For the second time this year, the Legislature must hire a new chief budget analyst.
Pat Pitney is leaving after serving less than six months as the director of the nonpartisan Division of Legislative Finance. She will begin work as the interim president of the University of Alaska on August 1st.
The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is responsible for hiring Pitney’s replacement.
“We went through here it recently, six months ago, so it’s all still fresh in our heads,” said the committee’s chair Chris Tuck.
Tuck says he hopes the committee will fill the position by late August or early September. The position was advertised on the Alaska Workforce website on Wednesday.
“We want to make sure that we have good recruitment opportunities,” Tuck said. “I’m sure that people that have applied before are going to be applying again. And we may end up with some new people applying.”
The committee is scheduled to accept applications through August 17.
The legislative finance director frequently testifies before the House and Senate finance committees on budget issues. The director is a high-profile nonpartisan voice as the state grapples with the budget gap.
Tuck says Pitney was able to pick up where longtime director David Teal left off. He says he hates to lose her.
“At the same time, we know that we have a university system right now that needs a lot of care. I don’t want to say it’s a sick patient, but it definitely needs some nursing, and I can’t think of a better person than Pat Pitney to help bring our university back to life,” he said.
Tuck says the committee has identified a candidate to serve as the temporary director until the position is filled, but he says he’s not in a position to identify the person until the decision is finalized.