Regents' Recap

June 2013

Staff members honored at Board of Regents meeting

Regent Chair Pat Jacobson stands with mascots from UAF and UAA.

University of Alaska President Pat Gamble presented awards to four outstanding UA employees for exceptional service during the June Board of Regents' meeting in Fairbanks.

The recipients of the annual Staff Make Students Count award for 2013 are:

  • Gabrielle Hazelton, administrative assistant for the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences;
  • Abby Kosmos, program assistant for the University of Alaska Southeast’s Ketchikan Campus Workforce Development;
  • Zlata Lokteva, administrative assistant at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Engineering;
  • and Michael O’Brien, an attorney at the UA System’s general counsel office. 

“The recognition structure is what makes these awards notable. Recipients are not selected by myself or the board, but the staff themselves - the people working right beside them,” Gamble said. “Peers across the system recognize these four individuals for their exceptional work. They lead by example and have demonstrated their commitment toward students and student achievement every day of the year.” 

The award includes a plaque, two Alaska Airlines travel vouchers and $1,000.

Board members approved a number of projects and programs, including selling the Bill Ray Center office building in Juneau, the proceeds of which will help fund the new freshman residence hall on the University of Alaska Southeast’s Auke Bay Campus. That approval was key in allowing the 120-bed project to move forward. 

The board also approved selling the Diplomacy Building about a quarter mile away from the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and using the proceeds toward the purchase of the Bragaw Office Building, on Bragaw Street in Anchorage. Other action involving UA property was approval of a timber development and disposal plan at Edna Bay, in Southeast Alaska. Timber sales and leases are one of the ways that the university creates revenue from its land grant allocations. 

Action on academic programs included approval of a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at UAA and deletion of three programs that are being phased out at UAA after a thorough program review. 

An amendment to the UAF campus master plan that would pave the way for a solar array project on land below the Butrovich Building did not pass. Several board members were absent during the vote, which needed six positive votes (the vote was five in favor, three opposed). The project could come back to the board at a future meeting once questions are answered and clarifications can be made.

In other business, the board heard an update on UA’s ongoing efforts to shape Alaska’s future through the Strategic Direction Initiative, or SDI. The three chancellors presented a number of efforts under the five broad SDI themes that focus on student achievement; partnerships with Alaska’s schools; partnerships with public and private industries; university research and development that build and sustain Alaska’s economic growth; and accountability back to the people of Alaska. 

Terry MacTaggart, a national leader in higher education who's advising the Board of Regents and President Gamble on UA's Strategic Direction Initiative, told board members UA is one of a handful of universities doing strategic planning right. The gap between faculty and administration at UA, huge at many universities, is "miniscule" by comparison, MacTaggart said. 

A lighter moment during the meeting featured Alaska State Sen. Pete Kelly presenting a legislative citation honoring UA budget chief Michelle Rizk’s recent appearance on the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s prestigious “Top 40 Under 40” list. The citation notes Rizk’s skill, patience, forbearance and tenacity, as well as being a true team player and a person who nurtures a positive environment. “The combination of ambition, talent, humor and compassion make Michelle Rizk a true standout,” the citation says.

2013 Staff Make Students Count award recipient - Gabrielle Hazelton

From left are UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers; Gabrielle Hazelton, UAF; and UA President Pat Gamble.

2013 Staff Make Students Count award recipient - Abby Kosmos

From left are UAS Chancellor John Pugh; Abby Kosmos, UAS; and UA President Pat Gamble.

2013 Staff Make Students Count award recipient - Michael O'Brien

Michael O’Brien, UA.

UA's Rizk honored with legislative citation

Michelle Rizk and Alaska State Sen. Pete Kelly pose with a legislative citation honoring Rizk's inclusion in the Alaska Journal of Commerce’s “Top 40 Under 40” list. Rizk is associate vice president for budget and interim chief human resources officer.

2013 Staff Make Students Count award recipient - Zlata Lokteva

Zlata Lokteva, UAA.

Era Alaska takes school spirit to the skies with Seawolf/Nanook aircraft

Click image to view in larger format.
Click image to view in larger format.

During a presentation on June 6, 2013, Era Alaska unveiled a newly painted Bombardier Dash-8. One side of the active-service aircraft is UAA green and gold with the Seawolf mascot; the other side sports UAF blue and gold with the Alaska Nanook mascot. The 34-passenger plane is a new addition to the Era Alaska fleet and will carry passengers to and from Alaska’s cities and rural villages.

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