Regents to consider location of the administrative home for UA College of Education at December 14 special meeting

by Jess  |   

UPDATE 12/15/16: The UA Board of Regents voted to locate the consolidated University of Alaska College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast. Read the full story here.

Original story: The University of Alaska Board of Regents will meet on Dec. 14 to consider consolidating the existing three schools of education into a single College of Education and to decide where the administrative leadership for the one college should be located. The meeting will be held via videoconference from 9-11 a.m.

In September, the board endorsed UA President Jim Johnsen's recommendation to consolidate UA's three teacher education colleges into one. The recommendation came from a series of options put forward by a Strategic Pathways review team appointed to study the teacher education programs. At its regular meeting in November, the board deferred formal action on directing the president to implement the one school model as well as a decision on the administrative home for the one College of Education.

Johnsen had recommended that UA establish a single College of Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Under the proposal, classes and programs would continue to be offered on all three campuses by faculty at those locations as well as on-line. Consolidation would reduce administration, however degree programs, faculty and students would remain across the three campuses.

"The regents concurred with establishing a single College of Education at the September meeting," Johnsen said. "In the weeks that followed, I asked each chancellor to present arguments for why administration of the program ought to be based at their campus. Each proposal reflected positive attributes of that campus, and I weighed those arguments against our agreed upon criteria-cost effectiveness, quality, access, community impact, and sustainability-as well as best practice in high performing educational systems. Using those metrics, I made the tough decision to recommend that leadership of our teacher education programs be based at UAF."

He said UAF leads the system in one of the most widely reported measures of quality-graduation rate-and also in measures such as STEM students as a portion of the student body, Alaska Native students as a portion of the student population, and externally funded research.

The Regents have received a large amount of public input on the proposal reflecting regional support for each campus as the administrative home for teacher education. "I am confident the Regents will make a good decision and, no matter which campus they choose, we will all work together to achieve our goals," Johnsen said.

Approval of the administrative change also would depend on approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which accredits the UA system's three main universities.

The meeting can be viewed via live stream at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/live/. The agenda for the meeting, and for all committee and full board meetings are available at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas/.

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