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Ketchikan Campus Director Resigns
by Robert D. Warner


April 2, 2005

Is there a bit of irony in the resignation of the UAS Ketchikan Campus Director?  Without doubt the current director has been a significant improvement over previous UAS directors of the 1990's. In my opinion, her low key approach and clear focus on education has been a delightful change from years of micromanagement and administrative incompetence.
According to the news, the campus is pleased with rising enrollments.  It now boasts a 30 per cent increase in credits and 825 full and part time students.  The former Ketchikan Community College, however, sometimes registered up to 1000 students per semester.  After it was eliminated in 1987, registrations went into sharp decline; there was almost a 200 per cent turnover in full time faculty and classified staff between 1990 and 1998. Several faculty positions were eliminated to hire more administrators.  The campus still lacks a trained professional counselor and academically focused library staff.
UAS has announced that a nation wide search will begin for a new director.  A five person committee with one or two members from Ketchikan will select finalists for interviews.  Only one or two members will be from Ketchikan?  Under the community college system, campus resident directors were appointed by the Board of Regents subject to the approval of the local borough assembly or school board.  Selection committees were comprised of local citizens.  In other words, we had some local control over appointments and Juneau based administrators weren't needed to dictate decisions.
In my opinion, UAS Ketchikan will continue as a second class campus. It is doubtful that appointment of a new director will do anything to change this situation. The local director, faculty and community have little control over decisions, budgets and programs. The campus will remain "dead in the water" as long as it is under autocratic control of the UAS Juneau bureaucracy. 

Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, Alaska 


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