UA Board of Regents addresses UA goals including plans for increasing enrollment; Regents discuss student tuition and receive an update on Strategic Pathways
The University of Alaska Board of Regents took up a wide ranging discussion on the university’s goals to increase enrollment and connect its contributions and students to the future workforce needs of the state during its September 14-15 meeting in Juneau.
UA President Jim Johnsen and Chancellors Sam Gingerich, Dan White and Rick Caulfield presented enrollment strategies for growing the student body at each university toward meeting the goal of 65 percent of Alaska’s workforce earning a higher education certificate, endorsement, or degree by 2025, with an emphasis on providing programs that serve the state more effectively.
In a day-long discussion, regents and the university administration heard a presentation from Dennis Jones, president emeritus, and Aims C. McGuinness Jr., senior associate, with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems [NCHEMS], on the university’s structure, roles, goals and mission. Topics included strategic choices and FY2019 budget guidance with an overall emphasis on growing the university’s enrollment.
Overall enrollment goals would increase the university’s student body from roughly 30,000 students to 46,000 students by 2025 in eight different student segments ranging from recent high school graduates to adults who have some college but no degree. Areas of focus to achieve higher enrollment include promoting college as a path to prosperity, increasing high school graduation rate to 85 percent, emphasizing the university’s expertise in arctic research, educating more Alaskans to become teachers, and generally working to increase the numbers of students enrolled in science, math, and health-related fields. The full enrollment plan can be found here.
“Clearly these goals set out for enrollment are ambitious,” said Regent John Davies. Posing a question to the chancellors, he asked, “What’s your sense of our ability to meet those goals?”
"Having clear enrollment goals that are broken down to the unit and program level shows that they are realistic and will help grow a culture of education in Alaska," said UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield.
Chancellors White and Gingerich agreed. “I think these goals are achievable,” said Sam Gingerich, UAA chancellor. “The goals will mandate that we set priorities… we see opportunity and have all kinds of headroom to meet the goals.”
In the weeks ahead, the university will roll out a marketing effort to stimulate the enrollment effort.
Regents also discussed a proposal for a 5 percent increase in the tuition rate for academic years 2019 & 2020. Two campuses with tuition currently lower than other campuses, Kodiak & Prince William Sound Colleges, will see tuition increases of 10 percent in 2019, 9.5 percent in 2020 to bring the tuition rates in line with the other campuses. However, a decision will not be made until further input has been gathered from students and student governance organizations.
The board also received an update on Title IX compliance including new scorecards on Voluntary Resolution Agreement milestones and metrics for each university presented by Chief Title IX Officer Gower & Associate General Counsel O'Brien with input from each chancellor about training and prevention efforts at each campus.
Johnsen provided an update on the third and final phase of reviews in the Strategic Pathways process. More than 230 individuals, students, faculty, staff and community members, have engaged in the review process. In Phase 3, Johnsen will continue to gather input on proposed directions in seven areas – arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, mine training, finance, land management, risk management and facilities. Johnsen will offer his recommendations at the November board meeting.
The board heard an update on establishing a single College of Education at UAS lead by an executive dean while maintaining individual institutional accreditation. With the adjusted plan, the schools of education at UAA & UAF will become part of existing departments. Details on the adjusted plan are available online here.
In official actions, regents approved collective bargaining agreements for both the United Academics AAUP/APEA and the Fairbanks Fire Fighters Union. The UA Foundation also received approval to increase the non-endowed gift fee from 1 percent to 5 percent to help offset costs incurred at the foundation level in service to the campuses and with increased focus on private support for the university, the demand for services benefiting both development operations and donors will continue to grow
The Board of Regents unanimously approved the FY17 performance compensation for the president based on quantitative and qualitative performance metrics. President Johnsen immediately said his intention is to donate his bonus back to the university for three specific programs or projects: the Troth Yeddha' center, the legislative internship program and the planning of a future initiative to develop a center of leadership, now in planning stages.