Patrick J. O'Rourke
UAF Chancellor 1981-1991
Patrick J. O'Rourke served as chancellor of UAF from 1981-1991. He had lived in Alaska since 1964, and had a long involvement with the University of Alaska.
O'Rourke served as the first chancellor for the Division of Rural Education, Extension, and two-year colleges from 1977 until his selection as UAF chancellor. He was responsible for the University of Alaska's system of extended learning, including a large urban campus, 10 regional two-year colleges, the statewide Cooperative Extension Service and other statewide programs. From 1972-1977 he headed the University of Alaska's first rural college campus, located in Bethel. Following the success of this campus, four other branch campuses were opened to serve other rural areas of the state.
His appointment as UAF's chancellor brought him back to a campus he had served earlier as project director of its Upward Bound Program from 1970-1972.
O'Rourke came to Alaska in 1964 to take a teaching and counseling job at Bethel High School.
He earned his doctorate in educational psychology and higher education administration at the University of Connecticut, and his master's degree in psychology at Indiana State University. He received a bachelor of arts degree in English and psychology from St. John's University in New York.
He retired in 1991 and was awarded the title of chancellor emeritus.
He and his wife, Charla Ranch, have four children.