Walker vetoes bill that would have changed Board of Regents
Gov. Bill Walker vetoed a bill Thursday that would have required six of the 11 members of the University of Alaska Board of Regents to live in certain regions of the state.
Currently the governor appoints 10 regents for unpaid, eight-year terms. There are no geographic requirements and the governor's appointments are confirmed by the Legislature. The 11th regent, a student, serves a two-year term.
"The appointment of regionally-based representatives would undermine the great efforts made to continue to develop the university system in a collaborative manner," said Gov. Bill Walker in a letter to House Speaker Mike Chenault. Walker said there's no proof that the needs of some regions have gone unmet.
Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, was the prime sponsor on the bill, House Bill 107. The bill's sponsor statement said the proposed requirements would change the makeup of the Board of Regents, giving a voice to those who live in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, on the Kenai Peninsula and in rural Alaska.
This story first appeared in Alaska Dispatch News and is reprinted here with permission.