February 04, 1997

Regents Meeting

February 4, 1997  NR 2-1997

The Board of Regents of the University of Alaska will meet Wednesday through Saturday, February 12-15, 1997, at the Baranof Hotel in downtown Juneau.

Regents will meet in retreat on Wednesday, February 12, beginning at 10:30 a.m. for discussions regarding postsecondary educational, training, research and public service needs assessment, and the cost of responding to those needs. The retreat will end at 5:30 p.m.

Committees will meet all day Thursday and early Friday morning, and the full board meeting will begin Friday at 8 a.m. with public comment. The meeting is expected to conclude at 5 p.m. Beginning Saturday at 8 a.m., the regents will hold a collective bargaining retreat in executive session. It is expected to end about 4 p.m. All meetings will be held at the Baranof Hotel.
Highlights of the agenda include:

Under current policy, tuition would be increased by the three-year Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) average, rounded to the nearest dollar. The effect would be to increase lower division tuition from $70 per credit hour to $72 per credit hour for Academic Year 1998 (AY98). The administration, however, has proposed that the regents take action to increase lower division tuition by one-half the HEPI rate, or from $70 to $71 per credit hour. Tuition rates are less at extended campuses and community colleges. At Kodiak College, where the current rate is $57 per credit hour, the administration's proposal would move the tuition rate to $61 per credit hour. For several years, Kodiak College has kept its tuition lower, but last year the regents indicated the Kodiak rate should be more in line with the rest of the system. Below, see the chart which summarizes the tuition rates that would take effect under current policy and under the administration's recommendation for AY98:

Discussion of a Technology User Fee.
The administration recommends that the regents discuss at this meeting and schedule for action in April enactment of a campus-based technology user fee of $5 per credit hour up to $60 per semester to be implemented effective in the fall of 1997. The fee would be utilized for campuswide computing and other technology improvements. Campus-based committees, including representatives of the student body, would be formed to advise the campus administration regarding the expenditure of the revenues generated by the new fee.

"Students across almost every discipline are entering the University of Alaska and other colleges and universities with the expectation that state-of-the-art technology will be a part of their learning and instructional experience," said David Creamer, vice president for finance and planning. "In too many instances, these expectations are going unmet at the University of Alaska. Open labs, especially, are crowded, sometimes outdated, and poorly staffed. This not only affects students but limits the ability of the faculty to integrate information technology and computing into the content and the mode of delivery of their instruction."

Creamer said more than 50 percent of public four-year colleges and universities in the United States have established such technology fees. The matter is scheduled for final action in April.

Academic & Student Affairs.
Regents will consider approving a bachelor of science degree program in environmental science at the University of Alaska Southeast. The proposed program does not duplicate any other degree program within the university, and in recommending approval of the program, the Systemwide Academic Council affirmed coordination and collaboration would continue among the regional university centers in the development of environmental programs.

The "general provisions" and "student dispute resolution" chapters of Student Affairs policies will be reviewed, but no action is scheduled.

Human Resources.
Regents will review for second reading the university's general harassment policy and for third reading the policy on sexual harassment. Both policies are scheduled for final action at the April 1997 meeting.

Reports will be presented on the university's participation in the Retirement Incentive Program, on the Financially Interdependent Partners program and on Labor Relations. Regents also will receive a report on recently designated university officers and senior administrators.

Finance, Facilities & Land Management.
Regents will:

Consider approval of the schematic design for the University of Alaska Anchorage Engineering Building Ventilation Project, the total cost of which is estimated to be $754,000.

Consider approving the use of proceeds from the sale, lease or other disposition of trust lands to fund silviculture treatments on trust lands. By the end of the decade, the university will have nearly 9,000 acres of previously harvested forest land under management. The administration has said that the lands represent an asset whose productivity can be enhanced through capital investment in silvicultural treatments such as thinning, planting and site preparation. A preliminary assessment indicates that a plan to cover the bulk of silvicultural investments contemplated for current university land holdings would cost about $1.8 million over the next 10 years, with no adjustments for inflation.

Consider approving the sale of the UAA Adult Learning Center facility in Anchorage. Due to the high cost of curing existing health and safety problems and the building's high maintenance expenses, UAA has requested that the property be sold.

Consider a resolution asking Alaska's congressional delegation to introduce and work for the enactment of federal legislation to establish a grant of land to the university.

Receive reports on the current status of the Auke Cape project near Juneau and on student housing at UAA.

All meetings of the Board of Regents and its committees, except for executive sessions, are open to the public.

During the four-day meeting, messages may be left at the Baranof Hotel, 907-586-2660, or fax messages may be sent to 907-586-8315.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-7272