June 20, 2008
The quantifiable return is
in addition to qualitative issues such as improved quality of
life, increased involvement in community and satisfying careers,
Another top item addressed included formal project approval for the new $46 million, 78,000-square-foot Health Sciences Building on the UAA campus.
The legislature provided funding for the building, which will provide much-needed classroom space and state-of-the-art simulated labs for health programs such as nursing and WWAMI, a medical school partnership with the University of Washington.
Construction on the building is expected to get under way by next summer and be ready for students by fall 2011. While regents saw an artist's concept of the building, just off Providence Drive across from the main campus, final design will occur in the months ahead.
"This will be a very significant piece of setting the future for the entire health program at UAA," noted UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer.
Regent Tim Brady of Anchorage agreed. "I'm really excited about this facility-it's going to be a great addition to campus."
The board also heard from the state of Alaska's new education commissioner Larry LeDoux. LeDoux said he endorses recent recommendations of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, which supports creation of a governor's sub-cabinet on K-16 education, among other measures. The recommendations are aimed at reversing Alaska's dismal statistics on high school and college graduation, college and work preparation and rates of training and education beyond high school.
"We need to develop strategies to create a statewide, college-going culture. It starts young-you can't wait for last-minute visits when you're a high school senior," LeDoux said.
The University of Alaska also supports the recommendations of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. The UA system's outreach efforts start in the second grade and continue throughout a K-12 student's life.
Improving statistics for student success has been a top priority of UA's administration, faculty and staff. LeDoux and members of the board agreed to work together in tackling the problem.
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