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UA execs abruptly resign after meeting with new pres

Two top University of Alaska executives have resigned. The heads of statewide finance and human resources have stepped down following meetings with UA’s new president. The resignations come even as the school faces big funding hurdles.

Jim Johnsen, UA President candidate
Jim Johnsen at a meet and greet in July. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Monday, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen sent word to UA staff that he had accepted the resignations of Chief Finance Officer Ashok Roy and Chief Human Resources Officer Erik Seastedt.  Johnsen said both men consulted with him before resigning. Johnsen took over as the school’s president in September. UA Spokeswoman Robbie Graham said shake-ups are not uncommon in organizations with a new boss.

“When a new leader comes in, or a new CEO, or a new president, it’s inevitable there’s going to be change. Change is normal, it’s part of the process,” Graham said.

Johnsen takes up the reins at a time when the state is in deficit mode and the school has seen three years of budget cuts by lawmakers. He has vowed to run a more efficient operation, even as the Board of Regents agreed to a roughly $1 billion operating budget.

Robbie Graham denied the loss of the two top executives would hamper Johnsen’s ability to sell UA’s budget in Juneau.

“President Johnsen clearly understands the university’s needs, the budget considerations and all ideas for how to streamline these positions in both functional areas,” Graham said.

Ashok Roy joined the University in 2012, while Seastedt started in 2013. Both positions are currently being staffed by deputy officers until the positions are filled permanently.

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