staff members from the Sitka campus.

The UAS Chancellor serves as the university’s chief executive officer– they will oversee the three Southeast campuses Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. While the chancellor is ultimately appointed by the president of the university system, and reports to her, the process for choosing a chancellor is long, and includes input from many stakeholders.

The hiring process started last semester with over 40 applicants. Around two-dozen semi-finalists were selected from that pool. Of the interviewed candidates, five advanced to a final round.

Community members and staff have lots of opportunities to weigh in, and many were able to meet the candidates during site visits in late January. All five spent two days in Juneau, one in Ketchikan, and one in Sitka.

“We like to say they saved the best for last with Sitka.” says Sitka Campus Director Paul Kraft. Kraft and Sitka campus academic advisor Katie Sill were on the search committee, which included professors, staff and a retired UAS chancellor. Kraft told KCAW that after the in-person visits, around 70 staff and faculty submitted feedback on each of the candidates. 

In an interview on Monday, Kraft said the search committee planned to convene later that day to review that feedback and make their recommendation to the university president. He and Sill say there’s no definitive date by which the president will announce her decision, but he’s hopeful it will happen in the next couple of weeks.