Glorious sunshine graced the annual Community Day on Campus, perfect weather for free kayak and paddle board rentals on Auke Lake and the second annual elementary school art exhibit and competition. Tours of the new residence hall, face painting, food booths, carnival games, bouncy house, DIPAC touch tank, story time with Juneau city librarians, and more were in the mix of this joint effort by Juneau Jazz and Classics, the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, and UAS. Music by local youth and community groups was performed in the Egan Library between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
You are invited to a goodbye reception for Chancellor John Pugh in honor of his retirement on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 4:30-7:30pm at the Lakeside Grill in the Mourant Building, UAS Juneau campus. Music and refreshments will be provided.
Personnel Director Kirk McAllister is retiring after 20 years at UAS. Here is his self-penned biography: He was hired in the HR office in 1995 when he had less gray hair and more gray matter. He also taught a journalism class and served as the advisor to the Whalesong from 1995 to 2005. He always enjoyed working with the 20-year-old students and now he has one of his own. Prior to coming to UAS, he worked as a newspaperman for the Juneau Empire and served as an investigator in the Alaska Ombudsman’s Office which, at the time, also included Maria Moya and Mike Hostina. He became HR director at UAS in 2007. He hasn’t firmed up retirement plans yet but rodeo clown, trapeze artist, and bartender in Western Samoa are all on the table.
In remarks at the last staff development day (May 13) before he retires (May 29), Chancellor John Pugh gave the long view to attending staff. In some ways, he said, UAS has come full circle. “When then-Chancellor Marshall Lind hired me as a dean in 1987, oil prices were down to 8 dollars a barrel. I was asked to cut 1 million dollars from a $12 million budget.”
Pugh recalled how despite tight funding under his watch over the years, the UAS administration found ways to build a recreation facility, create a development and alumni office and build a freshman dorm.
“I’m proud of the leadership team,” he said. “Every time we asked for money from the legislature it was part of our strategic planning.”
Pugh noted the increase in full time students during his tenure. “In 1987 we had 325 full time students, we now have 1000 full time students, which was a goal of our first master plan.” He proposed a new goal of 2000 full time students. “I think we can get there,” he said. “Program completers have gone from 50 in 1987 to around 700 now, it’s unbelievable.”
A staff retirement party for Chancellor Pugh was held at the end of the day. An email poll asking staff what they’ll miss most him garnered several comments and compliments. Professor of Education Katy Spangler wrote, “I dearly remember his campaign to get students to go the their classes in the morning: it was called ‘Get Off Your Ass and Go to Class’. He has left UAS an entirely different institution from when he arrived in 1987.” Alumna Denise Caposey wrote, “A hard act to follow, Chancellor Pugh. You set the standard for what a University Chancellor can do for a community of learners.”
Pugh thanked his staff. “Each and everyone of you is an important cog in this wheel. This has been my best job ever.”
Provost Rick Caulfield will move to the Chancellor’s office June 1. Caulfield was selected to replace John Pugh as Chancellor at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) by UA President Pat Gamble after a months-long search process. Pugh announced last October he would retire at the end of May.
A committee of UAS faculty and staff led the national search which resulted in Caulfield’s selection. Gamble commented, “I was very pleased to confirm the recommendation of the UAS selection committee. Rick has worked tirelessly alongside of John Pugh as his right-hand in the advancement of not only our southeast campuses, but of UA’s broad based Shaping Alaska’s Future initiative. He is well positioned to assume the leadership role on behalf of UAS faculty, staff and students, to guide UAS into a bright future.”
As provost and chief academic officer at UAS, Caulfield is responsible for ensuring that UAS academic programs are fully compliant with regional, national, and professional accreditation standards. He is actively engaged with implementing the university’s strategic and assessment goals and strategies.
Dr. Caulfield has been a part of the University of Alaska for more than 30 years. He began his higher education teaching career in 1985 at the university’s Bristol Bay Campus. He became a full professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as part of the Department of Alaska Native and Rural Development. His research interests took him to Greenland, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, and Russia. He has published two books and numerous other professional publications and served on national and international science steering committees and boards, including the NSF Oceans-Atmosphere-Ice Interactions Scientific Committee, the International Arctic Social Sciences Association, and the University of the Arctic.
A 40-year Alaska resident, Dr. Caulfield has combined academic and professional interests with experiences in commercial fishing, flying, sailing, home construction, dog mushing, hunting, recreational fishing, and other outdoor pursuits.
Dr. Caulfield earned a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and BA and BS degrees in Political Science and Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.
At the 44th annual commencement on the Juneau campus May 3, Alaska Airlines CEO and President Brad Tilden presented the commencement address, offering graduates life lessons with the final words, “The sky’s the limit.” Juneau philanthropist Bill Corbus was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. University of Alaska President Patrick Gamble presented the charge to graduates, saying he wished to tell the students not what to do, but what to be. He encouraged them to focus on developing character. Student speaker Andre Bunton, an outstanding graduate in mathematics, encouraged his fellow graduates to look around and see the professors who taught them, the community who supported them and the classmates from whom each learned just as much through interactions. He called UAS a “unique learning environment, not possible anywhere else in the world.” “You are never done learning, engaging, and changing,” Bunton said. The event also marked the start of a new journey for newly crowned Chancellor Emeritus John Pugh, who conferred degrees upon the last class of students in his UAS career. Gamble called Pugh a “leader among leaders” and commended his efforts and achievements since 1987 at UAS. Pugh noted points of pride at the university, including a 90 percent satisfaction rate among UAS students in the latest McDowell survey. At the close of commencement, Pugh tearfully said his farewell. “You guys make my day every day,” he said. “I’m gonna miss you a lot.”
The event, hosted by Student Services Director Eric Scott and retiring Chancellor John Pugh was one of joy and candor. A panel of speakers including project manager Nathan Leigh, Lance (X̱’unei) Twitchell, student Jasmihn Williams, Jessie Kiehl (representing Sen. Dennis Egan), architect Paul Voelkers, and Juneau assembly woman Mary Becker addressed the challenges of getting the job done in less than a year and the benefits students will reap for years to come. "One of the things I’m very happy to be able to witness is molding students into agents of change, so that they don’t have to just accept what the world presents to them..." said Lance (X̱’unei) Twitchell. "From the time these glaciers receded, amazing things have happened right here on this land, and I think amazing things will continue to happen here.”
For more coverage on the event, see the Juneau Empire.
The School of Management hosted a presentation and question and answer session on Medicaid Expansion with Commissioner of Health and Social Services and UAS alumna Valerie Davidson at the 360 North studio in Juneau in April. The presentation was taped and broadcast statewide on 360 North public television. The legislature has so far rejected an initiative by Governor Bill Walker to expand Medicaid coverage.
Chancellor John Pugh presented staff excellence awards to four recipients at Staff Development Day in the Egan Library, May 13, 2015. From the Juneau campus, School of Management Community Outreach Coordinator Katy Jordan and Financial Aid Assistant Director/VA Certifying Official Eric Ramaekers were on hand to receive their awards in person. Chancellor Pugh phoned Administrative Assistant Hailey Barger from the Sitka campus and Accounts Receivable Technician Julia Guthrie from the Ketchikan campus from the stage to present their awards.
Faculty members Suzanne Malter, Ben Huff, Heidi Pearson and Julie Hamilton are the 2015 Faculty Excellence Award winners for their hard work and dedication.
In the teaching category is Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Suzanne Malter. Malter has been a valuable part of the UAS Health Sciences team for more than five years teaching in the Nurse Aide program. For several years she has been recognized for her work as an Eden Alternative Philosophy mentor with staff and elders at the Juneau Pioneer Home.
Assistant Professor of Marine Biology Heidi Pearson, Ph. D. is the recipient of the research award. Since arriving at UAS in the fall of 2011, Pearson has successfully secured seven research grants, one of which is from the University of Sydney in Australia to develop a miniature camera for use in behavioral work with dusky dolphins. She has published six papers in scientific journals and developed a new upper-division course, Marine Ornithology and Herpetology, based in part on her research interests.
Assistant Professor of Accounting Julie Hamilton is recognized in the service category. Hamilton began teaching full time at UAS in fall 2012, and quickly became a role model for her students as someone who actively seeks out opportunities to serve communities and businesses throughout Southeast Alaska. She created a new student club — Southeast Alaskan Prospective Accountants (SEA-P.A.) — in the fall of 2013 and continues to serve as the faculty advisor.
Photographer Ben Huff is the Adjunct Instructor of the year for his work at the Juneau Campus since fall of 2011, and is considered by his peers to be an excellent educator and an integral part of the art program. Huff’s new book, “The Last Road North,” published by Kehrer Verlag, will be available later this spring.