Public Affairs

System News Releases

December 8, 2016

UA College Savings Plan Announces $25,000 Scholarship Winner

Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Mildon of Anchorage was selected via random drawing as the winner of a $25,000 scholarship from the UA College Savings Plan’s Scholarship College Savings Account Giveaway. Mildon, a first year student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is the first recipient in the giveaway’s history to also be a UA student.

“I was astonished,” said Mildon. “My parents have been saving my PFDs for college for several years now. I never would have guessed that I would take home the $25,000.” Mildon credits both his parents and his stepfather for their support and guidance in planning for college.

UA College Savings Plan organizers took the opportunity to use a unique approach to present Mildon with his award. Mildon was invited to participate in a focus group at a campus coffee shop, and after a few questions about his college planning and how he might react if he won the drawing, he was greeted by two mascots and presented with the $25,000 check.

“We are excited the funds will benefit one of our students, and the fact that he resides on the Fairbanks campus gave us the opportunity to share the good news in a creative way,” said Lael Oldmixon, the plan’s director. The presentation aired via Facebook Live.

The UA College Savings Plan has offered the scholarship for the last seven years. All Permanent Fund Dividend applicants who choose to contribute half their dividend to a UA College Savings Plan are entered in the giveaway. The scholarship is funded by the Education Trust of Alaska, which was established in 2001 to administer the UA College Savings Plan. The promotion aims to give Alaska families an extra incentive to save their Permanent Fund Dividends for higher education expenses.  This year, 13,500 applicants entered the drawing. The UA College Savings Plan will offer the $25,000 scholarship account giveaway again next year.

Individuals enrolled in the UA College Savings Plan may use their savings account to pay for education expenses at any eligible college, university, or vocational/technical school in Alaska or the Lower 48. Families can open one of the tax-advantaged accounts with their PFD contribution, or with as little as $25 a month.


For more information contact Lael Oldmixon at 907-450-8115. Photos of the official announcement event are available here. More information on the UA College Savings Plan can be found at


December 7, 2016

University of Alaska will initiate search for permanent UAF Chancellor

FAIRBANKS – University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced today that the university will launch a search early next year seeking a permanent chancellor for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

While the search will be national in scope, Johnsen said the preferred candidate will have Alaska-related experience. “The search committee will be looking for a leader who is dynamic and innovative, with a diverse background, a deep knowledge of Alaska and the skills and experience necessary to lead our Arctic university,” Johnsen said. “UAF deserves no less.”

A search committee is currently being formed and the chancellor position will be posted on the university’s job site and advertised in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau as well as in the Chronicle of Higher Education in early January.

Johnsen plans to name the new chancellor before July 1, 2017. Current interim Chancellor Dana Thomas has agreed to stay until a permanent chancellor is in place. "Chancellor Thomas is doing a great job in the interim role and we appreciate his ongoing commitment to to UAF.” Johnsen said.

Thomas succeeded Mike Powers, who stepped down from his interim chancellor position on Aug. 14, 2016.

Updates and information about the chancellor search including search committee members will be posted at

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For more information contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-786-1190 or 907-360-2416 (cell).


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