September 8, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 8, 2021
University of Alaska Board of Regents to discuss FY23 budget, the university’s role in developing critical minerals, a new degree in teacher education and revised tuition structure during Sept. 9-10 meeting
The University of Alaska Board of Regents will discuss the FY23 budget, consider approval of a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Early Childhood Education at UAA, and discuss approaches to tuition rates during its Sept. 9-10 meeting.
“For years, we've had a very strict structure in tuition. Lower division, upper division, and graduate tuition was the same for all universities and programs,” said Interim UA President Pat Pitney. ”We need to build in flexibility that recognizes the different university missions. In other states, a research university like UAF has different tuition rates than comprehensive universities like UAA and those rates are different from community campus tuition.”
In addition, the board will hear an update on the FY22 budget and discuss the FY23 budget with an emphasis on how it will support the university’s goals and measures, and how it will modernize student IT systems to support student access and experience. The discussion will also introduce the rationale to develop a compensation philosophy and policy for attracting and retaining staff. The capital budget discussion will focus on deferred maintenance, facility stewardship and reducing the facility footprint.
For the past year, Pitney has emphasized the need for fiscal stability recognizing the downsizing that’s occurred over the past eight years. “Stable base funding will allow the university system to focus on the quality programs that supply Alaska's necessary skilled workforce for businesses and industries. These quality programs at UAA, UAF and UAS are key to Alaska’s economic future. Every business leader I’ve talked to desperately wants UA graduates. To meet these workforce needs, students, parents and Alaska’s businesses need to have confidence their programs are here to stay – financial stability is a prerequisite,” said Pitney.
Pitney will update the board on the completed review of administrative positions, and on the progress of the Alaska Native Success Initiative, which is designed to improve equity and inclusion across the UA system and better support Alaska Native students, staff and faculty.
On Friday morning, regents will get an in-depth look into the university’s role in the development of critical minerals through the “Did You Know” presentation, which will include work being done on the research, exploration and extraction of these strategic minerals, workforce development for the mining industry, and their importance to the state’s economy and national security.
The board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, during its meeting Sept. 2, recommended approval of a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Early Childhood Education at UAA. That recommendation will come before the board for approval.
“We heard in testimony [during the board’s public testimony session] that there is support for the early childhood education program across the state and we received letters of support speaking to the importance of this program,” said Vice President Paul Layer. “This program will, with state board approval, qualify a graduate to be a certified pre-K to 3rd grade teacher and emphasize early reading development.”
The committee also reviewed enrollment trends. Pitney said she was encouraged by the new students enrollment numbers indicating improved confidence.
As part of the consent agenda, committee recommendations will be discussed by the full board.
Other items on the September agenda include:
Updates from university chancellors and governance groups, government relations, UA Foundation;
Approval of a name change of the UAF School of Management to College of Business and Security Management;
An update on Title IX compliance; and,
Approval of honorary degrees and meritorious service awards for fall 2021 and spring 2022.
Thursday’s meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude by 2 p.m. Friday’s meeting will begin at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude by 12 p.m.
The full agenda is available on BoardDocs at https://www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas/.
The board meetings will be live streamed at www.alaska.edu/bor/live/, live captioning is available. Or listen via audio by calling 1-866-832-7806 / pin 8475100. If the toll-free line is busy, please call 1-330-595-1371.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents is an 11-member volunteer board, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Alaska Legislature. Members serve an eight-year term, with the exception of the student regent who serves a two-year term. The Board was established through the Alaska Constitution and is responsible for University of Alaska policy and management through the university president.
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For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).