University of Alaska Southeast

First of two Sitka Campus Director candidates to arrive January 26


The first of two finalists in the search for a new Campus Director at the UAS Sitka Campus will be visiting the UAS campus on Monday, January 26. The university will be hosting community “Meet the Candidate” event for both candidates, and invites the public to hear their presentation, ask questions, and provide feedback. Leslie Balsiger, J.D. of Cheyenne, Wyoming will make a presentation on Monday, January 26 at 11:30 am in room 229 on the Sitka Campus. A one-hour reception will follow, allowing community members, students, faculty and staff to meet Leslie and converse with him. The University will provide hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Leslie is currently the Director of the Center for Learning Technologies at the 5000-student Laramie County Community College. He has been in that position since 2010. His duties as the day-to-day manager of online education include supervision of the instructional design staff, responsibility for accreditation and state authorization, leadership of the online education program, and fostering growth in the use of learning technologies. In that role he developed pedagogical training programs for faculty who deliver courses via distance, and oversaw the migration from ANGEL to D2L. He is a certified Worldwide Instructional Design Trainer, and trains faculty as well as providing frequent brown bag sessions on new technologies. Prior to his employment in Cheyenne, Dr. Balsiger served as Director of the Fire Science Administration Online Degree program at Eastern Oregon University from 2008 to 2010. In that role he managed 10 faculty members plus office staff, and also built courses himself in Blackboard, Web CT, D2L, ANGEL and E-College. He was in charge of the Gear Up dual enrollment program, developing ties with local high schools. Leslie also served as the grievance officer for the University, and “worked on a variety of issues including some sexual harassment/assault cases as well as student grievances." Beginning in 2005, Les has also served as an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice for Blue Mountain Community College, and taught both undergraduate and graduate law courses for Southern Illinois University. From 2004 to December 2007 he was the Director of Student Relations/Marketing in Distance Education at Eastern Oregon University. He received a B.S. in Liberal Studies from Eastern Oregon University, concentrating in Psychology and Business. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor degree from the Gonzaga University Law School, where he founded and served as President of the Lawyers Guild Chapter, and received the CALI Award in Community Property. In his personal bio, Leslie writes that he grew up in Wilsonville, a small town of only 300 people in Eastern Oregon, which has now grown to be a suburb of Portland with a population of 25,000. As a child he learned to catch Trout, Bass, Salmon, Steelhead, and other game fish, and lists fishing as his most passionate hobby today. “I would rather be fishing than anything else”, he says. He served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman, and served on the school board as well as City Council of La Grande, Oregon. Dr. Balsiger is an avid antique collector, has two grown children, and he and his wife love to travel, especially in Europe. Leslie expresses a strong interest in helping poor and disadvantaged people gain opportunities for self-advancement. “While at Eastern Oregon University I ran the Gear up Program, which primarily served high school students who would be the first in their family to attend college. I worked with a Tribal Charter School and three high schools that had primarily Hispanic student populations as well as small rural high schools.” He writes, “The best day of my life was early in my higher education career when a single mother I had assisted came to graduation with her entire family and children and told them that if it had not been for Mr. Balsiger, ‘I would not be graduating today’. Nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing students graduate and getting employment in their chosen field.” Prior to going back to school to pursue an education leadership career, Les was an entrepreneur. “I have owned several small businesses” he writes. He currently owns an antique shop in downtown Cheyenne. His wife, Carol, works for County Government Human Resources in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Leslie Balsiger, J.D.
Image Label: Leslie Balsiger, J.D.