Jim Johnsen

For many years, universities have competed for talented students by promoting academic programs, affordability, athletic teams and campus life. Those elements remain a part of campus recruitment, but today smart students are increasingly making choices based on a university’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs.

There’s no doubt that a community that values innovation is good for our students, our community partners, and our state. At the University of Alaska, we recognize that investing in innovation and aggressively supporting applied learning is critical.

There was a time in Alaska when leadership was seized by those who had inexhaustible enthusiasm and strong motivation to address the challenges faced by our state.

Today, our leaders face demands — financial, social and educational — that are daunting. Now, more than ever, is the time for Alaskans to step up and join together to address our state’s challenges and seize our opportunities.