UA's Hamilton Names Fran Ulmer as Interim UAA Chancellor
University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton announced today that Fran Ulmer, a former mayor, legislator and lieutenant governor with a long history of public service, will serve as interim chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
For the past two years, Ulmer has been at the helm of UAA's Institute of Social and Economic Research, where she previously had served as a distinguished visiting professor of public policy. In 2003, she was a fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is a nationally recognized leader in election reform and the use of technology for efficient and accessible government. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Ulmer has visited numerous college and high school campuses in Alaska and the Lower 48 sharing her experience in public policy development, economics and the role of media and government.
"After consulting with UAA faculty, staff, administrators and members of the chancellor's public advisory committee, I'm very pleased to make this interim appointment," Hamilton said. "Fran Ulmer has an exemplary career in public service at all levels in Alaska, and has represented Alaska's interests nationally and internationally. She has the energy and commitment to higher education needed to keep the positive momentum going strong at UAA."
In addition to serving as lieutenant governor from 1994 to 2002, Ulmer also served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1986 to 1994 and was mayor of the City and Borough of Juneau from 1983 to 1985. She also worked for former Gov. Jay Hammond, first as legislative assistant and later as policy development director, from 1975 to 1981. She contributed to the creation of numerous policy initiatives, including the Alaska Permanent Fund, the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. and the Alaska Coastal Management Program.
In 1994, she was appointed by the United States president to serve as one of three U.S. commissioners on the International North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, a position she held for 10 years along with representatives from Japan, Russia, Canada and the United States.
Ulmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin, and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Hamilton said, "Fran is a dynamic and experienced leader, and will be responsive to state needs in education and workforce training as well as the needs of our students at the Anchorage campus and all the community campuses that are part of UAA-in Valdez, Kodiak, Palmer, Eagle River and the Kenai Peninsula."
The interim appointment is effective immediately. However, Ulmer will transition from her office at ISER to the UAA Chancellor's Office over the next six weeks to ensure a smooth transfer of leadership at both ISER and the UAA campus overall. UAA's outgoing Chancellor Elaine Maimon, who announced Feb. 17 that she has accepted the presidency at Governors State University in Illinois, will assist in the transition as needed.
"I'm pleased to have this exciting opportunity to assist in UAA's progress, both in Anchorage and at all of the community campuses that deliver quality higher education and workforce training throughout Southcentral Alaska," Ulmer said. "I look forward to meeting with community members, students, faculty, staff and senior leadership at our entire family of campuses to ensure the best and brightest future for UAA."
Ulmer said she's particularly interested in continuing and strengthening partnerships, building upon UAA's recent Carnegie Foundation classification as an engaged university. UAA was one of only 62 institutions across the nation noted by Carnegie for both curricular engagement and community outreach and partnerships.
"I will look for opportunities for UAA to strengthen education at all levels because of its importance to the economy and communities of Alaska," Ulmer said.
Hamilton said the interim appointment is for two years. That amount of time is necessary and typical, he said, to provide stability at UAA as well as flexibility to conduct a national search.