UAS accreditation renewed despite budget concerns

University of Alaska Southeast’s Juneau campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Photo by Quinton Chandler/KTOO)

The University of Alaska Southeast announced on Thursday its accreditation has been renewed by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The announcement comes despite a letter earlier this month to the Alaska Legislature from commission president Sonny Ramaswamy. In it, he expressed concern that cuts to the University of Alaska’s budget could jeopardize the institutions’ accreditation in the future.

The commission visited UAS in April to complete its evaluation process, which typically happens every seven years.

In the renewal letter, Ramaswamy commended UAS for its distance learning opportunities, the integration of its three distinct campuses and its inclusion of Alaska Native language and culture into curriculum and administration.

In a shorter list of recommendations for improvement, the commission expressed a need for greater stability in the UAS administrative team.

The University of Alaska Anchorage’s accreditation was renewed last year. And the University of Alaska Fairbanks recently began its reaccreditation process.