President Gamble's 2014 Thanksgiving Message

To all UA employees:

Just take a cursory glance at the national and state news, and one is immediately aware that the deck is being reshuffled in a big way. The re-setting and re-settling process that follows wholesale leadership replacement can fill us with an understandable concern for what’s ahead. Fear of the unsettledness can actually paralyze decision-making. Or, the unknown can be a huge opportunity for one to seize the day and shape the future. I prefer to believe we are positioned well for the latter.

The University of Alaska has top level faculty and staff talent, a very important mission, community and state support, and a solid, stable financial foundation to work from. The decision where we go from here is really ours to make. We can confidently go forward improving our institutional and academic ability to thrive, sharing a growing professional reputation and academic energy with our students. Or we can timidly pause, pine away for status quo stability, hope for “good luck,” and undoubtedly end up reactive when we could have been proactive. I’m thankful this year that despite tougher times, UA can still make the right choice and has the undeniable potential to carry it out in grand style.

I anticipate that highly qualified university personnel and long-time UA supporters from across the state of Alaska could be asked by the governor-elect to step up and into new leadership positions. If so it would further enable our message to be clear and influential … we are poised to help shape a new era of workforce readiness and academic excellence in Alaska. I am very thankful indeed to have a part in capitalizing on that special opportunity, which does not come to a university very often. UA’s future depends on the strength and determination of every member to do their part for the sake of outstanding teaching, research, learning … for our students. We should all feel grateful and privileged this Thanksgiving to answer Alaska’s calling.

May Thanksgiving be a happy time for your families and loved ones.

Patrick Gamble

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