State should build up University of Alaska

Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2008

If Alaska's governor and legislators want to do something of permanent worldwide significance, they can put a couple of billion dollars into the University Foundation to reduce tuition, raise faculty compensation and enhance infrastructure, this year. And do it again next year.

With 16 campuses at the top of the Pacific Rim, midway between the population centers of Asia and America and on the edge of the arctic, Alaska's university has a setting unequaled by any other institution. What a grand place to realize the legendary "meeting" of east and west.

A major aspect should be building up the smaller campuses to strengthen education, research and the economy in the various regions of Alaska and promote better coordination, and understanding among all Alaska citizens.

As the multinational corporations use up and lose interest in Alaska's natural recourses, what will be left? A premier university providing education and research in all fields could dominate Alaska's economy on and on into the future. A huge endowment could ensure that happens. Why not get ready for the future now?

Our rapidly maturing university is ready to blossom into a leadership position among the top world institutions. Alaskans need it - the world needs it - we have the money. Why not get on with it?

Jim and Mary Lou King

Juneau



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