February 02, 2007

Regents to Consider Expanding Construction Management Program

For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 2, 2007

The University of Alaska Board of Regents gathers in Juneau next week to vote on» a proposed expansion of a popular program in construction management at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in the Egan Room of Centennial Hall, in downtown Juneau.» On Thursday, Feb. 8, the meeting will move to the University of Alaska Southeast campus on Auke Lake. Public testimony will be taken at 8 a.m. Thursday.

The proposed Bachelor of Science degree in construction management, a four-year program, builds upon the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in construction management already in place.» The curriculum was developed in close collaboration with the construction industry, which contributed over $100,000 toward startup costs.

“Working closely with the construction industry in the development of this program initially, and now on this extension to a four-year program, has been key to its success,” said Craig Dorman, UA’s statewide vice president for academic affairs and research. “It’s a great example of the effort we’re putting into meeting the high-demand workforce needs of the state.”

Graduates of the program will have a clear pathway to professional level positions in construction management. The construction industry in Alaska faces growing shortages not only in skilled crafts workers, but also management personnel. The state Department of Labor predicts the number of construction management positions in Alaska will grow 14 percent by 2012. About 15 percent of construction manager positions in the state are held by non-residents, and the workforce is aging.

The university expects enrollment in the program starting at 32 declared majors in the first academic year, growing to 128 majors in four years. The number of graduates is expected to build to approximately 16 to 24 per year after four years.

Regents also will receive several updates on various issues, including a student success initiative embraced by the UA Faculty Alliance, made up of faculty members from across the system.

Approval of the schematic design for the second phase of code corrections at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Fine Arts Building is also on the docket. Regents already approved the concept of the $8.2 million project, but now must approve the design documents so the campus can put the project out to bid.

This annual meeting in Juneau provides regents with an important opportunity to meet with individual legislators in the state’s Capitol. Those meetings will take place Wednesday afternoon.» The regents’ meetings with lawmakers follow on the heels of the University of Alaska’s Coalition of Student Leaders’ annual Juneau fly-in. The students meet with lawmakers in an effort to show support for the university system’s budget request, financial aid and other important issues.

The Juneau meeting will be the first for three new regents recently appointed by Gov. Sarah Palin—Kirk Wickersham of Anchorage, Patricia Jacobson of Kodiak and Fuller Cowell of Anchorage.» Palin also reappointed Tim Brady of Anchorage, who served two years of an unexpired eight-year term left vacant when a former regent resigned.»

For a look at the complete agenda, go to www.alaska.edu/bor.


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