Regents' Recap

February 2010

Regents approve academic programs at UAA

Photo of Regent Cynthia Henry
Regent Cynthia Henry. Photo by Monique Musick, UA Staff Photographer.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a graduate certificate in advanced human service systems and a bachelor’s degree program in environment and society at the University of Alaska Anchorage as it wrapped up its two-day meeting in Fairbanks Feb. 18.

The graduate certificate would allow students who’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree in human services, social work or a related field to further their education for supervisory careers in human services. The human services profession connects clients with services available in the community, both as case managers and through organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Catholic Community Services, senior centers, and government organizations at the state and local level.

UAA anticipates about 20 students enrolling in the 18-credit program by spring 2011. Tuition revenue will cover the cost, said UAA Provost Mike Driscoll. The human service sector is a growing area of Alaska’s workforce, with the state Department of Labor routinely noting shortages in health, behavioral health and associated human service occupations. This is particularly true in mid-level management and supervisory positions, Driscoll said.

“The whole point of human services is getting the necessary services to the individual,” he said.

The other program the regents approved would provide students with a bachelor’s degree (either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) in environment and society at UAA, which Driscoll described as a connection between hard science and policy.

Graduates of the interdisciplinary program would fill high-demand jobs in a wide variety of Alaska industries, including petroleum, fishing, tourism and others.  The new program will repackage existing courses already offered at UAA, with the addition of one new course at minimal expense. The program is expected to attract about 25 students.

The regents also approved various stages of two UAF projects, including formal project approval for the Life Sciences Classroom and Lab Facility. The move is largely procedural but necessary, should UA receive the funding requested from the Alaska State Legislature. The integrated classroom and lab facility is the board's top new construction priority just behind major maintenance.

Board members also approved critical electrical upgrades at UAF, schematic design for the UAF Energy Technology Facility and a $3 million loan toward a test bays, a standalone first phase of the proposed energy facility. The electrical project and energy project have been on the board's capital list for several years; overhead earned from $10 million in UAF research grants would pay the anticipated debt service on the loan. The larger project for the energy building is on the board's six-year capital plan. 

Quiet, clean four-wheeler

UAF mechanical engineering student Michael Golub demonstrates an electric four-wheeler to members of the Board of Regents as part of a presentation on sustainability at UAF. Photo by Monique Musick, UA Staff Photographer.

Students speak to board

During public testimony UAF students Karen Webb, Tristan Walsh and Jessica Angelette requested the board amend the university's non-discrimination clause to include sexual orientation. The issue was not on the board's agenda. Photo by Monique Musick, UA Staff Photographer.
Jessica Cross, a doctoral student at the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, discusses ocean acidification with the UA Board of Regents. Photo by Monique Musick, UA Staff Photographer.

Theater Students Appeal to Board for Facility Upgrades

UAF theater students and members of the Student Drama Association testified to the Board of Regents about the need to upgrade theater facilities at UAF. Concerns cited included accessibility of the department, offices, costume shop and green room; seating, the theater seats are old, breaking and uncomfortable, and seating in the lab theater has been reduced to 100, which is not enough to fund a production; and faculty, the departement eliminated a part-time position to allow for a full-time, but now have neither. Blueprints for a theater expansion were created a few years ago, but have been tabled since.