Johnsen launches phase two of Strategic Pathways

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E-Learning and Fisheries may be up for the next round of cuts stemming from phase two of the Strategic Pathways Initiative, UA President Johnsen’s plan to restructure the universities.

Despite recent votes from both UAA and UAF faculty senate expressing no confidence in Johnsen’s actions and decisions, the president says the process is continuing as planned.

Along with e-Learning and the fisheries department, smaller community campuses and the Health programs such as nursing and allied health will be examined, as well as administrative areas such as human resources, university relations, student services and institutional research. While the administrative areas of focus are human resources, university relations, student services and institutional research.

New areas of focus are not the only changes to be implemented in this new phase. While university input was gathered during Phase one, it arrived in the form of crowded public forums which often resulted in little productivity, Johnsen said.

Phase two will include a series of smaller, focused meetings with the faculty and staff of the affected areas of focus to inform them of potential changes and narrow down options. These will replace many of public forums held during phase one.

“It’s going to take a lot more time,” Johnsen said. “But I think it’s an improvement in the ability for affected people to have voice.”

By meeting with affected faculty and staff, Johnsen hopes to ease some of the resentment expressed during Phase I about a lack of communication between faculty and administration. This comes just days after the UAF faculty senate joined UAA in voting no confidence in Johnsen’s decisions and actions regarding Strategic Pathways.

“When I review these options with the Board of Regents, I will be able to provide input from the faculty and staff that are directly affected and directly involved,” Johnsen said.

As part of this second phase, new areas of focus will be examined for quality, cost effectiveness, fiscal sustainability, student access and community impact, according to Johnsen.

The Board of Regents will be briefed on the gathered input from faculty and senate during their scheduled meeting in Anchorage, Mar. 2-3.

Beginning in April, a second series of meetings will be held to inform faculty of narrowed down choices and options for moving forward prior to the regents final decision in June, Johnsen said.

Teams have already been created to begin mapping out potential areas of focus and decisions to be made in Phase three. While some work will be done over the summer, much of the third phase will likely happen during Fall semester 2017, after faculty and students return to campus, according to Johnsen.

“We are proceeding,” Johnsen said. “The Board of Regents strongly supports the Strategic Pathways process and we’re moving forward with it.”

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