Rural education, teacher prep and teacher retention were topics of significant discussion during the University of Alaska Board of Regents meeting in Anchorage, Dec. 11-12. Regents heard from the deans of education from UAA, UAF and UAS on a collaborative plan to revitalize teacher education in Alaska. This ambitious plan will help to meet some of Alaska’s most pressing needs, while continuing to improve the quality of teacher education in Alaska. The plan can be found here.
Also on the topic of education in Alaska, the board heard an update on Shaping Alaska’s Future Theme II: Productive Partnerships with Alaska’s Schools. Board members reported on their “homework assignments” to each talk with two superintendents at schools across Alaska. The progress report of Productive Partnerships can be found here.
The UA Board of Regents adopted two new two policies, an employee furlough policy and a systemwide smoke-free, tobacco-free policy, during its two-day meeting in Anchorage. The smoke-free, tobacco-free policy is a revision to existing policy that will require all UA campuses and its statewide offices to be smoke-free, tobacco-free by Dec. 1, 2015. With this change in policy, UA joins more than 1,000 other universities that have developed similar smoke-free, tobacco-free policies.
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott presented an overview of the new administration and their vision for working with the university to address several challenges facing Alaska in the future. Gov. Bill Walker will name four new regents to the board.
In addition to approving several resolutions of appreciation for departing staff and outgoing regents, the board elected a new slate of officers, including new Chair Jo Heckman, Vice Chair Mike Powers, Secretary Kenneth Fisher and Treasurer Gloria O’Neill.
Regular university business included updates on state and federal relations, audit reports and construction reports. The regents approved the purchase of the Delta Mine Training Center. This productive partnership will help in meeting the demand for trained mining professionals in Alaska.
Find the complete board agenda here.
(In other statewide news, UA President Patrick Gamble recently set his retirement date: June 1, 2015. More details here.)