Legislature(2023 - 2024)DAVIS 106
03/20/2023 08:00 AM House EDUCATION
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HB 9-ADD FACULTY MEMBER UNIV BOARD OF REGENTS 8:19:09 AM CO-CHAIR RUFFRIDGE announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 9, "An Act relating to the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska." 8:19:45 AM ASHLEY CARRICK, Alaska State Legislature, as prime sponsor, provided a brief introduction to HB 9 and said the bill would add a full-time tenured faculty member to the University of Alaska Board of Regents. 8:20:05 AM STUART RELAY, Staff, Representative Ashley Carrick, Alaska State Legislature, on behalf of Representative Carrick, prime sponsor of HB 9, noted that there is a document [included in the committee packet] that addresses previous questions. 8:20:42 AM CO-CHAIR RUFFRIDGE asked if there were any comments or questions for the bill sponsor, and confirmed there were none. 8:20:49 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD announced there is a conceptual amendment. 8:21:11 AM The committee took an at-ease from 8:21 a.m. to 8:23 a.m. 8:23:46 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD moved to adopt Conceptual Amendment 1 to HB 9, labeled 33-LS0197\A.2, Bergerud, 3/17/23, which read as follows: Page 1, line 13: Delete "faculty member nominees" Insert "interested faculty members" Page 2, line 9: Delete "nominees" Insert "all interested faculty members compiled by the University of Alaska and" Page 2, lines 11 - 14: Delete "The list must consist of the names of two faculty members selected by each of the three faculty senates of the University of Alaska, for a total of six nominees, after an election is held by each faculty senate. Elections shall be conducted under rules established by the Office of the Governor." Page 2, lines 25 - 26: Delete "hold elections for nominees and submit the list of nominees" Insert "submit the list of interested faculty members" 8:23:57 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCKAY objected for the purpose of discussion. 8:24:01 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD explained Conceptual Amendment 1 opens equal opportunity for all. There are individuals affiliated with campuses, and any of these individuals from any location could apply to become a faculty board member. 8:24:54 AM CO-CHAIR RUFFRIDGE invited comments or questions on Conceptual Amendment 1. 8:25:05 AM REPRESENTATIVE STORY addressed the bill sponsor and expressed she thought [faculty board membership] currently was open to all faculty. 8:25:32 AM REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK noted that the bill is not limited to faculty senate members from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS); the faculty senate just makes the selections for the two nominees for the cycle. 8:27:30 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD reemphasized that Conceptual Amendment 1 removes "nominee" to read "all interested parties." 8:27:55 AM REPRESENTATIVE HIMSCHOOT asked who is eligible to serve and whether it is anyone employed in a professor position, or tenured only. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK responded that the bill is limited to tenured faculty, and adjuncts are not eligible to be nominees. With this amendment she presumed it would open up potentially to all faculty, including adjuncts. REPRESENTATIVE HIMSCHOOT questioned how many tenured professors there are in the university system. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK replied there are 490 tenured faculty in the University of Alaska system currently, and 162 are eligible for tenure. She noted the process of obtaining tenure typically takes about a year and it is a vigorous process. 8:30:11 AM REPRESENTATIVE HIMSCHOOT pointed out there are 652 people who could be interested, and asked what the purpose was for narrowing it down to six. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK replied that the value of narrowing it to six makes it a transparent process in consultation with faculty and still allows the governor the full purview to choose a nominee from that list. 8:31:57 AM REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked if the faculty senate is open to any tenured faculty members or if it is open to all faculty members regardless of tenure. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK replied that her understanding is if you are teaching at the University of Alaska you are allowed to participate in the faculty senate in a meaningful way. In response to a follow-up question, she explained the faculty senate can be thought of as a parallel entity to the student government. One can participate in student government meetings but in order to be student senator at one of the campuses you have to run and be elected by the student body/your peers. 8:33:57 AM REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked what is looked for in a nominee. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK replied a major component would be looking for people with time and energy to commit; being on the Board of Regents is a "very hefty commitment." 8:36:03 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD offered closing comments and wanted to stress that the body and the public knows that removing "nominee" and inserting "interested faculty" opens it to all Alaskans. 8:37:19 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCKAY removed his objection to the motion to adopt Conceptual Amendment 1. 8:37:30 AM REPRESENTATIVE STORY objected. She expressed appreciation for the sentiment of the amendment maker, in making sure everyone can take part; however, she commented that it is important that peers have looked at the nominees. 8:38:49 AM REPRESENTATIVE PRAX noted there are currently Alaskans upset by a provision in the constitution that gives a non-governmental organization preferred dominance in selecting judges. He agreed with the amendment - as it is currently written - to have things "more open." 8:40:21 AM REPRESENTATIVE HIMSCHOOT made a comparison on the process she went through to sit on the legislature in having to convince people she would advocate for them. She said she likes the idea that people are vetted and selected as nominees by the faculty senate. She stated that she liked the spirit of the amendment, but does not support it. 8:41:05 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD reiterated that under HB 9, the process is defined as an election to be held; it is not a selection. 8:41:21 AM REPRESENTATIVE MCCORMICK expressed appreciation of the bill's inclusion of as many people as possible and brought up possible residency requirements. 8:42:02 AM CO-CHAIR RUFFRIDGE directed a question to the bill sponsor whether it is accurate to state that the current process to become a Board of Regents member is to apply, and, if selected, go through the confirmation process. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK replied that currently, on the 8-year term serving regents, a conversation takes place between the Office of Boards and Commissions, the Office of the Governor, and interested individuals. Generally, she explained, the Office of Boards and Commissions will work with the interested individuals, and the governor will choose those individuals directly for the legislature to confirm. 8:43:14 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD offered clarity that the bill, as written, would limit who the governor gets to pick instead of the governor getting to pick amongst all who would be qualified. 8:43:39 AM REPRESENTATIVE STORY directed her comment to the maker of the amendment, and asked what the faculty thinks about the proposed change. CO-CHAIR ALLARD replied that she had spoken to different faculty members and Board of Regents members, and they wanted the opportunity to be open to all Alaskans from any community and not limited to just six nominees through an election process. REPRESENTATIVE CARRICK expanded on Co-Chair Allard's comment that this amendment opens up to all interested faculty in a way that is more "broad," and noted that through the current process outlined in the proposed legislation, faculty from rural Alaska are able to become a faculty regent; it is not limited to the three main campuses. 8:45:13 AM REPRESENTATIVE STORY maintained her objection to Conceptual Amendment 1. 8:45:16 AM A roll call vote was taken. Representatives McKay, Prax, Allard, and Ruffridge voted in favor of Conceptual Amendment 1. Representatives Story, Himschoot, and McCormick voted against it. Therefore, Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 4-3. 8:46:21 AM CO-CHAIR ALLARD moved to report HB 9, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes, and to authorize Legislative Legal Services to make conforming and technical changes, as needed. There being no objection, CSHB 9(EDC) was reported out of the House Education Standing Committee.