April 09, 2009

UA Regents approve indigenous studies Ph.D., improvement projects

For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 9, 2009

VALDEZ---The University of Alaska Board of Regents wrapped up a two-day meeting at Prince William Sound Community College Thursday after approving a new Ph.D. program in indigenous studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, among other action items.

The indigenous studies Ph.D. was developed in collaboration with several Alaska Native groups. One of its goals is to help address a shortage of Alaska Natives with advanced degrees; another is to advance knowledge and scholarship on subjects important to Alaska Native people and communities.

The board also approved graduate certificates at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in counselor education; environmental regulation and permitting; and earthquake engineering. They also approved a certificate in allied health-pre-nursing at UAF.

Several projects in different stages of planning and construction were approved, including schematic design approval for pilings replacement and upgrades at the Northwest Campus in Nome; formal project approval of the proposed energy technology building on the UAF campus; and formal project approval of renovations of science classrooms at UAA. These approvals allow the campuses to move forward. Funding, however, is still required for the energy building and UAA classroom renovation work.

Regents passed a resolution of appreciation for student regent William Andrews, whose two-year term expires in May. Andrews plans to graduate with a master's degree in public administration from UAA in May 2010. He received his undergraduate degree at UAS in Juneau.

"A lot of universities don't have student regents," Andrews noted in closing comments to the board. "At this university, we believe in our product." He thanked fellow board members and staff for their support.

Board members ate lunch with the college's local advisory council and attended a reception at the new Whitney Museum on the college campus. Regents also toured the new hospital in the community. The college and hospital are close partners in health care training, including the certified nursing assistant and nursing programs.

Each April, the board meets at a rural or community campus within the 16-campus system. UA President Mark Hamilton reiterated his support for community campuses, which receive 13 percent of the system's state appropriations, deliver 26 percent of the student credit hours and serve 44 percent of UA students.


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