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
*+ SB 53 UNIV. REPORTING REQS FOR ACCREDITATION TELECONFERENCED
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 SB 53 is a result  of the loss                                                               
of accreditation by the University  of Alaska Anchorage School of                                                               
Education. 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 said he  did not prepare                                                               
a sectional  for the bill  because it  would simply say  that the                                                               
bill   would   require  a   biannual   report   on  the   various                                                               
accreditations  across the  UA 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 of  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  offered  to  provide  a copy  for  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  said the education committees  would probably meet                                                               
jointly 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 the  major campuses  to regularly                                                               
assess  all  institutional  programs   to  evaluate  quality  and                                                               
effectiveness.  These program  reviews are  designed to  meet the                                                               
standards  of  applicable   accrediting  bodies.  Annually,  each                                                               
university must  provide a  report to  the Regents'  Academic and                                                               
Student  Affairs  Committee on  the  status  of program  reviews,                                                               
including an  extensive discussion of academic  accreditation. UA                                                               
already has  an internal  process to  compile, track,  and report                                                               
this information annually  to the board, so  that information can                                                               
be provided to  the legislature in a biannual  report. He pointed                                                               
out that  the packets have  information on the status  of ongoing                                                               
accreditation at all the universities                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BAKER  said  this  committee  has  its  regularly  scheduled                                                               
meeting  today.  One  agenda  item is  a  discussion  of  program                                                               
accreditation and  a review of  the status document.  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  said he  chaired  an accreditation  committee                                                               
before he retired  from the university so he knows  it is a long,                                                               
involved process,  but all the  questions and concerns  should be                                                               
answered at the end of the process.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
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                                                               
intervention."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
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 idea of                                                               
the   bill   is   that    having   some   oversight   establishes                                                               
accountability. She  asked whether the legislature  would receive                                                               
the report every two years.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS answered twice a year.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES said that would help.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
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 as currently  drafted the bill would  require the                                                               
report at the  start of each legislature, so every  two years. He                                                               
clarified  that the  university  does not  review every  academic                                                               
program every year. 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.  UA  has  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. UA 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 agreed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
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. He 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