Dan White

Fairbanks Campus Chancellor Dan White announced Thursday morning he may be leaving the University of Alaska Fairbanks for another higher-education administration position.

White is one of three finalists for a position as president of the University of Wyoming. White noted he was made aware of his position as a finalist for the job earlier in the day.

The other two finalists are Gregory W. Bowman, dean of West Virginia University College of Law, and Edward Seidel, vice president for economic development and innovation for the University of Illinois system.

"It would be an exciting opportunity to grow for me professionally and is in a part of the country where I have roots and family," White said in a written statement issued to the university community.

White noted he will be in Wyoming for a number of days next week, adding that he will be taking personal leave for the trip.

White will be visiting with faculty, staff, students and community members in Casper and Laramie, Wyoming on Wednesday and Thursday. White, as with the other two candidates, will hold a breakfast with students, a forum with faculty, a forum with university staff and a community reception in Laramie as well as participate in public forums in Casper.

"[I] expect to know in a period of weeks how they wish to move forward," White continued. "I will of course be communicating with you following that decision. Thank you."

White and the other candidates could hear about the job offer as soon as March 2, according to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees. The position would begin July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

The new president would replace Laurie Nichols, whose contract was not renewed following investigation into "interactions with employees," according to university records. Nichols now serves as president of Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.

The possible job for White came to fruition through a combined effort of seeking the new position as well as recruitment from the university. White said he reached out to a consultant on the position but also that the University of Wyoming reached out to him.

"As it often goes with higher education institutions, we'll reach out to individuals who we think might benefit our institutions, so it's been both," White said.

White said his looking elsewhere was unrelated to the current budgetary difficulties at the University of Alaska.

"I don't have any applications out for any other universities," he said. "The University of Wyoming is specific because I have family and roots there. It's a location-based choice."

"I feel like UAF is on the right track," he said. "I'm really viewing this as a positive thing."

White has served as UAF chancellor since 2017.

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