Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/14/1996 05:03 PM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                             
                       February 14, 1996                                       
                           5:03 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Alan Austerman, Chairman                                       
 Representative Scott Ogan                                                     
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Carl Moses, Vice Chairman                                      
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 179                                                          
 "An Act relating to the commissioner of education and the                     
 commissioner of fish and game; and providing for an effective                 
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
      -  PASSED CSHB 179 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                      
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PRESENTATION BY THE UNIVERSITY OF AK SCHOOL OF FISHERIES AND OCEAN            
 SCIENCES                                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 179                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: LIMIT TERM OF COMMRS OF EDUC. & FISH/GAME                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THERRIAULT                                      
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 02/13/95       337    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/13/95       337    (H)   FSH, HES, FINANCE                                 
 02/14/96              (H)   FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 GENE THERRIAULT, Representative                                               
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 421                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4797                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HB 179.                  
                                                                               
 CHRYSTAL SMITH, Legal Administrator                                           
 Office of the Attorney General                                                
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented Department of Law's and the                    
                      Administration's position on HB 179.                     
                                                                               
 THOMAS H. DAHL, Assistant Attorney General                                    
 Transportation Section                                                        
 Civil Division (Juneau)                                                       
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented Department of Education's position             
                      on HB 179.                                               
                                                                               
 DAN OGG, Treasurer                                                            
 University of Alaska Board of Regents                                         
 P.O. Box 2754                                                                 
 Kodiak, Alaska  99615                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 486-8505                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented information on University of Alaska            
                      Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean                 
                      Sciences.                                                
                                                                               
 JOAN WADLOW, Chancellor                                                       
 University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                
 P.O. Box 757500                                                               
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99775-7220                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 474-7112                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented information on University of Alaska            
                      Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean                 
                      Sciences.                                                
                                                                               
 VERA ALEXANDER, Dean                                                          
 School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences                                        
 University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                
 O'Neill Building, Room 245                                                    
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99775-7220                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 474-6826                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented information on University of Alaska            
                      Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean                 
                      Sciences.                                                
                                                                               
 JACK KEATING, Provost                                                         
 University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                
 P.O. Box 757580                                                               
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99775-7220                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 474-7096                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented information on University of Alaska            
                      Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean                 
                      Sciences.                                                
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-6, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN ALAN AUSTERMAN called the House Special Committee on                 
 Fisheries meeting to order at 5:03 p.m.  Members present at the               
 call to order were Representatives Austerman, Ogan and Davis;                 
 Representative Elton joined the meeting at 5:08 p.m.  Absent was              
 Representative Moses.                                                         
 HB 179 - LIMIT TERM OF COMMRS OF EDUC. & FISH/GAME                          
                                                                               
 Number 0051                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT presented the sponsor statement for            
 HB 179:                                                                       
                                                                               
 "House Bill 179 is intended to change the term of office for the              
 commissioners of Education and Fish and Game so their terms do not            
 exceed the term of the governor who appointed them.  HB 179 is                
 needed to avoid a situation in which an outgoing commissioner's               
 contract must be honored by an incoming administration.                       
                                                                               
 "The Alaska State Constitution provides the power for the governor            
 to appoint each principal department head.  The Department of                 
 Education and the Department of Fish and Game are unique due to the           
 involvement of their respective boards.                                       
                                                                               
 "The principal head of the Department of Education is the Board of            
 Education.  The Board of Education appoints its principal executive           
 officer.  The board has the right to dismiss the commissioner if a            
 dismissal is deemed necessary.  HB 179 would eliminate the present            
 five-year term as specified in current statute.                               
                                                                               
 "The Commissioner of Fish and Game is appointed by the governor               
 from a list compiled by the Board of Fisheries and the Board of               
 Game.  HB 179 clarifies that the commissioner does serve at the               
 pleasure of the governor and eliminates the reference to the                  
 commissioner of Fish and Game being approved to a five-year term.             
                                                                               
 "The Alaska State Constitution grants the governor the power to               
 appoint department heads.  HB 179 reaffirms this constitutional               
 right."                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0172                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT expressed his intent to address the                 
 potential problem of having to buy out contracts following a                  
 changeover in administration.  The last time it had been a problem            
 was during the changeover from the Hickel administration to the               
 Knowles administration.  At that time, rather than buy out the                
 contract for the outgoing commissioner of the Department of                   
 Education, a position had been created at the University of Alaska            
 Southeast.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0243                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT noted that in the past, there had been              
 concern that the outgoing commissioner of the Department of Fish              
 and Game might initiate litigation against the state.  There had              
 been talk that, rather than litigate, the state would buy that                
 commissioner out, which was the least expensive thing to do.                  
 Representative Therriault did not know why the five-year term had             
 been specified in statute.  He speculated that the boards might               
 think that provided extra protection or continuity for the                    
 department.  However, he felt that was an illusion if that was                
 their thinking.  Whenever a new administration was instated, they             
 replaced those commissioners if they so chose.  At times, however,            
 there had been friction.  Representative Therriault thought HB 179            
 would fix that problem.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0333                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained that they had worked with the             
 Department of Law and the Administration in coming up with a                  
 proposed committee substitute.  He noted that individuals from the            
 Department of Law were available to answer legal questions.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0362                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said he was assuming the commissioners of the              
 Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Fish and Game             
 were the only two that were a problem, with that being the reason             
 those two were addressed in HB 179.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0392                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT replied that was correct.  He added that            
 there had been separate legislation by Governor Knowles the                   
 previous year which dealt with DOE.  Representative Therriault had            
 researched whether other commissioners fell into a similar category           
 and had identified the commissioner of Fish and Game, which led to            
 the introduction of HB 179.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0423                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON asked how Representative Therriault had              
 dealt with the philosophical notion that both commissioners in                
 question were not technically appointed by the governor, but rather           
 were appointed by boards.  He said it seemed the bill went far                
 beyond the intent now in essentially admitting that these                     
 commissioners served at the pleasure of the governor.                         
                                                                               
 Number 0470                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT replied that the boards were impaneled by           
 the Administration.  The original bill prohibited contracting with            
 or appointing a commissioner past the term of the current sitting             
 governor, which was a bit cumbersome.  One governor did not                   
 obligate his successor to work with a commissioner who may be of a            
 completely different philosophical bent.  To avoid that, the state            
 sometimes ended up buying somebody out.  In the past, the                     
 commissioner of DOE had been contracted with by the Board of                  
 Education for a term exceeding the sitting governor's term of                 
 office.  It was that, Representative Therriault explained, which              
 had brought the problem to his attention.  He did not believe                 
 buying out those contracts was in the state's best interest.                  
                                                                               
 Number 0561                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON understood that and felt it was a good example           
 of why the current system may not work.  He asked if members of the           
 Board of Education, Board of Fisheries and Board of Game served at            
 the pleasure of the governor.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT replied he believed they did.  He                   
 deferred to the Department of Law for the answer.                             
                                                                               
 Number 0606                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHRYSTAL SMITH, Legal Administrator, Office of the Attorney                   
 General, Department of Law, noted that she was speaking on behalf             
 of both the Department of Law and the Administration.  She voiced             
 the Administration's support of the committee substitute for HB
 179, saying it was important bill.  In response to Representative             
 Elton, Ms. Smith explained that under CSHB 179, the commissioner of           
 DOE would serve at the pleasure of the board, whereas the                     
 commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game would serve at the            
 pleasure of the governor.  She noted that the latter was now                  
 appointed by the governor for a fixed term of five years, creating            
 a rolling term.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0698                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that before discussing the bill, a motion            
 was needed for acceptance of the committee substitute, version C.             
                                                                               
 Number 0716                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS moved that the committee adopt for use              
 CSHB 179.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN referred to Section 1, which said the               
 commissioner served at the pleasure of the board.  He said he                 
 assumed that was the Board of Education.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. SMITH replied yes.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0755                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN continued, noting that Section 1 read "and may            
 not be appointed ... for a fixed term".  Essentially, he said, the            
 governor might like the commissioner but the board might not.  He             
 saw the potential for a major shift in policy, with the                       
 commissioner having to answer to the board.  He suggested that                
 would not necessarily be because a new governor wanted the                    
 commissioner gone; the commissioner would have to answer to both              
 the governor and the board.  Representative Ogan asked if that was            
 a fair assessment.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0819                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. SMITH responded, "Yes, I guess you could say that."  She                  
 thought in cases where there had been a philosophical difference              
 between the governor and the commissioner, with the board, but not            
 the governor, wanting the commissioner, there had been times when             
 the board had been replaced.  Since the board served at the                   
 pleasure of the governor, that would happen if there was a really             
 serious problem.  Ms. Smith said she would defer to Thomas Dahl on            
 that.  She referred to the language being deleted by Section 5 and            
 noted that previously, the board would have needed cause to remove            
 a commissioner.  If she understood it correctly, the board would              
 not have been able to dismiss a commissioner for merely disagreeing           
 with him or her.  This allowed for some philosophical continuity              
 between the board and the commissioner, she added.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0870                                                                   
                                                                               
 THOMAS H. DAHL, Assistant Attorney General, Transportation Section,           
 Civil Division (Juneau), Department of Law, affirmed that was                 
 correct.  He explained he was representing the Department of                  
 Education in this matter.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0906                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN expressed that he could see some philosophical            
 reasons why it might be advantageous to have a commissioner carry             
 over into the new administration.  If there were a radical change             
 in political views, it would make the transition slower and perhaps           
 prevent such big swings in philosophy.                                        
                                                                               
 MS. SMITH responded that would still be possible, assuming there              
 was not a move to replace the board, because that commissioner                
 would still be serving at the pleasure of the board.  Unless there            
 were some radical swing in philosophy and the governor replaced the           
 whole board, there would be a moderating influence from the board,            
 which was appointed on a rotating basis.  Ms. Smith noted that CSHB
 179 got rid of the concept of a fixed term and the necessity to buy           
 somebody out or get involved in a court case.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0990                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if there had been a history of those                
 types of cases.  He wanted to know if an actual problem was being             
 addressed, rather than a potential problem.                                   
                                                                               
 MS. SMITH replied that in her ten years in Alaska, she was aware of           
 only one case where the commissioner had a fixed-term contract.               
 She added that she could not swear to that.  She did know that in             
 the Department of Fish and Game there had been conversations                  
 involving commissioners with five-year contracts.  Although she did           
 not think those had ever led to a court case, the potential was               
 there.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1037                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN recalled that the previous year, the possibility           
 for problems had existed in the Department of Fish and Game, as               
 well as in the Department of Education.  With the exception of                
 those two departments, the system was currently set up so that when           
 a new governor came in, the whole philosophy of the Administration            
 could change.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1066                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that this was a move towards                       
 standardizing the way commissioners were appointed and removed,               
 which he understood a need for.  However, in the case of the                  
 commissioner of DOE, it was a move away from the traditional                  
 education system.  Traditionally, a local school board hired a                
 superintendent under contract.  Although that contract sometimes              
 needed to be bought out, it was a common way to do business in the            
 educational system, all the way up to the commissioner of DOE.                
 Representative Elton suggested that without offering a contract, it           
 might be difficult, for example, to recruit as commissioner of DOE            
 a great superintendent of schools from Fairbanks, because that                
 person would have to give up guaranteed employment for something              
 more tenuous.  He noted that was especially true if trying to hire            
 a commissioner in the third year of a governor's four-year term.              
 He asked Mr. Dahl how the Department of Education felt about this.            
                                                                               
 Number 1162                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. DAHL deferred to Ms. Smith for an answer.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. SMITH responded that she had conferred with the legislative               
 liaison for DOE, who had indicated the department had no problems             
 with CSHB 179 and supported it.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1191                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if the current commissioner was                    
 operating under a contract.                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. SMITH replied she did not know whether she was or not.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON suggested that some of his questions would be            
 better addressed in the House Health, Education and Social Services           
 Committee.  He said he would talk to some of those members to see             
 if they had similar concerns.  He moved that CSHB 179 be moved out            
 of committee with individual recommendations and commented that               
 there was no fiscal note provided.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1245                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT indicated there was no fiscal note and              
 added that if there were, it would be a savings to the state, which           
 would no longer be buying out contracts.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if it was appropriate to move a bill                
 without a fiscal note.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1262                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN replied yes.  There being no objection to the              
 motion to move CSHB 179 out of committee with individual                      
 recommendations, it was so ordered.                                           
 PRESENTATION BY THE UNIVERSITY OF AK SCHOOL OF FISHERIES AND OCEAN           
 SCIENCES                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1272                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN introduced the second item on the agenda, a                
 presentation by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of                 
 Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1292                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAN OGG, Treasurer, University of Alaska Board of Regents,                    
 introduced fellow speakers Dean Vera Alexander, Chancellor Joan               
 Wadlow and Provost Jack Keating.  He noted that Wendy Redman,                 
 University Relations Vice-President, and Sharon Gagnon, President             
 of the Board of Regents, were also present.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1353                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG explained that a couple of years earlier, the regents              
 had appointed a task force to look at the School of Fisheries and             
 Ocean Sciences.  The task force, composed of persons from the                 
 fishing industry, faculty members, administrators and scientists              
 from across the nation, observed some lack of communication among             
 parts of the school, between the school and the legislature and               
 between the school and industry.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1420                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG referred to the blue booklet entitled "Strategic and               
 Capital/Facilities Plan 1995" ("Strategic Plan").  He explained               
 that following the task force meeting, the regents had requested              
 that the school create and implement a strategic plan dealing with            
 both the academic parts and the capital plans of the school, which            
 was addressed in that booklet.                                                
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG noted that the school had many different factions,                 
 including a School of Fisheries, which dealt with management of               
 fishery and biological resources; the Institute of Marine Science,            
 which dealt with hard science, oceanography, currents and others;             
 the Marine Advisory Program (MAP), which was the outreach portion             
 of the school; the Fishery Industrial Technology Center, which was            
 the applied research part of the school that interacted with and              
 assisted industry in Alaska; and the Alaska Sea Grant College                 
 Program, a federally funded program that helped advertise,                    
 communicate about and assist with programs in place.  A newer                 
 program was the Coastal Marine Institute, which worked with oil and           
 mineral development off the coast of Alaska, studying the                     
 interaction among oils, sediments and fish and other organisms.               
                                                                               
 Number 1508                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG discussed a meeting that occurred two years previously.            
 At that time, the director of one section of the school had wanted            
 a separate budget, which Regent Ogg had felt indicated friction               
 among different parts of the school.  Although sections were                  
 performing well in their own areas, they were not working together.           
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG explained that the Strategic Plan was a flexible                   
 document, meant to move through time with the school.  It was to be           
 updated annually, so that the objectives in the Strategic Plan                
 could be addressed in terms of yearly progress and whether the                
 goals remained relevant.  Through the process of the Strategic                
 Plan, Mr. Ogg said, there was a subsequent meeting this past                  
 October where he met with the same director who had previously                
 wanted a separate budget.  That director had indicated things had             
 changed and that they now looked at the school as a whole.  The               
 school saw itself as a functioning unit.  Regent Ogg said he was              
 shocked.  He found it remarkable because usually schools of                   
 fisheries and oceanography acted as opposing poles of a magnet.               
 "You don't find this anywhere else in the country," he said.  Under           
 the tutelage of the dean, chancellor and provost, he said, they had           
 succeeded in getting a school that was willing to work together for           
 the state of Alaska.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 1659                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG discussed the capital side of the plan.  He noted that             
 the school was spread out all over the state, with scientists                 
 working in laboratories in different parts of the state.  The                 
 school had decided on four areas.  They wanted to continue with the           
 location at Fairbanks and were picking three coastal areas to focus           
 on for graduate research, including Kodiak, Seward and Juneau.                
 Regent Ogg concluded that the school, which had come a long way,              
 was poised to work for the state and the future of its fisheries.             
                                                                               
 Number 1719                                                                   
                                                                               
 JOAN WADLOW, Chancellor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, reiterated           
 that the school was poised to be of major help to the fisheries               
 industry in Alaska.  They were also prepared to describe how they             
 could do more if additional resources were available.  She noted              
 that she was not an expert in fisheries.  Instead, she said, she              
 would address the strategic position of fisheries at the                      
 university.  She acknowledged that the legislature had a lot of               
 competing needs, as did the university.  Chancellor Wadlow                    
 explained the university had decided to put a major emphasis on               
 "something we're calling building Alaska's natural resources."                
                                                                               
 Number 1777                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW agreed with Regent Ogg that the Strategic Plan              
 was a monumental effort.  It was comprehensive, integrated and                
 contained details that would help individuals, both on and off                
 campus, to understand where the school was going.  She said, "when            
 we identified fisheries, we were really stepping up to the plate."            
 She indicated the emphasis on fisheries was the result of listening           
 to Alaskans.  There were five different groups working with the               
 school on a regular basis.  All in all, 35 non-university people              
 worked with and advised the school.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1831                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW explained why the school was poised, to use                 
 Regent Ogg's word.  One reason was action by the legislature in               
 1981 that set up the Fisheries Industrial Technology Center (FITC),           
 which was thriving.  Currently, only three people were working                
 there; she said Dean Alexander would later describe why more people           
 were needed there.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1874                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW said there was one more compelling reason for               
 providing additional help to the fisheries program at the                     
 university.  Within the past two years, the university had secured            
 a $1 million endowment from Elmer Rasmuson to set up a fisheries              
 research center.  When Mr. Rasmuson provided the endowment, he made           
 it clear that if the university used the endowment to secure                  
 additional public or private funds, he would contribute further to            
 the endowment.  "Well, we've done our part," she said.  "We went              
 out and got some additional contributions."  She said there was,              
 for example, a major contribution from Wards Cove.  Feeling they              
 had an "all around winner," they were now asking the state to also            
 step up to the plate.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1974                                                                   
                                                                               
 VERA ALEXANDER, Dean, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences,                 
 University of Alaska Fairbanks, noted that when she took over the             
 school, an article had come out in Science magazine that was                
 entitled, "Fisheries and Oceanography, an Immiscible Combination."            
 Indeed, she said, they had found that incompatibility created                 
 problems.  Now, though, fisheries was a mature science, equally               
 rigorous to oceanography, and they were working together.                     
                                                                               
 Number 2030                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER referred to the Strategic Plan and said "we're not             
 pretending that this is the end-all of strategic plans, but it's a            
 start."  She agreed it was an evolving document.  In fact, they               
 were currently undertaking the first review to see whether they               
 were fulfilling their mission in terms of productivity and                    
 effectiveness.  She indicated the university needed to improve its            
 service to Alaska's fishing and seafood industries.  She foresaw              
 "some serious problems coming down the pike that we can help with             
 at this point."                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 2058                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER expressed that the greatest needs of the school were           
 1) in the area of seafood processing and harvesting and 2)                    
 additional expertise to maintain fish stocks.  She thought the                
 latter need could possibly be more easily deferred.  She noted that           
 Alaskans had done a better job of managing fish stocks than people            
 in other parts of the country.  However, they did not have the                
 information to keep doing it effectively.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2103                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER said the person at FITC working on seafood                     
 engineering had more money and requests than he could handle.  Work           
 needed done on utilization of currently under-utilized species and            
 more effective harvesting to minimize by-catch, among others.  She            
 explained that FITC positions were non-tenure-track; if one need              
 were satisfied and money came in from other sources, as it probably           
 would, they could move to something else.  Their ability to provide           
 immediate response was important.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 2160                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER referred to Dr. Scott Smiley and said they were                
 attempting to put together a major center, which would have federal           
 funding from the National Science Foundation, as well as state                
 funding through the Science and Technology Foundation and                     
 industrial funding through individuals who would sign up as members           
 of the consortium.  This, she said, would create a first-rate                 
 center for applied research in fisheries at Kodiak.                           
                                                                               
 Number 2190                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW introduced Jack Keating by saying he was "what we           
 call the chief academic officer at the university."                           
                                                                               
 JACK KEATING, Provost, University of Alaska Fairbanks, explained he           
 had come to Alaska two years ago and had attended the meeting                 
 mentioned by Regent Ogg.  The splintering then among groups at the            
 school troubled the advisory board, which consisted of                        
 internationally renowned scientists and local people interested in            
 the fish industry.  The advisory board had said if the school could           
 pull together, it would be the ideal unit for a university, as it             
 would be excellent in science, instruction and service to the fish            
 industry in Alaska.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 2291                                                                   
                                                                               
 PROVOST KEATING noted that the request before the legislature was             
 basically for the scientists needed to provide information that               
 would allow Alaska's fish to be presentable to the market.  He said           
 he was now confident, as the central administrator for the                    
 university, as opposed to simply the School of Fisheries and Ocean            
 Sciences, that they were poised to take a highly effective role in            
 dealing with Alaska's fishing industry.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 2334                                                                   
                                                                               
 PROVOST KEATING referred to possible new standards from the Food              
 and Drug Administration (FDA) and suggested the state should be               
 proactive, rather than reactive, in responding to new legislation             
 that might affect the industry.  That, he said, was exactly why               
 they had picked the two faculty positions that they wanted to                 
 emphasize.  The productivity of the current faculty had turned                
 around, especially in areas where he saw the potential for new                
 faculty to provide the spark needed to take off.  At a meeting six            
 months earlier in Juneau, he had been most impressed with the                 
 university's own fisheries students, whose stellar presentations              
 had been lauded by international researchers who were present.                
                                                                               
 Number 2408                                                                   
                                                                               
 PROVOST KEATING said as an academic officer, he was interested in             
 the needs of the state, the sciences being conducted and the                  
 university's ability to attract federal grants and state support.             
 However, he was "critically interested" in the ability to spread              
 the knowledge to future workers in the industry and state agencies.           
 He described himself as a convert who now strongly endorsed the               
 fishery program.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 2454                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN expressed pleasure at hearing that the schools             
 were working together so much better.                                         
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-6, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN thought that perhaps the fisheries were                    
 benefiting more from oceanographics than in the past.  As for the             
 need for two more positions in Kodiak, he said he would let the               
 other committee members respond to that.  Chairman Austerman                  
 suggested that the presenters meet with Senator Steve Frank and               
 Representative Mark Hanley.  He asked them to elaborate on plans              
 for the endowment.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0047                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW responded that Mr. Rasmuson had given the                   
 university a single lump sum of $1 million, which was in the                  
 University of Alaska Foundation, with specific instructions to use            
 revenue from it to fund research projects that would be carried out           
 by graduate students and supervised by faculty.  The unique part,             
 she said, was that the choice of research to be done was made by an           
 advisory committee consisting of non-university people.  These were           
 individuals who Mr. Rasmuson thought would be appropriate                     
 representatives from harvesting and processing areas.  The                    
 committee was chaired by the head of the fisheries program, Al                
 Tyler.  The board listed priorities and put out a call for                    
 proposals.  After reading all the submitted proposals, they decided           
 which ones to fund.  Then, when the advisory committee next met,              
 they asked the individuals who had carried out those projects to              
 make presentations.  Mr. Rasmuson attended those meetings, she                
 said, which were held at various locations in Alaska.                         
                                                                               
 Number 0102                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW discussed funding from the endowment.  Because it           
 takes awhile for interest to accrue, Mr. Rasmuson provided an                 
 additional $50,000 the first year.  Chancellor Wadlow thought that            
 had occurred for three consecutive years and that the amount                  
 provided might have even been $100,000 one year.  She emphasized              
 that the $l million was a gift, which Mr. Rasmuson himself had                
 already augmented.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0127                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that he had an intern from Fairbanks who             
 was involved with that program.  He asked Chancellor Wadlow                   
 whether, as the matching money came in, the university was enabled            
 to do more with that program.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0140                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW said that was right.  The university put the                
 $100,000 from Wards Cove into the endowment.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested the possibility of a think tank in               
 reference to long-term goals and needs of the fishing industry,               
 seeing as how it was the state's second largest industry tax-wise,            
 as well as the largest industry as far as employees were concerned.           
 Although he did not expect an immediate answer, he wished to talk             
 more with university personnel about that.  He noted the perceived            
 downward turn of the industry and glut on the market with pink                
 salmon.  Over the next couple of years, he said, there would                  
 probably be some pretty hard times in the industry.  He suggested             
 that if a think tank had existed years ago, which could have                  
 projected the affects of farmed fish and other issues, the industry           
 would be in a different position today.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0194                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW and DEAN ALEXANDER agreed that they would enjoy             
 that opportunity.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0197                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the Strategic Plan and said he saw           
 the objectives and strategies to get there, which essentially came            
 down to recruiting and funding new faculty.  He suggested the                 
 industry was much closer to the brink than the university                     
 delegation had characterized it.  He suggested that with the                  
 university competing with others for state dollars, he as a                   
 legislator needed to see more in order to make a decision that the            
 university deserved it instead of somebody else.  He said, "This              
 sounds terrible, but I'm saying this because I think we're on the             
 brink.  I think we're in the midst of a disaster."  He referred to            
 the Strategic Plan and added, "I don't see anything here that                 
 identifies what the disaster is, that prioritizes what needs to be            
 done and defines how you're going to do it, other than something              
 that essentially comes down to a strategy of recruiting and funding           
 new faculty."                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0307                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW responded that she could share the reservations             
 expressed by Representative Elton.  Her reason for emphasizing the            
 Rasmuson Center, she said, was that it was a start towards                    
 prioritizing needs.  The non-university people on the advisory                
 committee had whittled down the possible research projects to the             
 ones they considered most important for Alaska and only those would           
 funded.  "We may need to do that more in some of our other                    
 activities," she said.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0344                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW noted that the provost received a plea for new              
 faculty almost every day, from all parts of the university.  She              
 emphasized one point made by Dean Alexander:  In the area where               
 they were being told there was the greatest need, seafood                     
 processing engineering, the university had "one piece of expertise            
 at the FITC."  She asked for confirmation on that.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0390                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER affirmed that was correct.                                     
                                                                               
 CHANCELLOR WADLOW continued, saying, "he can't do it all."  If                
 there was more demand than expertise to respond, then the                     
 university had not figured out how to do it without more hands and            
 more brains.  "We'll work on it," she added.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0382                                                                   
                                                                               
 PROVOST KEATING commented on the requests for new jobs.  "In your             
 budget book, you will not see them," he said.  "You'll see these.             
 And I made the decision to go forward with these."  He noted that             
 he met with at least three advisory committees on a relatively                
 regular basis.                                                                
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER noted that at least four existed.                              
                                                                               
 PROVOST KEATING explained that the three committees with which he             
 met regularly represented not only the university, but national               
 scientists and the fishing industry as well.  He was convinced this           
 was an area where the university could really provide information             
 and knowledge of technology to help the rest of the industry.                 
 Otherwise, he said, he would not have allowed them in the book.               
                                                                               
 Number 0417                                                                   
                                                                               
 PROVOST KEATING said the university was not just asking for more              
 money to recruit new faculty.  They were asking for new expertise             
 that they thought the state of Alaska needed but did not have, "not           
 just for us, but as I alluded to, ... for the students we train               
 who'll become the managers in the various agencies now that are               
 running the fisheries for the state."  He said, "we're told that              
 our students are very, very attractive to the various agencies                
 because they know Alaska and if we don't have the expertise to make           
 them cutting-edge, we're not going to have the agencies with the              
 power and the ability and the current knowledge to be able to                 
 manage our own situation here in the state."                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0446                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEAN ALEXANDER drew attention to page 3 of the Strategic Plan,                
 under "Future Plans," and noted that the first thrust was to place            
 a stronger emphasis on forming partnerships with industry and                 
 federal management agencies, almost in a think-tank mode, without             
 necessarily adding faculty to do that.  She provided examples                 
 involving Prince William Sound and a partnership with the National            
 Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Developing a            
 more effective way of operating internally was the first priority,            
 she said, not the recruitment of new faculty.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0533                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON agreed partnerships and research were                    
 important.  However, for him to make a decision about whether to              
 divert money to or from the university, he needed more detail.  For           
 example, when they talked about "Prince William Sound recovery," he           
 wanted to know whether that meant in five years there would be a              
 herring fishery there.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0603                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG referred to a two-page hand-out provided to the                    
 committee, which included an "Increment Request" and a "Summary of            
 FITC's Contributions to Alaska's Fishing Industry."  He suggested             
 to Representative Elton that the focus he sought was addressed in             
 that document, rather than in the Strategic Plan booklet.  He               
 described polynias, areas of water that remained ice-free in                  
 winter, one of which existed around St. Lawrence Island.  As                  
 everything else shut down in winter, that area, which contained               
 nutrients, stayed open.  Regent Ogg made the analogy that as Alaska           
 moved into a cold spell economically, FITC was a polynia in the               
 university and the state of Alaska.  He said the two-page paper               
 answered the questions posed by Representative Elton, because the             
 school had focused on exactly where it could best help industry at            
 this point in time.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0664                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG acknowledged that in the Strategic Plan was the hope for           
 more faculty in other areas.  However, those were not the faculty             
 they were asking the legislature for.  Rather, they were asking for           
 those two particular positions that would directly work with the              
 marketing problems of the industry.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0679                                                                   
                                                                               
 REGENT OGG provided examples of assistance by the FITC, including             
 the success of Alaska surimi and a project with the International             
 Seafood Association (ISA) involving arrowtooth flounder which was             
 turned into a protein powder and sent to Africa.  He suggested the            
 university might develop that product to sell in three months, to             
 get the state away from the pink salmon disaster.                             
                                                                               
 Number 0779                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that he had seen some of what the ISA                
 project did in Kodiak with protein powder.  The processing plants             
 had considered not purchasing pink salmon, he said.  The concept of           
 making protein out of the fish, rather than letting them go to                
 waste, was perhaps one answer to problems with the glut of pink               
 salmon.  However, he was not sure if the FITC/ISA technology                  
 applied to pink salmon, yet.  "If we don't have the staff and the             
 professors working there," he said, "we never will have that                  
 information."                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0848                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS commented that the timing was horrible              
 from an economic standpoint.  He noted that there were so many                
 things going on with fisheries and wondered if the university's               
 plan jived and melded with the state.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0957                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN thought with impending federal cutbacks                    
 affecting research in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, it               
 behooved the state to pick up that ball.  Tying oceanographic                 
 studies to fisheries was a natural thing for the state to work                
 towards, he said.  He suggested that related to the concept of a              
 think tank.  He referred to an article in the November, 1995,                 
 National Geographic magazine about the diminishing return in                
 worldwide fisheries.  Alaska was probably one of the last few                 
 places that still had a chance of coming through this, he said, but           
 it could not be done if the problem was disregarded.  As a state,             
 Alaska needed to look ahead.  However, it seemed to be human nature           
 to have the tendency to eat oneself out of house and home.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1059                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN expressed that the university delegation might             
 want to talk with Representative Terry Martin, who was on the House           
 Finance Committee, because that committee would be where money, if            
 any, would be put in.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1088                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON suggested the delegation also visit with                 
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, who had raised the question of                 
 positions at FITC, and who was on the House Finance Committee                 
 subcommittee for the University of Alaska.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1121                                                                   
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN                
 adjourned the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting at 6:16            
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               

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