UPDATE: UA President Jim Johnson responds to allegations from Faculty Senate

Published: Oct. 2, 2019 at 1:41 PM AKDT
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The Faculty Senate of the University of Alaska Anchorage has sent out a letter informing the Board of Regents that they are ‘deeply concerned about the leadership of President James Johnsen’.

In this letter, signed by UAA Faculty Senate President Scott Downing, the faculty sent specific concerns and instances that have caused them to question his authority.

This comes after University of Alaska received a warning about accreditation standards, which according to the letter, the board of regents and faculty senate were assured that the standards were being met.

Furthermore the letter states that the faculty have constantly asked for a cost benefit analysis for the proposed consolidation of the university and received nothing.

The letter claims that President Johnsen also controls communication of the chancellors which is in violation of the board. Additionally that he ignores the need for inclusive dialogue and decision making.

It states that he has also misspent funds on advertisements that mislead the public and that the Board of Regents are violating their fiduciary responsibilities and their duty of care by not taking formal steps to address the violations of NWCCU accreditation standards.

The UAA faculty was surveyed about Johnson’s leadership. They were asked the question “On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being no confidence and 5 being complete confidence, how much confidence do you have in the leadership of President Johnsen?” 63.54 percent, or 176 faculty members answered with the lowest possible answer of 1. 57.25 percent voted a 5 out of 5, supporting President Johnsen’s removal from his current position.

We reached out to President Jim Johnsen for comment.

"Difficult decisions need to be made. We still have to find 70 million dollars so were still going to have to again make those tough decisions. People are concerned and frustrated about how those decisions get made. And I think the processes we put into place since we were able to negotiate the compact with the governor. Very inclusive, literally hundreds of faculty and staff and students are involved. The board is taking leadership as it should."

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