UAF to hire additional professors

Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- As many as 20 additional professors should be in place at the University of Alaska Fairbanks by the start of the fall semester and no later than January, reversing the downsizing trend of 1996-99.

The hires will come from UAF's share of the $15 million budget increase the university system will receive from the state for the next fiscal year.

''It has made a tremendous difference in overall morale for the university and the ability to focus on important services to students, rather than trying to figure out what services we're going to cut,'' UAF Chancellor Marshall Lind told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The loss of professors in recent years also led to the cutting of degree programs.

''The Retirement Incentive Program has resulted in quite a few senior faculty leaving, and generally they weren't replaced,'' said Ron Gatterdam, faculty senate president.

Two schools on campus that were hit particularly hard were the college of liberal arts and the college of sciences, math and engineering. UAF received $460,000 in the 2000-01 budget specifically to restore core faculty in those areas.

Liberal arts will be receiving teachers in music, social sciences and the humanities.

Science, math and engineering would get help to hire teachers in wildlife ecology, conservation biology, molecular genetics and organic chemistry.

The budget also allocates $165,000 to hire two rural education preparation faculty for the College of Rural Alaska to support the teacher requirements in reading and multicultural learning. The school of education will receive $90,000 to hire three professors.

An additional $165,000 was appropriated to add two faculty positions in the computer science program.

The school of fisheries and ocean sciences will also benefit. UAF got $360,000 for four additions to its faculty. Two teachers and equipment would go to the Fishery Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak as part of the university's partnership with the Alaska seafood industry. Two others will support the undergraduate and graduate programs on campus.

The hiring of people won't stop at the faculty level. Admissions, advising, student recruiting and financial aid will all receive personnel with $200,000 out of the budget.

An additional $150,000 will go to rebuilding the cooperative extension. The money will go toward hiring four agents to serve Fairbanks, Palmer and Bethel.

Money will also find its way to the Rasmuson Library, the distance delivery and Internet programs and the new nursing program. UAF would also get $75,000 to build a summer science camp aimed at high school students.

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