Mat-Su College Director Talis Colberg retiring after 13 years

by Green & Gold News  |   

Mat-Su College (MSC) Director Talis Colberg has given notice of his intent to retire in October 2023 after 13 years leading the college. Colberg will continue as director until October to allow for a search process and adequate transition to a new director in the fall 2023 semester.

Colberg has a long history with the campus, as a student, faculty member and finally director. His first association with the college came when it was still known as Palmer Community College. He was hired by then director Al Okeson in 1974 as an algebra tutor, despite Colberg himself still being in high school. Though the position only required a few hours of work per week, it was the beginning of a long and accomplished career for Colberg. 

The very next year, Colberg would take his first class on campus. In 1987, Palmer Community College officially became part of the University of Alaska Anchorage. At this time, Colberg was establishing his notable legal career. In 1992, Colberg found his way back to MSC, this time to teach a history class.

“That evening of talking about a topic I loved was perhaps one of the best things that ever happened to me,” said Colberg. “I taught 72 classes (history and law) at this college. Teaching those classes was the best job I have ever had.”

 Colberg continued as an adjunct professor with the university at night while his day job included stints as a Borough Assembly Member, a twice-elected borough mayor and three years as Alaska’s attorney general. 

Colberg was hired as the 10th director of MSC in 2010 and has been an instrumental member of the campus and the Mat-Su Valley community ever since. He has led the campus through many challenges, including the construction of the Glenn Massay Theater and a global pandemic.

“We honor Talis Colberg’s many years of service to our college, the people of the Mat-Su Valley and our state,’ said UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. “His intellect, wit, kindness and passion for teaching will be sorely missed. We wish Talis the very best in his next chapter. We look forward to working with him as a colleague until his retirement this fall and into the future.”  

Looking back at his time as director, Colberg simply says, “Watching my students attain successful moments in their own lives has been wonderful.”

More information about the search for a new director is forthcoming.

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