University of Alaska Board of Regents to consider making Pat Pitney permanent president


During its Jan. 31 meeting of the University of Alaska Board of Regents, Regent Chair Sheri Buretta announced that a motion will be taken up at the February board meeting to appoint now-Interim UA President Pat Pitney as the university system’s permanent president.

Pitney has been the interim president since the departure of Jim Johnsen effectively removing “interim” from her title. 

This motion has been brought forward “based on President Pitney’s performance and ability to create stability for the university as we navigated challenging times,” Buretta said.  

The Board of Regents selected Pitney to serve as the university’s interim president beginning on Aug. 1, 2020.

Previously Pitney served as the state’s Director of the Division of Legislative Finance. She was the former Vice Chancellor of Administration, University of Alaska Fairbanks and worked at UA Statewide for 17 years. In all, Pitney spent 23 years with the University of Alaska before leaving to serve as the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the administration of former Gov. Bill Walker. 

Pitney is expected to serve as interim president for a minimum of a year or up to 18 months or until the appointment of a president, whichever comes first.

Pitney moved to Fairbanks in 1987 from Billings, Montana. She earned her MBA from UAF and an engineering physics degree from Murray State University (Kentucky). She has three adult children and two grandchildren. All three of her children are UA graduates, with degrees from UAF, UAA and UAS.

Before moving to Alaska, she was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team and won a gold medal in women’s air rifle.


  1. Part of Bill Walkers admin.
    That’s the important part of her resume.
    Thanks again for caving on the only actual budget battle you won, Dunleavy.

  2. At least she’s humble and listens to both sides in a policy disagreement, unlike other presidents at UA.

  3. As far as UA presidents go, you can do a lot worse than this. In fact, Pitney is probably about as sane of a leader as can be expected with this backwards of a university system.

  4. Part of Walker Wobblies Administration….We need new
    Determined vision focused on
    Cutting Bloated Govt. / Educational
    Budgets. Not more of the same.

  5. She was really looking great, until that Walker connection. His stench is that bad. She also dislikes the current governor. It was the UA Board of Regents that chose her, not Dunleavy. Still she seems to have a lot of good qualities, if you go by the rest of her resume. But Walker is a real problem. Anyone think we can ignore that?

  6. Guilt by association with Walker is unsound test.
    Judge Pitney on her merits. If you can’t do that, ask yourself who you think might be superior.
    Can’t find a better candidate with genuine Alaska experience?
    If you cannot, perhaps you should think about whether your opinion is grounded in reality or whether you are just another disgruntled individual spit-balling and spewing without regard to reality.

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