April 1998

The University of Alaska Board of Regents is the governing body responsible for university policy and management through the president. Regents are appointed by the governor for eight-year terms, subject to legislative confirmation. A student regent is appointed for two years from candidates nominated on each campus.

(Regents' terms of office shown in parentheses.)

Board Members:

Michael P. Kelly (1991-1999), President
R. Danforth Ogg (1993-2001), Vice President
Mary Jane Fate (1993-2001), Secretary
Chancy Croft (1995-2003), Treasurer
Elsa Demeksa (1997-2005)
Michael Burns (1997-2005)
Sharon D. Gagnon (1991-1999)
Joe L. Hayes, Jr. (1995-1997)
Joseph R. Henri (1991-1999)
Joe J. Thomas (1995-2003)
Lew M. Williams Jr. (1991-1999)

Board of Regents Office
Jeannie Phillips
202 Butrovich Bldg.
P.O. Box 755300
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5300
" 474-7908


Throughout the month of April, regents of the University of Alaska pressed their case with legislators for adequate state funding of the university, and continued their search for a new university president.

By the end of the month, the finance committees of both houses of the Alaska Legislature had recommended slight increases for the university over last year's funding, and regents were pleased, but their concern over the long term financing of university programs and services resulted in an emergency audioconference session on April 23 when they passed a resolution of concern to the legislature regarding university funding. Even with the proposed increases, regents pointed out, the state appropriation for the university is basically the same as it was in 1986, despite the fact that for the same time period inflation has totaled 30 percent and enrollment has increased 15 percent.

The resolution pointed out that it would require an increased appropriation of at least $3.5 million to allow the university to fund approved employee salary increases; and it would require an increase in the state appropriation of more than $50 million to keep pace with inflation since 1986. Regents ended the resolution with the request that the legislature fully fund the board's FY99 operating budget request of approximately $7 million over last year's appropriation of $164 million.

Prior to the board's regular meeting in Juneau on April 15-17, the Planning and Development Committee met Tuesday, April 14, in Anchorage where UAS Chancellor Marshall Lind briefed them on the preliminary report of the President's Committee on Extended Sites of the University of Alaska which he chairs. Lind told the regents that the current extended campus system is quite efficient. "These sites face the greatest education challenges of the university system," Lind said, "yet they manage to deliver about 24 percent of the total credit hour output of the system with approximately 12 percent of the general fund resources allocated to the system." The final report is expected to propose potential savings options, and the committee will most likely recommend that the major campuses be given target ranges for potential savings, and then be allowed to determine how savings can be realized within their own units.

The university's presidential search committee, which is comprised of the members of the Board of Regents, met on Wednesday, April 15, to review prospective candidates and to finalize the schedule for coming up with a list of finalists. The committee hopes to have a list of finalists by Friday, May 8.

Regents gave their approval to a computer training program that was developed by faculty throughout the university system, and will be available by distance delivery methods to students across the state. The College of Rural Alaska at UAF developed the microcomputer support specialist certificate and associate of applied science degree program in response to an initiative by President Jerome B. Komisar to encourage vocational/technical training and collaborative programs utilizing distance delivery techniques.

Regents authorized the administration to proceed with the sale of revenue bonds in the amount of $1.6 million to fund the replacement of the university's computerized library system; $4.5 million for the coal-water research project at UAF; and $1.7 million to fund the design and initial construction costs for a proposed fisheries research facility to be operated jointly by UAF's School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at Lena Point near Juneau. Annual debt service on the revenue bonds is expected to be $225,000 per year.

In other actions, regents:

Expressed "strong displeasure" that a fund-raising event was scheduled at the university president's house for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, and urged that the event be relocated. Further, the regents requested that the general counsel prepare an amendment to university regulation "that would in the future restrict fund-raising on University of Alaska property to university-related groups." The motion passed unanimously at the board's emergency meeting on April 23. Regents Michael Burns, Elsa Froehlich Demeksa and Sharon Gagnon were absent. As it turned out, the environmental center moved the fund-raising event to Wickersham Hall in downtown Fairbanks in order to accommodate more people.
Approved a resolution of appreciation for Dr. April E. Crosby for her service to the university as a special assistant to the university president, and a resolution of commendation to this year's UAA Student Showcase Award recipients.
Designated the June 1998 meeting in Fairbanks as the annual meeting for the purpose of electing new officers.

FUTURE BOARD MEETINGS

June 18-19, 1998 Fairbanks
August 20,21, 1998 Bethel