Alaska House proposes stronger control of UA regents

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011

JUNEAU — The state House of Representatives has proposed a bill that would give the governor more authority over University of Alaska regents and allow him to fire a member when “good cause” exists.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the House Education Committee on Monday advanced the bill after minor changes that would, among other things, ensure a regent on suspension could make his or her case at a hearing.

The chief sponsor, Anchorage Democratic state Rep. Max Gruenberg, said the plan resulted from former regent and Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes’ refusal to resign in 2007.

Hayes faced felony theft charges involving federal aid given to his wife’s tutoring and mentoring center. Then-Gov. Sarah Palin and others unsuccessfully pressed Hayes to resign but he declined until impeachment proceedings began.

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