UA Jim Johnsen Press Conference

UA President Jim Johnsen holds a press conference to address Gov. Dunleavy's budget cuts to the university Wednesday afternoon, July 10, 2019 in the UAF Butrovich Building.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents will meet this morning to discuss the process for appointing an interim president in the coming weeks. 

Former President Jim Johnsen resigned from the position last week, and Vice President Michelle Rizk has been acting as president since.

Johnsen served in the position since his 2015 appointment but resigned after controversy over his recent bid for a leadership role at a Wisconsin university while the Alaska system faced financial struggles.

In announcing Johnsen’s resignation, the board appointed Rizk to hold the position until an interim president could be named, a move that will likely be made on or before July 15.

A formal search to find a permanent replacement is to begin later this year.

The board meeting will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. and will be livestreamed at

Regents will discuss a draft five-step process for selecting the interim president. As it currently stands, the first step will involve determining through a series of stakeholder interviews a set of attributes the candidate should have. The second step will involve compiling a list of candidates. Subsequent steps will involve meeting with each candidate, choosing a candidate and making the candidate a conditional offer.

The initial pool of candidates will be compiled over the next week, after which the pool will be narrowed. Finalists are to be announced July 9.

The draft agenda for today’s meeting can be found at

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.