BY MARTIN KICH
A professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has proposed a new vision for the University of Alaska, which will focus on the core mission of the University of Alaska and help UA raise over $900 million in additional research and tuition revenues over the next ten years.
A new proposal, developed by UAF neuroscience professor Abel Bult-Ito, calls for restructuring of the University of Alaska. Its goal is to strengthen the academic mission of research, teaching, and service as well as enhancing student services while streamlining administrative functions.
The restructuring will involve elimination of redundant statewide services and mid-level management at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Fairbanks and Southeast campuses over the first three years, which will result in a significant cost savings and increased efficiencies in administrative functions.
The savings will then be reinvested in new faculty, teaching and research support staff, and increased number of scholarships for students.
The proposed reinvestment will bring about a self-perpetuating circle of academic improvements.
It will raise the academic and research reputation of the university and it will increase student enrollment, retention and successful degree completion—and, therefore, also increase tuition revenue.
Reinvesting in faculty and areas of academic and research focus will also help retain and recruit faculty of excellence to UA, who will bring in more grant funding to the university campuses.
“In this current climate of a serious state budget crisis, it is important to move higher education forward in Alaska,” Bult-Ito said.
“Just imagine what would be possible if UA announced a bold plan to reinvest in the student experience, from teaching to their world class opportunities in research?” he said.
Bult-Ito hopes that Governor Walker and the Alaska Legislature will see the benefits of this proposal and minimize the state-imposed cuts to the UA general fund so that the benefits of this new vision for UA can be realized.
To find the full version of the proposal please click here.
To sign the petition to support this new vision please click here.