Voice

“It is increasingly evident that there is great interest from UA community and public at large to express their thoughts, concerns or to advocate for the many areas of our university. This change in process will give ample opportunity for all to be heard.”  
–Chair Jo Heckman

Changes to Board of Regents Public Testimony Debut At September Meeting

Beginning September 2016, the University of Alaska Board of Regents will introduce a new format for public testimony. Instead of hearing from the public during board meetings, the regents will host a two-hour call-in audio testimony session one week in advance of the full board meetings, and an evening public gathering following the first day of the full board meeting (Thursday), so that the public and university community can both meet informally with regents and have an opportunity to share their comments and concerns.

The public testimony will air on KUAC-FM HD2 and stream on KUAC2 at www.kuac.org. The direct link to the live streaming is http://kuacii.streamon.fm/. The audio will play on computers, laptops, mobile phones and most other hand-held devices with internet capability.

In June, the regents approved changes to public testimony in response to requests from numerous constituents for an alternate time to address regents outside of the window allotted during board meetings and for using audio lines for those who cannot travel to appear in person. Supporting the effort to change procedures were resolutions from university governance groups– the Faculty Alliance, System Governance Council and USUAA– urging regents to expand testimony options, especially for rural residents, and save on the cost of having to travel to meetings to testify.

Click HERE for PDF with public testimony schedule and information.

In addition, Board of Regents committee meetings are now being held one week prior to full board meetings. The call-in testimony is scheduled so that members of the public can comment on actions under consideration by the committees and full board. There are four standing and two ad hoc committees – audit, academic and student affairs, planning and development, facilities/land management, presidential performance and Title IX.

“Our time will be well spent hearing public testimony prior to our meetings,” said Regent Mary K. Hughes.

Under the new arrangement, the board will host a two-hour public testimony via audio from 4-6 p.m. on either a Monday or Tuesday one week prior to full board meetings. For the first time, anyone can call in to a moderated line instead of having to be present at the meeting location to testify. The board chair will run the session in much the same way it was done for in-person testimony. Audio lines will allow for two-way conversations and regents asking questions of those who testify.

Members of the public wishing to testify can dial in by calling 866-726-0757. Callers will hear hold music until contacted by the moderator and asked to provide their name and location. Once in queue they will go back on hold until their turn to testify. The moderator will transfer each speaker in turn to the audio conference call with the regents. More information on the process and tips for testifying are posted at www.alaska.edu/bor/public-testimony.

There also will be opportunity to address the regents during an evening gathering from 5:30–7 p.m. the first night of each full board meeting. The evening timeframe provides an opportunity for university and community members to interact with regents in a more casual setting. The gatherings will not be catered, however coffee, tea and water will be available.

Regents expressed strong support for the new system. “As we look at budget considerations and program changes we want to hear from the university and the community,” said Board Chair Jo Heckman. “This will allow more input to the regents on Strategic Pathways and other important changes facing the university.”

2016 - 2017 Meeting and Testimony Schedule

Agendas are available at: www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas/

Testifying to the Board of Regents

Comments are limited to two minutes per individual or as determined by the chair. Testimony will be taken in the order that people call in as time allows.

Written testimony is accepted at any time and is shared with the board and the president. Please submit to: ua-bor@alaska.edu.

Tips for Testifying
Address the chair and members. Introduce yourself and/or group you are representing:     
     
    “Mr./Madam Chair and members of the Board of Regents, my name is
   (your name), calling from (city)” and then begin your testimony.

  • Know what you want to say, please be concise and specific.
  • Summarize the main points of your comments.
  • Offer a solution and be constructive.
  • Have someone review your text or listen to your presentation.
  • Practice and time yourself (2 minutes).

This is your opportunity to provide input and the Regents want to hear from you. We encourage you to email the board at ua-bor@alaska.edu.

Thank you for making UA a great university!

For more information visit www.alaska.edu/bor/public-testimony/

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