Anchorage Mayor Rick Mystrom presented the Board of Regents with $250,000 at the June board meeting in Fairbanks. Mystrom told the regents it was the first of three installments that will total $750,000 to aid UAA in launching a new four-year baccalaureate degree in logistics.
The funds represent a public-private partnership designed to support the new academic program for the next three years. Private donors Federal Express, TOTE, SeaLand and Lynden along with the Municipality of Anchorage are providing the initial funding. UAA will begin the new academic program this September.
"We are confident that this new program will attract many students to the University of Alaska, and will strengthen our position as a new logistics center," Mayor Mystrom said. "The field of logistics has emerged as one of the highest-paying careers for college graduates, second only to engineering."
UAA Chancellor E. Lee Gorsuch said the donation is the result of efforts by Mayor Mystrom, the Municipality of Anchorage, and UAA to work together to strengthen job-based education in the community. The new logistics program is designed to focus on the future and the unique qualities that Alaska has to offer.
Anchorage Regent Michael J. Burns was re-elected to a second term as presiding officer of the Board of Regents. Just before the election, regents changed the titles of their presiding officers to chair and vice chair to avoid confusion with the title of university President Mark R. Hamilton. Juneau Regent Elsa Froehlich Demeksa was re-elected to a second term as vice chair; Fairbanks Regent Mary Jane Fate was elected secretary, and Anchorage Regent Chancy Croft was re-elected as treasurer.
Regents approved two new master's degree programs, one in fine arts at UAF, and one in anthropology at UAA.
The board authorized the university administration to proceed with the acquisition of a former Coast Guard facility for student housing on the UAS campus in Ketchikan. The plan is to acquire a 3,548 square foot four-bedroom house that was built in 1950 and remodeled in 1981 for Coast Guard use. The house is currently available to the university under the U. S. Department of Education's public benefit allowance program for surplus federal property. At present, the campus has only one two-bedroom condominium available to its students. UAS officials said the lack of affordable housing is impairing the campus' ability to provide for the vocational training needs of Ketchikan and surrounding communities.
When East Tanana Drive reopens as an entrance to the UAF campus, the street will be known by its new name, Alumni Drive. East Tanana was the traditional entrance to the UAF campus from College Road and University Avenue. The entrance has been closed for a number of years to control traffic flow through campus. The Department of Transportation is currently working on a project to remodel and reopen the College Road/University Avenue intersection and entrance to the campus. The UAF Alumni Association requested that the name of the drive be changed to recognize the alumni's many contributions to UAF.
The Finance, Facilities and Land Management Committee authorized the administration to proceed with the development and sale of the Eagle Bluff Subdivision located near Haines, at a cost not to exceed $160,000. The full board approved the development and sale of the subdivision in February as part of the annual land management development plan disseminated to the public.
Four University of Alaska staff employees won the first of the university's "Make Students Count" awards for their outstanding service to students. University President Mark Hamilton started the awards to recognize staff who have provided outstanding service to students from anywhere in the UA system.
The first four winners were Colleen Abrams, manager of student information systems in the statewide system office in Fairbanks; Susan Barlow, administrative assistant in distance education at the UAS campus in Sitka; Sue McHenry, a counselor in Rural Student Services at UAF; and Michael Smith, student information office coordinator for the College of Business and Public Policy at UAA.
Regents came to Fairbanks a day early to tour UAF's Coal-Water Project facility, view Bentley Trust land and tour the Poker Flat Research Range. On Thursday morning they received a briefing on UAF programs and a tour of the campus. That evening they attended a community reception honoring retiring UAF Chancellor Joan K. Wadlow.