August, 1997

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
(907) 474-7908


Regents continue a planning process to prepare for the next state budget cycle and have begun the process of developing a strategic plan for the opening years of the Twenty-first Century. The Planning and Development Committee, chaired by Anchorage Regent Sharon Gagnon, is charged with both short- and long-term planning. While short-term planning has garnered most of the attention because of the immediate need to accommodate budget reductions, the committee is engaged in long-term planning efforts as well. In support of the committee's work, University President Jerome B. Komisar has named several executive advisory committees to rapidly but fully analyze specific issues:

Administrative Savings. UAF Chancellor Joan Wadlow is chairing a systemwide committee to examine the university's expenditures in administration. The committee charge is to recommend potential savings through changes in the role and mission of the system office and campus administrative processes. The committee's preliminary findings will be shared with the system office and the major regional campuses by October 1; final recommendations will be presented to the board at its November meeting.

Extended Campuses. UAS Chancellor Marshall Lind is chairing a systemwide committee to examine the costs and organizational structure of the extended campuses. There are two elements within the committee's charge: first, to detail the financial resources necessary to operate extended sites; second, to analyze alternative ways of delivering high quality and cost effective academic programs to remote locations. This committee's report will be presented to the board at its November meeting.

Allocation Model. UAA Chancellor Lee Gorsuch is chairing a committee to develop a resource allocation model to be used for the urban centers of the university in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Its purpose will be to assure an effective and equitable distribution of the university's resources. The model must take into consideration variations in enrollment, differences in costs by discipline and level of instruction, infrastructure needs and area differentials. The first draft of the model should be completed by the end of November, then shared with the university community for review and comment, with final approval sought from the board in April 1998.

Instructional Equipment and Distance Education. Academic efforts throughout the university will depend on the university's investment in instructional equipment. The University of Alaska is far behind much of higher education in providing its students with the advantages of sophisticated means of accessing and employing information. President Komisar has asked the System Academic Council and the UA Learning Cooperative to explore how the university can achieve an outstanding position in instructional capacity. The results also will be presented at the November meeting.

Strategic Plan. The board adopted a schedule for the crafting of a detailed strategic plan. The project will involve several stages. The first will be the acceptance of a draft "white paper" on the future role of the university which will be shared with the university's many constituencies for review and comment. The second will involve the development of campus-based strategic plans. The final stage will be putting together both a systemwide and campus-specific strategic plan. The first stage is to be completed by January 1998. The work of the campuses will continue through the next year, with the expectation that the plan will be complete by January 1999.

A retirement incentive program (RIP) for employees of the University of Alaska was approved for next year. Following state Department of Administration approval of the university's program, there will be an application period from October 27, 1997, to December 12, 1997. Decisions on eligibility for the RIP program will be based on the program needs and verified cost savings. Information about the RIP will be distributed to employees early this fall.

Regents approved an administration recommendation that the university accept students from states that are not participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). The WUE was created as a program under the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to enable qualified residents of other participating states to gain admittance in selected programs at a special tuition rate of 50 percent more than the institution's regular tuition. Twelve states, including Alaska, participate in the program, but Arizona, California and Washington do not. WICHE has said participating states may accept students from those three states while work continues to resolve issues related to those states. In 1996, there were 69 students from WUE states attending the University of Alaska, and 794 Alaska students attending other WUE state programs.

UAF will continue to use the Brooks Building, but on a substantially reduced basis that will enable the campus to save about $100,000 next year. Lab space on the first floor of the building will continue to be utilized as will the lavatory facilities on the second floor. Tentatively, the remainder of the four-story building will be unused, but UAF officials are continuing to work with Fairbanks civic and community leaders to explore other ways the building could be utilized.

Revised policies prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment throughout the university were approved.

Upcoming Meetings
September 24-26, 1997 Fairbanks
November 20-21, 1997 Anchorage


Published after each Board of Regents' meeting by the Office of Public Affairs:

206 Butrovich Building
P.O. Box 755340
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5340

(907) 474-7272
E-mail: syserve@orca.alaska.edu

Written by Director of Public Affairs Bob Miller.