University of Alaska system to consider consolidation idea

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - University of Alaska officials are discussing future options for the system amid ongoing budget pressures.

    That includes the possibility of transitioning from three separately accredited universities to one with multiple community campuses.

    Rick Caulfield, chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast, recently told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce he's skeptical of that idea.

    Caulfield says under that approach, instead of three universities with their own programs and autonomy, they would have a "cookie-cutter approach."

    The still-unresolved state budget includes language that seeks to have the Board of Regents consider the concept and report back to the Legislature by Dec. 1. He says it's an idea that's been weighed previously.

    He says the board is expected to form a task force to look at it again.

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