After seven wonderful years serving as APU’s President, Joan and I are retiring. We can do so knowing that the University now has a strong path to the future because of its new partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and the many years of strong support from the APU community for Alaska’s only private non-profit baccalaureate university. I believe that APU and ANTHC will create a university unlike any other and am excited about the possibilities. I am pleased to remain on as President Emeritus for a short duration to assist with the transition.
I share this update to keep you informed as the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Alaska Pacific University partnership develops. Yesterday, our Board of Trustees officially accepted President Don Bantz’s transition into President Emeriti status and placed their confidence in me as the Interim President.
First, thanks to President Bantz for his commitment to Alaska Pacific University, and his current help, as well as future availability, in making the transition one that will lead to great outcomes for the University.
Also thank you to the APU Board of Trustees for the invitation to serve as Interim President. I appreciate the trust they have placed in me, and I will work hard to meet the responsibilities of the position and earn your trust as well.
I have already had the opportunity to meet with many of you, and I look forward to continuing those meetings with everyone. I am committed to engaging with students, faculty, staff and the communities served by APU to ensure growth in areas of strength while collaborating to meet our challenges as they arise. An inclusive, community based process will lead to better decision making and increase the likelihood of future success.
My goal is to ensure that an environment at APU exists which facilitates the mission of providing personalized, experiential, hands-on instruction in the field with Alaska as its primary classroom. It will take a combined, continuous effort by many to ensure this environment grows where it is strong and obstacles are removed where it is challenged. Seeking solutions to challenges will take time which requires patience and understanding if we are to move forward together.
I look forward to your input and help in this process. My door is always open, and I look forward to working all of you as we start our search for the next APU President. I will keep you updated as this search progresses.
Dr. Bob Onders, M.D., J.D., M.P.A.