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UA faculty group details concerns about university president

October 3, 2019

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska Anchorage faculty senate has written to the Board of Regents expressing concerns about university system President James Johnsen, officials said.

The letter signed by Faculty Senate President Scott Downing says the educators are “deeply concerned” about Johnsen’s leadership, KTVF-TV reported Wednesday.

The letter refers to instances it said raises question about Johnsen’s authority including his control over communication by the system’s three chancellors, as well as a need for more inclusive dialogue and decision making.

The statement comes two days after the university received a warning from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The system’s three, separately accredited universities have failed to meet standards related to governance and decision-making processes, the accreditation agency said.

The faculty letter said Johnsen has misspent funds on misleading advertisements while the Board of Regents is violating its fiduciary responsibilities by not taking formal steps to address the violations of accreditation standards.

The Board of Regents is expected to meet next week to formulate a response to the faculty and the accreditation agency, an administration official said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Johnsen and others within the university reached an agreement in August with the administration of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy to reduce and spread over three years the deep cuts Dunleavy made to the university budget. The board also fulfilled Johnsen’s request to rescind a declaration of exigency and clarified it “would consider all options to reduce administrative costs and increase efficiency,” the university statement said.

“While circumstances have changed, the Board has expressed its openness to other options, and the process has expanded considerably, those changes are not widely recognized,” the university said.

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Information from: KTVF-TV, http://www.webcenter11.com

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