New chancellor selected for UAA

Cathy Sandeen will begin her tenure as UAA Chancellor in September (UAA photo)

The University of Alaska Anchorage will have a new chancellor.

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In a press release yesterday, UA president Jim Johnsen announced that Cathy Sandeen will take over the position in the fall. Sandeen is currently the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges. She’s had previous tenures in the University of California system as well as vice president of education attainment and innovation at the American Council on Education.

The chancellor position has been vacant since June of last year, when Tom Case resigned from his position. Sam Gingerich has served as the UAA interim chancellor during the gap.

“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,” Johnsen said in the release.

Among the issues facing the university are budget cuts. Since 2014, the UA system’s annual budget has declined by more than $60 million. Sandeen will begin her tenure two years into President Johnsen’s various initiatives to cut costs and consolidate administration, dubbed Strategic Pathways.

In a video introduction, Sandeen said she is optimistic in her ability to keep with UAA’s various goals moving forward.

“I so appreciate the mission of student success and access, as well as providing relevant education and a connection with the community and workforce and the economy of the surrounding region as well as the whole state of Alaska,” Sandeen said.

Sandeen is set to begin her new job on September 15th.

Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at

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