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UA Board of Regents releases information about recent meeting

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013

Regents meeting focuses on approvals and public testimony; UA leaders
map out next steps for SDI


ANCHORAGE -- Students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to
testify to the University of Alaska Board of Regents during a two-day
meeting in Anchorage Feb. 21 and 22. A group of approximately 15
students and faculty came forward to request smoke free campuses in
the UA system, while many others testified in support of programs and
plans on the board's agenda. The quality of testimony added an element
of personal engagement to an agenda packed with consent items,
curriculum changes, campus planning updates and bond considerations.

During its business meeting, the board approved a bond resolution for
general revenue and refunding bonds. The regents also approved the
establishment of a quasi-endowment to receive and hold fees collected
by the University of Alaska Museum of the North from government
agencies and individuals for the purpose of maintaining archeological
artifacts. This quasi-endowment will be managed and invested by the UA
Foundation.

The board also approved deletion of three master’s programs at the
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF): the Master of Science in General
Science; the Master of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics; and the Master
of Arts in Teaching in Physics degree programs. Regents went on to
approve master plans at the UAF College of Rural and Community
Development (CRCD) and Community and Technical College (CTC). The
board also approved schematic designs for a UAF Fine Arts Complex
Vapor Barrier; UAF Bristol Bay Campus Applied Sciences; and for the
UAF Utilities Wood Center Vault.

Partnerships with Alaska’s public and private industries became a
prominent theme throughout the meeting. A presentation showcasing
University of Alaska Anchorage’s Aviation program of excellence
delivered by students, faculty, alumni and industry leaders generated
a dynamic discussion about the UAA aviation program. The presentation
highlighted program components, its growth in recent years, and its
current and predicted future demand by students, industry and the
state of Alaska.

Vice President of University Relations Carla Beam shared a lighter
message while delivering the UA Foundation Report. "Last year,
generous companies, foundations, and individuals donated more than $22
million to UA campuses and programs. I don't think any of those gifts
challenged our development officers more than this week's gift of a
pair of Boeing 727 jets donated by FedEx to the UAA and UAF campus
aviation programs. One of the jets was given special permission to do
a short runway landing at Anchorage's Merrill Field. Our development
officer now knows all about landing permits, fuel weights, de-icing
procedures, and weather minimums."

Ian Van Tets, director of the Della Keats Health Sciences Summer
Program, also captivated the regents with his testimony about the UAA
bridging program for high school students and the continued outreach
showing UA’s productive partnerships with Alaska’s schools. Newly
appointed Regent Gloria O’Neill carried much of the discussion using
knowledge from her previous experiences and expressed her support for
and admiration of the program.

In other business, the board was among the first to preview the launch
of the UAA’s first comprehensive brand campaign which highlights
effort toward student achievement and attainment: "Amazing Stories
Being Written Every Day." The campaign highlights the accomplishments
of students, faculty and alumni through a statewide television, radio,
online and social media campaign. The goal of the campaign hopes to
increase the visibility of the quality research and teaching happening
at Anchorage's hometown university. Regents uniformly reflected
appreciation for the recent branding efforts taking place at both UAA
and UAF campuses. Chair Pat Jacobson expressed it best by saying, “The
creative elements of these campaigns have captured the unique
personality of each campus and the diversity of the students who
attend.”

A presentation by Terry MacTaggart regarding the progress of the
Strategic Direction Initiative (SDI) recapped the SDI Leadership
Conference held Feb. 20, prior to the board meeting. Leadership from
UA, UAA, UAF, UAS, and community campuses across Alaska gathered at
UAA to begin building on the Board of Regents’ vision of becoming the
university of choice for Alaskans. The conference was designed to
shift from gathering and processing input, (SDI Phase Two) to doing,
(SDI Phase Three). During the conference, attendees approved the five
strategic direction themes:

* Student Achievement and Attainment
* Productive Partnerships with Alaska’s Schools
* Productive Partnerships with Alaska’s Public and Private Industries
* Research and Development to Sustain Alaska’s Communities and Economic Growth
* Accountability to the People of Alaska

The leaders also identified and discussed possible initiatives to
begin working on and the role that the University of Alaska would play
in supporting those initiatives.

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UA press release