Leadership

ACPE & ASLC Leadership

ACPE is overseen by a fourteen-member body established by law, representing educational bodies and the general public. Guided by the Commission, the Executive Director and staff develop and implement programs and policies to increase access to the benefits of higher education.

ASLC, a public corporation and enterprise instrumentality of the State of Alaska, funds the Commission's programs through tax-exempt bond sales. It has a legal existence independent of the State. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors.

The administrative staff of the Commission serve as the staff of the Corporation. They carry out ASLC activities through the delegated authority of the ASLC Executive Officer, who is also the Executive Director of ACPE.

Commission Members

James R. Johnsen

James R. Johnsen, Chair 
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2016
 

Jim Johnsen of Fairbanks was appointed to the Commission in July 2012 by Governor Sean Parnell as a representative of the general public. Currently Johnsen is Alaska Communications Systems’ (ACS) Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Process Transformation. He has previously served as Vice President of Administration at Doyon, Limited, an Alaska Native regional corporation, and Vice President of Administration at the University of Alaska, where he also taught. Johnsen earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds a master’s from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He is active in the community as a member of the Alaska State Chamber’s board of directors, a trustee of the University of Alaska Foundation, and a commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Johnsen’s interests include higher education policy, finance, leadership, transformation, and student success.

Dale Anderson
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires February 2019

Dale Anderson was named to the Commission by the chair of the University of Alaska Board of Regents in February 2015. He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Parnell in 2012. He currently works in the financial services industry and owns Auke Lake Bed & Breakfast. Mr. Anderson has extensive experience in both the private and public sector, served as a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, legislative aide for the Alaska State Legislature, and commissioner on the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. He holds a certificate of judicial development in administrative law from the University of Nevada and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Oral Roberts University.

Jerry Covey

Jerry Covey
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2017


Jerry Covey was appointed to the Commission by Governor Parnell in June 2013 as a representative of the general public. Mr. Covey is currently a managing partner for JSC Consulting, LLC. His extensive experience in K-12 education, both in teaching and administration, led to his appointment as Alaska’s Commissioner of Education & Early Development from 1991-1995.  His employment history includes tenures as teacher, counselor, principal and superintendent for various K-12 schools in both Michigan and the Northwest Arctic Borough School District in Alaska, and several years as Visiting Associate Professor of Education/Practitioner in Residence at the University of Alaska Southeast.  He graduated from Central Michigan University with a baccalaureate in social studies and history and master’s degree in guidance and counseling.  He is active in a variety of community and professional organizations focused on education, strategic plan development, facilitation for governing boards and organizations, leadership team development, collective bargaining, conflict resolution and communication training. 

Joey Crum
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2018

Joey Crum was appointed to the Commission by Governor Parnell in March 2014 as a representative of proprietary education. Mr. Crum currently serves as President and CEO of Northern Industrial Training. He previously acted as a master trainer, instructor and examiner, and developed curriculum in the oil, gas, safety and construction industries. Crum holds his captains license and operated a charter boat in Homer, Alaska. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a baccalaureate in psychology and communications, and continued to earn his Juris Doctorate from the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Ray DePriest

Ray DePriest
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2017

Ray DePriest was appointed to the Commission by Governor Parnell in July 2013 as a representative of community college advisory bodies for his service on the Mat Su College Advisory Council. Mr. DePriest is currently the Director of Career and Technical Education for the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District. His previous employment includes twenty years of various K-12 positions as an educator in the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District. He is also a small business owner of Rosenray’s Alaskan Cuisine & Catering Company and DePriest Farms in Palmer. Mr. DePriest earned his baccalaureate in agricultural education from the Montana State University, and his master’s in public school administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Kenneth Fisher
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires February 2019

Kenneth Fisher was named to the Commission by the chair of the University of Alaska Board of Regents in February 2015. He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Palin in 2009 and serves as Secretary of the Board. Mr. Fisher is an Engineer Officer with the U.S. Public Health Service currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region X in Juneau, Alaska, where he serves as the Senior Representative to the State of Alaska. He has 30 years of professional engineering, program management, and senior legislative experience with broad federal, state, tribal, and international background. He has worked in both the legislative and executive branches of government and completed a Legislative Fellowship with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Mr. Fisher graduated from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science in engineering.

Representative Lynn Gattis
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term is indefinite - Speaker of the House Appointment

Lynn Gattis was appointed to the Commission by the House Speaker in March 2015. She was elected to the Alaska State Legislature House of Representatives in 2012 to represent Wasilla. She serves as a member of House Finance Committee and is chair of the Education budget Finance subcommittee. Representative Gattis earned her B.A. in Aviation Technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is the owner of Gattis Aircraft in Wasilla.

Keith Hamilton
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires 2019

 

Dr. Keith J. Hamilton of Soldotna was named to the Commission by the Chair of the State Board of Education & Early Development in March 2015. Dr. Hamilton serves as the President of Alaska Christian College. Located in Soldotna, the college helps Alaska Native students pursue excellence through biblically-based education. He earned a degree from Seattle Pacific University and his master of divinity through Fuller Theological Seminary as well as a Doctorate in Youth and Family Culture.

Rebecca Huggins

Rebecca Huggins
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2018

Becky L. Huggins of Meadow Lakes was appointed to the Commission in 2003 and most recently reappointed in March 2010 by Governor Sean Parnell. She has been a part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough District for over fourteen years.  She established one of the first charter schools in the district, assisted in establishing seeUonline (the district's first online school), and started a choice school in the Meadow Lakes area before her current position of principal of American Charter Academy.  Ms. Huggins was successful in obtaining several federal and state grants on behalf of the students and staff of these schools.  She has been part of multiple working groups involved in educational activities through Alaska's Department of Education and Early Development.  Ms. Huggins previously served in the United States Army, attaining the rank of Major. She earned her BA in Art Education (K-12) in 1978 from Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska, adding an Elementary Education Endorsement in 1998, and earned a MA in Education Leadership from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2000.

Sue Linford

Suzanne Linford 
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education 
Term Expires March 2016

Sue Linford of Anchorage, Private Higher Education Representative, was appointed to the Commission by Governor Sean Parnell in July 2012. She is a member of the Alaska Pacific University Board of Trustees, and was bestowed an Honorary Degree in Business and Public Service from APU in 2008. Linford is owner, president and CEO of Linford of Alaska, a food distribution business that has been serving Alaska since 1973. Previously she was employed in accounting roles in various fields such as the territorial tax office, insurance, oil, arts and retail. Since coming to Alaska in 1954, Linford has been extensively involved in numerous business, volunteer and civic organizations in the state, and is currently a member of the University of Alaska Foundation, UAA Alumni Association, College of Fellows and the APU Denali Society. Her leadership and contributions to the many community and philanthropic organizations are widely recognized and she is an inductee in the Alaska Business Hall of Fame.

Senator Gary Stevens
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term is indefinite - Senate President Appointment

Gary Stevens was appointed to the Commission by the Senate President in February 2015. He was elected to the Alaska State Senate in 2003 to represent the Kodiak district, and was previously a member of the Alaska House of Representatives since 2000. Senator Stevens previously served as Senate President for four terms, and currently serves as Chair of Legislative Council Joint Committee, Co-Chair of the Senate World Trade Special Committee and as a member of Senate Education and Senate Labor & Commerce Committees, Senate World Trade Special Committee, and Ethics Joint Committee. Senator Stevens served in the military and is a retired professor of the University of Alaska, Kodiak. He held many elected positions in Kodiak including school board, city council, city mayor and borough mayor before running for Legislature. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Linfield College and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

Randy Weaver

Randy L. Weaver, Vice Chair 
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education 
Term Expires March 2016

Randy Weaver, CPA, of Fairbanks was appointed to the Commission by Governor Sean Parnell as a representative of the general public in July 2012. He is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Denali State Bank. He previously held Controller and Director of Internal Audit positions at the University of Alaska. Weaver received his Bachelors of Business Administration- Accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is continuing his education in accounting and auditing, balance sheet management, interest rate risk management and bank investment portfolio management.

Mike Woods
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Term Expires March 2017

Mike Woods was appointed to the Commission by the Alaska Workforce Investment Board in December 2013. He was appointed to the Alaska Workforce Investment Board as a representative of public education in 2008 by Governor Palin and was reappointed by Governor Parnell in 2012. Mr. Woods has been an instructor at King Career Center since 1990. Other employment includes serving as an incident coordinator for the state Division of Forestry, a tour guide training inspector for the Alaska Railroad Corporation, natural resource management consultant, and an emergency services instructor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Boise State University.

The Commission is actively looking for a member to full this vacancy.

Corporation Board

Appointed Members

Randy Weaver, Chair
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education Member
Term Ends 2015

Randy Weaver, CPA, of Fairbanks was appointed to the Commission by Governor Sean Parnell as a representative of the general public in July 2012. He is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Denali State Bank. He previously held Controller and Director of Internal Audit positions at the University of Alaska. Weaver received his Bachelors of Business Administration- Accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is continuing his education in accounting and auditing, balance sheet management, interest rate risk management and bank investment portfolio management.

Jim Johnsen, Vice Chair
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education Member
Term Ends 2015
Deputy Commissioner of Revenue & Designee, Department of Revenue

Jim Johnsen of Fairbanks was appointed to the Commission in July 2012 by Governor Sean Parnell as a representative of the general public. Currently Johnsen is Alaska Communications Systems’ (ACS) Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Process Transformation. He has previously served as Vice President of Administration at Doyon, Limited, an Alaska Native regional corporation, and Vice President of Administration at the University of Alaska, where he also taught. Johnsen earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds a master’s from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He is active in the community as a member of the Alaska State Chamber’s board of directors, a trustee of the University of Alaska Foundation, and a commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  Johnsen’s interests include higher education policy, finance, leadership, transformation, and student success.

Chris Hladick
Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Term Ends With Office

Chris Hladick was named Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development by Governor Bill Walker in January 2015. Prior to his appointment he served fourteen years as the City Manager of Unalaska, the longest-serving city manager. He also previously held City Manager positions in Dillingham and Galena. Mr. Hladick earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental biology at Eastern Illinois University.

Randall Hoffbeck
Commissioner of Revenue
Term Ends With Office

Randall Hoffbeck was named Commissioner of Revenue by Governor Bill Walker in December 2014. Mr. Hoffbeck has over thirty years’ experience in tax administration, valuation and appraisal of real estate, including twenty years of service in local and state government. Before retiring from public service in 2012 to devote himself full-time to Christian ministry, for several years Mr. Hoffbeck served as Director of Administration and Finance, Chief Finance Officer, and Chief of Staff for the North Slope Borough. He studied resource management in the School of Forestry at the University of Minnesota and received his Master of Divinity at Liberty Theological Seminary.

Sheldon Fisher
Commissioner of Administration
Term Ends With Office

Sheldon Fisher was appointed Commissioner of Administration by Governor Bill Walker in December 2014. Prior to his appointment Mr. Fisher worked as Chief Operating Officer at McKinley Capital Management, LLC. He has been in the telecommunications industry for fifteen years, and for six years served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Product Marketing at Alaska Communications. Mr. Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Brigham Young University and a juris doctorate at Yale University.

 

Designee

Jim Andersen
Designee of Commissioner of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Collection Manager, Division of Economic Development & Designee, Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Term Ends With Office

Jim Andersen was designated to the Board in March 2015 by Commissioner Hladick. Mr. Andersen serves as the Loan Manager for the Division of Economic Development (DED). Over the last twenty years Mr. Andersen has served in various positions at DED administering revolving loan funds. He has also served on the Loan Audit Committee, Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee at True North Federal Credit Union for fourteen years.

Jerry Burnett
Designee of Department of Revenue
Deputy Commissioner of Revenue
Term Ends with Office

Jerry Burnett was designated to the Board in December 2014 by Commissioner Randall Hoffbeck. Prior to being named Deputy Commissioner Mr. Burnett had a long history with the State of Alaska, most recently serving as Statewide Information Technology Officer for the Department of Administration, and the Administrative Services Director with Department of Revenue. Mr. Burnett has been an adjunct professor of business at the University of Alaska Southeast, and also worked as a Real Estate Broker and Life and Health Insurance Agent. He received his Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Central Washington University, and his Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska.

John Boucher
Designee of Commissioner of Administration
Deputy Commissioner of Administration
Term Ends With Office

John Boucher was designated to the Board in March 2015 by Commissioner Fisher. Mr. Boucher has worked continuously for the State of Alaska since 1981. In February 2015 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Administration. He previously served as Senior Economist for the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget where he also acted as OMB’s legislative liaison. Mr. Boucher graduated from the University of Notre Dame where he majored in Economics.

Executive Staff

Diane Barrans

Diane Barrans - Executive Director

As the chief executive of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) and the Alaska Student Loan Corporation (ASLC), Diane Barrans leads an organization committed to providing Alaskans with information and services that enable them to access and succeed in education and training beyond high school.

Ms. Barrans assumed Executive Director duties in July of 1995. She previously served for twelve years in a variety of Commission operations and management positions, most recently as program coordinator from 1989 to 1993 and director of student financial aid programs in 1994/1995.  Ms. Barrans earned her bachelor of arts degree from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1982.

Currently in her fourth term, Ms. Barrans is one of three Alaska members of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE). She was reappointed by Governor Parnell in July 2011.  In 2004-05 she served as Chair of the WICHE Commission, and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and Programs and Services Committee. Alaska has participated in the 15-state regional education compact since 1955, providing residents with reduced-cost access to higher education programs throughout the west, many of which are not available in the state.

As ACPE's executive, Ms. Barrans also represents Alaska as a member of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Association.  SHEEO was created in 1954 to assist states in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education and serves as a liaison between the states and the federal government.

ASLC is a member of the Education Finance Council (EFC), an association of nonprofit and state-based student loan providers, public purpose organizations dedicated to the single objective of making college more affordable.  Ms. Barrans is a former member of EFC's Board of Directors.

Worth Barthel

Worth Barthel - Human Resource Officer

Worth Barthel joined the Commission in July of 2010 as the Human Resource Officer. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Barthel was the Assistant HR Manager for six State of Alaska executive branch departments. Mr. Barthel has worked in various HR capacities since 1999 in both the private and government sectors. Mr. Barthel holds a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Seattle University, and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from San Diego State University. Mr. Barthel is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

A member of the agency's Executive Team as Human Resource Officer, Mr. Barthel is responsible for agency human resources and personnel matters in accordance with the Commission's Personnel Bylaws, state statutes, and regulations. He makes recommendations for revisions to Personnel Bylaws as necessary for Commission approval. Mr. Barthel provides guidance in career development and training initiatives, and assists management with employee relations, including the hiring, reassignment and separation of staff. As head of Administrative Services, Mr. Barthel also oversees the agency's mail services, records retention, and procurement activities, as well as building management and security protocols for the Juneau operations center.

Stephanie Butler

Stephanie Butler - Director of Program Operations

Stephanie Butler first joined the Commission in 1997 as the institutional authorization program coordinator. In 1998, she was promoted to director of institutional relations, and, in 2001, was appointed by the Executive Director to her current post. Prior to joining the Commission, she worked for the University of Alaska Anchorage as information/support services manager from 1990 to 1992, and was administrative manager from 1992 to 1997. Ms. Butler is a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Government Auditing Professional. Her education credentials also include a Master of Science in business administration and management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Barry University.

Ms. Butler leads the loan servicing operations, the largest single operational unit of ACPE, and assists with the development and implementation of statewide outreach services. Ms. Butler's staff delivers high-level centralized service to the agency's borrowers from the servicing center in Juneau, from loan originations to loan repayment. Ms. Butler assists with program development, and coordinates program operations internally, with borrowers, and with the various institutions.

Kenneth Dodson

Kenneth Dodson - Director of Information Support Services

Kenneth Dodson has been with the Commission as Director of Information Support Services since 1994. Prior to coming to the Commission, he was employed from 1988 until 1994 by UNIPAC Service Corporation in Denver, Colorado, first as a programmer and then advancing to the information services supervisor by 1990.

Mr. Dodson’s unit is responsible for development and support of all electronic services, including the Higher Education Loan Management System (HELMS) mainframe application on which the agency’s loan portfolio is serviced. Mr. Dodson is past president and current member of the HELMS User Group, a consortium of lenders and servicers. Mr. Dodson received a certificate in Computer Information Systems from Tucumcari Area Vocational School in Tucumcari, New Mexico in 1988.

Rebekah Matrosova

Rebekah Matrosova - Director of Outreach & Early Awareness

Rebekah Matrosova first served the Commission from 2007 to 2008 as the Outreach division K-12 Program Specialist.  Ms. Matrosova returned to the agency in 2010 as Outreach Program Manager and was promoted to her Director position in June 2013.  Ms. Matrosova’s professional experience includes serving as International Exchange Programs Coordinator for the University of Alaska Anchorage’s American Russian Center and as Team Lead of a technical writing team for a major financial software platform. Ms. Matrosova holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism & public communications, as well as languages, and a Master of Public Administration in public management from the University of Alaska Anchorage. 

As Director of Outreach & Early Awareness, Ms. Matrosova oversees the agency’s initiatives to promote successful career & education planning statewide, including: programs to establish early awareness of the individual and collective benefits associated with postsecondary attainment; career & education planning tools, resources, and direct services; and public messaging to promote awareness of resources including state financial aid programs. Ms. Matrosova directs the activities of the outreach team and coordinates development and delivery of agency and multi-partner collaborative initiatives aimed at developing Alaska’s capacity to produce college and career-ready citizens.

Charlene Morrison

Charlene Morrison - Chief Finance Officer

Charlene Morrison served the Commission and the Corporation as Chief Finance Officer from 1994 to 1998, and rejoined the agency in the same capacity in March 2007. During the intervening years she worked as Chief Finance Officer for the True North Federal Credit Union (formerly, Alaska State Employees Federal Credit Union); as the Accountant for the State of Alaska's Enterprise Technology Services Division (formerly, Information Technology Group); as Assistant Comptroller for the Treasury Division within the Department of Revenue; and, most recently, as the Chief Finance Officer for the Division of Retirement and Benefits in the Department of Administration where she was responsible for the financial aspects of seven pension plans and two health plans for the State and other participating public employers. Prior to 1994, Ms. Morrison was an audit manager with the firm of KPMG LLP. Ms. Morrison received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis from the University of Montana, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Under the direction of the Executive Officer and Board of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation, Ms. Morrison oversees the Corporation asset management and financing activities. This encompasses the portfolio and cash flow analysis to support the annual bond issues which fund the various education loan programs. Additionally, Ms. Morrison's duties include ensuring that the Corporation maintains compliance with federal and state law, as well as bond-related covenants. Other research, reporting, and accounting duties of her division include; preparation of quarterly unaudited and annually audited financial statements, investments, procurement, and responding to requests of legislators and their staffs, and the general public. Finance staff is also responsible for preparing the agency's annual budget and the monthly tracking and reporting of expenses to assure budget compliance.

Kerry Thomas - Internal Auditor

Kerry Thomas joined the Commission in June 2007. Previously she was an Accountant IV with the Department of Health and Social Services. She also worked in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities as an Accountant IV and Accounting Supervisor, and was a Staff Accountant and Auditor with Walsh, Kelliher & Sharp APC of Fairbanks, Alaska. Ms. Thomas graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in accounting, and later attained a Master's in business administration in service management from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Alaska Student Loan Corporation

 

Results of Tender Offer Regarding Auction Rate Education Loan Revenue Bonds

The Alaska Student Loan Corporation (ASLC) is a public corporation and governmental instrumentality, but has a legal existence independent of and separate from the State. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors. The supervision of the administration of ASLC activities is delegated to the Executive Officer, who is also the Executive Director of the Commission. The Board's primary responsibilities are to:

  • authorize and oversee investments
  • fund the Commission's education programs
  • set investment policies, loan fees, interest rates, and program benefits

The ASLC's Board of Directors is appointed by the Governor. It consists of two members of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, and the Commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development; the Commissioner of Administration, and the Commissioner of Revenue. The Commissioners may appoint a designee to serve in their place.

The Board annually selects a Chair and Vice Chair from its membership, who may serve more than one term.

Meetings of the Alaska Student Loan Corporation are called by the Chair as necessary to conduct the business of the Corporation. Meetings are open to the general public. Meeting dates, time, and location are announced through public notices.

Investors