Letter: UAA’s main role is to educate, not run private hockey club

Anchorage Daily NewsJune 16, 2013 

The fuss regarding the UAA hockey program is ridiculous. UAA is not a private hockey club. It is a university. It uses state money, student tuition fees and federal grants to provide education and conduct research. It does both well.

UAA has played a role in training hundreds of Alaskan doctors and trained thousands of Alaskan teachers, nurses, and engineers. It brings millions of dollars in research funding into Alaska every year to facilitate research by Alaskan scientists on questions of Alaskan interest.

The athletic program is important but it is the icing on the cake not the cake itself. It is also a program that has been very successful in recent years. The basketball and volleyball teams regularly run deep into the playoffs. The gymnastics team (a Division I program) gets stronger every season. Individual track and field athletes regularly win All-American honors.

UAA does all of this on an extremely tight budget. It does not have millions of dollars in spare cash to spend on a marquee hockey program. The sooner this fuss dies down the better. 

— Dr. Ian van Tets


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