October 22, 1998 Minutes

Board of Regents


University of Alaska Board of Regents
Meeting with Board Presidents
October 22, 1998
Anchorage, Alaska


Regents Present:
Michael J. Burns, President
Annette M. Nelson-Wright, Secretary
Chancy Croft, Treasurer
Mary Jane Fate
Joseph R. Henri
Michael P. Kelly
R. Danforth Ogg

Mark R. Hamilton, Executive Officer and President of the University of Alaska

Regents Absent:
Elsa Froehlich Demeksa, Vice President
Sharon D. Gagnon
Joe J. Thomas
Lew M. Williams, Jr.

Former Board Presidents Present:
Brian Brundin (1975-77)
Jeffry Cook (1982-83)
Hugh Fate, Jr. (1977-79)
Herbert Lang (1984-85)
Edward Rasmuson (1979-82)
Elmer Rasmuson (1956-68)

In Attendance:
Wendy Redman, Vice President for University Relations
Jim Johnsen, Chief of Staff
Jeannie D. Phillips, Board of Regents' Officer
Jack Roderick
Larry Weiss

I. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m.

II. Adoption of Agenda

The agenda was adopted with no objections.


"The Board of Regents adopts the agenda as presented.

I. Call to Order

II. Adoption of Agenda

III. Welcome

IV. Introduction

V. UA Research Highlight

VI. "The View After Sixty Days"

VII. Discussion

VIII. Adjourn

This motion is effective October 22, 1998."

III. Welcome

Mr. Elmer Rasmuson welcomed the participants to the meeting.

IV. Introduction

President Hamilton thanked Mr. Rasmuson for the generous offering of the Conference Room. President Hamilton then asked participants to introduce themselves and added his welcome and thanks to the former presidents of the Board of Regents for taking time to discuss the future of the University of Alaska in the 21st century, its purpose, and what it should look like.

V. UA Research Highlight

Mr. Dirk Tordoff, archivist with the Rasmuson Library Alaska Film Archives, introduced and then showed via video, three historical segments that had been preserved by the Alaska Film Archives: bombing of Dutch Harbor during World War II, footage of the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, and a clip of former Board President Andrew Nerland inviting Alaska students to attend the University of Alaska and announcing the availability of scholarships for those students.

VI. "The View After Sixty Days"

President Hamilton reported on his activities during his first sixty days in office and projects that are underway under his leadership include the University of Alaska Scholars Program, 5-Year Research Plan, and formal Recruitment Plan.

President Hamilton also briefed the participants regarding the Alaska Quality Education Initiative and how it may affect how the University of Alaska delivers education, recruits students, and focuses its various missions to react to the changing needs of Alaska's students.

VII. Discussion

Discussion followed on the concerns of each participant regarding planning for the future. In addition to the following participant comments, written comments were received from former Board of Regents' presidents Elmer Rasmuson, Ann Parrish, Jeffry Cook, and Hugh Fate; and from current Board members Mary Jane Fate, Joseph R. Henri, R. Danforth Ogg, Chancy Croft and Lew Williams.

Elmer Rasmuson

1. Mission must be clearly defined.

2. Course offerings must be adequate to satisfy the wants of the students and available in number to meet demand.

3. Importance of research.

4. Library facilities and delivery expansion.

5. Organized endowment appeal to private sector.

6. Re-examination of the three MAUs' missions.

7. Reliance on adjuncts should be minimized.

8. Regents must be selected on basis of commitment to entire University of Alaska, not to a particular party or region.

Dan Ogg

1. Need an efficient and focused administrative structure.

2. Need for a strong community college system.

3. Have to become the acclaimed university in fields of study that are unique to Alaska.

4. Shall become a leader in distance education.

5. Ensure a stable funding base for higher education in Alaska.

6. MAUs specialize in fields of study that best suit their area of expertise and location.

Hugh Fate

1. Make sure we have a proper statewide institutional planning process.

2. MAUs should not be competitive but experts in their own fields with the president and regents determining what the mission statements are.

3. Need leadership from the presidency to adroitly lead all MAUs according to policy.

4. Need more public advocacy by individual board members.

5. Need stronger campus advisory committees.

6. Board can be the best board the university has seen but must put politics second and the University first.

Chancy Croft

1. Planning must come back to center stage of the Board of Regents' agenda. Ideas include a "Brookings Institute" process that involves the community at large as well as the board and administration.

2. Community College - "if you can't name it, you can't understand it." Need to more clearly define our vocational/technical opportunities as well as the traditional university opportunities. Must have a constancy as well as adaptability.

3. Alaska Expertise at MAUs: need to establish what we are expert in and communicate this expertise; i.e., publish student theses in journals; establish an Institute of Northern Living emphasizing all the things that are unique to the Arctic and sub-Arctic.

Herb Lang

1. Examine the University of Alaska System structure, recognizing that it is an amalgamation of very different types of units.

2. Strengthen advisory groups.

Mike Burns

1. Deal with the realities and perceptions of competition and redundancy between Fairbanks and Anchorage.

2. Recognize and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity for the university through federal legislation to carve out an endowment for the university from the permanent fund to protect the fund from taxation.

Jeff Cook

The University must be:

1. respected and perceived to have a very high quality;

2. relevant;

3. focused beyond the basics; and

4. adequately funded with clear proof of what that money is going to be used for.

Joe Henri

1. Must resolve the issue of "are we three universities or one university" and recognize that there is a natural bias toward Fairbanks by system administration based in Fairbanks.

2. Look at current selection process for regents recognizing that "there aren't many Winston Churchills, Napoleon Bonapartes or Elmer Rasmusons."

Ed Rasmuson

1. Strive to have continuity on board; speak with governors about reappointments.

Brian Brundin

1. Assure that the University is Y2K-prepared.

2. Recognize that the changing of our weather patterns will require emergency planning and research.

VIII. Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.