February 2010

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I visited Juneau this month along with University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers and University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh. We spoke about UA priorities with members of the House Finance Committee, the Senate Education Committee and with members of the new University of Alaska Booster Caucus.

UA Booster Caucus

The co-chairs of the new University Booster Caucus are Senator Johnny Ellis, Senator Joe Thomas and Representative Nancy Dahlstrom and Representative Anna Fairclough. Members of the Caucus are Senators Bettye Davis, Dennis Egan, Hollis French, Linda Menard, Joe Paskvan, Gary Stevens and Bill Wielechowski and Representatives Les Gara, Berta Gardner, David Guttenberg, Lindsey Holmes, Scott Kawasaki, Mike Kelly, Beth Kerttula, Cathy Munoz, Pete Petersen, Jay Ramras and Chris Tuck. Please thank legislators for their interest and support!

Chancellor Fran Ulmer and Senator Linda Menard

We presented Governor Parnell a UAA hockey jersey and invited him to the Governor's Cup, Friday, Feb. 26. He'll be dropping the puck at tonight's game. The Governor's Cup is one of three games between UAA vs. UAF this week. Come cheer as we Freeze Out Fairbanks tonight, (Sullivan Arena) and tomorrow night, Saturday, Feb. 27 (women's basketball at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex). As you may know, the Seawolves beat the Nanooks Wednesday night (men's basketball) in front of an enthusiastic and supportive audience!

Freeze Out Fairbanks poster

This year the Board of Regents asked the Legislature for just one large capital project: $85 million for the Life Sciences Building in Fairbanks, which is supported by the Governor. Senator Ellis has proposed $50 million each for much needed engineering buildings on both the Anchorage and Fairbanks campuses. The Governor is proposing $100 million dollars for deferred maintenance over the next five years. The University's share would be $37.5 million, which would help address some of our long overdue maintenance projects.

Last year, we used a portion of the $7 million anonymous gift to pay for first-year operating costs of the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building (CPISB) because the Legislature did not provide funding needed to open the building. This year one of our key priorities is to get legislative funding for operating costs of CPISB. Please remind your legislators how important this is to UAA.

Let's thank our students who flew to Juneau to speak with legislators this month. We do appreciate your efforts and all your support for university priorities, including much needed funding for student scholarships.

We are saddened by the passing of two great supporters of UAA this last month: Jim Bowles of ConocoPhillips and Betti Cuddy. I want to express our sincere appreciation for their leadership and sympathy to their families.

Did you know?

Mat-Su College math professor Dr. Ping-Tung "P.T." Chang was honored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support with the 2009 Alaska Professor of the Year award. Congratulations!

UAA's own Director of Military Programs Mel Kalkowski is Fur Rondy 2010 Lord Trapper. Mel is joined by Miss Fur Rondy 2010 Jessica Kazmierczak and Princess Chelsey Homan both UAA students. Fur Rondy Princess Courtney Moore is a former UAA/UAF student. Community and Technical College's Architecture and Engineering Technology Club is hosting the Outhouse Race and Construction as fund raisers for Habitat for Humanity. Congratulations and thank you for your service!

Mayor Dan Sullivan with Fur Rondy 2010 Lord Trapper Mel Kalkowski

UAA celebrated Elizabeth Peratrovich Day with a special showing of the film "For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska" that was attended by more than 100 people.

We celebrated the Chinese New Year this week with stunning Chinese music and dance by a performing troupe from Beijing Normal University, thanks to the Confucius Institute.

One in four University of Alaska students took at least one distance education course during the 2007-2008 academic year.

UAA's TV spots won gold and silver in the 25th Annual Educational Advertising Awards through Higher Ed Marketing. Thanks to University Advancement and the Nerland Agency for all their work on the wonderful TV spots promoting UAA! Congratulations!

Candidates for the post of president of the University of Alaska will be visiting UAA on March 2. For a complete schedule of their visit and possible times to meet the candidates please go to http://www.alaska.edu/bor/pres-search/. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions, talk about UAA and share your hopes for the future.

Chancellor Fran Ulmer with Creekside Elementary students

Second-graders at Creekside Elementary are planning to grow up to be football players, policemen, engineers and teachers. That's what they told me when I read to them this month as part of the "Dream Big" campaign to get kids to think about what they want to be and how they are going to get there. It's never too early to plan for the future!

As always, thank you for all you do to make UAA a great university.


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