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UA Regents, Chancellors Respond to NWCCU Concerns

Oct 30, 2019 | Monitor

Landscape view of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus from the Elvey building.

NASA/Goddard/Clare Skelly

FAIRBANKS—The University of Alaska Board of Regents adopted its official response to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and authorized Board Chair John Davies to provide it to the accrediting agency by October 31, along with the individual responses from the three university chancellors.

On September 26, NWCCU sent a letter to the board, president, and chancellors raising concerns regarding university governance, specifically the roles and responsibilities of the regents, president, and chancellors, and the inclusivity of decision-making processes regarding university structure, and requested a response by the end of October.

“Ensuring that our governance structure is clear and functioning properly is an ongoing task to which the board and our institutional leadership is fully committed,” Davies wrote in the board’s letter of response.

The board response also outlined a number of fundamental principles on which it intends to follow going forward. The chancellors’ letters agreed with those principles and reiterated in their individual responses. The regents’ letter including those principals, and the three chancellor letters will be officially transmitted to the NWCCU by Thursday, October 31.

“The Board is fully committed to clear and appropriate division of authority and responsibility between the System and its institutions,” Davies wrote to the NWCCU, “a properly functioning relationship between the System and the institutions is essential, particularly in a time of scarce resources.”

On November 7 the board will hold a facilitated workshop including the president, the chancellors, and governance leaders, to discuss and develop greater clarity on equitable administration of authority, roles, and responsibilities between the system and its institutions.

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