Biologist and college administrator in Colorado chosen to lead University of Alaska Southeast
The University of Alaska Southeast will have a new top leader this summer.
Aparna Dileep-Nageswaran Palmer, a college administrator and professor in Colorado, will succeed retiring Karen Carey as the chancellor in Juneau, University of Alaska President Pat Pitney announced on Wednesday.
Palmer, a biologist, currently serves as vice president of Front Range Community College, which is part of the Colorado Community College System. She is also chief executive of the system’s Boulder County Campus. Previously, she was assistant vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Mesa University, where she also served as a biology professor, director of the honors program and in other posts. She received her doctorate from Washington State University and her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.
In a statement released by UAS, Palmer referred to that research as a contributor to her desire to work at what she called “an amazing and distinctive university.”
“Having lived in, taught about, and done research on Pacific Northwest coastal organisms and ecosystems, I’m excited to make Southeast my home. Along with the great alumni, and with the support of the Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka communities, we will continue leveraging UAS’ strengths and opportunities to further empower Alaska,” she said in the statement.
Pitney, in the statement, credited Palmer’s combination of teaching, governance and administrative experience for propelling her to the top of the list of candidates for the position.
“Aparna brings a passion for UAS’ mission, and a breadth of experience which make her an excellent fit for this role,” said Pitney, who chose Palmer from a group of five finalists selected by a search committee. Palmer’s experience “will be invaluable as she leads UAS in providing the programs that support Southeast Alaska, and our state’s broader workforce needs,” Pitney said in the statement.
UAS is one of three accredited universities within the Alaska system, along with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Anchorage. Its main campus is in Juneau, but it has affiliated campuses in Ketchikan and Sitka.
Palmer will start her new job on July 1, UAS said.