Former UAA Chancellor and UA system leader dies at age of 78

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Donald Fraser Behrend, former UAA Chancellor, died on July 25, 2010 in Skaneateles, NY after a battle with brain cancer. Dr. Behrend, whose contributions to the University of Alaska (UA) system were innumerable, began his long career in higher education with the State University of New York. But in 1985, Behrend moved to Alaska to serve as provost and vice president for academic affairs for the UA statewide system in Fairbanks. He held this position until he was named the executive vice president and provost for the UA system in 1988. During this time, Behrend was a key figure in the Statewide leadership team that addressed the 1986-87 fiscal crisis by reorganizing the University into its present form. The early days of the UAA reorganization were challenging, and Dr. Behrend was vital to its success, serving as temporary vice chancellor for academic affairs for several months in addition to working his full-time job in Fairbanks. In September of 1988, he was named Chancellor of UAA, a post he held until his retirement in 1994. The hugely successful UAA of 2010 owes a great deal to Dr. Behrend for taking the University through a difficult and tumultuous period in our history. Dr. Behrend's contributions provided the much-needed foundation on which UAA could build and flourish.

The Fairbanks News-Miner ran an obituary of Donald Behrend on August 3, 2010 that you can read here.

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