LEGISLATORS AND REGENTS BOTH SCHEDULED MEETINGS
Alaska legislators will host a special meeting regarding the University of Alaska’s overall structure and fiscal crisis on Monday from 2-7 pm, with invited testimony from several stakeholders in the university system during the first three hours:
- Jim Johnsen – President, University of Alaska
- Dennis Jones – President Emeritus, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems
- David Teal – Legislative Finance Director
- Joel Potter – Professor, UAA
- Alex Hirsch – Prof. & Honors Program Dir., UAF
- Marc Powell – Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Senior VP
- Robin Gilcrist – Professor, UAS
- Susan Henrichs – Provost Emerita, UAF
- Maria Williams, Chair, University of Alaska Faculty Alliance
From 5-7 pm, legislators will take public testimony regarding the future of the university system.
The meeting, to be held at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office large conference room, is sponsored by Democrat Reps. Andy Josephson, Ivy Spohnholz, Geran Tarr, and Sen. Bill Wielechowski. It will be teleconferenced via the Alaska Legisature’s livestream technology.
At the same time, the University Board of Regents is holding a special “meeting of the whole” from 2:30-3:30 pm in Fairbanks.
Regents are crafting a response to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which warned in a letter that the university system’s accreditation could be pulled if those in charge fail to bring governance and communication up speed, and in line with the NWCCU standard.
Although public testimony won’t be taken during this meeting, the Regents will be tuning into the legislative meeting in Anchorage to hear the public testimony from 4-5 pm.
Regents recently decided to hold off moving to a single-accredited university until the University of Alaska Fairbanks successfully gets through its next accreditation review next year. They also cancelled the academic program review that had begun in anticipation of a consolidated university.
The university system is facing a budget reduction of $25 million this fiscal year, as well as $25 million next year and $20 million the year following, as the State of Alaska copes with a gap in funding for programs covering many sectors.
The Board of Regents meeting will be livestreamed at this link.