University of Alaska president will resign amid blowback from Wisconsin job search

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen appears on an episode of Forum@360 in Juneau on April 3, 2018.
University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen appears on an episode of Forum@360 in Juneau on April 3, 2018. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The leader of Alaska’s public university system is resigning from his job.

The announcement from the University of Alaska’s board of regents follows blowback around President Jim Johnsen’s unsuccessful effort to get a new job leading Wisconsin’s university system.

Sheri Buretta, the chair of the board, announced Johnsen’s resignation during an emergency meeting, following a 45-minute executive session.

“The decision regarding a change in leadership was mutual and was made after considerable reflection by the board,” she said.

Johnsen was selected as president of Alaska’s public university system in 2015. He led it through years of budget cuts imposed by state lawmakers as Alaska experienced a sharp decline in oil revenue.

Earlier this month, Johnsen had been named as the only finalist for the University of Wisconsin system’s presidency. But he withdrew from consideration following pushback from Wisconsin faculty and students.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as new information becomes available. 

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