University of Alaska President Pat Gamble today announced that Tom Case, the former dean of the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Business and Public Policy, will succeed Fran Ulmer as UAA chancellor.
Case is currently the president and chief operating officer for the Alaska Aerospace Corp. headquartered in Anchorage. He’ll resign from that position to take the top leadership position at UAA, which in addition to the Anchorage campus oversees community campuses in Valdez, Kodiak, Soldotna, Mat-Su and outreach sites in Homer, Cordova, Copper Basin, Seward and Eagle River. About 20,000 students attend UAA and its community campuses, which employ about 1,600 faculty and staff members collectively. UAA serves the most students within the entire UA System.
“Tom is the right person for this big job,” Gamble said. “I received valuable input on Fran’s replacement from a diverse group of UAA stakeholders, elected and community leaders, the Board of Regents, and others. Many people advised me that a costly and lengthy national search wasn’t necessary because we have excellent talent right here in Alaska. They were exactly right. Fran has been a true champion of our students, higher education and of UAA in particular, and I believe Tom clearly has the leadership experience and academic credentials to continue Fran’s good work.”
Case led UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy for five years, from 2002 to 2006. Case and Ulmer will work together on a transition plan in the weeks ahead. Both expect the transition to be a smooth one.
Case said he’s eager to return to UAA. “The university provides opportunities for so many students to improve their own lives and help shape Alaska’s future.” He complimented Chancellor Ulmer, her leadership team, the faculty, staff, students and the supportive community for the impressive progress at UAA in recent years.
Ulmer announced a year ago that she intended to retire in 2011 to spend more time with family and to work on public policy and public service.
“I have a great deal of respect for Tom Case. We have worked together over the years, including while he was dean of the College of Business and Public Policy at UAA and while I was director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research,” Ulmer said. “There is no doubt that he loves the university and will do his best to continue the positive momentum at UAA.”
Case retired as a three-star general a decade ago after a 33-year military career that began when he graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in geography. He earned a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles; completed Emory University’s Advanced Management Program; and is a graduate of the National War College, where he also served as faculty.
Prior to joining UAA as business dean in 2002, he had served as commander of Alaskan Command, 11th Air Force and the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. Noteworthy among his many assignments was serving as deputy commander in chief of Central Command and Pacific Command.
Case is active in the Anchorage community and has served on numerous boards, including the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Export Council of Alaska, World Trade Center Alaska, Alaska World Affairs Council and the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation. He and his wife of 42 years, Susan, have a daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.
His salary as UAA chancellor is still under discussion.