Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/21/2019 09:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:59:48 AM Start
09:00:04 AM SB53
09:17:18 AM Presentation: the Power of University Research
10:23:58 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
-- Teleconference Listen Only --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
+ Presentation Rescheduled from 2/19/19: TELECONFERENCED
University of Alaska: "The Power of University
Research" by Dr. Larry Hinzman, UAF Vice
Chancellor for Research
-- Teleconference Listen Only --
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB  53-UNIV. REPORTING REQS FOR ACCREDITATION                                                                      
9:00:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  announced the  consideration of  SB 53.  He stated                                                               
his intention to  introduce the bill, hear  public testimony, and                                                               
hold the bill.                                                                                                                  
9:00:48 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM   LAMKIN,  Staff,   Senator   Gary   Stevens,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,  said that, very simply, SB  53 is a                                                               
result of the  loss of accreditation by the  University of Alaska                                                               
Anchorage  School of  Education. It  is a  plain bill.  There are                                                               
currently  other  reporting  requirements   in  place.  The  most                                                               
recent, AS 14.41.190,  requires the Board of Regents  to submit a                                                               
report to the legislature by  the 30th legislative day biannually                                                               
on their efforts "to attract,  train, and retain qualified public                                                               
school teachers."  He noted that  the report was due  Friday, but                                                               
the Senate Secretary's  office had not received that  yet, to his                                                               
knowledge. He  did not prepare  a sectional for the  bill because                                                               
it  would  be  one  sentence,  that this  bill  would  require  a                                                               
biannual report on the various  accreditations across its system.                                                               
He  pointed out  that the  committee  packets have  a summary  of                                                               
current accreditations. There is zero fiscal note.                                                                              
9:02:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MILES BAKER,  Associate Vice President for  Government Relations,                                                               
University of Alaska,  Juneau, Alaska, said AS  14.41.190 has two                                                               
reporting requirements  for the  University of Alaska.  The first                                                               
is  a long  report submitted  every year  as part  of its  budget                                                               
submission  to  the  legislature  regarding things  such  as  the                                                               
condition of university property,  receipts and expenditures, and                                                               
unobligated university receipts. The  second is commonly referred                                                               
to  as  the  SB  241 report,  Alaska's  University  for  Alaska's                                                               
[Schools] Report. He  said he believed Chairman  Stevens was part                                                               
of  passing   that  law  in   2008.  That  report   is  completed                                                               
biennially.  This  report  updates  the  legislature  on  teacher                                                               
preparation, retention, and recruitment  programs. He said it was                                                               
submitted this  year. He  will check to  make sure  the committee                                                               
gets a copy of that.                                                                                                            
CHAIR STEVENS said  they would probably schedule  a joint session                                                               
with the House Education Committee to discuss that report.                                                                      
MR. BAKER said  this legislation would require  a third reporting                                                               
requirement.  As  part of  its  biannual  report, the  university                                                               
would  update   the  legislature  on  the   status  of  regional,                                                               
national, and  programmatic accreditations  at the  university no                                                               
later than the 30th day  of the legislative session. The existing                                                               
board policy requires each of  major campuses to regularly assess                                                               
all  institutional   programs  to  evaluate  their   quality  and                                                               
effectiveness. This review  is designed to meet  the standards of                                                               
applicable  accrediting bodies.  Annually,  each university  must                                                               
provide  the Regents'  Academic  Committee on  Student Affairs  a                                                               
report  on  the  status  of   program  reviews.  It  includes  an                                                               
extensive  discussion  of  academic accreditation.  They  already                                                               
have  an internal  process  to compile,  track,  and report  this                                                               
information annually  to the  board, so they  can report  that to                                                               
legislature biannually without any  problems. He pointed out that                                                               
their  packets have  a compiled  list  of the  status of  ongoing                                                               
accreditation at all the universities                                                                                           
MR. BAKER  said this committee  of the board has  their regularly                                                               
scheduled  meeting today.  One  agenda item  is  a discussion  of                                                               
program  accreditation and  a review  of the  compiled list.  The                                                               
regents  want  to  be  aware   of  any  accreditations  that  are                                                               
challenged or  having difficulty.  There will  be an  interest in                                                               
clarifying  current regent  policy  regarding accreditation.  The                                                               
situation  with UAA  regarding initial  licensure was  that while                                                               
reports  were being  provided to  the board  subcommittee in  the                                                               
fall, they were  not detailed enough for the Board  of Regents to                                                               
have  the  full  story  of   the  potential  situation  with  the                                                               
accreditation. The board will want to update that policy.                                                                       
9:08:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  said the  impetus for  this bill  was the  loss of                                                               
accreditation at  the Anchorage  campus. "And  that's a  very big                                                               
thing,  as   we  all  know.   Universities  don't   usually  lose                                                               
accreditation. This is the only  one I've seen in my experience,"                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
CHAIR STEVENS continued,  "It's a very, very  important thing and                                                               
it's  particularly important  because  of  the students.  Because                                                               
we're putting  them in jeopardy,  asking them to pay  tuition and                                                               
go through all  the work of getting their classes  done, yet when                                                               
they  leave the  University of  Alaska,  they are  going to  have                                                               
trouble, particularly if they transfer out of state."                                                                           
CHAIR STEVENS said, "The only reason  for this bill is because of                                                               
that  loss of  accreditation.  Something went  terribly wrong  in                                                               
this process."  He chaired an  accreditation committee  before he                                                               
retired from the  university. He knows it is a  long process that                                                               
involves  meetings  with  the accreditation  committee  to  learn                                                               
about any concerns,  so changes can be made, so  by the time they                                                               
get to the end of  the accreditation process, hopefully they have                                                               
answered all the concerns the accreditation committee has.                                                                      
CHAIR STEVENS  said, "Again, something  went terribly  wrong. The                                                               
president  of the  university, who  I have  the greatest  respect                                                               
for--I'm so glad he's there  during these tough financial times--                                                               
yet he did not know of  the jeopardy the university faced because                                                               
of that accreditation  study. The Board of Regents  did not know.                                                               
Mr. Baker,  it is a  terrible situation.  We're not going  to run                                                               
the university.  We don't want  to do that,  but we want  to know                                                               
what's going  on. We want to  know why the university,  the Board                                                               
of Regents,  the president, the  entire administration,  were not                                                               
monitoring  that process  or not  responding to  it. If  they had                                                               
known   about  it,   I  assume   there  would   have  been   some                                                               
CHAIR STEVENS continued,  "I'm a little annoyed as  a citizen, as                                                               
a senator,  that that this  occurred. And it can't  happen again.                                                               
All we're  asking in this bill  is for the university  to monitor                                                               
the situation,  to let us know,  and you should already  be doing                                                               
that. And I keep hearing people  say, 'Hey, we're doing that. Why                                                               
would you have this bill because  we're doing it.' But you're not                                                               
doing it. It fell apart. Somebody  was asleep at the switch. It's                                                               
a terrible black eye on the  university and we simply cannot have                                                               
this happen in future. I mean,  are there other areas that are in                                                               
jeopardy  in  the  university for  loss  of  accreditations.  I'm                                                               
sorry.  I'm just  not happy  with  this at  all. I  think it's  a                                                               
terrible situation to be in. I'm  ashamed. I know you are. I know                                                               
the  university  president is  ashamed  that  this happened.  All                                                               
we're saying, for heaven's sake, is  monitor this and let us know                                                               
what is going on."                                                                                                              
9:12:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said  she shared his frustration.  The fiscal note                                                               
states that the internal processes  already exist and the reports                                                               
are  happening annually  to the  board,  but Mr.  Baker said  the                                                               
Board of Regents will be  revisiting that policy. She assumed the                                                               
board would be  considering whether to increase  the frequency of                                                               
checking in  on that type of  thing. She would hope  that any red                                                               
flags would be reported to  the Board of Regents immediately. The                                                               
legislature  would  not hear  as  soon  as  the board,  but  that                                                               
information would be  included in the report to  them. The bill's                                                               
idea is  that having  some oversight  establishes accountability.                                                               
She asked whether they would receive the report every two years.                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS answered twice a year.                                                                                            
SENATOR HUGHES  said that would  help because at this  point, the                                                               
legislature is receiving a report once  a year, but this would be                                                               
twice a year.                                                                                                                   
9:13:52 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  said  when  the  committee  first  talked  about                                                               
accreditation, he put  a conflict of interest on  the record, but                                                               
after checking with ethics, he found  he does not have a conflict                                                               
of interest with this bill.                                                                                                     
CHAIR STEVENS  said that is an  issue these days with  changes in                                                               
law. He  has no conflict.  He last  worked for the  university 20                                                               
years  ago  and  retired  as  a tenured  professor  and  has  not                                                               
received any renumeration from the university for 20 years.                                                                     
MR. BAKER  said the bill  as currently drafted would  require the                                                               
report at the  start of each legislature, so every  two years. He                                                               
wanted  to clarify  that  the university  does  not review  every                                                               
academic program every year. The  regent policy is at least every                                                               
seven  years.  Most  of  the  institutions  are  doing  five-year                                                               
reviews, but  the status  of those program  reviews and  how they                                                               
relate  to accreditation  are reported  to the  Board of  Regents                                                               
every  fall. They  have  an internal  process  for compiling  and                                                               
reporting that information  to the Board of  Regents, but regents                                                               
would share  Senator Stevens' concern  that the reports  have not                                                               
been adequate to keep the  regents informed. They will be working                                                               
on that internally.                                                                                                             
9:15:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS opened  public  testimony  and after  ascertaining                                                               
there was none, closed public testimony.                                                                                        
SENATOR HUGHES asked if the intention  is to change the report to                                                               
twice a year.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR STEVENS said he thought twice a year would be best.                                                                     
SENATOR HUGHES said she agreed with that.                                                                                       
SENATOR BEGICH  asked if his  intent was to change  the reporting                                                               
from  biennial to  biannual and  to get  an update  on a  regular                                                               
basis. He agreed that twice a year would be better.                                                                             
9:16:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS answered that that is  the intention and held SB 53                                                               
in committee.                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB053_UnivAK_AccreditReporting_BillText_VersionA.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SB053_UA_Accred_Reporting_SponsorStatement_20Feb2019.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/13/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SB053_UnivAK_AccreditReporting_FiscalNote01_UnivAK_16Feb2019.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SB053_UnivAK_AccreditReporting_Research_CAEP_RevocationLetter_11JAN2019.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/13/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SB053_UnivAK_AccreditReporting_Research_CAEP Report_Dec2018.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/13/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SB053_UnivAK_AccreditReporting_Research_BOR Policy_April2014.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SB053_UnivAK_AccreditReporting_Research_Existing UA Accred Summary_21Feb2019.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SFIN 3/13/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 53
SEDC_Presentation_Power Of Research_ 21FEB2019.pdf SEDC 2/21/2019 9:00:00 AM
SEDC Presentation - Univ AK - Power of Research - Feb 21, 2019