The University of Alaska Board of Regents on Tuesday appointed Dr. Jim Johnsen as the next university president.
Jo Heckman is the chair of the Board of Regents. She says the board spent time reviewing feedback from those constituents before making a decision. Overall, Heckman says Johnsen was well received. “Well over 80 percent of the responses were favorable,” Heckman said. “They liked him; people thought that he would make a good president for our University of Alaska system. And they were very favorable toward his candidacy.”
Heckman says Johnsen’s first, most-pressing task will be addressing next year’s budget, which is already in development. “That is the biggest issue and the first and foremost issue for us, because we are looking at, fiscally, some very challenging years,” Heckman said. “We have had, the last three years have been very challenging and it doesn’t seem like this going to be any different. In fact, we anticipate this is going to be slightly worse than the last two years.”
The university faced a $28 million shortfall last year.