February, 1997

The University of Alaska Board of Regents is the governing body responsible for university policy and management through the president. Regents are appointed by the governor for eight-year terms, subject to legislative confirmation. A student regent is appointed for two years from candidates nominated on each campus.

(Regents' terms of office shown in parentheses.)

Board Members:

Michael P. Kelly (1991-1999), President
R. Danforth Ogg (1993-2001), Vice President
Mary Jane Fate (1993-2001), Secretary
Chancy Croft (1995-2003), Treasurer
Virginia W. Breeze (1989-1997)
Eric Forrer (1989-1997)
Sharon D. Gagnon (1991-1999)
Joe L. Hayes, Jr. (1995-1997)
Joseph R. Henri (1991-1999)
Joe J. Thomas (1995-2003)
Lew M. Williams Jr. (1991-1999)

Board of Regents Office
Jeannie Phillips
202 Butrovich Bldg.
P.O. Box 755300
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5300
(907) 474-7908

Regents approve slight tuition increase -- After extensive debate and one reconsideration, the Board of Regents increased lower division tuition from $70 to $71 per credit hour and upper division tuition from $77 to $79 per credit hour for Academic Year 98. The new rates become effective with 1997 summer sessions. Board policy allows extended campuses and community colleges to request somewhat lower tuition rates, and that will be discussed by the regents in April. The moderate increase in tuition rates is expected to bring in an additional $763,000, bringing the university's total annual revenue from student tuition and fees to about $49.5 million.

Labor relations issues occupy board's attention -- The regents addressed several critical labor relations issues in February. First, they considered the upcoming negotiations with the United Academics, the union representing the vast majority of the university's faculty. Second, they were briefed on the union organizing efforts by the adjunct faculty and the classified and administrative, professional and technical staff. Third, they were updated on the university's progress with the Classified Employees Association to modify health and paid leave benefits. The university's ultimate goal is to have all its employees, represented and non-represented, on the same benefits plan. Finally, the regents received a proposal from the Alaska Community College Federation of Teachers (ACCFT) to settle ongoing contract negotiations by extending the 1992-94 contract into the future. Regents did not accept the proposal. The university has taken the position that its terms are overly restrictive of the university's ability to maintain and improve academic programs and services for students during times of declining revenues. Because of the increased level of labor negotiations, the board formed a labor relations committee that will meet as needed throughout the negotiations to provide guidance to the university's bargaining team.

Environmental degree program approved at UAS -- Regents approved a new Bachelor of Science Degree program in Environmental Science at UAS. The new degree program was done in collaboration with UAA and UAF and does not duplicate any other degree program in the UA system. The three regional university centers will continue to collaborate with each other in the development of environmental programs. An advisory board of university, industry, agency and community members will be formed after five years to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Federal and state agency scientists, in particular , have been consulted in the design of the program and will continue to work with UAS during program implementation.

Okay sale of UAA Adult Learning Facility -- At the request of UAA, the Statewide Office of Land Management was authorized to proceed with the sale of the UAA Adult Learning Facility building on Northern Lights Boulevard in midtown Anchorage. UAA requested that the building be sold because of the high cost of fixing existing health and safety problems and high maintenance costs. Regents approved the sale or lease of the building, with the provision that proceeds be used for the benefit of the Adult Learning Center program.

Reforestation of university-owned lands -- Regents approved a plan for silviculture treatments, or reforestation, of about 9,000 acres of previously harvested forest land under university management. A preliminary assessment indicates the cost of the plan will be about $1.8 million over the next 10-15 years. The predominant silvicultural treatments are expected to be precommercial thinning in Southeast Alaska, brush control and interplanting in the Haines area, and site preparation and planting on Kenai Peninsula, Mat-Su and Interior sites that exhibit understocking. Priorities for the reforestation projects will be based on environmental needs, projected return on investment, site productivity, suitability of the sites for commitment to long-term forest management and regulatory requirements.

Discussion of technology user fee for UA students -- At the recommendation of the administration, the regents are considering a campus-based technology user fee of $5 per credit hour up to $60 per semester to be implemented effective this fall. Vice President for Finance and Planning David Creamer said students of almost every discipline are entering the university with the expectation that state-of-the-art technology will be a part of their learning experience. "In too many instances, these expectations are going unmet at the University of Alaska," Creamer said. "Open labs, especially, are crowded, sometimes outdated, and poorly staffed. This not only affects students, but also limits the ability of the faculty to integrate information technology and computing into the content and mode of delivery of their instruction." After more discussion and consideration by the administration and student groups, the matter is expected to be on the board agenda for action in April.

University seeks federal land grant -- Regents unanimously passed a resolution requesting Alaska's Congressional Delegation to introduce and work for the enactment of federal legislation to establish grants of land to the University of Alaska to fulfill the promises made to the university by the federal government. In 1958, the Alaska Statehood Act explicitly extinguished the 1915 reservation of federal land, less than one-third of which was ever conveyed to the university. Only Delaware received a smaller federal land entitlement for higher education, leaving the University of Alaska a federal land grant college with virtually no land.

In other board action . . . Regents approved participation by the University of Alaska system on the steering committee of The Science Coalition, which was formed by more than fifty U. S. universities concerned about protecting and sustaining the federal investment in scientific research . . . The board's Planning and Development Committee was reactivated . . . Juneau Regents Virginia Breeze and Eric Forrer , whose board terms expire this year, were honored for their service to the university . . . The university's commencement schedule for this spring was reviewed.

Published after each Board of Regents' meeting by the Office of Public Affairs:

206 Butrovich Building
P.O. Box 755340
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5340

(907) 474-7272
E-mail: syserve@orca.alaska.edu

Written by Director of Public Affairs Bob Miller. UA