Board of Regents meets April 15-16 in Dillingham

The Board of Regents heads out to the Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham on April 15 & 16. Several topics of interest are expected to be discussed, including tuition rates and the university’s policy regarding guns on campuses.

The meeting starts at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 15, with a tour of Bristol Bay Campus. Bristol Bay faculty and staff will give a presentation to the board that day, and public testimony is slated for 10 a.m.  On Thursday night, the board will attend a community reception at the senior center. On Friday, the board will have lunch with the campus advisory council.

The agenda is still in draft form, so some events and times may change.

“Board meetings at our extended campuses are always very welcome in the communities,” said Board Executive Officer Jeannie Phillips. “Board members enjoy the interaction with our rural sites as much as the communities enjoy hosting them.”

Most of the agenda consists of updates and briefings, with few action items before the board. No new academic programs are up for approval, though several ongoing renovation and facilities projects will be reviewed.

Regents and UA President Mark Hamilton will discuss tuition rates in light of the current budget situation. The Alaska Legislature adjourns April 19, just a few days after the Dillingham meeting. Under both the current House and Senate versions of the operating budget, UA will have to consider changes to both the revenue and expense side of the ledger. Tuition rates, as one of the major sources of revenue in addition to state general fund, may need to be revisited.

Board action on tuition, however, is not scheduled until the September meeting. President Hamilton’s recommendation on future tuition rates comes out each year, in a memo sent to governance groups on April 15.

On the gun issue, board members will hear from George Hines, a UAA journalism student who also chairs a group called Students for Concealed Carry. Hines and President Hamilton have exchanged letters in the last few months and met via phone. Hamilton disagrees with Hines’ argument favoring a more liberal gun policy on campus, but agreed that Hines could take his case the board.

UA’s gun policy is covered by board of Regents’ Policy and University Regulation Chapter 02.09, Public Safety, found at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/policy-regulations/. Under these regulations, concealed handguns are not permitted on university property, or in office, classroom or meeting space. Residents in student housing may possess firearms, but must use secure storage. Guns may be stored in locked vehicles while on campus.
For a detailed look at UA’s rationale behind the policy, read the letter President Hamilton wrote to Hines in February HERE. The letter was in response to one from Hines, found HERE.

“The safety of students, faculty and staff is the chief concern,” said UA Public Affairs Director Kate Ripley.

UA advises staff, students or faculty members who encounter a person with a gun to call police, who will assess the situation and take appropriate action depending on the specific circumstances.

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