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Chancellor appoints Family Friendly Task Force

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902

10/17/08

University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers has appointed 11 local residents to a task force to find ways to make the university more family friendly.

Members are leaders from local child care and family support organizations, as well as from the campus community. Veronica Plumb, assistant professor of child development and family studies at UAF's Tanana Valley Campus, and Carol Brice, a longtime child and family advocate, will lead the task force. Additional members may be appointed to the task force as work progresses.

"I have asked this group to look for ways that UAF can support faculty, staff and students as they balance their jobs, educations and families," Rogers said. "We are finding that lack of sufficient quality child care is affecting our ability to recruit and retain faculty and staff, and creates real challenges for our students. UAF needs to be part of community solutions to this problem and we need to ensure our work environment supports our productive employees and successful students."

Rogers formed the task force at the recommendation of the UAF Child Care Transition Team, which met throughout the summer. The task force will review other transition team recommendations, which focus on UAF developing additional childcare programs that serve the campus community and provide an educational laboratory for students, and create plans and timelines for implementing them.

The Fairbanks community has a shortage of child care options, Plumb said. Many programs, including the UAF Bunnell House, have lengthy waiting lists. The task force could start to address those challenges, she said.

"We do know that the main focus for people is the care situation and what we can do to support that in a positive way for our community," Plumb said. "Whether [the solution] is development and enhancement of smaller programs in town or development of a large facility " those are questions the task force is to seek answers to."

She added that program enhancements both on campus and off could provide additional practical experience for students, which in turn creates a well-trained pool of care providers in the community.

"I think the goal right now, what people are looking for, is a collaboration between the campus and the community," Plumb said.

The task force is slated to begin meeting soon. Meeting times and dates will be posted on the UAF Web site.

CONTACT: UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers at 907-474-7112 or via e-mail at fnbdr@uaf.edu. Veronica Plumb, assistant professor of child development and family studies, at 907-455-2038 or via e-mail at ffvmp@uaf.edu. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@uaf.edu.

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