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University of Alaska System President Resigns

June 23, 2020

University of Alaska system president Jim Johnsen will resign July 1, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Michelle Rizk, vice president of university relations and chief budget and strategy officer for the system, will serve as interim president.

The announcement follows a move by the Board of Regents earlier this month to cut more than 40 academic programs across the system, and a proposal to merge the Fairbanks and Southeast campuses. The system has for years struggled with declining enrollments and crippling state budget cuts, and the recent coronavirus pandemic has hurt Alaska's economy.

Johnsen also withdrew his name from consideration for the University of Wisconsin system presidency just over a week earlier. He had been advanced as the Wisconsin system’s sole finalist.


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