A $5 million unobligated surplus in the city treasury? What an opportunity. Will we do something grand with it?
To endow a professorship at the Univesity of Alaska Southeast could be grand enough. The difference between a country college and a world class university is an endowed staff. Academics worldwide compete for endowed positions where the budget is secure and they don't have to search and beg for funds. As I recall, the University of Alaska Anchorage got a Nobel Laureate when it announced an available endowed professorship.
UAS has a growing fund designed to result in an endowed professor of bald eagle/rainforest ecology. This fund is already in the six-digit range and would need only a portion of the surplus to put it over the top. How appropriate can you get?
Providing UAS with its first endowed professor would put our university and our town on the map in a new way. Endowments can be written so that neither the Board of Regents, the Legislature or anyone else can move them to some other campus. What better form of economic diversification for our town?
Starting a trend for endowed professors at UAS would be something this assembly, and this generation, could always be proud of and would always be remembered for.