2011 Archive

41 Years of Dedicated Service: Wendy Redman

Wendy Redman

On July 31, 2011, Wendy Redman retired from the University of Alaska after 41 years of service. Wendy’s impact on the university has been tremendous. She has long served as advocate for the students and programs of the University of Alaska.

Join us in honoring Wendy today



University secures match for $15 million grant for teacher mentoring

December 16, 2011

The University of Alaska has successfully secured $1.5 million in private matching money required to receive a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand early career teacher mentoring.

The Alaska Statewide Mentor Project, a partnership between the University of Alaska and the State Department of Education and Early Development, estimates an additional 850 early career teachers and 46,000 students over the course of the grant will benefit from the program.

Carla Beam, vice president for university relations and president of the non-profit UA Foundation,  announced today that private matching funds, a mixture of cash and in-kind donations, have been secured to meet the grant requirements. Donors include First National Bank of Alaska, The Chariot
Group, Alaska Communications (ACS) and the Usibelli Foundation, as well as personal support in much smaller amounts from Foundation trustees, University of Alaska staff and others who support the teacher mentor program.

"The timeframe to meet the challenge was incredibly short, but the opportunity so compelling donors really stepped up to the plate to help us. We raised $550,000 in new donations and were able to complete the match with BP and Conoco Phillips funds that remained from previously
contributed unrestricted gifts to the university," Beam said. "Contributions ranged in size from $190.73 to $300,000.  Members of the Downtown Rotary in Anchorage even conducted a last-minute outreach effort to garner support.  It was quite humbling."

The five-year grant will assist first- and second-year teachers in the Anchorage, Fairbanks, Mat-Su and Kenai school districts. The Statewide Mentor Project already helps 320 teachers in 48, mostly rural, school districts each year. The grant expands that program to the four new urban regions beginning in January 2012 with mentors in place for the start of the school year in August 2012.

The mentor project¹s goals are to reduce teacher turnover and improve student achievement. Part of the federal grant will allow for additional research on the effectiveness of the program in both rural and urban Alaska. The U.S. Department of Education received nearly 600 applications for the grant, known as "i3," for Investing in Innovation. The Alaska Statewide Mentor Project¹s grant application was one of just 23 selected for funding nationwide.


New Trustees Elected

December 2011
The UA Foundation Board of Trustees conducted their Annual Meeting on Thursday November 17, 2011.  Anchorage Business woman Jo Michalski was elected to serve as Chair of the Board along with Eric Wohlforth, Attorney & Senior Partner of Wohlforth, Brecht, Carltledge & Brooking as Vice Chair and Susan Anderson, President/CEO of The CIRI Foundation as Secretary.  Each officer will serve in their respective positions until Nov 2012. 
New Trustees were also elected including Scott Jepsen, VP External Affairs, ConocoPhillips (2011-2014); Jim Johnsen, Senior VP of Administration, Doyon Limited (2011-2014); Frank Paskvan, Viscous Oil Renewal Team Leader, BP (2011-2014); Marilyn Romano, Regional VP-Alaska, Alaska Air (2011-2014); and Anand Vadapalli, President/CEO Alaska Communications (2011-2013).  Carolyne Wallace was re-elected for a third term (2011-2014). Ms. Wallace was first elected to the board in 2003.    

The UA Foundation Board of Trustees is a 27 member board consisting of elected and emeritus members of the community from across Alaska, appointed Trustees including the President of the University of Alaska, Patrick Gamble and Chancellors Tom Case (UAA), Brian Rogers (UAF) and John Pugh (UAS) as well as two Regent appointees Mary K. Hughes and Kirk Wickersham.  The UA Foundation Board of Trustees meets three times per year. 

To see bios for all of the Trustees, click here.


UAA Alumni Association Announces 2011 Alumni of Distinction Award Recipients

The UAA Alumni Association will honor alumnus Eric Wohlforth at its upcoming Green and Gold Gala in Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, at the Hotel Captain Cook. Wohlforth will receive:

UAA Alumni of Achievement Award: Eric Wohlforth, LL.D. '09, M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies '11, Senior Partner & Attorney, Wohlforth, Brecht, Cartledge & Brooking

This award is given to alumni who have attained prominence in his or her industry or profession, and who have demonstrated a positive impact on their community and enhanced the reputation and image of UAA.

Seventy-nine-year-old Eric Wohlforth is the epitome of a lifelong learner. He adds his degree from UAA to a resume that includes Princeton University, University of Virginia School of Law, Loyola University and the Fielding Graduate Institute. Rooted in community service, Eric serves on the Chancellor's Board of Advisors and the UA Foundation Board of Trustees, is a leadership-level donor to the University, and is currently the chair of the UA Foundation Investment Committee.



Longtime UA Vice President Retires

Wendy Redman
Wendy Redman

UA Foundation President to take position at Boise State; replacement and restructuring announced

July 22, 2011

The University of Alaska System’s vice president for university relations is retiring after four decades of service. Her replacement is a longtime public relations professional who will serve as president of the non-profit University of Alaska Foundation in addition to assuming university relations duties.

University Relations Vice President Wendy Redman started at the university over 40 years ago as an administrative assistant in the Biology Department at the Fairbanks campus. She worked her way up through the organization and was named vice president in 1988.

“Being part of the university community has been a privilege. The work of the university is so important to Alaska and to the lives of our graduates,” Redman said. “I feel very grateful to have been a part of this wonderful institution as it has matured and developed over the past four decades.”

UA President Pat Gamble was highly complimentary of Redman’s service. He singled out her exceptional leadership and her premier role in coordinating career and technical education between the university and state, as well as building private philanthropic support for the UA System.

“Students, faculty, staff and the State of Alaska have all benefited greatly from Wendy’s leadership, her intelligence, her common sense and her direct style,” he said. “I speak for the many hundreds who enjoyed working with her in wishing her a happy retirement.”

Carla Beam
Carla Beam

Carla Beam will serve as Redman’s successor effective Aug. 1, Gamble announced.  In addition to that, Beam also will serve as president of the UA Foundation, a position previously held by Associate Vice President Mary Rutherford, who is leaving to take a position at Boise State University. The restructuring elevates the foundation’s chief executive officer to a higher level within the university framework—a formal recognition of the important role philanthropic support plays
within the University of Alaska.

The UA Foundation is governed by its own Board of Trustees and is entrusted with the management of all private donations to all UA campuses, with $320 million of assets under management.  Beam’s duties for the foundation will be to serve as day-to-day manager of the organization. As vice president for university relations at the system office, she’ll oversee public affairs, government relations and the
overall advancement of the university.

Beam, 57, has an extensive resume in corporate, non-profit and community based public relations. She worked in public relations for Wien Air Alaska from 1980-1985 and in community and external affairs for BP (Exploration) Alaska Inc. from 1997-2009. She also ran her own public relations firm in Alaska from 1985-1997, representing business, government and nonprofit sectors.

Beam also has served on numerous boards and committees, including the United Way and Alaska Community Foundation. She was the 2011 recipient of the University of Alaska Anchorage Meritorious Service Award, and has received numerous YMCA and YWCA awards over the years, including the YWCA’s Outstanding Woman in Philanthropy Award in 2005. In 2009, she received the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Gold Pan Award for Community Service.

Leaders of both the university system administration and the UA Foundation strongly supported the choice of Beam.

“Carla is highly qualified to step into this new combined position,” Gamble said.  “She knows Alaska very well, and she knows the University of Alaska.”

Eric Wohlforth, vice chair of the foundation’s Board of Trustees, agrees. “The foundation board has a great deal of confidence in Carla, and we’re pleased about the opportunities the combined position
presents.  It clearly acknowledges what was already a strong relationship between the UA administration and the foundation, and I believe that relationship will become even stronger because of this decision.”

Beam, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, Ore., also served on the foundation’s Board of Trustees for seven years. She said she’s honored to accept the appointment.

“I look forward to working with President Gamble, the Board of Regents, the chancellors, staff members at all our campuses, UA Foundation leaders, donors, elected officials, alumni and numerous businesses and organizations throughout Alaska,” Beam said. “As an
Alaska resident for more than 35 years, I believe strongly in the university’s mission of education, public service, workforce training and research.”

Beam, an avid outdoors enthusiast, enjoys whitewater rafting and running.



Mary Rutherford to leave UA for development position at Boise State

Mary Rutherford
Mary Rutherford
July 2011

Mary Rutherford, president of the University of Alaska Foundation and UA’s chief development officer for the last nine years, announced her resignation effective July 31 to accept a development position at Boise State University.

Printed below is Rutherford’s announcement, sent to all Statewide staff May 27:

Dear UA Friends and Colleagues,

I want to share with you that I’ve recently decided to resign from the position of president of the University of Alaska Foundation and chief development officer for the University of Alaska, effective July 31, 2011.  I have decided to return to Idaho, where my family homesteaded, where I was born, and where my personal roots are deep.

It’s been my honor to serve the University and the Foundation for the past nine years. I’ve enjoyed working with so many of you here at Statewide, as well as colleagues at each of our campuses.

I’m proud of the progress we’ve made toward building an awareness of philanthropy across the University of Alaska.  Accomplishments I’m especially proud of include transforming the Foundation beyond serving as a bank while adopting best practices for the Foundation and university development. Centralizing advancement services into the Foundation was a huge leap, as was initiating our now very successful annual staff giving campaign!

It’s been my honor and privilege to serve the University of Alaska; I wish you all the best.


Mary K. Rutherford



Carter-Chapman and Stell Selected 2011 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence Winners

Two long-time academic leaders in Anchorage and Juneau are the winners of the University of Alaska Foundation’s most prestigious award – the Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence. Renee Carter-Chapman, UAA senior vice provost for the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Roberta Stell, former provost for the University of Alaska Southeast, will each receive $20,000 for their significant contribution to the UA System. 

“Each year, a candidate for the Edith R. Bullock Prize stands heads above the rest of the candidates. This year we had two who stood out from the pack. It was too hard to choose one over the other, since both are so deserving,” said Foundation Chair Carla Beam. “Renee and Robbie are champions for students and the state.”

Carter-Chapman has been a leader at the University of Alaska Anchorage for nearly three decades. Known as the “stealth dean,” she was an early champion and guiding force behind many of UAA’s most innovative and successful programs, including the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence; the Center for Community Engagement and Learning; the University Honors College; and the UAA Sustainability Council.

Carter-Chapman received her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and sociology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology and a Ph.D from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Carter-Chapman started her academic career at the Anchorage Community College, and was instrumental during the formation of today’s UAA. UAA Chancellor Emeritus Lee Gorsuch credits Carter-Chapman with helping to hold UAA together during the tumultuous years of the merger with ACC.

“While UAA struggled to maintain its commitment to the community college mission, Renee emerged as the administrator within UAA who understood that mission and was most committed to it. She successfully guided UAA in the creation and development of the Community and Technical College,” Gorsuch said.

Stell recently retired after over 40 years of dedicated service to the University of Alaska Southeast. Stell was an advocate for building the academic and technical infrastructure needed to give all Alaskans access to higher education. The introduction of distance education has enabled rural students to complete entire degree programs without having to leave their towns or villages. Many credit Stell’s continuous, quiet voice with helping to push the university forward in what is now called e-Learning.

“UAS’ leadership in distance education at UA is in large part due to her leadership and promotion, keeping us on the cutting edge of technology and pedagogy. The Master of Public Administration went distance 20 years ago when Dr. Stell assumed her provost position and has flourished under her guidance,” said Jonathan Anderson, associate professor of public administration at UAS.

Stell received a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and secretarial studies from Western State College in Gunnison, Colo.; a Master of Education in public school administration from the University of Alaska; and a doctorate degree in education from the University of San Francisco. Her career in Alaska started when she was hired as one of four business teachers at Juneau-Douglas High School. Stell then moved on to lead the Business Department for the old Juneau-Douglas Community College. When Juneau-Douglas Community College merged with the University of Alaska System and became UAS, Stell started her career at the University of Alaska as dean of the School of Business. She has held several positions within UAS since.

The Bullock Prize for Excellence includes a $20,000 cash award and is the largest single award made annually by the UA Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The University of Alaska Foundation raises, invests and manages privately donated funds for the sole benefit of the University of Alaska. The award was established by the late Edith R. Bullock, who served the university for 30 years as a member of the UA Board of Regents and the foundation’s Board of Trustees. Bullock established the award to recognize and reward an individual who has demonstrated excellence in support of the University of Alaska.


2009 Annual Report Wins Award

January 2011

The Foundation’s 2009 UA Foundation Annual Report won first-place at the Alaska Chapter of the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) annual Aurora Awards banquet in Anchorage last week. The report was produced by the university’s Public Affairs office. Several other university entries at UAF and UAF-CTC won in various categories, both first, second and third-place awards.



New Alaska Law Improves Endowment Management

January 2011
Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act

The Alaska State Legislature enacted the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) in 2010. This new law will positively affect how the University of Alaska Foundation administers endowments. Alaska joined 46 other UPMIFA states when the Legislature adopted this act.

UPMIFA provides the foundation, and other Alaska charities, with guidance on how to administer endowments and charitable funds. First and foremost, donor intent, as outlined by donors in endowment and fund agreements, will always take precedence on how endowed funds are administered.

Maintaining an endowment in perpetuity is a core principle of endowment management. This fiduciary duty is one the Board of Trustees takes seriously. UPMIFA provides the board the flexibility to make distributions that are prudent in light of the fund’s purposes, maintain the fund’s viability in perpetuity and provide for inflation on future distributions. UPMIFA also provides the board with clarity on how prudence shall be determined.

The foundation will adjust how it administers endowments to balance current and future beneficiaries’ interests. The new process, effective July 1, 2011, seeks to maintain the long-term purchasing power of endowments, stabilize distributions and provide for inflation-proofing. The new administrative process will allow distributions from many endowments, which, prior to UPMIFA, would not have received a spending distribution.

To better assess the financial health of the endowments, a viability ratio (accumulated earnings ÷ total value of the endowment) will be calculated for each endowment. A high viability ratio indicates good financial health; a negative ratio indicates the endowment is under water. In those cases, the respective program managers will seek other revenue sources, including new donations, to sustain the program or purpose of the endowment during periods of financial stress. Donors can always make contributions to the endowment’s “spendable” portion, which will ensure available funds to support the purposes of the endowment.

The UPMIFA Difference
After UPMIFA - Effective July 1, 2011
The terms of the donor agreement take precedence. The terms of the donor agreement take precedence.
First year endowment is established: 4% payout based on 12/31 fund balance, if sufficient Accumulated Earnings (A/E). First year endowment is established: 3% payout based on 12/31 fund balance
The payout will be the lesser of 4% of the average of the December 31st value of the endowment for the preceding five years or the A/E balance as of the preceding December 31st after deducting the 1% annual endowment fee. If Accumulated Earnings (A/E) are positive, the payout will be 4% of the average of the December 31st value of the endowment for the preceding five years. For a new endowment, the first year payout is limited to 3%.
If A/E are negative, there will be no distribution made to the spendable account. If A/E are negative, a 3% distribution will be made to the spendable account from A/E earnings unless the viability ratio is lower than -20%. This distribution is considered an advance on future earnings; the permanently restricted portion (original gift value) is never affected. No distributions are made if the viability ratio is lower than -20%.
There is no minimum calculated spending amount required for distributions from the A/E to the spendable. A minimum calculated payout of $250 is required to distribute from A/E to the spendable.

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Congratulations Betsy Lawer

January 2011

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco announced the election of Foundation Trustee Betsy Lawer, vice chair, First National Bank Alaska to its board of directors. Lawer will serve a three-year term beginning January 1, 2011. Each of the nation’s 12 Federal Reserve Banks has a nine-member board of directors, three of whom are appointed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as class C directors. The remaining six (three class A and three class B directors) are elected by the District’s member banks. Class A directors are drawn from the banking community. Class B and C directors are individuals chosen from professions outside the banking community and typically represent business, industry, agriculture, labor and consumers. The board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco contributes to the formulation of U.S. monetary policy through the industry and regional economic information they provide the bank’s president.

Read more about Ms. Lawer

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