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Alaska Pacific University Board of Trustees Selects Dr. Don Bantz as President of APU

The Alaska Pacific University Board of Trustees has chosen Dr. Don Bantz, currently the Academic Vice President & Provost at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, as the ninth president of Alaska Pacific University. 

Dr. Bantz was selected by a unanimous vote of the trustees following a national search and will begin his presidency March 15, 2010. Current APU president, Dr. Douglas North begins his sabbatical in January 2010 before taking over as Head of Schools at Albany Academies in New York.

“I’m honored to have been selected to lead Alaska Pacific University,” said Dr. Bantz. “Dr. North has left the University in a great position, and it will be a distinct pleasure to work with the trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni as we continue to strengthen and grow the university in the years ahead.”

“The Presidential Search Committee did an outstanding job with this process,” said Harry McDonald, chair of the APU Board of Trustees. “Under the tireless leadership of trustee and former academic dean Dr. Charlie Fahl, and with the assistance of executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, the committee conducted an exemplary process and has assured us of a smooth transition from Dr. North to Dr. Bantz.”

Dr. Bantz has worked at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington since 1988, teaching in the Master’s of Public Administration Program, serving three years as Academic Dean and for the past six years as Academic Vice President & Provost. He earned his Ph.D. and MA in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Fullerton State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Management and Marketing.

>From 1974 through 1986, Dr. Bantz lived in Anchorage where he worked in the community health field first with the Alaska Federation of Natives, and then serving as Executive Director for the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center. In 1984 he was recognized as Alaska Public Administrator of the Year.

The search for a new president began in 2008 and was managed by the Presidential Search Committee appointed by the APU Board of Trustees and chaired by Dr. Fahl. The search committee was comprised of current trustees, a student representative, two faculty members, a staff member and a representative of the community at large and assisted by Witt/Kieffer.

“We received nearly 100 applications for the position, interviewed 13 semi-finalists, and then invited five finalists to visit the campus to meet with trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors,” Fahl said. “I’m confident in saying that each of the finalists was capable of leading APU, but it was the consensus of the Board of Trustees that the best of this very fine group was Dr. Bantz,” Fahl said.

Dr. Bantz will be working with staff and faculty on transition matters for the next several months, and he and his wife Joan will be moving to Anchorage and taking up residence in the Mlakar President’s Home by early March 2010.

Founded in 1959, Alaska Pacific University is a private, independent university that promotes the fullest development of its students through student-centered, experiential learning in liberal arts and professional programs. To find out more, visit www.alaskapacific.edu.

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