New UA

Envisioning a new, better-integrated University of Alaska is a dynamic process, and there will be many changes, drafts and revisions as we move forward. This site is a tool for transparency and engagement, not an indication of final decisions. Information will be updated as it becomes available. [Latest updates Sept. 20]

How do we structure a new University of Alaska to achieve our future role for Alaska?

The University of Alaska has taken steps toward reducing administrative overhead at the University of Alaska.

UA leadership is committed to an open, transparent process and will be posting and sharing planning documents as they are drafted. Your feedback is an important part of this process.

BROARD OF REGENTS DIRECTIVES

  • TRANSITION PLANNING: The UA Board of Regents voted July 30 to authorize President Jim Johnsen to immediately reduce administrative costs and propose a plan for a transition to a single institution. READ MORE (June 30 release) That directive was ammended on Sept. 13 to clarify that other options beyond single accreditation will be considered by the board.
  •  AMMENDED DIRECTION: At its Sept. 13 meeting the board revised its July 30 motion, replacing a directive to prepare a plan for board approval to transition to a single institutional accreditation over the 2019-2020 academic year, with preparing options regarding university structure for board consideration that includes single and multiple accreditation. 
  • EXPEDITED REVIEWS: On Thursday, September 12 the Board passed a motion directing the president, working with the chancellors, to form inter-university teams to conduct expedited program reviews of units and programs system-wide. Further detailed planning will occur through the November Board of Regents meeting.

Motion approved by the Board of Regents July 30 -- Revised September 13, 2019
(Download original as PDF

The Board of Regents, pursuant to its duty to govern the University of Alaska in the best interest of the state, authorizes the president—with interim oversight from a Regents’ subcommittee to be appointed by the Chair—to implement the following steps toward increasing the share of resources devoted to academics and student services by developing a revised organizational structure for the University of Alaska:

  1. reducing administrative costs immediately through consolidation and standardization of processes in “back office” functional areas including but not limited to information technology, finance, university relations, and procurement;
  2. preparing a strategic approach to combining duplicative academic colleges and schools, consolidating research institutes, and enhanced integration of community campuses—for review and approval by the Board at its meeting on September 12-13, 2019.
  3. preparing a plan for Board approval to transition to a single institutional accreditation over the 2019-2020 academic year; and
  4. consulting through the above steps with student, faculty, and staff governance groups.
Replace #3 with: Prepare options for university structure for board consideration that includes single and multiple institution accreditation.

Expedited Program Reviews:

PASSED AS AMENDED
“To reduce costs and increase the share of resources dedicated to academic programs and student services, the Board of Regents directs the president, working with the chancellors to form inter-university teams to conduct expedited program reviews of units and programs system-wide, including but not limited to the following, to determine how best to integrate, reduce or discontinue units and programs:

• Engineering
• Teacher Education
• Health
• Indigenous Studies
• Management
• Natural Science
• Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
• Career & Technical Education (CTE)
• eLearning
• Organized Research
• Public Service
• Libraries
• Athletics

The board further directs 
the president to work with academic review teams to prioritize and determine which areas may require additional time past the November 7-8, 2019 meeting and to provide those new target dates to the board in November along with recommended changes or findings, these reviews shall include typical information considered in routine program reviews to the extent available. This motion is effective September 12, 2019.”

Reference Materials

Stakeholder survey results
Consultant Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld reported on a stakeholder survey completed by more than 3,900 students, staff, faculty and community members. The survey indicates considerable disagreement among respondents in some areas and common interests in others. One area of high agreement, at 93 percent, is that having a world-class higher education system in Alaska is important. A second area of high agreement, at 91 percent, is the importance of ensuring dependable state funding for higher education in Alaska. But there was an even split between those who believe it’s important to have all of higher education operate as a single, integrated system and those who believe each campus should have its unique identity. READ FULL REPORT

Strategic Approach
Chart a path forward that:

  • Improves educational access, student service and experience
  • Reduces cost and improves outcomes
  • Eliminates structural and other barriers

Accomplished through:

  • Administrative consolidation/standardization, maintaining local presence and service delivery
  • Combining duplicative academic programs; reducing low value/demand programs; increasing student/faculty ratios; expanding access for students to programs across the system
  • Unify administration, but not all in one place

Background budget context: Budget Compact
On August 13 a budget agreement with Governor Dunleavy was signed by UA Board of Regents Chair John DaviesThe agreement announced a multi-year compact that preserves the legislative funding amount for this fiscal year at $302 million- a reduction from the FY19 budget of $25 million. The compact proposes additional reductions of $25 million in FY21 and $20 million in FY22, which would bring the University of Alaska’s overall state appropriation from $327 million in FY19 to $257 million by FY22.

"A $70 million reduction, even over three years is a serious reduction. It will require careful review and streamlining of administrative structure, academic programs, and services to ensure that resources are focused on student access and achievement," said President Johnsen. "But by restoring the legislature’s appropriated funding for this fiscal year, and by spreading reductions out over the next two years, the required restructuring can be done more methodically, with less impact on students."

To meet this budget timeline: administrative consolidation planning is occuring this fall.

Academic decisions are anticipated to be made Nov. 2019, with official faculty notice potentially given by the end of Dec. 2019, for savings effective in Jan. 2021. In its Sept. 12 meeting, regents recongnized that some areas will not be ready for a decision in this timeline.

The press release announcing the compact can be found at: https://gov.alaska.gov/ newsroom/2019/08/13/ university-of-alaska-and- governor-dunleavy-reach- budget-agreement/