Johnsen seeks “Single University” structure, UAF Chancellor will stay temporary
Spencer Tordoff / Editor-in-Chief
The University of Alaska’s campuses may lose their regional autonomy, according to an email sent May 12 from the office of System President Jim Johnsen. According to the email, Johnsen will propose “single accreditation,” under which the entire UA system will operate as one academic institution, to the Board of Regents at their June meeting.
“Rest assured that we will ensure our current accreditations stay in place while we assess… single accreditation,” Johnsen said via email.
Johnsen noted that the University of Maine system is also exploring single accreditation.
In the email, Johnsen said he would not be filling the post of UAF chancellor, as the position may cease to exist under his “Single University” framework. A new interim chancellor will be named by the end of May, before current Chancellor Mike Powers steps down in August.
“The candidates for the position each had strengths,” Johnsen said in the email, “but I cannot in good conscience bring someone in knowing that we [could eliminate] that position.”
According to the email, Johnsen believes that combining administrative structures could reduce the University’s budget footprint without cutting faculty and staff in “direct student-serving roles.”
The email also outlined the first phase of Johnsen’s Strategic Pathways Initiative, which will take place over the summer. The academic programs under review in this phase include Teacher Education, Management and Business, and Engineering programs which exist in parallel at the Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Southeast campuses. Several administrative areas are under review as well, including athletics, information technology, and procurement.