{News Briefs}

ConocoPhillips, BP donate $4.1 million to University

During halftime of the championship game at the recent Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, ConocoPhillips and BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. donated checks totaling $4.1 million to UA Foundation President Sharon Gagnon and University President Mark Hamilton. The recent donations bring the total donated from the companies to $18 million in the last five years, according to a recent press release. The funding will be used to pay for innovative programs, improved facilities and additional senior research faculty. Donations stem from a charter agreement between the oil companies and the state after the merging of BP and Arco Alaska Inc. in the 1990s. The UA Foundation solicits, manages and invests donations given to the university.

UAF simplifies scholarship process

The scholarship application process for privately funded scholarships at UAF has become much simpler, according to a recent UAF online press release. In the past, students were required to provide personal essay, transcripts and letters of recommendation in order to apply. Recent changes require incoming graduate and undergraduate students to fill out one double-sided application for scholarships. Current students must fill out a single form, which is available online. Scholarship eligibility will be determined by information posted on the official academic records database. According to the UAF Sunstar, committees that need additional information will contact students directly.

Community Campaign auction kicks off

UAA’s own Ubay auction has begun in order to raise money for the Community Campaign, a local drive to help support those in need in the community. One hundred percent of auction proceeds will be going to the campaign at United Way and Alaska Community Share, which has raised more than $37,000 toward the university-set $60,000 goal. The online auction includes many different items to bid on, including dinner with Chancellor Elaine Maimon, certificates for session in the Frasca 242 Flight Simulator, tickets to UAA comedy shows, graduation gifts and dog sitting. Food items, hand-made crafts and other gift certificates are available as well. Bidding will close at 5 p.m. Dec. 10.

Education sites not always what they seem

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More Web sites ending in “.edu” are popping up across the Internet these days, and students are using them to gain degrees or research for projects. According to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, .edu Internet addresses are supposed to be used only by colleges with accreditation from agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Many of the .edu Web sites currently active do not meet these requirements, yet still have been allowed to keep the addresses. The higher-education technology consortium Educause is in charge of handing out the addresses to institutions across the nations. The consortium is overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has the final say. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education Web site, Educause took over administrative duties in October 2001, but many organizations that were falsely awarded the .edu addresses have been allowed to keep them. The Chronicle reported that Educause officials say because accreditation changes frequently, revoking the institutions of their current addressed would be too costly and difficult to accomplish.