Regents give approval across the board

June 6, 2011

The following article was compiled from information gathered before, during and after the June 1-3 Board of Regents (BOR) meeting.

Student government budgets approved

The BOR approved the budgets of all the student governments within the UA system. The Associated Students of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (ASUAF) budget for FY 11-12 will be just over $532,000. The Regent vote was unanimous at 10-0 in favor.

UAF dining and residence hall RFP approved

The Regents unanimously approved a request for proposal (RFP) for UAF to look into expanding it’s dining and housing options for students. The RFP covers a possible dining addition to the Wood Center, a repurposing of the Lola Tilly Commons and the construction of new dorms for students. According to Chancellor Brian Rogers, “the facilities we have for housing are quite dated.” Rogers intends to have the new dorm facilities available by 2019.

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During a discussion with the Facilities and Land Management Committee, the chancellor mentioned to those present what UA President Patrick Gamble had told him during a tour of the Lola Tilly last year. The president remarked that he recognized much of the equipment being used by dining services as equipment he had seen used over 30 years ago in the military.

UAA revamps health programs

The BOR unanimously approved a reorganization of the health programs at the University of Alaska – Anchorage (UAA). The College of Health and Social Welfare was renamed the College of Health.

The WWAMI program was moved out of the College of Arts and Sciences and into the newly named college. According to the WWAMI website, the program “ is a collaborative medical school among universities in five northwestern states” – Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

The Division of Allied Health was also moved from its original college (the College of Career and Technical Education) to the College of Health. The division will be renamed the School of Allied Health.

UAF to see new power plant

Also unanimously approved by the regents was a plan to maintain and eventually replace the Atkinson Heat and Power Plant. The plant, built in 1964, provides heat, light and water to the UAF campus. Maintaining the plant while a permit and financing are secured for a new facility will cost an estimated $40 million over the next five to seven years.

The current plant, labeled the “house of horrors” by Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Scott Bell, will eventually be replaced by a new facility. The new facility is estimated to cost between $140 million to $180 million. According to Chancellor Rogers, if UAF can construct the new facility within the next seven years, the campus may be able to avoid spending the entire $40 million allotted for maintenance. Both the improvements and an addition would be completed by 2017.

UAA gets expanded sports arena

The board authorized UAA to begin developing a 5,600-seat sports arena. The project will not exceed $109 million. The vote was 9-1 in favor of the arena, with Regent Kirk Wickersham voting against it.

Part of the projects funding comes from the legislature’s Capital Budget ($34 million according to the Juneau Empire) that Governor Parnell has yet to sign.

Juneau and Kenai to get new halls

The board unanimously approved $16 million for a student-housing complex at Kenai Peninsula College.

The board also approved an addition to Banfield Hall, a student housing facility located on the University of Alaska – Southeast (UAS) campus. The addition will cost approximately $8.5 million and is subject to FY12 legislative appropriation and the governor’s approval of the Capital