Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/15/2017 08:00 AM Senate EDUCATION

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08:00:56 AM Start
08:01:32 AM Confirmation Hearings
08:50:52 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
Karen Perdue
Maureen Van Wagner
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 15, 2017                                                                                         
                           8:00 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
     University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                    
          Karen Perdue - Fairbanks                                                                                            
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
     Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                               
          Maureen van Wagner - Anchorage                                                                                      
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
KAREN PERDUE, Appointee                                                                                                         
University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                                           
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the University of                                                               
Alaska Board of Regents.                                                                                                        
MAUREEN VAN WAGNER, Appointee                                                                                                   
Professional Teaching Practices Commission (PTPC)                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to  the University of                                                             
Alaska Board of Regents.                                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:00:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 8:00  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Begich, Giessel, Stevens,  and Chair Hughes.                                                               
Senator Coghill arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                                     
^CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                          
                     CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                  
8:01:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
confirmation hearings.                                                                                                          
             University of Alaska Board of Regents                                                                          
CHAIR HUGHES introduced Ms. Perdue.                                                                                             
8:02:02 AM                                                                                                                    
KAREN PERDUE,  Appointee, University of Alaska  Board of Regents,                                                               
shared her professional and personal  background. She said she is                                                               
a lifelong  Alaskan, lived in  Juneau for 20 years  while serving                                                               
in  state  government, and  has  traveled  all over  Alaska.  She                                                               
retired in 2014 and has been volunteering since then.                                                                           
She  related qualifications  related  to her  appointment to  the                                                               
Board of Regents. She worked in  Senator Ted Stevens' office as a                                                               
press  secretary  and policy  aide  and  then served  under  four                                                               
governors and  as commissioner  of the  Department of  Health and                                                               
Social Services for  eight years. She said oil was  $9 per barrel                                                               
when she  served under  Governor Knowles and  she learned  how to                                                               
motivate people even during hard times.                                                                                         
She  then  served as  the  Associate  Vice President  for  Health                                                               
Programs  at  the  University of  Alaska-Fairbanks.  During  that                                                               
time,  she  developed  innovative   academic  programs  with  the                                                               
faculty  and  worked  with  leadership   on  every  campus  on  a                                                               
statewide  academic health  plan. She  learned the  importance of                                                               
the university to  the state's economy and to  employers and that                                                               
the university  must meet students'  needs to attract  and retain                                                               
them. She said higher education  is very competitive and students                                                               
have  options  for  it.  They are  very  skilled  consumers  with                                                               
legitimate  expectations  for ease  of  use  of the  system,  for                                                               
course sequencing, and for high quality.                                                                                        
MS. PERDUE  related that  she has  worked in  large institutional                                                               
systems with a lot of missions  and has served on several boards,                                                               
such   as  the   Denali   Commission,   Alaska  Housing   Finance                                                               
Corporation, and  as director of  the State Hospital  and Nursing                                                               
Home Board  where she learned  the difference  between management                                                               
and  governance. For  10 years  she represented  the U.S.  on the                                                               
International Arctic Council Forum, in Human Dimension.                                                                         
8:07:07 AM                                                                                                                  
MS. PERDUE  stated that the  Board of Regents  is one of  the few                                                               
boards that is  listed in the state constitution.  It is intended                                                               
to  be  a  powerful  oversight to  a  one-state  university.  Its                                                               
mission is  to guide the  policy of  the university and  hire the                                                               
president.  The   board  and  the  president   work  together  to                                                               
administer a system that is  now comprised of 30,000 students and                                                               
$850 million.                                                                                                                   
She  noted  that  the  university   is  facing  severe  financial                                                               
pressures  and   declining  enrollment.   The  regents   and  the                                                               
president will  be making tough  decisions over the  next several                                                               
years.  She stated  the  need to  continue to  send  a signal  to                                                               
students  that the  university will  provide  a quality  academic                                                               
experience  and conduct  world-class research,  even in  times of                                                               
financial difficulty.                                                                                                           
She related the  reasons she wants to serve on  the University of                                                               
Alaska Board  of Regents.  She said the  University of  Alaska is                                                               
going to be celebrating its 100th  year and the founders would be                                                               
delighted  with the  system that  has  been built.  She wants  to                                                               
participate  in guiding  the university  in this  trying time  so                                                               
that it  is around for at  least another 100 years,  if not more.                                                               
She  noted her  three children  will have  graduated from  the UA                                                               
system and her oldest grandson has started at UAF.                                                                              
8:09:12 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS thanked  Ms. Perdue for her years  of service. He                                                               
asked how the regents will address the financial situation.                                                                     
MS. PERDUE said  the Board's job is to set  values and guidelines                                                               
for  the  president and  the  chancellors  in looking  at  budget                                                               
reductions and  to listen  to the president's  ideas and  vote on                                                               
them. The Board's  job is not to  come up with the  ideas, but to                                                               
set the timeline and to listen  to the public and stakeholders on                                                               
the impacts of financial decisions.  She shared her experience at                                                               
her first Board meeting.                                                                                                        
8:11:04 AM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR HUGHES asked what is causing declining enrollment.                                                                        
MS. PERDUE  said she  would like  to delve  into that  problem by                                                               
looking at several  issues, such as fewer  high school graduates,                                                               
outward migration of students, and flat job growth.                                                                             
8:12:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL  spoke of  the  consolidation  and alignment  of                                                               
university campuses.                                                                                                            
MS. PERDUE asked for clarification.                                                                                             
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked  specifically   about  alignment  of  the                                                               
Nursing Program certifications.                                                                                                 
8:13:24 AM                                                                                                                  
MS. PERDUE  summarized the organization  of the  Nursing Programs                                                               
noting that  one of the  problems students  have has is  that the                                                               
campuses  do not  have  a common  calendar.  She understood  that                                                               
course transfers have improved. Also,  she said the three faculty                                                               
have aligned general education requirements.                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL said University  President Johnsen is looking for                                                               
endowment money and  to resolve the Land Grant  issue for sources                                                               
of  increased  revenues.  He asked  about  outreach  to  economic                                                               
communities for the benefit of the university.                                                                                  
8:15:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. PERDUE  thought the  tax credit  did help  certain businesses                                                               
participate  in  supporting  the   university  and  it  is  being                                                               
reexamined.  She  related that  when  she  worked in  the  health                                                               
field, the industry  was willing to contribute to  the program in                                                               
the form of  block grants, as long as results  were reported. She                                                               
said  that process  could continue  because  graduates are  their                                                               
future employees.                                                                                                               
8:16:28 AM                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  COGHILL  spoke  of  the   need  to  compete  with  other                                                               
universities and  to attract  students. He noted  a goal  to work                                                               
better between K-12 and the  university. The struggle is that the                                                               
university  system  is partly  a  junior  college and  partly  an                                                               
accredited university.  He asked if  she has been looking  at the                                                               
president's initiative to work with the K-12 system.                                                                            
MS.  PERDUE  responded  that  she has  read  some  materials  and                                                               
received a briefing from UAA about the Middle College.                                                                          
8:18:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES thought there was  misalignment between K-12 and the                                                               
university  due  to the  high  level  of remediation  needed  for                                                               
freshmen students.                                                                                                              
8:18:42 AM                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  GIESSEL spoke  of  the Middle  College  and wondered  if                                                               
college credits  earned in high  school are at a  lower standard.                                                               
She  wanted  to verify  the  authenticity  of high  school-earned                                                               
college  credits. She  also said  there is  still a  problem with                                                               
transfer of credits.                                                                                                            
She  brought  up the  topic  of  lack  of faculty  for  President                                                               
MS. PERDUE  said the Board needs  to hear unified input  from all                                                               
stakeholders.  The  president  has increased  on-campus  meetings                                                               
lately. She  stressed that it  is a hard time  and it is  hard to                                                               
make  cuts.  The president  has  created  the Strategic  Pathways                                                               
structure which is getting better according to the faculty.                                                                     
8:21:29 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL pointed  out that the state was at  $9 per barrel                                                               
oil  last year.  She  voiced concern  that  the state  subsidizes                                                               
university  students  at  $20,000  per student.  The  next  state                                                               
subsidizes  at  about  $9  per student.  She  noted  that  alumni                                                               
organizations  do not  support the  university's sports  programs                                                               
like  other  colleges   do.  She  asked  where   Ms.  Perdue  saw                                                               
opportunity there.                                                                                                              
8:22:47 AM                                                                                                                  
MS. PERDUE said she does not  have enough information yet on that                                                               
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked for  clarification  of  the $9  amount.  She                                                               
thought perhaps Senator Giessel meant $9,000.                                                                                   
SENATOR GIESSEL agreed.                                                                                                         
8:23:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  noted his relationship  with Ms. Perdue  when she                                                               
hired him as the Community  Justice Coordinator in the Department                                                               
of  Health  and Social  Services.  He  asked  for her  vision  of                                                               
teacher training  and whether there  is a  role for the  Board of                                                               
Regents in helping define teacher  education for this century and                                                               
8:24:30 AM                                                                                                                  
MS. PERDUE  said the  process of reporting  to the  Board through                                                               
the  Academic Student  Affairs Committee  will  help address  how                                                               
academic programs  address rural teachers and  teacher retention.                                                               
The university has also adopted  a teacher mentor program for new                                                               
teachers.  The  Board's  role  is to  challenge  the  Schools  of                                                               
Education  to  address  the  issues   that  the  data  shows  are                                                               
8:25:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  noted Ms. Perdue mentioned  that the constitution                                                               
requires one  university in Alaska.  He asked what that  means to                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
MS. PERDUE opined  that the university was meant to  be a portion                                                               
of the state's economy and to  serve the people across the state.                                                               
Many of  the jobs the university  educates for are in  both small                                                               
and  large  communities.  Health   care  jobs  and  teaching  are                                                               
examples. She  stressed the  need to look  at students  as "place                                                               
committed" as opposed  to "place bound." The  university needs to                                                               
look at  distance delivery and  other methods of  fulfilling that                                                               
SENATOR BEGICH  agreed that it  is a  high-level goal and  one he                                                               
has  been looking  for.  He  spoke of  the  difficulty of  making                                                               
budget cuts and President  Johnsen's funding recommendations, yet                                                               
the Senate is  instead looking at another $16 million  in cuts on                                                               
top of  the Governor's  proposed budget. He  asked how  the state                                                               
should meet the vision of  a place-committed university, in light                                                               
of those budget cuts, and what the Board is looking to do.                                                                      
MS. PERDUE replied that she  has heard that Strategic Pathways is                                                               
an  effective tool  to look  at business  processes in  trying to                                                               
ensure  efficiency and  customer satisfaction.  She said  she did                                                               
not  have   an  answer  that  addressed   academic  programs  and                                                               
athletics. She suggested a need  to challenge the chancellors and                                                               
faculty with the awareness of the current financial environment.                                                                
8:29:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  if  she has  taken  a distance  education                                                               
MS.  PERDUE  said she  has  taught  a 3-hour  distance  education                                                               
graduate-level   class.  She   said   some   students  are   very                                                               
comfortable with  that type of  learning, others are not,  and it                                                               
is  challenging  to  the  instructor,  but  with  training,  very                                                               
8:30:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES commented that Mat-Su  wished to have representation                                                               
on  the Board.  She described  how  their campus  has changed  to                                                               
become a thriving  university. She asked Ms. Perdue  to keep that                                                               
area in mind, noting there is great potential there.                                                                            
MS. PERDUE thanked the committee.                                                                                               
8:32:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  thanked Ms. Perdue  and introduced Ms.  van Wagner.                                                               
She  requested  a  review  of   what  the  Professional  Teaching                                                               
Practices Commission does.                                                                                                      
           Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                       
MAUREEN  VAN WAGNER,  Appointee, Professional  Teaching Practices                                                               
Commission (PTPC),  shared her professional background.  She said                                                               
she is  currently a  special education  teacher in  Anchorage and                                                               
has been  an educator for  21 years. She  said she has  served as                                                               
the teacher representative on PTPC for the last three years.                                                                    
She  related that  PTPC is  a process  that deals  with education                                                               
policy and  reviews teacher sanctions  and makes  decisions. They                                                               
strengthened the language  in the Code of Ethics  for teachers in                                                               
order to highlight the high  expectations placed on teachers. She                                                               
is happy to  spend another three years on the  PTPC and share her                                                               
historical knowledge.                                                                                                           
8:35:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL thanked  Ms. van Wagner for her  service. He said                                                               
there is a struggle to keep  teachers in Alaska. He asked how the                                                               
state could do a better job retaining teachers.                                                                                 
MS.  VAN  WAGNER shared  her  experience  in a  teacher  training                                                               
program  and  the importance  of  knowing  clearly what  she  was                                                               
getting  into as  a teacher.  She is  currently a  mentor to  new                                                               
teachers and  works with teachers  who are on  improvement plans.                                                               
In that role,  she stresses the importance of the  code of ethics                                                               
and an understanding of what is expected of teachers.                                                                           
SENATOR COGHILL noted the importance  of classroom management and                                                               
described the  challenging classroom environment.  He appreciated                                                               
Ms. van Wagner's willingness to work with teachers.                                                                             
8:38:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH thanked  Ms.  van Wagner  for  serving again.  He                                                               
spoke of  a recommendation from  the Senate  Finance Subcommittee                                                               
on Education that  the 2016 Performance Review  of the Department                                                               
of Education  and Early Development finding  related to objective                                                               
#9 be  pursued. That recommendation  was to consolidate  the work                                                               
of  PTPC  into  the  Office of  Teacher  Certification  for  cost                                                               
reduction purposes and to eliminate  duplication of processes. He                                                               
asked if that recommendation makes sense.                                                                                       
8:40:22 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. VAN WAGNER  said PTPC has discussed  this recommendation. She                                                               
opined that  it would not  be a good  idea because the  two serve                                                               
opposite  roles.  The  Office of  Teacher  Certification  enables                                                               
teachers  to teach;  PTPC revokes  certifications. She  described                                                               
the  makeup  of  the  Board   and  their  ability  to  make  good                                                               
decisions.  The Office  of Teacher  Certification  already has  a                                                               
difficult  time getting  certifications out  in a  timely manner.                                                               
PTPC  serves   the  teaching  community  best   as  it  currently                                                               
8:41:55 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  thanked her for  serving. She inquired  how many                                                               
suspensions or revocations have taken place.                                                                                    
MS. VAN WAGNER  suggested she go the PTPC website  for that data.                                                               
She  guessed  there  were  4  to  5  cases  per  year;  not  many                                                               
8:43:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL asked  how the  actions of  PTPC affect  teacher                                                               
retention.  She  asked  if  they  follow up  on  the  results  of                                                               
MS.  VAN WAGNER  said  she  does not  have  that information  and                                                               
suggested Senator Giessel ask the  director, James Seitz. She did                                                               
not think  their actions would  affect teacher retention.  Only a                                                               
small fraction of teachers have sanctions.                                                                                      
SENATOR GIESSEL clarified that she  meant a specific educator who                                                               
receives a disciplinary action.                                                                                                 
MS.  VAN  WAGNER  said  sanctions  are  warnings.  It  is  up  to                                                               
districts to decide what happens after that.                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked if tenured teachers can be fired.                                                                         
MS. VAN  WAGNER said it  depends on  each district. She  has seen                                                               
teachers  fired, tenured  or not.  Anyone can  be recommended  to                                                               
PTPC. Most  of those teachers  are not tenured teachers  and need                                                               
support and mentoring.                                                                                                          
8:47:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES followed up on  Senator Begich's question of merging                                                               
administrative  functions  of  PTPC  and the  Office  of  Teacher                                                               
MS. VAN WAGNER asked for clarification.                                                                                         
CHAIR  HUGHES  said  she  was thinking  of  streamlining  of  the                                                               
MS.  VAN  WAGNER said  PTPC  has  been streamlined  already;  the                                                               
director no longer has a secretary.                                                                                             
8:49:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL, in accordance with  AS 39.05.080, moved that the                                                               
appointment of  Maureen van Wagner  to the  Professional Teaching                                                               
Practices  Commission,  and Karen  Perdue  to  the University  of                                                               
Alaska  Board of  Regents, be  forwarded to  a joint  session for                                                               
consideration. This does not reflect  an intent of any members to                                                               
vote for or against the  confirmation of these individuals during                                                               
any further sessions.                                                                                                           
8:50:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES opened  public testimony  and, seeing  none, closed                                                               
public testimony.                                                                                                               
She said  the appointments of Ms.  Wagner and Ms. Perdue  will be                                                               
forwarded to the joint session.                                                                                                 
8:50:52 AM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Hughes  adjourned the  Senate Education  Standing Committee                                                               
at 8:50 a.m.                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
UA Regents - Perdue.pdf SEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM
EDU van Wagner - Professional Teaching Practices Commission.pdf SEDC 3/15/2017 8:00:00 AM