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The University House is now available for rent as an event space by the UA community and the general public. The venue is flexible to accommodate events ranging from large or small receptions, to department retreats, conferences and training sessions that require audio/visual technology. Click the photo for the University House web page with more information on the space and how to make a reservation. Photo by Monique Musick

System News July 2016

  • Strategic Pathways Update
  • Board of Regents adopt audio testimony and public evening forums
  • UA Adopts a Definition of College Readiness
  • Johnsen's Update on Accreditation Review

Strategic Pathways Update

As the university prepares for students and faculty to return to campus, the seven Phase I Strategic Pathways review teams, which began their work a month ago, are working toward an Aug. 17 completion date. The three academic and four administrative programs under review include the schools of Management, Engineering and Education, and the administrative areas of Information Technology, Research Administration, Procurement and Intercollegiate Athletics.

At the most recent meeting on July 25/26, President Jim Johnsen told the review team members that he is grateful for the time they’ve invested over the last several weeks. “I’ve been very impressed by the commitment you have all made to bring us to where we are today,” he said. “The teams are doing their best and I appreciate that, and I realize this is hard, especially when an option on the table may impact you personally. When that happens, I ask you to remember why we are here, to think anew about how to strengthen the University of Alaska in its service to Alaska and its people.”  MORE.....

UA Adopts a Definition of College Readiness

The University of Alaska, as a public, open-enrollment state university enrolls high rates of students requiring developmental education courses in math and English to prepare them for credit-bearing coursework. The percentage of Alaska students enrolling in developmental education courses has exceeded 50 percent in recent years.

In June 2013, more than 30 Alaska State Policy Research Alliance (ASPRA) members, including UA representatives, gathered to delve into issues surrounding postsecondary success and develop a statewide system for monitoring student progress toward college, career, and life readiness and success—and a common system for defining what it means to be prepared for postsecondary education. An important part of that discussion was including local context into the definition, in particular, our Alaska Native cultural values and Alaska’s unique economic contexts. MORE....

Regents Adopt Audio Testimony & Public Evening Forums

In response to requests from community members, governance groups and business leaders, the Board of Regents has changed the way it will hear from the public. Beginning in September 2016, the board will host a two-hour audio public testimony session the week prior to full board meetings. They will no longer be hearing public testimony during their regular meetings.

The chair will moderate the session in the same way as was done for face-to-face testimony, while a facilitated audio line will allow residents anywhere in the state to testify telephonically.
This change is important for extending stakeholders’ opportunity for input and for time with the board. The evening hours will allow university and community members who cannot take time off work an opportunity to testify.

The second major revision to public input is the addition of evening forums with the board. The first night of each full board meeting will include a public forum at the board meeting location from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. during which local community members can share their views and opinions with the board.  MORE...

Click HERE for PDF with public testimony schedule and information.

Johnsen's Update on Accreditation Review

Memo to staff/faculty July 18, 2016:

In May I commissioned a review of the university's current accreditation system by former Vice President Dana Thomas. The review is meant to explore the range of options around single or multiple accreditation, including what the university can and cannot do organizationally under our current system of three separately accredited Universities. In addition to the review work being conducted by Dr. Thomas, I have been working closely with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in this exploratory process. Although we had anticipated the work being done by Dr. Thomas to be completed by July 15th, it will take another two weeks or so. Please be assured that once the report is done it will be posted and I will seek your thoughts and counsel. Thank you for your commitment to the University of Alaska and to meeting the education and research needs of the State.

Jim Johnsen

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