December 05, 2007

Certificate emphasizing volunteerism before UA Regents

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006

A new certificate that embeds volunteerism and community improvement within existing degree programs is up for action before the University of Alaska Board of Regents this week.

The board meets tomorrow through Friday, Dec. 6-8, 2006, in Room 109 of the Butrovich Building on the Fairbanks campus.  Public testimony will be taken at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The certificate for civic engagement at the University of Alaska Anchorage would allow students to apply their ideas or research to a community project, such as cleaning up a polluted creek or helping out a poor neighborhood. The certificate would be an endorsement on top of a baccalaureate degree in any field or major, from English to engineering.

"Because UAA is an engaged university, many of our students already take on projects that embrace volunteerism and improving society," said UAA Provost Mike Driscoll. "The certificate in civic engagement more strongly connects their work to our academic programs."

Also up before the board is a graduate certificate and Master of Education in special education at the University of Alaska Southeast.  Those programs would provide a graduate level of special education training currently not available in the state's Panhandle.

Other agenda items slated for action include:

  • A $3 million total project cost increase for the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Lena Point Facility in Juneau, to $24.5 million. The extra money will be funded by a future university general revenue bond;
  • Code corrections to the Fine Arts Building on the UAF campus, estimated at $8.2 million;
  • Schematic design approval for $5.7 million in lab upgrades at UAF's Arctic Health Building;
  • Design approval of the state Department of Health and Social Service's new virology lab, on the UAF campus.  A land lease agreement between the university and the state requires board approval.  The new state-owned building will provide opportunities for collaboration between the state and UAF researchers in the areas of animal and human health;
  • Increase in total project cost by $565,000, to $1.92 million, for design and construction of the Gitkov Building remodel project at UAS, for the campus bookstore and administrative services;
  • A contract extension for UA President Mark Hamilton;
  • Appointment of Joe Trubacz (pronounced TRUE-bawch) as UA comptroller;
  • and a six-year capital improvement plan for the university system.

Members of the board also will hear numerous reports and updates on various university initiatives, including workforce development, the K-12 teacher mentoring project with Alaska school districts, efforts to increase the university's network capacity, and the International Polar Year, set to begin this March.

In addition, regents will review financial statements and hear an update on several audits in the works.  They'll also attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Biological Research and Diagnostic facility Wednesday afternoon on UAF's West Ridge. The building, known as BiRD, is a $23 million, 42,000-square-foot animal care facility set to open in January. It will provide additional space for UAF's biomedical and behavioral science research.

This meeting is expected to be the last regular meeting for four regents whose terms will expire in February-- Brian Rogers of Fairbanks, Fran Rose of Anchorage, Joe Usibelli Jr. of Healy and Tim Brady of Anchorage.  Rogers, Rose and Usibelli will have each served full eight-year terms. Brady is filling out the term of a seat left vacant when two other regents resigned. The four regents will be honored at a dinner at the Wood Center ballroom for invited guests Wednesday night.


For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907/450-8102.

To view the board agenda, go to