February 11, 1999

Board of Regents Meeting Thursday/Friday February 18-19 In Juneau

February 11, 1999   NR 2-1999

Regents of the University of Alaska will meet Thursday and Friday, February 18-19, 1999, at the Westmark Baranof Hotel in downtown Juneau. In addition to committee meetings and the full board meeting, regents also will meet with members of the board of directors of the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. Most of the regents will be in Juneau on Wednesday, February 17, for informal meetings with legislators. The full board will hear public testimony on Thursday beginning at 8 a.m., and again at approximately 5 p.m. Committee meetings will be held Thursday and early Friday, and the full board is scheduled to meet Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. An executive session is scheduled to be held near the end of the meeting, and is expected to last about an hour. The committees are scheduled to meet on Thursday as follows: Academic and Student Affairs, 10 a.m. until 12 noon; Human Resources, 12 noon until 2 p.m.; Finance, Facilities and Land Management, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Committee of the Whole, 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. The Audit Committee will meet Friday from 7 to 8 a.m. All committee meetings will be held at the Westmark Baranof Hotel. On Friday from 8 to 9 a.m., the full board will meet with the board of directors of the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation to discuss matters of mutual interest. Agenda highlights are listed here by committee of origin:

Academic & Student Affairs Committee

  • Consider approval of a policy regarding student organizations.
  • Receive a report from the Faculty Alliance on proposals for a course level definition system and a common grade system for the university.

Finance, Facilities & Land Management Committee

  • Consider schematic design stage approval for UAF's Poker Flat Research Range upgrade. The upgrade involves four projects: backup power supply project, $890,000; administration center, $1,825,000; lidar (light detection and ranging) laboratory, $1,775,000; and upper range road project, $980,000. The projects are funded by the federal government.
  • Consider project approval for the upgrade of UAF's Toolik Field Station. The upgrade consists of nine projects with a total estimated cost of about $5.5 million. The funding is provided by a contract from the National Science Foundation to the Polar Ice Coring Office of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which will be responsible for the design, bidding and award of construction contracts.
  • Consider approval of proposed funding reallocation for UAA's Mat-Su College FY99 deferred maintenance projects and schematic approval of the Snodgrass Building walkway renovation project and the Kerttula Building roof repair/replacement project.
  • Consider authorization for the sale of general revenue bonds not to exceed $15 million for the purposes of partial refunding of existing debt and costs of bond issuance. Because current interest rates are very attractive, the proposed bond sale is expected to produce an average annual savings of about $75,000 per year, or a total of $1.4 million over the life of the bonds.
  • Consider approval of a cooperative agreement with the University of Alaska Foundation regarding the management of gifts of real property and approval of policy changes regarding the acceptance and transfer of gifts. Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the university would hold title to real property donated to the foundation until the property is sold or otherwise disposed of, and then the net proceeds from the development, sale or disposal of the property would be transferred to the foundation to be managed in accordance with the donor's wishes.
  • Consider approval of the annual land management development plan.
  • Receive status reports on all university construction projects in progress, on the coal-water fuel project, and on the administration's efforts to develop budget request units for budget development purposes.

Human Resources Committee

  • Consider approval of temporary re-employment for several individuals who have retired or are retiring under the terms of the retirement incentive program.
  • Review the draft grievance policy for approximately 2,100 UA employees who are not represented by a union. No action is scheduled for this meeting.
  • Receive a report on changes to the university health benefits package for implementation in January 2000. Because of the rising costs of the university's health care plan, dependent charges were instituted several years ago, and this year for the first time employees pay an annual amount of $285 for their own benefits. The plan proposed for implementation next year will increase dependent charges, and will shift more of the first dollar costs of health care services to employees who use the health care plan while maximizing the savings derived from a network of providers contracts. No action is scheduled for this meeting.

Committee of the Whole

  • Consider approval of corporate authority and industrial security resolutions.
  • Consider approval of administration's recommendation that the regents approve tuition rates for the academic years of 2000 and 2001 with no increases except for the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) inflation adjustment of 3.1 percent for both years. Lower division tuition rates would move from the current $73 per credit hour to $75 in 2000 and to $77 in 2001; upper division rates would move from the current $81 to $84 in 2000 and $87 in 2001; graduate charges would go from the current $162 to $167 in 2000 and $172 in 2001; the non resident surcharge would go from the current $154 to $159 in 2000 and to $164 in 2001. The changes would increase the university's tuition income by approximately $1.2 million each year. The administration is preparing a redraft of the current tuition policy to provide for earlier approval of tuition rates so campuses can publish approved tuition rates in their catalogs and to enable students to better plan their personal expenditure requirements.
  • Consider approval of the FY00 spending plan for the distribution of the Natural Resources Fund. The plan provides $150,000 for projects related to natural resources facilities debt service; $580,000 for natural resources project proposals; $20,000 for the UA Press; $20,000 for system-based tuition waiver programs; $40,000 for the Professional Educators Coordinating Committee; $150,000 for the UA Learning Cooperative; $150,000 for President's discretionary awards; and $490,000 for the UA Scholars Program.
  • Consider approval of a policy on crisis planning and response.
  • Receive status reports on Y2K issues and the Gartner Group's information technology overview analysis of the university; and initiate discussion of the university's FY2001 budget request.

Audit Committee

  • Hear from Pat Davidson, legislative auditor, on the legislative audit process as it applies to the university.
  • Receive status reports on the FY98 external financial audit and on the FY99 annual audit plan.
  • Receive an evaluation of the staffing level of the Internal Audit department from Internal Auditor Ben Shilling.
  • Review the annual committee meeting schedule, and review recently completed audits.

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

During the meeting, messages can be left at the Westmark Baranof Hotel: 907-586-2660, fax: 907-586-8315. Messages should indicate that they are for participants in the Board of Regents meeting.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bob Miller, 907-474-7272