Sfraga retires for job in Washington DC
Vice Chancellor Mike Sfraga will be leaving UAF to take a position in Washington D.C. Sfraga has spent nearly 32 years at UAF, and has been vice chancellor for university and student advancement since 2009 after transferring from his position as associate director of Natural Resources and Agricultural Science.
Sfraga’s new role will be Director of Polar Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, a bipartisan program that is part of the Smithsonian Center and primarily funded by congress.
“What the Woodrow Wilson center is trying to do is to elevate the dialogue around the issues of the arctic,” Sfraga said. “Issues like socio-economic opportunities and challenges, Alaska native languages, arctic communities, infrastructure, reducing ice cap issues, shipping lanes. Those are the issues that I and the team I’ve built will be looking at.”
An Alaskan perspective will be extremely helpful in discussing these issues, Sfraga said.
While Sfraga will no longer be officially associated with UAF, he and his work will remain connected he hopes to the institute, it’s Arctic research endeavors and Alaska as a whole, he said.
“My hope is that I will still have some affiliation with UAF and I can bring the Woodrow Wilson Center’s ability to convene and develop policy to Alaska and UAF,” Sfraga said. “And visa versa, I hope to provide for Alaska and the UA, a forum for communication in Washington D.C.”
“In more recent years, Sfraga pursued some arctic initiatives and he found a real passion there,” Interim Chancellor Dana Thomas said. “Now that will be the focus of his work. Because of our role as an arctic university we welcome that connection. While he won’t working for us anymore, we will still be working with him.”
“Mike has a long history here at UAF,” Kari Burrell, vice chancellor and executive officer, said. “He has been absolutely committed to the university and our students. But I also think it’s a great opportunity for UAF and for Alaska to have him positioned in Washington.”
“The big thing for me is the people. People work really hard at this campus,” Sfraga said. “I know this sounds cheesy but the people that work so hard here really change lives and I’m proud to have been a part of that.”