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University champion Art Buswell dies at 83

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778


Art Buswell Former University of Alaska administrator and agriculture professor Art Buswell died today at the age of 83. During his 20-year tenure at the university he served as vice president for public service and dean of the Division of Statewide Services, director of the Cooperative Extension Service, and as the UA agriculture department head. He and his late wife, Frances, were ardent supporters of the university.

"Art Buswell was one of the university's finest champions," said Jake Poole, vice chancellor for university advancement and community engagement. "He was a teacher, a leader, a volunteer and a friend. He understood the university's potential and helped lay the groundwork for many of our programs that are still flourishing today."

Buswell helped to expand cooperative extension and mining programs, add a sea grant program and extend academic credit programs to military personnel at installations as far away as Adak in the Aleutian Islands. He worked to make postsecondary education available to a wide range of students, using radio, television, correspondence courses and traveling professors to provide learning opportunities throughout the state.

"Even in my short tenure with the university, I am keenly aware of Dr. Buswell's many contributions to this institution," said University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Steve Jones. "He embodied the mission of a land grant university to bring education to all Alaskans. I consider him one of my heroes and will personally miss him a great deal."

Buswell served as the president of the University of Maine at Machias from 1971-1981 where he retired as president emeritus. He and his wife returned to Alaska in 1984 where he has remained active in the Fairbanks volunteer community including the UAF College of Fellows, Friends of the Museum and the University of Alaska Foundation Board of Trustees. After his wife's death in 1999, Buswell established the Arthur and Frances Buswell Scholarship in psychology for UAF students, an endowment that has assisted five students since its inception. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from UAF in 2001.

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