Public Affairs

System News Releases

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2016

UA President Johnsen announces Dr. Thomas as UAF Interim Chancellor

FAIRBANKS — University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen has appointed Dana L. Thomas as interim chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Thomas will begin on Aug. 14, succeeding outgoing UAF Interim Chancellor Mike Powers, and will end his term on June 30, 2017.

Johnsen nominated Thomas on June 6 after reviewing nearly a dozen applications. Since then, Johnsen has taken into consideration community feedback, dozens of comments generated by the university’s web-based feedback form and discussions with university governance.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Dana Thomas as interim chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks,” Johnsen said. “Dana's long association with the university as a highly regarded faculty member and as a leader both at the campus and in the statewide office, coupled with his passion for higher education and commitment to Alaska, make him the ideal person for this important role.”

The work ahead for Thomas will be significant, Johnsen said. “In the face of severe budget challenges and our education imperative for Alaska, Dana's thoughtful yet decisive approach to leadership will help keep UAF moving forward as America's leading Arctic university,” he said.

Thomas will lead UAF through its evolution as the premier Arctic research university, refinement of Title IX compliance, completion of its engineering building, and celebration of the university’s 100th birthday in 2017.

Thomas was born and raised in Fairbanks and is an alumnus of UAF. He was the statewide vice president of academic affairs and research from 2012 to 2014.

Thomas served six years as chair of UAF's Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He is recognized for his interdisciplinary research on the design and analysis of studies assessing food and habitat selection by animals. In 2005, Thomas received the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award.

From 2006 to 2012, Thomas served as UAF's vice provost and accreditation liaison officer. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities asked him to serve as an institutional accreditation evaluator of other institutions.

Thomas’ salary will be $300,000.

Outgoing Interim Chancellor Mike Powers will leave his post Aug. 13. Johnsen praised Powers’ leadership of UAF during the past year citing his authenticity, his commitment to Title IX compliance and his many years of service on the UA Board of Regents. “People trust and admire Mike Powers, and his genuine goodness and commitment,” Johnsen said.

-30-

For more information contact Kate Wattum, assistant director of public affairs at 907-699-3262

NR21-16

Back to Top