Governor appoints UA regents

Casey Grove

Gov. Sean Parnell named two Fairbanks residents to the University of Alaska Board of Regents on Saturday. It's now up to the Legislature to confirm Mike Powers and Jyotsna "Jo" Heckman.

The 11-member board is tasked with making or approving university policy decisions -- including tuition rates, university budgets and degree offerings -- and oversees management of the statewide system and its campuses by the UA president.

Heckman and Powers will take over for two outgoing regents, Cynthia Henry and Erik Drygas, whose terms are up.

Henry, a Fairbanks businesswoman, served a full eight-year term following her 2003 appointment by former Gov. Frank Murkowski.

A UAF alumnus and former Nanook hockey player, Drygas joined the board in 2007, appointed by then-Gov. Sarah Palin following the resignation of former Regent Jim Hayes.

According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Drygas had applied to serve again for a full term.

Heckman is a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate and the first female bank president in Alaska's history. She's been president of Denali State Bank since 2003 and served on two advisory boards for UAF and on the boards of the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Community Foundation, the Foraker Governance Board, the American Bankers Association and the Community Bankers Council.

Powers has been CEO of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Denali Center since 1995. He's a current member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees, and the former Eagle Scout was recently named Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Midnight Sun Chaper of the Boy Scouts.

The board is scheduled to meet eight times in 2011.