February 08, 2007

Regents Give UAA's Construction Management Program a Boost

For Immediate Release
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007

The University of Alaska Board of Regents unanimously approved a new Bachelor of Science degree in construction management at its two-day meeting in Juneau this week.

The four-year degree, offered through the University of Alaska Anchorage campus, builds upon successful two-year Associate of Applied Science degree programs in construction management offered at UAA's Community and Technical College in Anchorage and UAF's Tanana Valley Campus in Fairbanks. Other two-year programs, such as the Associate of Applied Science degree in construction technology at  the University of Alaska Southeast, would work well for students who subsequently go on to the four-year program.

"This program, in response to industry demand, is exactly the kind of thing we're doing really well here at the University of Alaska," said Mary K. Hughes, chair of the board.  "Our student enrollment in high-demand, workforce training programs has continued to grow each year."

The bachelor's in construction management curriculum was developed in close collaboration with the construction industry, which contributed over $100,000 toward startup costs.

Regents spent one afternoon meeting in small groups with individual lawmakers in the Capitol, discussing the university's FY 08 budget request. The board is seeking $352 million from the state treasury, which includes a $37 million increase in retirement obligations, primarily through the state-run Public Employees' Retirement System and Teachers' Retirement System.  The budget request also includes $6.7 million toward priority programs identified by the state and industry as high-demand programs in areas such as health care, engineering, fisheries and other sectors, as well as $2 million toward student success initiatives.

The request also includes a $6 million investment in university research, which supplies 2,300 jobs in Alaska at an annual $80 million annual payroll, split roughly evenly between university employees and spin-off jobs in the private sector. Every $1 in state funds invested in UA research leverages $6-7 from other sources, such as federal science agencies.

The meeting was the first for new regents Fuller Cowell, Kirk Wickersham and Pat Jacobson, recently appointed by Gov. Sarah Palin.  Palin also reappointed regent Tim Brady, who served the last two years of an unexpired term, to another eight-year term.

"These new regents have already demonstrated a real passion for the university," Hughes said. "We're all looking forward to working with each of them."



For more information, contact Kate Ripley at 907/388-3506.