State Briefs

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2001

Companies donate $4 million to university

FAIRBANKS - BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Phillips Petroleum have presented the University of Alaska Foundation with checks that total more than $4 million.

The money, paid Thursday, represents the second annual contribution the companies have made to the university as part of an agreement with the state. Last year the companies contributed a combined $2.54 million to the university under the agreement.

BP signed the agreement with the Knowles administration in 1999 in return for state approval of BP's plan to acquire Atlantic Richfield. BP eventually agreed to sell Arco Alaska to Phillips Petroleum. BP and Phillips both agreed to abide by the charter agreement with the state.

The agreement includes a provision that 30 percent of the money BP and Phillips set aside each year for community giving will go to the University of Alaska.

University President Mark Hamilton said last year's money went to hire new faculty in areas such as global climate change, fisheries and ocean sciences, satellite data retrieval and educational technology. Some of the money went to develop programs in Alaska Native language and culture, global logistics, behavioral health science and other areas.

Chugach schools win national award

ANCHORAGE - The Chugach School District has won the 2001 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for education. It's named for former Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldridge.

Chugach has 214 students scattered in villages throughout Prince William Sound.

The award is to recognize improved student test scores and the decline in teacher turnover resulting from changes the district implemented in the early 1990s.

At that time, the district won a waiver from the state Board of Education to use a performance-based system of education rather than the credit system used elsewhere around the state.

Since the changes were implemented, students' scores in the California Achievement Test have soared, from the 28th percentile to the 78th percentile.

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