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Pitney drops interim title, named UA president by Board of Regents

Pat Pitney, who served as interim president for the university system since 2020, is the first woman to be named president
Pat Pitney, who served as interim president for the university system since 2020, is the first woman to be named president.
Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 3:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The University of Alaska has named Pat Pitney as the president of the university system. She had served as interim president since 2020, and is the first woman to be named president of the university system.

Pitney was previously named interim president in July 2020, took over for previous President Jim Johnsen and succeeded Acting President Michelle Rizk.

The university system announced Friday that the University of Alaska Board of Regents unanimously voted in support of Pitney to become the 17th president of the university system, taking the interim out of Pitney’s title. With approximately 19 months of experience as the interim president, Pitney has accumulated a quarter of a century working for the University of Alaska.

“Thank you for the confidence in me,” Pitney said in a Friday press release. “I am truly honored and humbled to lead this great university system. I am dedicated to continuing to build a strong team with shared governance, with our staff, and with each of our universities. I’m excited about our future.”

Pitney earned her MBA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, was the director of the Office of Management and Budget under former Gov. Bill Walker from 2014-2018 and then became the director of the Division of Legislative Finance in 2020, prior to being named interim president. Pitney previously served as the vice chancellor of Administration at UAF.

“This is a time for forward momentum and to celebrate our successes, and I’ll note that President Pitney is the first woman to hold the position in the university’s 100-year history,” Board of Regents Chair Sheri Buretta said in the press release.

Pitney won an Olympic gold medal in the air rifle event in 1984 and was an assistant rifle coach at UAF. Pitney is a member of the USA Shooting Hall of Fame and was a torchbearer for the U.S. prior to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

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