Anchorage legislators hold town hall meeting on university restructuring
Anchorage legislators want to hear from people about how the University of Alaska should deal with major budget cuts and are holding a special town hall meeting Monday to do so.
Sen. Bill Wielechowski said the primary question is whether the university system should restructure and move from three separate accreditations for its campuses, or switch to a single accreditation to cut costs.
Wielechowski said changes with the university budget happened so quickly there hasn’t been time for the general public to weigh in.
“It really is just trying to figure out what is the best way forward for the university," he said. "We’ve heard a lot of concerns certainly about restructuring about changing the way we accreditate the university and this is an opportunity for people to come out and debate the issue.”
Wielechowski said legislators can’t make the decision about whether to restructure the university; that question is up to the UA Board of Regents. But lawmakers make decisions about funding the university budget and Wielechowski said its important to know what the public has to say.
Monday's meeting — which was sponsored by Wielechowski along with Reps. Andy Josephson, Ivy Spohnholz and Geran Tarr — included testimony from invited speakers from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The lawmakers will be hearing public testimony from 5 to 7 p.m.
Those with opinions on the issue are encouraged to attend the town hall meeting at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office during the public testimony session.
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