Steve Smith Named UA's Chief Technology Officer

March 5, 1999» NR 5-1999
An Alaskan with 25 years experience in information technology and telecommunications has been named chief technology officer for the University of Alaska system.

Steve Smith, who has held the position on an interim basis since it was vacated by Dr. Abe Baggen last year, was named this week to the $92,000-a-year position on a permanent basis by Mark R. Hamilton, president of the university.

Smith worked with some of the first experiments with teleconferencing and distance delivery in Alaska with the NASA series of applications technology satellites in the mid-1970s. In 1984, Smith came to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to lead a project to deliver data to rural areas using a conventional television signal. He has worked closely with libraries over the past decade. Smith designed and installed the first CD-ROM network in a library in Alaska at the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library on the Fairbanks campus.

Smith was one of the principal designers of the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) which has public access to online information to every citizen of the state. When SLED was being developed, the overall design principle was set by Smith's admonition that the system had to be engineered "so my mother can use it." He views information technology as a tool which should be "as ubiquitous, as reliable and as invisible as electric lights which we all take for granted."

In Fairbanks, Smith was one of the founding board members of Fairnet, the community network that was one of the first in the state. He has worked on a wide range of projects from the digital archives with Apple Computer to installing automation systems in the Russian Far East. He has held a progressive series of management positions in information technology, most recently as head of the Division of Computing and Communications at UAF.

Smith has taught at both the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Hawaii in a variety of disciplines from Interpersonal Communication to broadcast production to Internet research. He first came to Alaska as a VISTA volunteer in 1973.

He received his master's degree in telecommunications from the University of Hawaii, and his bachelor's degree in film and broadcasting from the University of Iowa. He lives in Fairbanks with his wife and three sons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-7272

John Pugh New Chancellor at UAS

March 5, 1999» NR 6-1999

University of Alaska President Mark R. Hamilton today named John Pugh as chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast. Pugh, who has been UAS dean of faculty, replaces Marshall Lind who earlier this week was appointed chancellor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"The University of Alaska Southeast is an important part of our university system," Hamilton said. "Marshall Lind helped create a strong and innovative institution during his 12 years as chancellor, and I know John Pugh will continue that progress."

"Before discussing John's appointment with the Board of Regents, I talked with members of the UAS faculty and staff," Hamilton said."I was pleased, and not surprised, that there were strong candidates already at UAS. Promoting from within UAS will ensure a smooth transition. John has broad educational experience with the university, he is a former state commissioner, and he is a leader in his community and throughout the state."

Pugh said, "President Hamilton has a great vision for this university. I am very pleased to join his team. Chancellor Lind has been a great leader over the past decade and he will be a great partner for UAS as he moves to the chancellor's position in Fairbanks."

Lind plans to assume his duties in Fairbanks after July 1. "We will have several months to work together to ensure a smooth transition," Pugh said. He plans to appoint a search committee immediately for a new UAS dean of faculty.

Pugh said, "UAS has excellent administrators, faculty and students at the Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan campuses. I'm looking forward to working with all of them to continue to improve and expand the university's programs and services."

"A strong public university system is the key to a growing, changing economy," Pugh said. "We have an obligation to provide higher quality programs that prepare Alaskans for jobs, citizenship and life-long learning."

Pugh has served as dean of faculty at the University of Alaska Southeast for the last three years and was responsible for all instructional programs and faculty at the Juneau campus. Prior to that, he was dean of the School of Education, Liberal Arts, and Science for nine years. Pugh also serves as a Trustee on the Mental Health Trust Authority.

Pugh came to the university after a 15-year career with the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. He served as commissioner of the department from 1983 to 1986. He is a former captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Pugh has a master's degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Baylor University.

For more information: Bob Miller 907-474-7272 John Pugh 907-465-6417