UA system receives warning letter from accrediting agency
On Thursday, Sept. 26, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen, Board of Regents Chair John Davies and the system's three university chancellors received a two-page letter from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities — the agency that accredits the state's universities.
"I guess I take the letter as a warning, that we need to make sure that these processes are functional so that we don't endanger accreditation." UA Board of Regents chair John Davies said. "So that's a serious issue, we're going to take a look at it."
Davies says the knee-jerk reaction was to call an emergency board meeting. That meeting was tentatively set for this Wednesday but Davies says the board will now wait until closer to mid-October to meet.
Maintaining accreditation is the main focus of the board going forward.
"The board is 100%, no 110% in agreement on that point," Davies said. "If we have any sense that a proposal that's in front of us would endanger accreditation, I don't believe it would be adopted."
Davies says all options are still on the table. University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Cathy Sandeen, Ph.D., posted a video on social media trying to put students and faculty at ease.
"I will keep you posted," Sandeen says in the video, "This is an issue for me, it is an issue of governance of the University of Alaska system. So for now, you stay the course and keep doing what you're doing."
Davies says the board is meeting with NWCCU on Oct. 7 to clarify their concerns. The board also has a special meeting planned on Oct. 11 to discuss and hear data on high process reviews.
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