Thursday, March 18, 2010

Failed Alaska Railroad Director Chosen to Lead the University of Alaska into the Future

The guy who, at the ARR, just presided over:

1) The layoffs of about 20% of its workforce

2) Dwindling freight and tourism operations

3) A decade without any significant capital project fulfillment

4) The biggest drop in morale among employees in the organization's 80-year-plus history

5) The building of the infamous railroad terminal to nowhere that may be the best example in Alaska history of mis-spent federal and state funds

6) Possible bankruptcy [hat tip to FNM commenter joeslankas]

has been chosen by the University of Alaska regents to succeed Gen. Mark Hamilton. Gen. Patrick Gamble has been announced to take Hamilton's place late this spring, as President of the University of Alaska system.

Reaching "for the stars" once to pick a general to head a university system may have been thinking "outside the box." Doing that twice in a row, though, isn't. The regents may have become prisoners of their schtick. Or worse. Passing over Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, President of Southern Polytechnic State University may have been one of the worst recent administrative decisions in Alaska history.

And if they knew something positive about Gamble, whose tenure as Air Force Academy Commandant was lackluster at best, the regents seem to have failed to convey that to students, faculty or the public at large.


Anonymous said...

THis is a hard pill to swallow. It doesn't give us much hope with our leadership at the UA system. This guy was last on my list of leaders for our University. He sounded very dull and lack luster as you say.

This is very comon in Alaska to higher ex milatery men to run our schools in Alaska. Our administrators don't want any change, they just want there pers and ters and retirement out of Alaska with full bennies.

Lets just keep everything the same in Alaska, and keep sucking on the oil money tit for as long as possible. What is it with these teachers and there pers and ters anyway. I think its up to 10 billion now. We are getting conned in a big way in this state. The money to pay for the pers and ters is coming from somewere....... I bet they dip into the APDF.

Lisa Rossbacher would of been someone that could lead the U into the 21 century. I juess our staffers at the U don't want a smart leader at the helm. Our staffers want want a dum ass at the helm so that they will feel needed.

Anonymous said...

Remember this is Alaska Phil. Lower your expectations.....dramatically

Anonymous said...

It seems more than likely that out going president Hamilton had considerable influence in the matter. It would be interesting if there is a history between the outgoing and the incoming. In any case, it is more appropriate for a university system to be under an academic who is also a talented manager and advocate, than what appears to be an underachieving military retread...

HarpboyAK said...

Yuck. Yet another reason why this alumnus won't be donating or attending any of those alumni fundraisers they keep inviting me to attend.

Even back when I was taking forever to finish my degree in the 80s and early 90s, UA had waaaaay too many overpaid administrators making paperwork for each other. UA needs to get rid of 2/3 of the admin staff, pay its administrators less (much much less in the case of top admins such as chancellors, vice presidents, and the president).

The current board of regents gives huge salaries to administrators and screws students with ever higher tuition.

This is an incredible disappointment. I didn't think they'd be that stupid, but that's what we get when administrators lead the regents instead of the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Who says the railroad is going into bankruptcy? Your hat tip didn't provide any source or other documentation to back up that opinion.

Come on, you can do better than spread idle gossip.