June, 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
Elsa Demeksa (1997-2005)
Michael Burns (1997-2005)
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

The Board of Regents continues to be deeply involved with the administration in developing a plan to enable the university to maintain quality programs at a reduced cost to the state's general fund.

Board President Michael P. Kelly of Fairbanks told his colleagues in April he considered it imperative that the university reduce administrative costs, eliminate duplication and generally maintain quality in educational programs and services. "Right now," he said, "the university is slowly starving to death and we have to take dramatic steps to reverse that trend." Kelly has said the long-term budget reduction plan, which could include systemwide reorganization, should be decided by the November meeting, in time for the beginning of the legislative session in January.

The Planning and Development Committee, composed of the board's current officers and chaired by the immediate past president, Anchorage Regent Sharon Gagnon, is working with UA President Jerome B. Komisar and his staff on the development of the plan. The committee met in Anchorage the day before the Board of Regents held its annual meeting on June 19-20 in Dillingham, site of the Bristol Bay campus of UAF.

Of the reorganizational options considered so far, the committee favored the "single university" approach, which would centralize many of the administrative functions now performed separately by the three main regional campuses. Additionally, the responsibility for many academic disciplines would be assigned to a single campus. These academic programs potentially would be available at the other sites but the related degree programs and course offerings would have a regional focus and would be under the guidance of the primary, not the local, campus. In some instances, broader course and degree offerings would be made available by distance delivery.

The committee will meet again on July 25 in Anchorage.

The regents reelected Board President Michael P. Kelly of Fairbanks to a second term as president, and the other current officers also were chosen to continue in their positions for another year. R. Danforth Ogg of Kodiak is vice president; Mary Jane Fate of Fairbanks is secretary; and Chancy Croft of Anchorage is treasurer.

Regents approved the Fairbanks North Star Borough master plan for the site of West Valley High School which is now being expanded. Approval by the regents was necessary because the site of West Valley High School is leased by the borough from the university through the year 2043.

The concept of relocating one of the UAF campus entrances from Fairbanks Street to Loftus Street off Geist Road was approved, and regents agreed that the university would contribute the road right-of-way at no cost to the state. The entrance relocation will require the construction of a new railroad overpass bridge to UAF. The existing overpass which extends from Fairbanks Street over the Alaska Railroad and onto the UAF campus is expected to require major repairs in the near future, according to the state Department of Transportation. The project will be fully funded by the state, and UAF will continue to maintain the roadway.

Regents authorized the administration to proceed with the sale of $10 million in general revenue bonds to help fund the construction of the International Arctic Research Center which is being built in partnership with the Japanese at UAF and for student housing at UAS. Of the bond proceeds, approximately $8 million will go to the Research Center which has a total project cost of just over $32 million, and $2 million will go to the $3.7 million student housing project at UAS in Juneau.

The administration's proposed distribution of the FY98 general fund operating and capital budgets was approved by the regents. The distribution plan for the operating budget divides the state's general fund appropriation of $166.9 million as follows:

Statewide Programs and Services $11.4 million
UAA $58.7 million
UAF $83.5 million
UAS $13.2 million
The university is scheduled to receive $7 million in the state general fund capital appropriation. Of the total $5.6 million will be used for deferred maintenance projects, and $1.4 million will be used for the fiber optic backbone project at UAA. In addition, the university's FY98 capital budget will include $28.2 million in non-general funds, of which $26.3 million goes to the Alaska low-rank coal water project at UAF; $450,000 for small business development projects around the state; and $1.5 million for the International Arctic Research Center at UAF. Final budget approval is scheduled for August following the governor's approval of the appropriation bills.

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