Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/14/1996 05:03 PM FSH
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.