Please review the following talking points as you draft an email to the House Finance Committee and your legislators regarding the faculty regent bill currently under review by the Alaska House Finance Committee. When you write to legislators, remember that a positive tone can help persuade them to vote for this bill.
Talking points for communicating with legislators about HB 21 – Add Faculty Member to BOR:
A faculty regent would help the BOR be more informed in decision making by ensuring that there is someone with experience as faculty and with students on the BOR, who understands the ins and outs of processes.
A voting faculty regent is not unusual–many schools have a faculty member on their BOR or Trustees.
UA needs broad knowledge on the BOR for the next time we are in a crisis. A faculty regent would help provide potentially critical and unrepresented perspectives.
Faculty have institutional memory; a faculty regent can remind BOR of past actions and encourage BOR to have better evaluation/assessment processes of their decisions (for example, merging HR and program deletion).
Faculty members understand shared governance.
A faculty regent would provide an academic, non-business perspective to board decisions, helping to ensure the integrity of higher education in Alaska.
Points of dysfunction in the board, which a faculty regent would have helped with, include the following:
Ignoring policy and decorum requirements for system president, instead appointing the interim despite resolutions against the appointment from every level of shared governance (faculty, staff, students).
The BOR nearly merged the three MAUs (UAF, UAA, UAS) in a hasty process that could have endangered accreditation for all institutions in the system.
The rush to financial exigency, which was later proved unnecessary.
Decision to cut healthy, well enrolled programs (sociology at UAA, for example).
2022 House Finance Committee email addresses:
- Representative.Neal.Foster@akleg.gov (co-chair)
- Representative.Kelly.Merrick@akleg.gov (co-chair)