UAF faculty joins UAA's in voting no confidence in university president

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Faculty Senate on Monday became the second campus to vote no confidence in the leadership of UA President Jim Johnsen.

Faculty members passed the resolution in a 26-12 vote, with one abstention. The University of Alaska Anchorage Faculty Senate passed a no-confidence vote last month, 28-9.

The UAF resolution criticized Johnsen's process to restructure the university system, called Strategic Pathways. It said the university's needs were "repeatedly drowned out" by demands from narrow interest groups and short-term political considerations. It said Johnsen's statements about the process had "radically changed direction with little warning," leaving faculty and administrators blindsided.

Johnsen serves at the discretion of the UA Board of Regents and there was no sign Monday that he would step down or be fired.

Robbie Graham, UA spokeswoman, said in a statement that Johnsen and the regents understood "that change is necessary, that change makes people uncomfortable and not everyone will be happy with the outcome." She said that developing Strategic Pathways had been inclusive and in the future, there would be more meetings, more consultations and more time for input.

The UAF Faculty passed a second resolution Monday that said it had no confidence in the UA Board of Regents process to locate its single statewide College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast. The resolution passed unanimously.

Johnsen had recommended that the education college have an administration based in Fairbanks, as part of the Strategic Pathways process, and a later switched his recommendation to Juneau.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.