Archives from Ted Stevens' four-decade career in Washington, D.C., are on their way to Rasmuson Library in an agreement between Stevens and the university. The historic value of the papers is enormous because they deal with many important federal issues which have affected Alaska. It will take two to three years for the library staff to assess and process the estimated 5,000 boxes of files and records.
The Arctic Region Supercomputing Center's newest supercomputer, a Cray XT5 named Pingo, was dedicated in March. The addition of Pingo almost quadrupled the center's capacity to solve computationally intensive problems. ARSC has a tradition of giving supercomputing systems names with arctic themes -- a pingo is an earth-covered ice hill formed by the upward expansion of underground ice.
Longtime Fairbanksan Bob Shefchik was named UAF's new executive officer, Shefchik will be a member of the chancellor's cabinet and will serve as a senior advisor to that body and to Chancellor Rogers. He will also serve as a liaison between the chancellor's office and community and state officials and organizations. As part of that work, he will look for ways for UAF to contribute to and benefit from economic development efforts in the community and state.
Galen Johnson, Tanana Valley Campus construction management professor, was recognized as Engineer of the Year by his professional colleagues in the Fairbanks chapter of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers. Johnson has more than 30 years’ experience in construction contracting in Alaska and is a UAF alumnus with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's in engineering management.
The Alaska Nanook swim team set myriad school and individual records in its fourth season of competition. Six swimmers qualified for the NCAA Division II championships; this is the most national qualifiers since swimming originally became a UAF sport in 1968. The team earned a Division II Academic All-American title from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for the seventh consecutive semester. The swim team has helped increase scholarships for women by 81 percent since 2005; The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized UAF for Title IX compliance in "Turnaround Stories" in 2007.
UAF will be busy with accreditation activities over the next two years. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is using a new process which results in a compressed timeline for accreditation. The new seven-year continuous improvement and assessment process requires reports every other year. UAF must complete the seven-year cycle by summer 2011.
A three-year, $450,000 donation from New York Life Insurance Company will support the Alaska Summer Research Academy and the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. Both programs are geared for Alaska high school students.
The UAF Theatre Department presents The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, an original stage adaptation written and directed by retiring Associate Professor Anatoly Antohin April 17 - 26.
UAF's 87th commencement takes place May 10. Honorary degrees will be awarded to drilling technology expert Ted Stagg, Yup'ik storyteller Annie Cungauyar Blue and former legislator and governor Michael Stepovich. Alaska Constitutional Convention delegate Vic Fischer will deliver the commencement address.
Construction projects underway on the Fairbanks campus this summer include making critical electrical improvements and repairing sewer lines and the West Ridge Research Building parking lot. If funded, site work will begin for the proposed life sciences building and energy facility. Projects at community campuses include a complete renovation of the Tanana Valley Campus Center exterior shell, renewal and replacement at Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel, and replacement of pilings and insulation at Northwest Campus in Nome.