University of Alaska weighs options for academic programs

FAIRBANKS (AP) — The University of Alaska has released dozens of options for restructuring academic and administrative programs as part of its ongoing budget review process.

The options released Friday are part of UA’s second of three planned phases that come in response to years of cuts in state funding. The first phase consolidated the university system’s three teacher education programs into a single program at the Juneau campus, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The latest phase covers the restructuring of UA’s health and nursing, fisheries, online learning and community campuses programs. It also focuses on administrative functions including human resources, university relations, student services and institutional research.

Teams of administrators, faculty and staff have reviewed the four academic programs and four administrative programs and produced reports detailing possible changes. The options range from making no changes at all to the programs to consolidating multiple programs into one.

“This is a dynamic process and we’re learning and improving as we go,” said UA President Jim Johnsen in a statement. “One of the things we’ve learned over the past few months is to pursue a more focused approach to reviewing options and soliciting input from the affected programs as well as from university governance and community leaders.”

One option calls for UA’s community campuses program to partner with tribes and Alaska Native groups to form tribal colleges, which could create new streams of federal funding. One of the most drastic options would, if implemented, transform campuses into learning centers where there would be no teaching staff. Only distance delivery teaching or occasional onsite visits would be available.

The UA board of regents is scheduled to hear testimony on the proposals next month, review the options in March and make a final decision on the options in June.

More in News

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District unions call for ‘walk-in’ school funding protest

The unions have issued invitations to city councils, the borough assembly, the Board of Education and others

tease
House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Kenai City Hall is seen on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai water treatment plant project moves forward

The city will contract with Anchorage-based HDL Engineering Consultants for design and engineering of a new water treatment plant pumphouse

Students of Soldotna High School stage a walkout in protest of the veto of Senate Bill 140 in front of their school in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi students walk out for school funding

The protest was in response to the veto of an education bill that would have increased school funding

The Kenai Courthouse as seen on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Clam Gulch resident convicted of 60 counts for sexual abuse of a minor

The conviction came at the end of a three-week trial at the Kenai Courthouse

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meets in Seward, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (screenshot)
Borough awards contract for replacement of Seward High School track

The project is part of a bond package that funds major deferred maintenance projects at 10 borough schools

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen, right, participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee talks purpose of potential change, possible calendar

The change could help curb costs on things like substitutes, according to district estimates

A studded tire is attached to a very cool car in the parking lot of the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Studded tire removal deadline extended

A 15-day extension was issued via emergency order for communities above the 60 degrees latitude line

A sign for Peninsula Community Health Services stands outside their facility in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
PCHS to pursue Nikiski expansion, moves to meet other community needs

PCHS is a private, nonprofit organization that provides access to health care to anyone in the community

Most Read