University of Alaska Fairbanks

infobox University
name= University of Alaska Fairbanks

motto= "Ad Summum"
(Latin for "to the top")
endowment= $61.7 million
chancellor= Steve Jones
established= 1917
type= Public
faculty= 835
students= 9,380
undergrad= 8,254
postgrad= 1,126
colors= Blue color box|#072B61 and Gold color box|#FDD017
city= Fairbanks, Alaska
country= USA
affiliations = UArctic
mascot= Nanook
free_label= Sports
free= Alaska Nanooks
website= []
The University of Alaska Fairbanks, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, is the flagship campus of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as Alaska or UAF.UAF is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution, as well as participating in the sun-grant program through Oregon State University. It is also the site where the Alaska Constitution was signed in 1956. UAF was established in 1917 as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, first opening for classes in 1922.

UAF is home to seven major research units: the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station; the Geophysical Institute, which operates the Poker Flat Research Range; the International Arctic Research Center; the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center; the Institute of Arctic Biology; the Institute of Marine Science; and the [ Institute of Northern Engineering] . Located just 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the Fairbanks campus's unique location is situated favorably for Arctic and northern research. The campus's several lines of research are renowned worldwide, most notably in Arctic biology, Arctic engineering, geophysics, supercomputing, and aboriginal studies. The University of Alaska Museum of the North is also on the Fairbanks campus.

In addition to the Fairbanks campus, UAF encompasses seven rural and urban campuses: Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham; Chukchi Campus in Kotzebue; Interior-Aleutians Campus, which covers both the Aleutian Islands and the Interior; Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel; Northwest Campus in Nome; and the Tanana Valley Campus in Fairbanks, UAF's community college arm. Fairbanks is also the home of the UAF Center for Distance Education, an independent learning and distance delivery program.

In fall 2006, UAF enrolled 9,681 students, of which 59 percent were female and 41 percent male; 89 percent were undergraduates and 11 percent graduate students.



The University of Alaska was established in 1917 as a college, but its origins lie in the creation in 1906 of a federal agricultural experiment station in Fairbanks, the sixth in Alaska. The station set the tone for the university that developed later, which is strongly research-oriented. In 1915, the U.S. Congress approved funds to establish a school of higher education and transferred land from the station for the purpose. The federal land grant was accepted by Territorial Governor John Strong in 1917. That year, on a bluff above the Chena River, a cornerstone for the college was laid by Territorial Delegate James Wickersham. The site became known as College Hill. Charles E. Bunnell was appointed the university's first president, serving for 27 years. The new institution was established as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in 1922, offering 16 classes to a student body of six (at a ratio of one faculty member per student). In 1923 the first commencement produced one graduate, John Sexton Shanly.

In 1931, the rest of the Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station was transferred to the college, and the Alaska Territorial Legislature changed the name in 1935 to the University of Alaska. As the university began to expand throughout the state, the Fairbanks campus became known as the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1975; the two other primary UA institutions are the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

ignificant events

The Alaska Constitutional Convention was held on the university campus in November 1955.


chools and colleges

UAF has nine academic schools and colleges:
*the [ College of Engineering and Mines]
*the [ College of Liberal Arts]
*the [ College of Natural Science and Mathematics]
*the [ College of Rural and Community Development]
*the [ School of Education]
*the [ School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences]
*the [ School of Management]
*the [http://www.uaf/snras/ School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences]
* [ Graduate School] Students can choose from more than 160 degrees and 20 certificates in more than 100 disciplines.


*Elmer E. Rasmuson Library:—The Alaska Film Archives, housed in the Alaska and Polar Regions section of the Rasmuson Library, hold the largest collection of film-related material about Alaska.:—BioSciences Library (physically housed in the Institute of Arctic Biology, but administratively part of the Rasmuson Library)
*Keith B. Mather Library (housed in the International Arctic Research Center)

Research units

UAF is Alaska's primary research university, conducting over 90% of all the research done throughout the UA system. Research activities are organized into several institutes and centers:
*the Geophysical Institute, established in 1946 by an Act of Congress, which specializes in seismological, volcanologic and aeronomy research, among other fields
*the International Arctic Research Center, a joint venture of the United States and Japan, charged with researching the circumpolar North and the causes and effects of climate change
*the [ Institute of Northern Engineering]
*the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
*the Alaska Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station
*the [ Institute of Arctic Biology]


University of Alaska Fairbanks sports teams are the Alaska Nanooks, derived from the Inupiaq "nanuq." Though often known as UAF within the state, the university prefers to be called simply "Alaska" for athletics purposes. The school colors are blue and gold. Alaska Nanooks compete at the NCAA Division I level for hockey as a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The Nanooks play their home games at the 4,500 seat Carlson Center located in downtown Fairbanks. Alaska Nanooks also have a Division I rifle team which has won ten NCAA National Rifle Championships (1994, 1999-2004, 2006-2008). The men's and women's basketball, cross country running and skiing, and women's volleyball teams are Division II members of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, while the women's swim team is a member of the Pacific Coast Conference. Partly due to its isolation from the lower 48 and lack of dome, Alaska does not currently have a football program, as is true for all three branches of the University of Alaska.


There are several book publishers at UAF, including the University of Alaska Press, the Alaska Native Language Center, Alaska Sea Grant, the University of Alaska Museum of the North, Cooperative Extension Service, and the Alaska Native Knowledge Network. The University of Alaska Foundation also publishes books.

Magazines include "Agroborealis" [ [ "Agroborealis" official site] ] , a twice-annual produced by the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences; "Challenges in Science and Engineering" [ [ "Challenges" official site] ] , an annual produced by the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center; "Ice Box" [ [ "Ice Box" official site] ] , the UAF student literary magazine; and "Permafrost" [ [ "Permafrost" official site] ] , the UAF English department's literary magazine. The alumni magazine, a quarterly, is the "Alumnus".

The student newspaper is the "Sun Star," [ [ "Sun Star" official site] ] formed after a merger of the "Polar Star", an independent student paper, and the "Northern Sun", the journalism department's student newspaper.


The university hosts a Fine Arts complex, one room of which is named after long-time local chorister Eva McGown. The art department has a gallery, the UAF Art Gallery, which is used for student art shows, BFA and MFA thesis shows, and (occasionally) combined faculty shows. The complex includes two theatres, the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall and the Lee Salisbury Theatre. UAF offers an extensive Native Arts program, directed by Alvin Amason. []

As well as art, UAF offers MFA degrees in music and creative writing. The creative writing program is run by the English Department [] , and offers courses in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and dramatic writing. Currently, faculty include Gerri Brightwell (fiction), Derick Burleson (poetry), David Crouse (fiction), Len Kamerling(film/dramatic writing), and Amber Flora Thomas (poetry).

Notable faculty and alumni

Former Alaska governor Jay S. Hammond (graduated 1949) was an alumnus of UAF. The campus has a strong scientific research leaning, and many of its alumni have earned distinction for their achievements: Syun-Ichi Akasofu (1961), geophysicist; T. Neil Davis (1955), geophysicist and author; William R. Cashen (1932); Margaret Murie (1924). Sydney Chapman also taught at the university, serving as a professor of geophysics and advisory director of the university's Geophysical Institute from 1951 until his death in 1970. [ Introduction to Sydney Chapman] , Keith Mather, University of Alaska Fairbanks]

Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks

The Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks or ASUAF is the representative group for the students attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Each student enrolled in three or more credit-hours pays a $35 fee to ASUAF, which lobbies the university administration and occasionally the state Legislature.

Students elect a president, vice-president, and up to 20 senators to the student government. The president and vice-president are elected in the spring for one year terms. They oversee five directors. The organizing director holds major ASUAF events. The government relations director is responsible for relations between ASUAF and local, state, and federal governments. The director of Tanana Valley Campus relations coordinates ASUAF actions at TVC, while the recycling director coordinates the association's recycling program. An information services director manages ASUAF's computer-related services.

The senate has 20 senate seats, not always filled. Ten are elected the fall semester, and 10 more in the spring. They serve one year terms. The senate appoints a senate chair at the beginning of the academic year.


Although recognized as the official student governing body at UAF, ASUAF elections typically draw about 5 percent voter turnout, low when compared to local and state elections. The elections also draw their share of controversy. In 1995, a ballot box turned up a month after the election, uncounted, in police custody; a recount resulted in new senators being inducted, and then-President Joe Hayes nearly was impeached.

An electronic system was set-up for the fall 2002 elections, which officials at the time said would cut down on election problems. At the time, officials said that since students could vote in the privacy of their rooms, it would be impossible to enforce electioneering claims. Consequently, rules regarding electioneering were done away with.

But in April 2004, incumbent President Thom Walker brought forward electioneering claims after his opponent, Brandon Maitlen, won the election by 43 votes. Walker claimed Maitlen had bribed voters with hamburgers during an election day barbecue and had blared music and occasionally his voice too close to polls. An oversight board dismissed the bribery charge, but agreed the sound system unduly influenced voters. The board called for a new election, but Maitlen contested, charging the board with impropriety. A new board was formed, but it did no good -- the board disqualified Maitlen, making Walker the winner.

Recent elections have been quieter affairs. In the spring 2005 presidential elections, turnout increased 1.2 percent to 379 voters, or about 6 percent of the eligible student population.

List of ASUAF Presidents by year and session

#1923-1924 Jack Shanly
#1924-1925 Clifford Smith
#1925-1926 Arthur W. Loftus
#1926-1927 John Calvin Boswell
#1927-1928 Albert C. Visca
#1928-1929 Aldwin David Roberts
#1929-1930 Larry C. Doheny
#1958-1960 Henry W. Hanson III (Sessions 71-75)
#1960-1961 Kenneth Kareen (Sessions 75-76)
#1961-1962 James Nankervis (Sessions 77-78)
#1961-1962 Kenneth Gain (Sessions 77-78)
#1961-1962 Ronald Rizzi (Sessions 77-78)
#1961-1962 Richard Stock (Sessions 77-78)
#1962-1963 Patrick L. Sharrock (Sessions 79-80)
#1962-1963 John Neilsen (Sessions 79-80)
#1963-1964 Gerald Smetzer (Sessions 81-82)
#1964-1966 Patty Jo Anderson (Sessions 83-87)
#1964-1966 Phillip Holland (Sessions 83-87)
#1966-1967 Frank Flavin (Sessions 87-88)
#1967-1968 Michael Platt (Sessions 89-90)
#1968-1969 Steven Snyder (Sessions 91-92)
#1968-1969 Glenn Bacon (Sessions 91-92)
#1969-1970 Patrick Rice (Sessions 93-94)
#1969-1970 William Hao (Sessions 93-94)
#1970-1971 Dennis Dooley (Sessions 95-96)
#1971-1972 Chip Wagnor (Sessions 97-98)
#1972-1973 Karl Sopp (Sessions 99-100)
#1972-1973 Timothy Martin (Sessions 99-100)
#1972-1973 Craig Forrest (Sessions 99-100)
#1973-1974 George Utermohle (Sessions 101-102)
#1973-1974 George Weiss (Sessions 101-102)
#1974-1975 Ric Davidge (Sessions 103-104)
#1975-1976 Patrick Osborn (Sessions 105-106)
#1975-1976 David Slemmons (Sessions 105-106)
#1976-1977 Timothy White (Sessions 107-108)
#1976-1977 Mark Rippy (Sessions 107-108)
#1977-1978 Angela Liston (Sessions 109-110)
#1978-1979 Ronald Mesler (Sessions 111-112)
#1979-1980 Roy Hale Geiersbach (Sessions 113-114)
#1979-1980 Bill Zybach (Sessions 113-114)
#1980-1982 Jason Kuehn (Sessions 115-119)
#1982-1983 John DiBene (Sessions 119-120)
#1983-1984 Karl E. Thoennes III (Sessions 121-122)
#1984-1985 James Roth (Sessions 123-124)
#1984-1985 Thomas Van Flein (Sessions 123-124)
#1985-1986 Karl E. Thoennes III (Sessions 125-126)
#1986-1987 Curtis Tindall (Sessions 127-128)
#1987 Earle Williams (Session 129)
#1987-1989 John Foster Wallace (Sessions 129-132)
#1989-1990 Tom Brice (Sessions 133-134)
#1990-1991 Tim Lamkin (Sessions 135-136)
#1991-1992 Sue Thompson (Sessions 137-138)
#1992-1993 Henrik Wessel (Sessions 139-140)
#1993-1994 Karlin Itchoak (Sessions 141-142)
#1994-1996 Joe Hayes (Sessions 143-146)
#1996-1997 Catherine Wheeler (Sessions 147-148)
#1997-1998 Stephen Nuss (Sessions 149-150)
#1998-1999 Jean Richardson (Sessions 151-152)
#1999-2001 Stacey Banks II (Sessions 153-156)
#2001-2003 Derek Miller (Sessions 157-160)
#2003-2005 Thom Walker (Sessions 161-164)
#2005-2006 Joseph C. Blanchard II (Sessions 165-166)
#2006-2007 Sven D. Gilkey (Sessions 167-168)
#2007-2008 Jake Hamburg (Sessions 169-170)

Student media

Student fee funds for UAF's student-run media, the "Sun Star" newspaper and the KSUA radio station, are funneled through ASUAF. Both of these organizations are funded by a percentage of the $35 student fee collected by the association, and are managed wholly by students at UAF. Besides funding, though, they are operated independent of the student government.


See also

* Alaskan Coalition of Student Leaders

External links

* [ University of Alaska Fairbanks] - official site
* [ UAF Summer Sessions]
* [ Nanook Athletics]
* [ University of Alaska Museum of the North]
* [ Sun Star] - student newspaper
* [ Alaska Summer Research Academy] - K12 outreach program

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