September 4, 2008

To:         UAF faculty and staff

From:     Chancellor Brian Rogers

Re:         Welcome to the fall semester

Whether you're in Dillingham, Kotzebue, Bethel, Nome, Fairbanks or another location throughout the state, I want to be among the first to welcome you to the start of the 2008-09 academic year.

The summer's end--marked by changing leaves and geese heading south--for me signifies a new beginning, as your interim chancellor. We're off to a great start. I've included a few recent announcements that bear repeating:

--The Princeton Review named UAF one of the West's best colleges.

--More than 700 students took part in orientation this year. Thanks to all the enrollment services staff who did such a great job welcoming our new students to campus and getting their academic year off to a successful start.

--UAF Vice Chancellor Buck Sharpton was appointed to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

--The Palmer Research Laboratory was renamed after Sen. Jay Kerttula.

--Jennie Carroll was named acting vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education while Vice Chancellor Bernice Joseph is on sabbatical.

--The university is paying the borough to provide free rides on the borough buses with your PolarExpress card.

I am especially excited about the implementation of this new pilot transportation program with the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The idea originated in our transition team meetings. The program aims to increase the number of people riding the bus, cut down on vehicle emissions and free up parking spaces on campus. For some of you, it may also help decrease your transportation costs this winter.

Please help me provide an official kick-off to the academic term with the annual fall convocation, Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 1 - 2 p.m. in the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall on the Fairbanks campus. At that time, I will provide more information on the status of transition team recommendations and my priorities for the two years I am interim chancellor. Convocation will be available via web streaming for people outside of Fairbanks. We'll send out more information as we get closer to the event.

Thanks for all that you do to make UAF a great university.

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