TNL’s last interview with Fran Ulmer as Chancellor

Photo courtesy of The Chancellor's Office

TNL: Where is your favorite place to eat on campus?
Fran Ulmer: If I had to choose one spot on campus, it would be the Lucy.

TNL: Karaoke or bowling, and with Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra?
F: That’s a tough one. I’d probably choose Karaoke, and it would be with Nat King Cole.  That soft, mellow, beautiful voice he had.

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TNL: What is the largest fish you’ve ever caught?
F: It would be Halibut, and I would say it was over 100 pounds, but I can’t tell you by how much because I did not weight it. We had to tow it to shore.

TNL: Do you recall your initial thoughts when you heard that Sarah Palin would be running for vice-president?
F: Shock

TNL: Best concert you ever went to was….
F: The most thrilling concert I’ve gone to was a performance that I was in with a choir in Washington D.C. because it was conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

TNL: Do you ever plan to start a Twitter?
F: I think it is very unlikely.

TNL: Would you rather have dinner with Lady Gaga, Rihanna, or Kei$ha?
F: Do I have to?

TNL: It’s for UAA.
F:….Lady Gaga.

TNL: What UAA sport team are you most fond of?
F: The Women’s Basketball team.

TNL: When is the last time you sang in public?
F: I had promised many years ago while in Juneau that I would sing at his funeral (Dr. Yakiama’s, a family physician). I didn’t know that he would write this into his will and into his service plan. So last August, I got a call from his son, and he said you promised. I hadn’t done much singing, but I made the promise so I did it.

What Fran hopes UAA graduates will leave remembering:

I hope that when someone leaves UAA that they have learned a lot about themselves, about the world, and about the subject they have been studying. Self-discovery, discovering the world; meeting people with very different opinions than they have, broadening their minds–things that maybe before they never thought they would have cared to know about. That’s one of the most important things that happens in college.

I would hope that students leave feeling that they are prepared to find employment; that they have all skill sets necessary to get a job, keep a job, and succeed at a job. I hope that they don’t feel like they have to start from scratch at developing the skills they need to be successful.

I hope young people leave here with the commitment to give back. Give back to their university, to their state, which has invested in them. Tuition seems like a lot but tuition does not cover the cost of this education. I would hope that students recognize that the state and this university has invested in them, and that in the long-term paying back to the community, paying back to the state, paying back to other students, is a piece of who they are as a graduate of UAA.