UAF’s chancellor faces tough decisions in new position

Dan White, UAF’s new chancellor. (UAF photo)

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a new chancellor. Thursday, University of Alaska President Jim Johnson announced that Daniel White would lead the University.

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White acknowledges challenges lie before him. The school, along with other campuses in the UA system, has been undergoing belt-tightening in the face of reduced state funding. And this year the Alaska Senate proposes slashing another $22 million from the UA system. At the same time UAF’s reputation has been tarred by Title IX violations. Nevertheless White, who was at a Rotary luncheon Thursday, said he’s confident moving forward.

“We’ve made some mistakes and we’ve got some budget challenges,” White said. “But we’ll get through those. I’m commited to working on that as I know many at the university are.”

Currently, White serves as UA vice president for academic affairs and research. He began his carrier at UAF in 1995 as a professor of civil and environmental engineering. Over the years he’s filled a number of posts including director of the Institute of Northern Engineering and Mines and associate vice-chancellor for research.

UAF has seen a pair of interim chancellors since Brian Rogers departed two years ago. An earlier search was stopped as the statewide system eyed a single accreditation process, which later proved impractical. UA President Jim Johnsen said White’s breadth of experience elevated him to the top of the latest search.

“Breadth in terms of his experience in the classroom teaching, in terms of his experience in laboratories and the field conducting research and in his connections with the communities that we serve all across the state,” Johnsen said.

Johnsen said White also has a depth of knowledge having lived and worked in Fairbanks for so long.

White takes up his duties July 1. His salary will be $300,000 a year.

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