System News

University chancellors and other administrators attended a two-day leadership training course by the the Center for Creative Leadership. Photo by Monique Musick

UA Leadership Attend Creative Training Course

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) presented an engaging two-day leadership development seminar at the Butrovich Building in Fairbanks May 23 and 24. The seminar offered executives and administrators throughout the system an opportunity to discuss how leadership responsibilities within the Strategic Direction Initiative (SDI) could be met.

The program focused on three key factors that make up a sound developmental model for leadership: Assessment – Challenge – Support. Attendees gained an understanding of each of the three factors, and learned how to apply it to their work at the university, particularly to the work that lies ahead with SDI. 

According to trainers from CCL, “Leadership development is the expansion of a person’s capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes in order to enable groups of people to work together in productive and meaningful ways.”

Several critical discussions emerged during the conference focused on how university leaders will support and mobilize Strategic Direction efforts. With all 80 statewide listening sessions completed, and notes from the meetings organized into meaningful suggestions and comments for improving the university, the next step is to communicate information about SDI across all campus locations. This training resulted in conversation about the next steps that need to be taken to engage everyone in the SDI effort. 

Board of Regents Plan Busy Agenda for June Meeting

The Board of Regents have a jam-packed agenda for the June 6 - 8 meeting in Anchorage.

On Wednesday, June 6 the board will be meeting with the Alaska State Board of Education. It will be the first time in a decade that the two boards meet together. They will be discussing the direction of education in Alaska. That evening the regents will also be meeting with the Board of Trustees of the UA Foundation.

On June 7, President Gamble will be announcing the winners of the Staff Make Student's Count Awards as a part of his report. This annual award recognizes one outstanding staff member from each MAU who has positively impacted students at the University of Alaska.

The board will be wrapping up a lot of business during their two-day meeting, the last before a summer recess, including acceptance of FY13 Operating and Capital Budgets, approval of guidelines for the FY14 budgets and approval of Bylaw ammendments.

Multiple capital projects will go before the Facilities and Land Management committee including the Mat-Su Valley Center for Arts & Learning, UAA and UAF engineering building projects, upgrades to electrical systems and dining services on the UAF campus, and updates on other major system projects including the UAA sports arena, UAF Life Sciences Building and deferred maintenance spending reports from throughout the system.

The board will have an opportunity to tour the UAA Health Sciences Building, see a presentation on the new Fisheries Seafood Maritime Initiative, and see a presentation from the host campus, UAA.

The full board agenda will be available on the BOR site May 31.

Team Works to Mobilize the Strategic Direction Initiative

The UA Strategic Direction Initiative (SDI) completed content analysis of the listening sessions conducted at UAA, UAF and UAS campuses and the feedback of hundreds of Alaskans who participated in their own virtual listening session online.

The next big step for SDI will take place on July 23. Members of the Statewide Academic Council, Chancellors, Provosts, and the President’s Cabinet will begin identifying the inputs and ideas that came from the listening sessions conducted. Their input will help mobilize the Strategic Direction Initiative.

Regular updates that include comments and feedback gathered from throughout the system will continue throughout the next phase of the project.

The UA Strategic Direction process is a part of “Shaping Alaska’s Future 2017”. Please take a few minutes, log on, look around the site and take part in the dialogue by taking the online survey.

Strategic Direction In Action:
As a result of input from listening sessions conducted on UAF campuses earlier this year, a proposal is under consideration by the Faculty Senate for a new interdisciplinary minor. Many transfer students, especially military students, have substantial credits in fields where UAF does not have a minor. Creation of this minor would allow students to complete BA programs more quickly by recognizing the body of knowledge and skills they have developed elsewhere.

UA’s Fisheries Seafood Maritime Initiative focuses on industry needs

Fisheries, seafood and maritime sectors provide more than 68,000 jobs in Alaska according to a recent study by the McDowell Group. The study was commissioned as part of the University of Alaska's Fisheries Seafood Maritime Initiative (FSMI) to understand and address workforce development needs for these fields, and work to make that training available at campuses throughout the system.

"The university is focused on developing a partnership with industry and employers. Our goal is to coordinate our efforts across the state to provide the education, training and research resources to meet their current and on-going demands to support their priority needs for a qualified workforce and responsibly manage the resource," said Fred Villa, Associate Vice President of Workforce Programs for the University of Alaska. "As a university we will align with the priorities established by the industry and employers in these sectors."

The FSMI initiative focuses on enhancing the economy of communities impacted by maritime, seafood or fishing sectors by developing a workforce to keep those industries vibrant. Outreach to Alaskan youth will introduce them to the wide range of employment opportunities in these industries. Research focused on sustaining coastal and fresh water resources will benefit the communities and industries dependent upon them. MORE...

President Gamble Announces New Chief Financial Officer

University of Alaska President Pat Gamble has announced that Ashok K. Roy was selected to serve as vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer for the UA System following a national search.

Roy has more than 40 years of experience in banking, finance and administration in both the private and public sector, including higher education. Much of that career has been at the senior level of management.

President Gamble says Roy will start at UA on June 1, 2012.

“Dr. Roy’s breadth of experience in the financial sector is deep and wide. His experience includes not only a Ph.D. in business, but he’s also worked in the banking industry, administration, risk services and auditing,” Gamble said. “I believe he will be an important asset to us as we structure UA to meet the financial challenges facing higher education in Alaska.”

Since August 2007, Roy has served as assistant vice president for financial services and chief financial officer at Kennesaw State University, in Kennesaw, Ga., where he also serves as associate professor of Asian studies. Prior to that position he worked as director of finance and administration for Indiana University in Bloomington.

Roy was educated in India and the United States, and holds six university degrees and five professional certifications from the U.S., England and India. Roy earned a doctoral degree at Sardar Patel University in India; a Master of Arts at Utkal University in India; and two undergraduate degrees, also in India. In the United States, he earned a Master of Science and Master of Education from Indiana University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, respectively.

President Gamble Announces Interim Vice President Academic Affairs

Dana Thomas has been appointed by President Gamble to serve as Interim Vice President, Academic Affairs. Thomas has served most recently as UAF’s Vice Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer.

Born and raised in Fairbanks and a UAF Biology Program alum, Dr. Thomas returned home to develop a Statistics Program at UAF in 1981 after completing his graduate work in Oregon.  He served six years as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and continues his teaching and research role part-time.  In 2005, Dr. Thomas received the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award.  While on faculty at UAF, he arranged U.S.A.I.D. contracts to work two years in the Republic of Yemen facilitating a national survey of agriculture and two years in the Sultanate of Oman improving their fisheries statistics operations.  Dr. Thomas is recognized for his interdisciplinary research on the design and analysis of studies assessing resource (food and habitat) selection by animals.

Thomas will coordinate with provosts at the MAUs and with staff in Statewide Academic Affairs to ensure that normal operations continue. He will work with President Gamble in helping to determine whether and how to fill the position and responsibilities held in Academic Affairs.

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