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UA President Jim Johnsen announces Cathy Sandeen as next UAA chancellor

May 30, 2018

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced today that he has selected Dr. Cathy Sandeen to serve as the next chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Sandeen succeeds UAA Interim Chancellor Sam Gingerich and will assume her new position on September 15.

Sandeen currently is chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, which combined employ 2,200 faculty and staff and have an annual operating budget of $350 million. During her tenure, Sandeen managed the reorganization of both institutions’ structure and operations, resulting in more than $8 million in annual savings, and has championed strategic innovation and entrepreneurial programs. Prior to her current position, she was vice president of education attainment and innovation at the American Council on Education. She has also held various leadership positions in the University of California system including at UCLA, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

“In joining our leadership team, Cathy will bring a great perspective on engaging our faculty and staff on strategies to increase enrollment and student success,” Johnsen said. “My discussions with Cathy convinced me that she understands the range of issues facing UAA, and she is committed to supporting our faculty and engaging our alumni. I’m confident that she will quickly become part of the Anchorage community. UAA is a great university poised for growth in support of the higher education needs of our students, our region and our state.”

Sandeen’s selection comes after a rigorous recruitment process led by a search committee consisting of UAA faculty, staff, students and Anchorage community members. Four finalists were invited to visit the Anchorage campus last month during which time they met with staff, students, faculty and community members in a number of forums.

“I am honored to be appointed chancellor of a dynamic university that plays such a vital role in surrounding communities, the region and the state,” Sandeen said. “During my visit, the optimistic and forward-looking spirit of the students, faculty, staff and community members I met impressed me deeply. I look forward to supporting UAA in making the leap to its next stage of distinction.”

Sandeen earned a master’s degree in broadcast communication from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Humboldt State University. She received her master of business administration from the University of California Los Angeles in 2005 and her doctorate in communication from the University of Utah in 1992.

Sandeen’s salary will be $300,000, which is a market competitive salary based on analysis of peer institutions.

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