UA Board of Regents votes 6-5 ends UAA education program

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The University of Alaska Board of Regents has voted to discontinue seeking re-accreditation, and end the University of Anchorage education program.

In a 6-5 vote, the motion by UA President Jim Johnson passed and the UAA education program will officially end September 1 of this year.

Emotions ran high during the meeting as the regents debated on how to proceed with UAA's education program. The students in Anchorage will be transferred to either the Fairbanks or Southeast education programs to complete their degrees.

President Johnson also said that closing the UAA program is expected to save the university $500,000 a year.

"Well it's a difficult decision," said John Davies, Chairman of the Board of Regents. "I think however, that it should be clear though, the bottom line is that we're not closing education programs in Anchorage, there will continue to be education programs in Anchorage."

Not everyone was in support of the move though.

"I think it's a very sad day for the University of Alaska, and especially for the University of Alaska Anchorage", said Abel Bult-Ito, President of United Academics. "I have talked with Jim Johnson several times in the past years to express to him the problems at the College of Education at UAA, and he chose not to do anything meaningful to safeguard the accreditation, so I hold President Jim Johnson directly responsible for the loss of accreditation and it's really unfortunate that he is the same person who is now advocating to cut those programs."

Bult-Ito represents nearly 1,300 full time faculty at UA Systems.

We will follow up on this story as it develops.