News in brief

Construction delays bring fumes

Hot asphalt fumes are hanging over most of campus and are strongest near the Student Union while roofing repairs are underway. The project was scheduled for completion before classes started, but was delayed due to financing problems and competition with other major projects vying for the contractor’s attention, including new roofing for the Fairbanks Correctional Center. The roofing contractor is restricting access to the south side of the building and advises people to avoid the area. Fumes, while uncomfortable for some, pose no health risk, according to UAA Facilities and a government-provided health sheet, available upon request from the project manager. The project is scheduled for completion Oct. 1, but may run through midterms, especially with rain delays. Get updates at 786-1275.

UAA representatives to speak at National Indian Education conference

Hawaii will get a close look at Alaska Native education during the National Indian Education Association conference in Honolulu, Oct. 25-28.
Diane Hirshberg, associate professor of education policy, and honor student Brit DelMoral, are presenting “An Exploration of Experiences and Outcomes of Mt. Edgecombe High Schools Graduates” from 1986-2006.

Researchers release results on Borough study

The Mat-Su Borough got a better understanding of its residents from a 12-page survey recently released by UAA’s Justice Center. A partnership between the Borough and Justice Center created a survey of more than 1,300 residents’ opinions about government decision-making processes, quality of community services and other issues. Results show 81 percent of respondents don’t use Borough libraries, 83 percent use Borough recreational areas and nearly 10 percent said roadway maintenance service was “very poor.” Get the full results on the Mat-Su government Web site at

Grant money up for grabs

Scientists and students researching seasonal and permanent bird species in Alaska can apply for $15,000 of grant money through Nov. 15. Researches aiming to further means of management geared toward protection, maintenance and enhancement of bird populations will be given preference. Researchers looking at bird habits and resulting effects are being considered. Contact the University of Alaska Foundation at 450-8030 or

– Compiled by Hannah Roerick

UA Statewide Briefs

Health survey to save UAS money

JUNEAU – Increases in health care premiums have UAS administrators fighting back. Alaska state universities, which are self-insured, provide health insurance to nearly 10,000 Alaskans. Annual health-care costs hover around $55 million and rise by 12 to 14 percent each year. In 2005, the university system statewide began work to issue a third-party’s risk-assessment survey to employees in an effort to understand personal health risks. Gross data from the survey will determine education and other preventative measures that will be used to curb risks. Individual employee results are withheld from the university, but personalized feedback on survey results and suggestions in lifestyle changes will be issued to employees.
Mike Humphrey, director of benefits for the UA system, said it’s socially and fiscally responsible.
“For every dollar spent on prevention and education, it is estimated to save $3 in health-care costs. Yes, it’s a savings to the UA system, but that savings also represents healthier individuals.”

UAF welcomes ACE fellow

FAIRBANKS – This September, UAF is getting an American Council on Education fellow in its classrooms. Daniel J. Robison, assistant dean of the College of Natural Resources and associate professor of forestry at North Carolina State University is one of 38 participants in the program. He is spending two weeks at UAF this month. University Chancellor Steve Jones said Robison will get to offer insight on UAF and its operations. Robison has taught in the forestry and environmental resources department at NC State for 10 years and served as assistant dean in the College of Natural Resources for three.

Professors hired at Mat-Su College

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MAT-SU – Tenure was awarded to four professors at the Matanuska Susitna College this summer, according to the director’s office. The professors are: Craig Ballian, Ben Curtis, Ann Marie Yaros and Jan Vandever. Three professors were also brought on as new faculty over the summer to teach English, preparatory and development studies and general business.
– Compiled by Hannah Roerick