Demand a New Vision for the University of Alaska

  • by: Abel Bult-ito
  • recipient: University of Alaska Board of Regents, President Jim Johnsen, Governor Bill Walker, the Alaska Legislature, UA Employees and Students, and the Public

The University of Alaska needs to change to move higher education forward in the State of Alaska. Please support this effort to reduce administrative costs at the University of Alaska and reinvest the savings in the academic mission of research, teaching and service, and student services and tuition scholarships.

Details can be found at A New Vision for the University of Alaska.

In this action plan for a new vision of the University of Alaska (UA), I propose an administrative restructuring of UA to strengthen the academic mission of research, teaching and service, and student services (e.g., academic advising, financial aid and enrollment services), while reducing or eliminating administrative functions that are not directly related to this mission or are redundant.

Some states with several individually accredited universities do not have a centralized administration, and others have system-wide offices that are 20-25% the size of the UA Statewide office. This shows that state university systems can function well without an extensive system-wide office.

By reducing UA Statewide employees by 40 each year (120 total), eliminating 54 mid-level management administrative positions at the accredited universities (UAF, UAA, UAS), and by increased efficiencies (including reduction of 24 positions) during a three-year period, the savings are proposed to be reinvested to fundamentally change UA.

The savings are projected to be reinvested in 72 new tenure-track and 101 new STEM research faculty, 31 new teaching and research support staff, and 450 new tuition scholarships. Consequently, I expect that the academic and research reputation of UA will be raised, student enrollment, retention, and degree completion will increase, and additional tuition and research grants and contracts revenues can be realized.

For the entire 10-year action plan, total projected additional tuition revenues are expected to exceed $104.3 Million, total additional tuition scholarship funds are expected to exceed $35.3 Million, and total additional research revenues are expected to exceed $813.6 Million, without any additional costs to UA or the State of Alaska.

Additional positive outcomes include a large economic impact to the university communities as projected total additional revenues over the 10-year period exceed $918 Million, most of which will be spent in the local communities, without any additional cost to UA or the State of Alaska.

This action plan should be implemented immediately, because projected new revenues can be used to offset additional cuts in state funding by generating new tuition and research revenues and thereby diversifying the sources of revenue of UA.

Please sign this petition. Details can be found at A New Vision for the University of Alaska

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