Rogers to retire as UAF Chancellor after August

Apr 17, 2015

The 64-year-old likely successor to UA President Pat Gamble said stress from the job was taking a toll on his health.

Brian Rogers announced Thursday he is retiring as UAF Chancellor at the end of August.
Credit UAF photo by Todd Paris

KDLG: University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of August.

Rogers, who spent some seven years in the role, cited health concerns as the primary reason he was retiring. In an email to University staff, Rogers wrote that he was struggling with the recent failures by UAF to meet compliance obligations and the decisions to reduce or eliminate university programs amidst budget cuts. The 64-year-old said the stress was taking a toll on his health that he could no longer ignore.

Rogers was seen as a likely successor to UA system President Pat Gamble who is also retiring this year. KTUU is reporting that the University’s Board of Regents has now asked Gamble to consider delaying his June retirement while the search for a replacement continues.

Here is Roger's Thursday letter to UAF staff, as posted at the UAF facebook page:

This morning, I notified President Gamble that I will retire as your chancellor at the end of August.

I've completed seven years as chancellor and interim chancellor, nearly 20 years in all as a university employee, and 45 years of association with the University of Alaska and UAF, including eight years as a regent.

As you've probably heard me say before, UAF is my family's university. Sherry and I and both of our sons, are all alumni. We believe in UAF and its mission, and care deeply about the dedicated faculty and staff who serve our students, our state, and our society.

A combination of factors led me to this conclusion. This winter and spring have been seasons of high stress for me. Failures at UAF to meet compliance obligations hit me hard. I take personally the decisions we are making to reduce or eliminate good programs. If there were things UAF was doing that I thought were not worthwhile, we would have already stopped.

I am an optimistic person. That has required me to internalize the issues and decisions we are making, to maintain that positive outlook. This stress is negatively affecting my health, and I cannot ignore this effect. I had not expected to seek the university presidency, and President Gamble's retirement announcement was a surprise. I considered the presidency in part buoyed by the urging and well wishes of scores of individuals who have supported me and asked me to apply. I now realize I should not and cannot take on this new five-year challenge. I deeply appreciate the support many of you have expressed, and hope you will give the new president and new chancellor the same dedication you have shown the past seven years.

I am suggesting to President Gamble the names of several people I believe could serve as interim chancellor while the new president conducts a comprehensive search, and hope he will be able to appoint one to overlap my last month as chancellor in August.

Sherry and I treasure our time and association with so many good people at UAF, and plan to keep that association as volunteer fundraisers, donors and advocates. We especially want to work to ensure the UAF centennial fundraising campaigns for the Troth Yeddha' Indigenous Studies Center, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, and centennial scholarships are a success. We expect to contribute to Alaska, the Arctic and the university in new ways in the years ahead.

Thank you for all you do to make UAF a success.