Pat Pitney delivers State of the University Address

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 7:21 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Pat Pitney delivered her State of the University Address with a hybrid audience of virtual and in-person participants. Held at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, this is her first address since being selected as the new President of the University of Alaska (UA) System.

“Our universities and community campuses offers high-quality degree and training programs,” Pitney highlighted. “More importantly, employers want UA graduates because they are highly-qualified and they stay and contribute to the local community and the state. Our graduates are engaged citizens interested in creating the best Alaska for our children and grandchildren.”

Pitney’s speech included the subjects of retention, strategic goals, and the opportunities fostered within the UA system that contribute to Alaska’s economic environment.

“A stark reality is that last March, as the U.S. was emerging from COVID the first time, the overall economy added - in one month - 916,000 jobs,” she said. “Only 7,000 went to workers with only a high school diploma. That is, less than 1% of the jobs added back went to workers without a college credential.”

With this in mind, the new university president shared some goals she will focus on. These includes increasing student enrollment to build Alaska’s own workforce, which Pitney hopes will result in concentrated economic development initiatives.

Pitney mentioned building industry partnerships to expand Alaska’s business workforce, commended the success of researchers, and pledged to focus on promoting arctic policy, research, and leadership.

“We’re re-creating ourselves at a smaller, more focused footprint - having prioritized and maintained the solid foundation of quality academic programs aligned with the highest demand jobs in our state,” Pitney concluded. “We have the ability to grow enrollment and create remarkable student experiences, as well as leverage our research capacity to support our economic opportunities to come.”

The recorded address can be found on KTOO’s website.

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