In a 6-5 vote, the University of Alaska Board of Regents discontinued seven teacher development programs at University of Alaska Anchorage, effective Sept. 1.
The programs had lost their national accreditation in January.
University President Jim Johnsen, facing budget cuts that could be substantial from the Legislature or by the governor’s veto pen, proposed discontinuing the teaching programs rather than trying to rehabilitate them and reapply for accreditation.
Regents voting to discontinue the programs were Board of Regents Chairman John Davies, Gloria O’Neill, Karen Perdue, Mary Hughes, John Bania, and Stephen Sweet. Darrol Hargraves, Lisa Parker, Andy Teuber, Sheri Buretta, and Dale Anderson voted to save the following programs, which are currently without accreditation:
Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education
Post‐Baccalaureate, Elementary Education
Master of Arts in Teaching, Secondary Education
Bachelor of Arts, Early Childhood Education
Post‐Baccalaureate, Early Childhood Education
Graduate Certificate, Special Education (initial licensure)
M.Ed, Early Childhood Special Education (initial licensure)
UAA has had the largest education program in the state, with more than 250 students currently enrolled. Some of the students may be transitioned to other campuses, either Fairbanks or Juneau, to complete their degrees.
In January, UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen wrote to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation: “I wish to assure you, the Council and all of our stakeholders that we are rapidly taking steps to address areas noted by the Accreditation Council for improvement and stipulations. While our first concern must be –and is –to address the needs of our current students, I also want to bring to your attention the major steps we are taking to address deficiencies and to fully prepare these programs to regain accreditation at the earliest opportunity.”
But the university would not be able to even reapply for accreditation for another year, and meanwhile, students in the program would be studying without assurances that their degrees would be useful.
To date, no University of Alaska college administrator has lost his or her job over the debacle. Three administrators who were on payroll at the time of the accreditation review have been replaced.