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Johnsen Withdraws from University of Wisconsin’s Search for New President

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University of Alaska
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University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen said this morning that he is no longer in the running for the top job at the University of Wisconsin.

Johnsen said in a news release his office issued this morning that he notified the chair of the University of Wisconsin search committee to inform him that he’s withdrawing from consideration for the job of president of the University of Wisconsin System.

He said in the news release that “After deep reflection as to where I am called to lead a university system through these challenging times, it is clear to me and my family that it is here in Alaska.”

A University of Alaska spokesperson said this morning that Johnsen is unavailable for comment.

Johnsen was the sole finalist for the University of Wisconsin job. But he ran into opposition from some members of the UW community who complained that, among other things, no faculty or staff were included among the finalists.

The Anchorage Daily News reported that the university’s Madison campus chapter of the Association of American University Professors launched a petition that called for a new search. The petition reportedly gathered more than 18-hundred signatures.

Johnsen conceded that some UW employees believe they were excluded from the process, according to the Daily News story.

In his news release, Johnsen said he was looking forward to continuing work with the University of Alaska Board of Regents and other university leaders to “chart the course for the next several years.”

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.