Presidential search committee needs to send representitive to UAS campus

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In the search for a new University of Alaska President, there has been a great deal of emphasis put on how they are looking for input from all major portions of the University system. But it has been decided that the University of Alaska Southeast does not warrant a personal visit from the leader of the search committee, Elaine Hairston.

Instead, Hairston will be getting input from the various parts of the UAS campus via video teleconferences in lieu of physically going there as she did with UAA and UAF.

That does not seem fair.

UAS is considered a university unit. When the University of Alaska is discussed, they always refer to the three main campuses: UAF, UAA and UAS.

In all likelihood, this committee and the Board of Regents doesn’t see it this way, and maybe UAS doesn’t either. But for all of the hype that there is surrounding this process and the thought and effort that really is being put into it, it would seem like there would be no reason to not visit UAS.

Of course, the Southeast campus is the smallest. In 2008 2,623 students attended the main UAS campus in Juneau, and 777 of those students were full time, or enrolled in 12 credit hours or more. UAA had 7,376 full time students at its main campus. Fairbanks had 4,024.

In comparison, both the Mat-Su and Kenai campuses had over 1,600 students enrolled in classes.

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But even with the tiny overall head count, UAS is still considered a university within the university system. It has a provost. It has a chancellor.

The University of Alaska Southeast is definitely a legitimate and integral part of the University of Alaska system’s major campuses and should be treated as such.

Instead, it is being pushed aside.

The committee for the Presidential search needs to send Hairston, and any one else involved in the presidential search, down to the UAS campus so they are allowed an equal amount of input that is taken into account in this process.

If Hairston is not sent down to Juneau, then the search cannot be truly representative of the entire UA system.

This search affects everyone associated with the UA system—especially the universities associated with it.