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Rogers fields questions about bookstore, sidewalks and other campus issues

November 10, 2009

More than a couple dozen people gathered in the Wood Center Multi-level lounge this afternoon to ask UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers about a variety of issues. Questions (during the first half, anyway) touched on sustainability (and the green fee), the bookstore, Rogers’ “people first” initiative (mentioned in his 2008 convocation), and sidewalk safety.

Rogers said he really is working on the bookstore issue (and he knows that the current system doesn’t work). Some changes will be made by January, and more by next September, he said. In the meantime, Follet (the people who run the online bookstore) is coming to visit at the end of this week. An open session for students is scheduled for Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the Wood Center, with a session for faculty and staff set for 1:30 p.m. The representatives will also be visiting with the Faculty Senate at 11 a.m. on Thursday, and hosting a meeting at 3:30 that afternoon at the Tanana Valley Campus.


An early question at the forum was about Rogers’ plans to put people first. Rogers said it is still in the works. Some of the areas where strides have been made are in supervisor training and the addition of some free parking in the summer to encourage the Fairbanks community to visit UAF. And other issues – like faculty promotion – are still being worked on, he said.

ASUAF President Adrian Triebel also asked Rogers about the student-initiated “green fee,” which will go into affect next semester. Rogers said that he was working with the sustainability director hired by ASUAF (and others) to hammer out details, but that some of the ideas for spending the money include a competitive grant for students to submit project ideas, creating student jobs to help with energy conservation and other arenas, and others. He’s still planning to match the funds students are contributing.

The forum was a chance for the campus community to check-in with Rogers about the status of various efforts at UAF. Before he opened the floor for questions, he said that if he didn’t have an answer, he would definitely try to find one. And when someone asked about a couple icy patches around campus twenty minutes later, he asked the audience for help answering the question. Linda Zanazzo stood up and said that sidewalks were planned, but not yet funded.

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