University regents to talk tuition hike, Title IX

Two-day meeting starts Thursday in Juneau

In this April photo, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen speaks during an interview at the Juneau Empire. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The leaders of the University of Alaska are coming to Juneau with tuition increases and plenty else on their minds.

 

The UA Board of Regents will hold a two-day meeting Thursday and Friday at the University of Alaska Southeast. The meeting convenes at 8 a.m. Thursday in Room 116 of the Student Recreation Center. A public gathering allowing Juneau residents to meet the regents will take place at 5 p.m. with the conclusion of the Thursday meeting, and the work meeting will continue Friday morning.

Among the items on the regents’ agenda is a proposed tuition increase for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.

Under the proposal, tuition would rise 5 percent next school year and 5 percent the following year. The discount for classes at Prince William Sound and Kodiak colleges would disappear.

UA President Jim Johnsen had indicated earlier this year that he could ask for a tuition hike before the start of the spring 2018 semester, but according to documents that have been presented to the regents, he has rejected that idea.

Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs for the university, said regents are not expected to vote on the 2018-2019-2020 tuition increase but will hear discussion about the idea.

The Alaska Legislature cut the university system’s budget by $20.7 million this year, according to figures from the Legislative Finance Division. At the same time, the university is seeing fewer students: Over the past four years, enrollment has declined 16 percent.

Regents will also discuss progress on the university’s Title IX settlement with the U.S. Department of Education. In February, the university reached an agreement with the federal government to settle charges that it had mishandled reports of sexual assault on campuses across the state.

As part of the agreement, the state had to improve training and response, then provide regular progress reports on those improvements.

Regents will also discuss the recent announcement by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos about changes to Title IX enforcement and what that may mean for the settlement.

Also on the agenda are Johnsen’s performance review and possible performance bonus, as well as labor contracts, and an update on the third phase of the university’s Strategic Pathways program.

The Board of Regents is the appointed body responsible for the university’s policy and management. Its 11 members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


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