Bohemian waxwings feed on berries from a tree on the Fairbanks campus on a November afternoon. UAF photo by Todd Paris

System News December 2016

  • Board of Regents votes to locate consolidated University of Alaska College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast
  • UA College Savings Plan Announces $25,000 Scholarship Winner
  • UAA celebrated the achievement of 1,100 graduates Dec. 18
  • University of Alaska will initiate search for permanent UAF Chancellor
  • Web updates to Strategic Pathways and Statewide Transformation

Board of Regents votes to locate consolidated University of Alaska College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved unanimously in an 11-0 vote to establish a single University of Alaska (UA) College of Education and to locate the administrative center for the College at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS).

The board first voted on consolidating the three education schools into one, and then voted on the location recommendation, which was amended by UA President Jim Johnsen to put forward UAS rather than the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) as the administrative home for the college. In doing so, the board directed Johnsen to take the necessary steps to establish a single College of Education for the University of Alaska, including seeking approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and assembling a planning team.  MORE...

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.  MORE...

Web updates to Strategic Pathways and Statewide Transformation

New leadership resources page

Over the past month two important websites have undergone significant reorganization and updating, and a third page has been created to provide additional leadership resources.

The Strategic Pathways website has been reorganized to make information easier to find and to structure updates by phase. The next significant updates will be posted in January when the Phase II options are shared following the initial presentation to the Summit Team. A feedback form on the options will be available at that time. www.alaska.edu/pathways/

UA Statewide leadership provided updates on Statewide Transformation actions and the website has been updated accordingly. As noted last month, some review processes have been incorporated into phases II and III of Strategic Pathways, but many other recommendations have been concluded on their own. Refer to the website for the latest information. www.alaska.edu/swbir/transformation-team/

A new page with leadership resources has been created on the president's website. A follow-up to leadership training last month, the site includes presentations, training materials and recommended reading. www.alaska.edu/pres/leadership/

Governor Walker releases proposed budget with level funding for the university

On Dec. 15 Governor Walker released his proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018. Significantly, and for the first time in three years the University of Alaska's funding has not been reduced from the previous fiscal year. The Governor has maintained level funding for the university at $325 million.

The university recognizes the significant budget challenges facing our state and the challenges of prioritizing program funding across a broad variety of needs, and it is reassuring to know that the Governor's level funding request recognizes the significant strides we are making through your hard work, and through Strategic Pathways, to become more focused and more efficient in how we perform our mission.

The Governor's commitment to education is especially notable in light of his goal to reduce overall state spending as well as to increase revenue. We also are focused on generating additional sources of revenue by continuing to emphasize the importance of research, implementing aggressive enrollment strategies, gradually increasing tuition, monetizing physical assets, partnering with the private sector, and encouraging more philanthropy.

The Regents have identified high priority areas for investment over last year's funding level. During the coming legislative session, we will continue to work with Governor Walker and the legislature to underscore the value of investing in the University of Alaska and advocate for our needs.

UAA celebrated the achievement of 1,100 graduates Dec. 18

The University of Alaska Anchorage celebrated the fall class of 2016 graduates Sunday, Dec. 18, in the Alaska Airlines Center. The ceremony honored the accomplishments of nearly 1,100 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students, more than 400 of whom walked in the ceremony.

The graduating class had 17 students who graduated with more than one degree, and seven graduated from more than one college.

Read more at UAA: HERE

View a slideshow of the festivities HERE.

University of Alaska will initiate search for permanent UAF Chancellor

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 http://uaf.edu/chancellor/search/.

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