Board of Regents to meet in Fairbanks next week

Room 109 in the Butrovich Building will be the gathering spot for the two-day Board of Regents’ meeting next Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9 and 10, in Fairbanks.

Statewide employees may be interested to know the board will consider tuition rates for Academic Year 2013 and hear an update on UA employee health-care costs. The public may testify before the board at 10 a.m. on Thursday or 9 a.m. Friday. Public testimony is limited to three minutes per person.

On tuition, President Gamble is proposing a 7 percent increase to all undergraduate tuition rates, both in-state and out-of-state; and a 3 percent increase in graduate rates, both in-state and out-of-state. The proposal, which wouldn’t go into effect until fall 2012, comes after weeks of meetings of an advisory task force on tuition and affordability that included the Coalition of Student Leaders, staff and faculty representatives.

The student coalition had proposed the 7 percent increase back in September, when the board considered a 10 or 12 percent hike in tuition but delayed action. This new rate appears to have the support of student government leaders.

Tuition revenue does not cover the full costs of an education at UA. As with other public schools, the State of Alaska heavily subsidizes the in-state costs so that Alaska students can afford to attend college or workforce training programs. The state, through intent language last year, requested the university reduce its reliance on state funds, which means other sources of revenue must make up the difference. The university also is continuing to look for ways to trim costs and find efficiencies internally.

Also on the board’s agenda is the following:

  • Total project cost approval for the UAF Energy Technology Facility Phase 1A, not to exceed $4.7 million;
  • Formal project approval for Prince William Sound Community College renewal and wellness center improvements, not to exceed $5 million;
  • Formal project approval for the Auke Lake Way project at UAS, not to exceed $4.2 million;
  • Deletion of a bachelor’s degree in statistics at UAF, which is now an option available within the mathematics program (a master’s degree in statistics continues to be available as well);
  • Approval of the 10-year capital improvement plan, which attempts to look out 10 years into the future and plan for capital needs throughout the UA system. The 10-year plan puts deferred maintenance and renewal/repurposing projects as the highest priority;
  • Approval of a campus student government fee proposed by the Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel;
  • A report on audited financial statements;
  • A report on development efforts systemwide;
  • A report from UA Foundation Chair Mike Felix;
  • An update on the Academic Master Plan from Faculty Alliance Chair John Petraitus;
  • Election of officers for the upcoming year, and the setting of the meeting schedule for 2012;
  • And resolutions of appreciation for Regents Erik Drygas and Cynthia Henry, for whom the December meeting is their last. The governor is expected to appoint two new regents prior to the next meeting in February.
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