The Entrance to the University of Alaska Southeast. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The Entrance to the University of Alaska Southeast. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

University of Alaska names interim president

UA announced Pitney would begin Aug. 1

This story has been updated to more clearly reflect the nature of the ongoing search for a permanent university president.

Juneau resident Pat Pitney, the state’s director of the Division of Legislative Finance, will serve as interim president of the University of Alaska, the university announced.

Pitney will take over from Acting President Michelle Rizk on Aug. 1, according to a University of Alaska news release. The vote to appoint Pitney was unanimous.

Pat Pitney will take over in August as interim president of the University of Alaska system. (Courtesy photo | University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Pat Pitney will take over in August as interim president of the University of Alaska system. (Courtesy photo | University of Alaska Fairbanks)

“One of the reasons the board felt so strongly about Pat as interim president was because of her demonstrated commitment to a spirit of partnership with university leadership and the principles of shared governance,” UA Board of Regents Chair Sheri Buretta said in the release. “We are confident that she has the skills to address the range of issues facing UA. We also are confident that her many years of experience in leadership positions and state government will benefit and unify all of us.”

University of Alaska president resigns

Pitney will serve as interim president for a minimum of one year, according to UA, but has agreed to continue for up to 18 months or until the Board of Regents appoints the next university president, whichever comes first.

Pitney currently serves as the state’s Director of the Division of Legislative Finance. She was the former Vice Chancellor of Administration at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, according to UA, and worked at UA statewide for 17 years. Pitney spent a total of23 years with the University of Alaska, the release said, before leaving to serve as the State Budget Director in the administration of former Gov.Bill Walker.

UA spokesperson Robbie Graham could not say whether Pitney would be appointed to the full president position, saying in an interview Thursday that search was a completely separate process.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

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