April 11, 2008

UA Board of Regents heads to Ketchikan Campus

For Immediate Release
Friday, April 11, 2008

TheĀ» University of Alaska Board of Regents meets in Ketchikan Thursday and Friday, April 17 & 18, to consider a host of new academic offerings, including an associate degree in playwriting at Prince William Sound Community College, a doctorate degree in natural resources and sustainability at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and several new programs for the University of Alaska Southeast, including a pre-engineering certificate, associate degree in business, and master's of education degrees in educational leadership and mathematics.

The two-day meeting at UAS' Ketchikan Campus begins at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center in Ketchikan. Public testimony is scheduled from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday and again Friday from 8-9 a.m. Board members will receive tours of the Ketchikan Upper Campus and Ketchikan Tech Center, as well as a community reception at the tech center. The meeting is expected to wrap up by 3 p.m. Friday.

The meeting's academic and student affairs agenda is heavy, with seven new programs up for consideration. "This academic lineup is proof we're as strong as ever in responding to Alaska's educational and workforce needs," said UA President Mark Hamilton.

Dan Julius, the university's vice president for academic affairs, noted the proposed new programs have solid campus support and funding in place. "Most of these proposals take university resources that we already have in hand and create a certificate or degree that our students want and need," Julius said.

The academic programs up for consideration include:
Associate of Fine Arts in playwriting (Prince William Sound Community College): This two-year degree would build upon cultural opportunities provided through the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez.

Associate in Science (UAF's Interior-Aleutians campus): This two-year program would provide students credentials for immediate jobs upon completion or a clear pathway toward a baccalaureate degree.

Doctorate in natural resources and sustainability (UAF): This interdisciplinary program would use current faculty and space within the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and the School of Management. Research under this program would enhance natural resource management, particularly in Alaska and the circumpolar North.

Certificate in pre-engineering (UAS): This program prepares undergraduates to transfer into a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage, with which UAS already has a transfer agreement in place. Additional agreements are being developed for other engineering programs at both UAA and UAF.

Associate degree in business (UAS): This two-year program prepares students in business and accounting for junior standing toward a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Master of Education in educational leadership (UAS): This one-year program responds to the needs of school districts across the state to prepare graduates as school principals.

Master of Education in mathematics education (UAS): This program is an advanced degree for certified teachers who want a deeper understanding of mathematical content and teaching strategies designed for K-8 teachers.

Also on the agenda is an informational exchange with facilities consultants RISE Alaska, which the board hired to review UA's construction approval process. All told, the university has over 6 million square feet of facilities, or 400 buildings spread amongst 16 different campuses from Ketchikan to Kotzebue.

"The RISE consultants have offered some good suggestions in a draft report on how we can improve our internal procedures to ensure projects from concept to completion are handled in a strategic and consistent manner," said Joe Trubacz, chief financial officer for the university system. Trubacz noted the final RISE report is expected in May.

The busy agenda also includes:
A total project budget increase for the Integrated Sciences Building at the University of Alaska Anchorage to reflect a recent private donation for equipment of $4 million, bringing the new total to $91 million;

discussion of FY10 operating and capital budget guidelines;

ratification of Hamilton's proposal to make an adjustment to the method and budgeting for UA staff cost-of-living increases;

and resolutions of appreciation for outgoing UAS Provost Robbie Stell and UAF Chancellor Steve Jones.

For a complete look at the agenda, go to

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