To the editor: I wish to respond to the expedited program review article in the March 11 edition of the News-Miner.
I have worked for in the resource industry most of my life and appreciate its contribution to society. I believe in developing our natural resources in an environmentally sound manner for the benefit of mankind.
I came to Alaska because I saw what it had to offer mankind. Today Alaska is on the threshold of becoming a bankrupt state if the state’s industries are not allowed to move ahead with projects that are being proposed. Mining projects will create revenues for the benefit of its people, the state of Alaska, and ultimately the nation.
The failure of the university to train its residents to help develop Alaska’s resources will be a travesty. The University of Alaska was originally founded on helping its students to gain the knowledge to develop its agriculture and mining industry. It has had a long history of working with individuals and industry to accomplish that mission.
The theoretical arm of the university is important, but we need to have engineers who are hands-on who know how to complete projects in the real world.
Alaska is a resources-based state and is dependent on the development of resources to remain financially solvent. Failure to do so will result in further cuts in funding and relegate the university to a third-rate junior university.
I can’t understand the thinking behind some of committees set up to review and make progress to eliminate the mining and geological engineering programs at the UAF. I do not think the selected committee members were balanced to make realistic decisions based on the real world of Alaska economics that drive our economy.
We must support our Mining and Geological Engineering programs and encourage good sound student enrollment. Our future depends on Alaska engineers that are knowledgeable about Alaska’s environment and know how to contribute to the development of our resources. The University of Alaska Fairbanks must retain those programs that will benefit and allow Alaska to become an economically viable entity.