April 02, 2008

Advisory committee to help UA president plan streamlined future

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2008

University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton is calling on a campus-led advisory committee to help with streamlining and improving service at UA's System Office.

The system office, which provides administrative and leadership support for the 16-campus UA system, was recently reviewed by external consultants Terry MacTaggart, who has extensive higher education experience at numerous university systems in the Lower 48; and Brian Rogers of Fairbanks, former chair of the Board of Regents and a previous UA vice president.

The 41-page report provides numerous recommendations for streamlining operations. It also lists suggestions for improved communication and collaboration between the system and campuses. In addition, the consultants recommend transferring some programs from the system to an individual campus. Examples include the K-12 teacher mentoring program, in which experienced teachers are paired with first- and second-year teachers in school districts across the state; and UA Corporate Programs, which provides a convenient point-of-contact for business and industry seeking training for their employees.

"In our view, under the leadership of President Mark Hamilton and his team, the UA System has developed over the past decade into a high performing system," the report says. "The task facing the president and his team of system and campus leaders is to sustain the achievements of the past decade while substantially reducing the cost of delivering many of them."

The 11-member advisory committee oversaw the initial consultants' work for the report, released in February.ยป Now, however, the committee must evaluate the report's findings and provide advice on moving forward. The advisory committee will be expanded to include the provost (chief academic officer) from each campus. It will be chaired by Carol Griffin, vice chancellor for administration at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. Hamilton expects the advisory board's recommendations will be available by the June 18-19 meeting in Anchorage.

"It's important to get external and unbiased reviews of all aspects of the university, including the statewide administration," Hamilton said. "Taking a hard look at the administration's operations and relationships with the campuses is important if we want to continue to improve. Looking at the statewide administrative office is the first step, followed by analysis and review of campus administrative structures - that just makes sense."


For more information, call Kate Ripley at 907/450-8102.