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.