Vice President/Chief Academic Officer (CAO)

Vice President/Chief Academic Officer (CAO)

  • 528646
  • Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
  • Officer/Senior Administrator
  • On Campus
  • Officer of the University
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs

As our Vice President/Chief Academic Officer (CAO), you will serve as a member of the University of Alaska system President’s executive team. You will provide academic leadership and strategic guidance to the President, Board of Regents, and system office. Work with the universities’ academic, student services and research leadership to shape, promote, and leverage capacity across the system. Assist the President in ensuring effective and efficient operation of the universities’ educational programs. Evaluate and report on how each university is implementing Board policy.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provides overarching academic leadership and planning for the University of Alaska System.
  • Understands the academic mission with the ability to gather and disseminate concise information internally and externally.
  • Provides proactive, data-informed strategic guidance to the President and Board of Regents on the wide range of academic issues including program offerings, student success, research, faculty, and accreditation.
  • Develops and revises academic policies and regulations to address priorities of the Board of Regents and Academic and Student Affairs Committee.
  • Leads creation and implementation of system-wide recruitment, retention, and graduation plan with mechanisms for accountability and tracking.
  • Manages high priority projects and programs designed to support the Board’s goals and strategic objectives.
  • Monitors and articulates the strategic vision across multiple universities, campus and units; ensures that constituent representatives are kept appropriately informed of project activities.
  • Resolves problems and conflicts within and across the universities and the system.
  • Gathers information and completes analysis in order to propose potential solutions and specific recommendations for the President’s and Board’s consideration.
  • Provides an independent perspective; this may include providing observations regarding key dynamics during meetings, challenging assumptions, or sharing relevant information of which the President may not be aware.
  • Builds relationships across the University system and serves as a key information funnel, filter, and facilitator for the President – collecting new information and prioritizing and synthesizing it for the President and Board of Regents.
  • Supervises system office staff in institutional research, workforce development, and governance.
  • Represents the university’s mission and programs to external stakeholders and represents the system on academic and research related committees.
  • Assures accountability systems for accreditation are developed, implemented and monitored.
  • Serves as facilitator and liaison for system-wide shared governance.

To thrive in this role you must demonstrate the ability to develop high levels of trust, relationship building, and effective communication and engagement of multiple stakeholders. Be a collaborative problem-solver with experience working with diverse perspectives and interests to efficiently arrive at solutions. Be a relationship builder who listens, engages in dialog, and is transparent and accountable. You must have a forward-focused mindset around the academic mission. Be a team builder and talent developer who respects and leverages the expertise of the team. A working leader who is willing to be hands-on as needed. Understanding of the Alaskan culture, dynamics, and physical logistics preferred. Desire to be an engaged and integral part of the University of Alaska community.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 10 years higher education or related leadership with progressively responsible duties; experience as an academic dean or administrator preferred.
  • Experience with higher education policy and accreditation.
  • Experience working with faculty unions and shared governance preferred.
  • Master’s degree required; doctoral degree preferred.

About the University of Alaska

The University of Alaska is the state's higher education system and is composed of three independently-accredited universities and their 13 associated community campuses. University of Alaska Fairbanks is the state’s research university, University of Alaska Anchorage is the urban comprehensive university, and University of Alaska Southeast is the regional university. Each has different strengths, delivers extensive e-learning instruction and provides a unique student experience. More than 20,700 full- and part-time students are enrolled system-wide, studying 500 unique degree, certificate or endorsement programs. Study areas include short-course workforce training, associate degrees, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as doctorates.

Position Details:

This position is located at the University of Alaska system office in Fairbanks, AK. This is a full-time, exempt executive officer position with both a competitive salary and a full employee benefits package. UA provides a generous compensation package that includes retirement options, annual leave, 12 paid holidays per year, tuition waivers for employees and family members, and affordable medical, dental, and vision care coverage. Compensation is commensurate with the experience required for the job.

Please attach -- Substantive letter of interest, -- Resume or curriculum vitae, -- Four (4) professional references with email addresses and phone numbers provided (references will not be contacted without prior permission from the applicant).

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a successful candidate is identified.

Application review will begin on 08/05/2024, to ensure consideration, please apply by 11:55 PM, Alaska Standard Time on 08/04/2024.

*To be eligible for this position, applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States without restriction.  Applicants who now or may in the future require visa sponsorship to work in the United States are not eligible.

This position is designated as an officer of the university or senior administrator at the discretion of the president.

The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

UA is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Terra Preslan, UA System Office HR Coordinator, at or 907-450-8261.

All employees at the University of Alaska are expected to uphold the highest standards of ethics and professionalism when conducting or engaged in university business.

*Each university within the University of Alaska system publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report which contains information regarding campus safety and security including topics such as: campus law enforcement authority; crime reporting policies; campus alerts (Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications); fire safety policies and procedures; programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; the procedures the University will follow when one of these crimes is reported; and other matters of importance related to security on campus. The report also contains information about crime statistics for the three most recent calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in On-Campus Student Housing Facilities; in Noncampus buildings or property owned or controlled by the University or a recognized student organization; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus.  The report also contains fire statistics for any fires occurring in an On-Campus Student Housing Facility during the three most recent calendar years.  

Access to the reports is available at:

UAA: (Addresses Anchorage campus, Aviation Technology Complex, JBER - Elmendorf Extension, JBER - Richardson Extension, Kenai Peninsula College - Kachemak Bay campus, Kenai Peninsula College - Kenai River campus, Kodiak College, Kodiak High School Extension, Matanuska-Susitna College, Prince William Sound College, and Prince William Sound College - Cordova Extension) Online: Request a paper copy in person: UAA Police Department Office at Room 114 of Eugene Short Hall on the Anchorage campus / UAA Dean of Students Office at Room 122 of Rasmuson Hall on the Anchorage campus. Request a paper copy by mail: 907-786-1120 or / 907-786-1214 or

UAF: (Addresses Fairbanks Campus, Bristol Bay Campus, Chukchi Campus, Community and Technical College, Kasitsna Bay Campus, Seward Marine Center, Tok Campus, Kuskokwim Campus, and Northwest Campus) Online: Request a paper copy in person: UAF Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability on the 3rd Floor of Constitution Hall. Request a paper copy by mail: 907-474-7300 or

UAS: (Addresses the Juneau Auke Bay Campus, Juneau Technical Education Center, Sitka Campus, & Ketchikan Campus) Online: Request a paper copy in person: Hendrickson Building, Suite 202 on the Juneau campus. Request a paper copy by mail: 907-796-6371 or emailing

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