November 28, 2001

University Regents Expected to Approve Establishment of Rasmuson Chair of Economics at UAA

November 28, 2001  NR 20-01

Regents of the University of Alaska will meet in Anchorage Thursday and Friday, December 6-7, 2001, on the UAA campus, where they are expected to approve the establishment of the university’s first fully funded endowed chair, the Rasmuson Chair of Economics at UAA.

The proposed chair will be named for Elmer Rasmuson, an Alaska banker and philanthropist who died last year leaving the university a $5 million bequest to establish the chair, making it the university’s first fully endowed chair funded entirely by a private contribution. Purpose of the chair is to bring to UAA distinction and leadership in the study of economics and its relevance to Alaska’s future. The goals of the chair are to advance teaching of economics in Alaska, to advance economic research on topics of importance to Alaska, and to advance public policy in Alaska through service to the state.

Applicants for the chair shall be solicited by an international search, and a search committee selected by the UAA chancellor will review the applications. The person holding the chair is to have achieved distinction in the field of economics. The chair is also to have the talent and desire to inspire learning in economics, both in formal teaching and in outreach activities in both rural and urban Alaska. The term of the endowed chair will be for not less than one nor more than five years.

The Academic & Student Affairs Committee has approved establishment of the chair, and the recommendation will be taken up by the board on Friday. On Thursday the full board will meet from 8-10 a. m. to hear reports from University President Mark Hamilton and others. Public testimony is scheduled from 10 a. m. until 12 noon. From noon until 2 p. m., the board will receive a briefing on UAF’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Board committees will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday before the full board reconvenes on Friday from 2-5 p. m. An executive session is planned for the latter part of the meeting, and is expected to last an hour and a half.

Other agenda items for the meeting are listed here by committee of origin.

Academic & Student Affairs

  • Consider approval of the establishment of the Center for Nanosensor Technology at UAF.
  • Consider approval of four academic programs: Certificate and Associate of Applied Science in Heavy Duty Transportation at UAA; Associate of Applied Science in Logistics Operations at UAA; Master of Science in Computational Physics at UAF; and a Ph.D. in Engineering at UAF.
  • Receive from representatives of the three major regional campuses a report on the current status of the university’s study of the effectiveness of its educational programs.
  • Receive from Mike Sfraga, director of Program Development, a progress report on UA distance education, including the newly established UA Distributed Education online gateway.
  • Receive an update regarding institutional and programmatic accreditation activities at the various campuses.
  • Hold a discussion with university provosts on program approval processes at the campuses.
  • Receive a report from Scott Taylor, director of the UA Foundation, on the Regents’ Scholarships which were awarded this year for the first time. The first three recipients of the $5,000 scholarships are:
  • Rebekah Miller from Haines, a senior at UAA majoring in biological sciences.
  • Timothy James from Anchorage, a senior at UAA majoring in civil engineering and mathematics.
  • Kristine Jenkins from North Pole, a senior at UAF majoring in social work.

Finance, Facilities & Land Management

  • Consider approval of the project and schematic design for the UAA Building K Renovation Phase II and III.
  • Consider approval of the project and schematic design for the UAS/Alaska Army National Guard Joint-Use Recreation Facility.
  • Consider approval of the expenditure of funds to accelerate planning of the UAF Biological and Computational Science Facility and related West Ridge infrastructure.
  • Consider approval to offer for sale over the counter the Jack Bay property near Valdez. This 942-acre parcel of undeveloped land includes four miles of pristine coastline on the south shore of Jack Bay in Prince William Sound. The property, to be offered at $1,250,000, is located adjacent to the Chugach National Forest 12 miles southwest of Valdez.
  • Consider authorizing the president to approve some capital projects that may need decisions prior to the next board meeting in March. The president would report on all such approvals at the March meeting.
  • Consider ratification of an amended Declaration of Trust and revision of Regents’ Policy regarding the College Savings Program.
  • Along with the Academic & Student Affairs Committee, consider approval of the establishment of the Center for Nanosensor Technology at UAF. Regents’ Policy requires that the establishment of centers be approved by both committees prior to board approval.
  • Review the Statewide Office of Land Management’s annual report.
  • Receive a status report on university investments in capital facilities, construction in progress and other projects.
  • Consider approval of project and schematic design for the UAF Yukon Flats Training Center expansion.
  • Consider approval of the UAF Bristol Bay campus addition project.
  • Consider approval of the schematic design for the UAF Wood Center Renewal Project Phase I.
  • Consider approval of the schematic design for the UAF Fine Arts Renewal Project Phase I.
  • Consider approval of the schematic design for the UAF/Fairbanks North Star Borough Hutchison Career Center Renovation and Addition Project.


  • Review recently completed audits, and receive the audit status report, and reports on Title IX compliance and performance audits.
  • Receive, along with the Finance, Facilities & Land Management Committee, the university’s FY01 audited financial statements.

Planning & Development

  • Consider approval of revisions to Regents’ Bylaws.
  • Hold a discussion regarding planning and the board’s 2002 retreat.

Human Resources

  • Receive reports on the university’s latest employee opinion survey, the professional development program, the job classification project and UA compensation.

On Thursday morning, the full board will receive presentations on the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), health program development, enrollment management and UA Alumni Associations.

All meeting sessions will be held at the University Commons on the UAA campus. All meetings of the Board of Regents and its committees, except for executive sessions, are open to the public.  During the two-day meeting, messages for participants can be left at the UAA University Commons, phone 907-751-7200, or FAX 907-751-7281. All messages should indicate that they are for participants in the Board of Regents’ meeting.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-6311.