Regents direct further collaboration

Aug. 6, 2020

Dear UA Community –

Yesterday the Board of Regents voted to rescind its June 4 motion to prepare a conceptual plan for merging the University of Alaska Southeast and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and passed a new motion directing me to work with the chancellors and shared governance in a transparent and inclusive manner to address the continued budget reductions. 

Specifically, the board’s decision includes:

  • developing clarity and standards for administrative and instructional costs relative to student enrollment, and review structural options;
  • analyzing opportunities and costs associated with a greater presence of fisheries and ocean science programs on the Juneau campus;
  • redoubling efforts on collaboration across the system, program sharing, and partnerships with industry, communities, and tribal organizations; and,
  • assuring the Alaska College of Education has clear roles and responsibilities for program delivery that address the priority of teacher education that are transparent and well-integrated across the system. 

The board’s action speaks to the need for greater collaboration across the UA system. I want to recognize the collaborative work already accomplished and efforts currently underway. More needs to be done, for example, there needs to be a clear and concise portal for the public to know what programs are available across the system, that the offerings are well coordinated, and a simple path to apply to their chosen program regardless of which university. 

I am convinced that the success of the University of Alaska system will depend on our commitment to working together through these tough times.  Yes, the reductions have been and will be painful, however,  a stable core of quality programs will remain to serve students, industry, the state, and communities. Success of the University of Alaska system is dependent on our communities and businesses embracing their university. 

As we look to the future, I’d like to hear about the collaborative work you are doing. Please take the time to provide your feedback on the form that we’ve established so we can share examples on work in progress and use successes as models going forward. 

I'm so appreciative of faculty and staff for being flexible in these changing times, and for all you are doing to support your students, research programs, and communities. I encourage you to stay engaged as we work through this. 

Thank you,
Pat Pitney