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UAA's College of Health will get a new dean this summer

Jeff Jessee, former CEO of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, was named the new dean of UAA’s College of Health. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

After more than 35 years working within Alaska's health care sector, Jeff Jessee will enter academia as the new dean of the University of Alaska Anchorage's College of Health and the vice provost of health programs, according to a university announcement Monday.

Jessee will take over the College of Health from Bill Hogan, who served as dean since 2013 and who will retire at the end of June.

Jessee currently works as the legislative liaison for the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, a state-run mental health organization. He started in that job in November 2016 after resigning as the trust's chief executive. Jessee had led the trust for 21 years. Before that, he worked as an attorney at the Disability Law Center of Alaska starting in 1980, according to his resume.

"Jessee's experiences working with governmental, health care and nonprofit organizations position him well to lead UAA's College of Health," wrote Sam Gingerich, UAA provost and executive vice chancellor, in a Monday morning email to the university community.

In an interview Monday, Jessee said he looks forward to helping produce a workforce for Alaska's health care system, making sure that the growth in the sector results in jobs for Alaska-educated graduates.

"I think that there are opportunities for growth and advancement in the college and I'm excited to work with the team," he said. "I think it's a great team over there."

Jessee said he plans to start at UAA in May.  He will earn an annual salary of $198,000, according to Kristin DeSmith, UAA assistant vice chancellor for university relations.

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