Chancellor's Report

June 2009

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UAF conferred 1,179 degrees on 1,121 students at UAF's 87th commencement May 10. One occupational endorsement, 125 certificates, 229 associate degrees, 576 bachelor's degrees and 179 master's degrees were awarded. A record 37 students received doctoral degrees. Alaska constitutional delegate Vic Fischer gave the keynote address, and honorary degrees were awarded to engineer Ted Stagg, Yup'ik elder Annie Cungauyar Blue and Mike Stepovich, Alaska's last territorial governor.

The Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service awards for 2009 were presented to John Fox, associate professor of land resources management, for teaching; John Walsh, president's professor of climate change and director of the Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research at the International Arctic Research Center, for research; and Rich Seifert, Cooperative Extension Service professor, for service.

UAF's opening enrollment numbers increased slightly for spring 2009, according to Statewide Planning and Institutional Research. The largest growth occurred at the Fairbanks campus, followed by the Interior-Aleutians Campus and Bristol Bay Campus.

UAF received the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Reader's Choice awards as Best School, Best Sports Team, and Best Fire Department, second place awards for Best Sporting Event (Hockey) and third place for Best Teacher (Doug Christensen, Geology and Geophysics) and Best Day Care (Bunnell House Early Childhood Lab School).

The American Bar Association reapproved the paralegal studies program at the Tanana Valley Campus. The American Bar Association is the nation's largest professional organization for lawyers, and its approval is the highest recognition available to a paralegal training program. Fewer than 25 percent of the paralegal programs in the nation meet the rigorous guidelines required for ABA approval.

Professor emeritus Michael Krauss was named a Linguistics Society of America fellow for his distinguished contributions to the field of linguistics. Krauss, funded by a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, is leading a team of veteran linguists who are working to document endangered languages in and near Alaska.

Facilities Services took the Fairbanks campus electricity-generating turbine offline for a month for required maintenance, resulting in electricity being purchased from Golden Valley Electric Association. The chancellor asked the entire campus community to reduce energy consumption during that period to reduce demand, save energy and save money.


In Progress

Summer Sessions is off and running, with offerings that include academic classes in everything from accounting to women’s studies, the Discovering Alaska Wednesday night lecture series, three free movie series and a repeat visit from Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?, which will be broadcast nationally and over KUAC. Classes and activities continue through Aug. 14.

The Last Polar Bear: Facing The Truth of a Warming World, a new UA Museum of the North exhibit, runs through Oct. 4. The exhibit features photographs by Steven Kazlowski taken along the arctic coast from Canada's Herschel Island to Point Hope.

Principal investigator George M. Happ of the Institute of Arctic Biology was awarded $17.7 million from the National Institutes of Health for the second phase of a five-year project titled Contaminants and Infectious Agents: Molecular Approaches. The project is within the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE). INBRE was designed to serve as a catalyst for research competitiveness.


What’s Next

The Alaska Summer Research Academy once again had more applicants than space in the two-week July session. ASRA provides an opportunity for students in grades 8 -12 to work in a research field with university faculty, staff and industry professionals. Sponsored by the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, the academy this year received support from two new donors, New York Life and Flint Hills Resources.

Celebrate Nanook Pride at the Alumni Association reunion Sept. 24 - 26. This year's reunion honors graduates from 1959 and 1984. The annual alumni awards will be presented at the luncheon Sept. 25 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.



Through the Lens: Recent Images

Tara Ford, a graduate student in UAF’s psychology program
Tara Ford, a graduate student in UAF's psychology program, works with young children in the department's psychology clinic in the Gruening Building.
Ray Clemons completes course work in the Tanana Valley Campus auto shop.
Ray Clemons completes course work in the Tanana Valley Campus auto shop.
UAF’s Juneau fisheries graduate students stand with Gov. Sarah Palin.
UAF's Juneau fisheries graduate students stand with Gov. Sarah Palin in front of the new Lena Point Fisheries Building following the ribbon-cutting ceremony in April. Photo by Katie Murra.
Jose Cruz-Gomez operates one of the cameras and Sigourney Walker, left, interviews a guest
Jose Cruz-Gomez operates one of the cameras and Sigourney Walker, left, interviews a guest during filming of the TV show Diversity Matters. The Journalism Department and the Office of Multicultural Affairs launched the program in March. It airs Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. on Fox 7, and features UAF students interviewing local residents about what diversity means and how it is reflected in the community. The goal of the program is to cultivate a community environment that supports openness, understanding and dialogue.
Neayuk Ahvakana from Noatak
Neayuk Ahvakana from Noatak of the UAF Inu-Yupiaq Dancers performed during the opening night of the 36th annual Festival of Native Arts March 19 in Davis Concert Hall.

UAF photos by Todd Paris, except where noted.

Chancellor Brian Rogers •

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