Alaska Pacific University (APU) will launch a search for a new president, following the departure of Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson. Davidson was granted a leave of absence from APU on March 15 to serve as interim president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) during a critical leadership transition and was announced as the consortium’s new president on June 14.
“We will miss Valerie’s guidance at the university, but know that she’s an excellent fit to lead ANTHC,” said Ethan Schutt, chairman of the Board of Trustees at APU. “The exceptional leadership, vision, and experience she brought to her role at APU will serve her well as she leads the largest Tribal health system in the country. Her success is our success, and we look forward to continuing the strong partnership between APU and ANTHC.”
Davidson was announced as APU’s 12th president on March 23, 2020 and assumed the role on April 25, 2020. She was the first woman to lead the university. Previously, she served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services and lieutenant governor under Governor Bill Walker.
Under Davidson’s leadership, APU increased Alaska Native and American Indian enrollment, expanded program partnerships in rural Alaska, and incorporated Indigenous perspectives to national Arctic research initiatives.
Dr. Hilton Hallock was named interim president of APU on March 15 and will continue to lead the university and its Alaska Native-serving initiatives during the search for a new president. Hallock previously served as the university’s provost.
“This past year has demonstrated yet again that APU is an adaptable and resilient university,” said Hallock. “Val helped us navigate a challenging year, and her leadership and public health experience have been so valuable to the university during the pandemic. While we will miss her guidance and presence on campus, APU will continue to thrive, offering distinctive and culturally inclusive educational programs. The APU campus community wishes Val all the best in her new endeavor.”