University of Alaska Southeast announces its new chancellor

Focus for the school is stability, she says

University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Karen Carey was recently officially appointed to the position after serving as interim Chancellor since June. (Courtesy photo / University of Alaska Southeast)

Karen Carey is officially the next chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast, the university announced Wednesday. Carey has been serving as interim chancellor since June when the previous chancellor Rick Caulfield retired.

“I was really shocked because I thought we were going to do this big search next summer,” Carey said Friday in a phone interview with the Empire. “I’m really excited about it. I love Juneau, I love UAS.”

Carey said University of Alaska President Pat Pitney asked her to take the job, and the focus for both UAS and the UA system is stability. There were still budget problems and uncertainty around future funding Carey said, but the school had planned its budget through Fiscal Year 2022 and is stable for now. However, there is still uncertainty around how much the Legislature would appropriate to the university.

“If indeed the Legislature honors the compact, and if we don’t have to take any more cuts, I think we can get to a stable place,” Carey said. “It all depends on what the Legislature intends to do.”

[Pitney wants to bring certainty back to UA]

Right now, UAS is focused on keeping students, faculty and staff safe, Carey said. Most classes and work are being done remotely, she said, but some in-person classes had resumed under strict health guidelines. UAS’ dorms are about half as full as they normally would because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carey said, but the university is still trying to find ways to keep students engaged both virtually and in person.

“It’s been very difficult on everyone, we’re really concerned about our students’ mental health,” she said.

The university is trying to hold social events mainly online, but still had some in-person events like a walk around Auke Lake. UAS students have been good about following health protocols and informing staff when they’re feeling ill, Carey said.

Before coming to UAS in 2016, Carey served as dean of art and sciences at California State University Channel Islands, according to a statement from UA. Carey has Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Cincinnati. Pitney announced Carey’s appointment during a tele-town hall with students, faculty and staff on Nov. 11. Her permanent appointment to the position is effective immediately, according to UAS.

Despite the pandemic, Carey said, things were going well at the university. Pitney has said she intends to keep the three universities in the UA system separate, Carey said, and the school officials were already planning for future semesters. The school had been planning for this school year since March, she said, and university officials will begin planning for next fall in the spring.

“Southeast is a different place. We can educate our students and do it in a way that really provides in a different way,” she said. “I appreciate everything the communities of Southeast Alaska have done to support UAS. It’s greatly appreciated by all of us on campus.”

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

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024

For Thursday, Feb. 29 Assault At 5:49 p.m. on Thursday, a 17-year-old… Continue reading

The Alaska Supreme Court is seen on Thursday, Feb. 8, in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Supreme Court decides key question: Who is an Alaskan?

An Alaskan is someone physically present in the state who intends to… Continue reading

Pink salmon are seen in an undated photo. (NOAA Fisheries photo)
New salmon study adds to evidence that pink salmon could be crowding out sockeye

A new analysis of nearly 25,000 fish scales offers more evidence that… Continue reading

Liana Wallace offers a water blessing during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool on Friday following nearly a year of renovations. The pool is scheduled to reopen for public use on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Ribbon-cutting for Augustus G. Brown Swimming Pool a blessing for longtime users after 11-month renovation

Infrastructure upgrades, new locker rooms and student tile art in lobby greet visitors at ceremony.

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Friday, Feb. 23. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Legislature plans March 12 vote on Gov. Dunleavy’s executive orders

Order giving governor full control of Alaska Marine Highway Operations board among six scheduled.

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 26, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of March 2

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning… Continue reading

Most Read