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Giuliani: ‘I never said there was no collusion’ between Trump campaign and Russia

Thu, 2019-01-17 05:54

Rudy Giuliani is now claiming that he "never said there was no collusion" between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (Andrew Harnik/)

Appearing on CNN Wednesday night, host Chris Cuomo pointed out that the president’s lawyer appeared to contradict his own past statements about collusion as well as what Trump has repeatedly said. On Twitter, Trump has used the phrase “no collusion” dozens of times, and a number of those instances were direct denials that his campaign was involved with the Russians.

The heated exchange began shortly after Giuliani raged about the amount of "false reporting" on the Russia investigation.

"Mr. Mayor, false reporting is saying that nobody in the campaign had any contacts with Russia," Cuomo responded. "False reporting is saying that there has been no suggestion of any kind of collusion between the campaign and any Russians."

Giuliani jumped to correct Cuomo.

"You just misstated my position," the former New York mayor said. "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign."

Cuomo's face contorted into an expression of disbelief. "Yes, you have," he shot back.

"I have not," Giuliani protested. "I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC."

Giuliani and Cuomo then proceeded to tangle over the president's past statements that "nobody" associated with his campaign colluded.

"He didn't say nobody, he said he didn't," Giuliani said, which Cuomo immediately pointed out was not true.

Here are samples of how the Trump team’s previous collusion denials have evolved.

1. November 2016: No communications, period

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks: "It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign."

2. February 2017: There were no communications “to the best of our knowledge”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders: "This is a non-story because, to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place."

3. March 2017: There were communications but no planned meetings with Russians

Donald Trump Jr.: "Did I meet with people that were Russian? I'm sure, I'm sure I did. . . . But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form."

4. July 8, 2017: There was a planned meeting at Trump Tower, but it was “primarily” about adoption and not the campaign

Trump Jr.: "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow-up."

5. July 9, 2017: The meeting was planned to discuss the campaign, but the information exchanged wasn’t “meaningful”

Trump Jr.: "No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information."

6. December 2017: Collusion isn’t even a crime

President Trump: "There is no collusion, and even if there was, it's not a crime."

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow: "For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated. There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion."

Technically speaking, the criminal code doesn't use the word "collusion," but it's generally understood as a broad term that could encompass more specific, codified crimes. And even special counsel Robert Mueller's team has used it in court filings.

7. May 16, 2018: Even if meaningful information were obtained, it wasn’t used

Giuliani: "And even if it comes from a Russian, or a German, or an American, it doesn't matter. And they never used it, is the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it."

The Trump campaign did use the information.

8. May 19, 2018: There was a *second* planned meeting about foreign help in the election, but nothing came of it either

The New York Times reported Sunday on yet another meeting about getting foreign help with the 2016 election. This one came three months before the election and featured Donald Trump Jr. and an emissary, George Nader, who said the princes who lead Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates wanted to assist Trump.

Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.'s attorney: "They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested, and that was the end of it."

9. July 16, 2018: Trump couldn’t collude, because Trump didn’t even know Putin

Trump: "There was no collusion. I didn't know the president. There was nobody to collude with."

10. July 30, 2018: Collusion isn’t a crime, and Trump wasn’t physically at the Trump Tower meeting

With Michael Cohen alleging that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting in real time - despite many previous denials - Giuliani told both CNN and Fox News that Trump wasn't physically at the meeting.

"I'm happy to tell Mueller that Trump wasn't at the Trump Tower meeting," Giuliani told CNN, adding that "Don Jr. says he wasn't there."

He added on Fox: "He did not participate in any meeting about the Russia transaction. . . . And the other people at the meeting that he claims he had without the president about it say he was never there."

Giuliani also argued that collusion isn't even a crime.

"I don't even know if that's a crime - colluding with Russians," Giuliani said on CNN. "Hacking is the crime. The president didn't hack. He didn't pay for the hacking."

And on Fox: "I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime. Collusion is not a crime."

11. January 16, 2019: Trump didn’t collude, but no guarantees on others in the campaign

Space company plans satellite launch from Alaska facility

Thu, 2019-01-17 05:50

KODIAK - An Arizona-based space technology company is planning to launch a microsatellite this year at the spaceport on Kodiak Island.

Vector Space Systems' Vector-R rocket (Vector animation screen grab via YouTube)

Vector Launch Inc. announced last week the plan to use its Vector-R launch device at the Pacific Spaceport Complex to deploy a satellite for the Dutch company Hiber, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Wednesday.

The company based in Tucson, Arizona, aims to conduct a launch of its vehicle at the Alaska spaceport before using it to send up the Hiber satellite, said Shaun Coleman, Vector's chief marketing officer. He did not provide a date for the launch.

"Exact scheduling is dependent upon many factors including but not limited to scheduling constraints of the facility, (Federal Aviation Administration) licensing and the time of integration of their satellite with our vehicle," Coleman said.

Hiber already has two microsatellites in orbit as part of its project that aims to provide connectivity to parts of the world lacking a network.

"There are many risk factors that inherently come with launching satellites, but Vector's dedicated launch model significantly reduces that risk for satellite operators," said Robert Cleave, Vector's chief revenue officer. "Vector is thrilled to have Hiber as one of our first payload customers. We are honored to be selected to launch this important mission."

The company conducted testing in Kodiak throughout 2018, said Craig Campbell, CEO of Alaska Aerospace Corp.

Vector filed a launch permit for the Vector-R in November, submitting dates for a possible launch that ranged from October 2018 to April 2019.

Pentagon to unveil large-scale plan to track, shoot down missiles in space

Thu, 2019-01-17 02:29

FILE - This Dec. 10, 2018, file photo, provided by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA),shows the launch of the U.S. military's land-based Aegis missile defense testing system, that later intercepted an intermediate range ballistic missile, from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The Trump administration will roll out a new strategy Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, for a more aggressive space-based missile defense system to protect against existing threats from North Korea and Iran and counter advanced weapon systems being developed by Russia and China. (Mark Wright/Missile Defense Agency via AP) (Mark Wright/)

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is seeking to expand the scope and sophistication of American missile defenses on a scale not seen since President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative in a new strategy that President Donald Trump plans to roll out personally on Thursday alongside military leaders at the Pentagon.

Known as the missile defense review, the document that Trump will unveil marks the first official update to American missile defense doctrine in nine years. It comes as North Korea and Iran make advances in ballistic missile production, and as Russia and China press forward with sophisticated cruise missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles that potentially threaten the security of U.S. forces and allies in Europe and Asia.

The Trump administration's response is to call for urgent new investments in missile-defense technologies across the board, many of which the Pentagon pursued during the Cold War but abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the Pentagon focused on building interceptors to down missiles from rogue states. Now it is again broadening its ambitions, both in terms of technology and mission-set. Whether the administration secures enough money to tackle such lofty ambitions in missile defense remains unclear.

The Pentagon wants to put a constellation of sensors above the Earth that can track missiles as they launch, and is recommending a study of weapons that can shoot down missiles from space. The review will also note that further development of high-energy lasers could give the United States a cost-effective way to destroy missiles shortly after their launch in what is known as "boost phase."

For years, U.S. missile defenses have focused exclusively on combating threats from rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran. While the Trump administration's strategy continues that focus, it adds a new objective as well: the defense of U.S. forces and allies from regional missile threats. This means, in part, finding new ways to protect American forces and allies in Europe and Asia from the cruise missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles.

"We are expanding the scope of what we're postured to defend against," a senior administration official said in a call with reporters Wednesday.

Undertaken at the direction of the White House, the missile defense review was supposed to be released nearly a year ago, but the Pentagon spent months rewriting it to address regional missile threats in addition to those posed by rogue nations. Ongoing disarmament negotiations with North Korea also raised questions about when the Pentagon would see fit to release a document that gives some insight into possible ways the United States could down Pyongyang's missiles in the future.

The document will give an indication of the Pentagon's priorities and overall strategy. The initiatives it outlines must receive backing from Congress to proceed. Lampooned during the Reagan years for its high price tag and questionable effectiveness, missile defense now enjoys far broader support in Congress, particularly since North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017.

The full review is due to be released by the Defense Department on Thursday. People familiar with the document discussed some of its contents with The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the review has yet to be released.

One of the main issues facing the Pentagon is whether it can develop and field new technologies fast enough to counter rapidly advancing missile threats in nations such as North Korea. The strategy will encourage prototypes for promising new technologies to be evaluated outside the standard acquisition process to increase speed.

Above all, the Pentagon is looking at new defenses the United States could employ against the missile threat posed by North Korea, ideally by downing missiles shortly after launch in their boost phase.

The F-35 fighter jet in the future could be fastened with an interceptor capable of shooting down North Korean missiles. The U.S. military could also put high-powered lasers on drones flying off the Korean coasts that could shoot that nation's rockets. It may also test whether Aegis missile defense systems on American ships can down the sort of intercontinental ballistic missile Pyongyang could launch against the United States. The U.S. military could also take some of the Aegis missile defense test systems in Hawaii and make them operational to better protect the state.

The review will address the possibility of establishing a third site with ground-based missile interceptors in the United States to defend against possible attacks from Iran, but according to a senior administration official, it will stop short of a decision on whether the Pentagon should press forward with the initiative. The United States operates ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California. The Pentagon has been mulling a third site closer to the East Coast.

The review will also suggest ways for the United States to enhance protection of its forces and allies from regional missile threats, or possible attacks on American interests outside the U.S. homeland.

The Pentagon will encourage allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to develop their own air and missile defense platforms that can operate together with American systems. It will also seek to field more mobile missile defense systems so American forces can respond quickly during regional crises or conflicts and ensure their access to the battlefield isn't denied by an adversary.

While the U.S. efforts will look to counter regional missile threats, they don't seek to protect against a full-scale strategic missile attack on the American homeland by a nuclear-armed nation such as Russia or China. Washington will continue to rely on its nuclear deterrent to prevent such attacks, the senior administration official said, noting that U.S. missile defense capabilities are still "primarily postured to stay ahead of rogue threats."

The review also rejects the possibility of limiting American missile defenses in the future. The Bush administration, led by national security adviser John Bolton, lifted such limits with its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in 2002.

Nearly 10,000 companies contract with shutdown-affected agencies, putting $200 million a week at risk

Thu, 2019-01-17 02:26

The economic impact of the government shutdown is hitting an unknown number of workers for federal contractors, such as Transylvania Vocational Services in Brevard, N.C. TVS recently told workers like Jerone McKinney that it could only pay them through the middle of February because of the shutdown. (Photo for The Washington Post by Charles Mostoller) (Charles Mostoller/)

The 160 workers at Transylvania Vocational Services were still filling orders this week. But the company is running on reserves, and jobs are at risk. The biggest customer - the federal government - has stopped paying its bills.

TVS is a federal contractor in western North Carolina that supplies products such as dry milk and baking mix to food banks around the country and to relief efforts in Africa. A few days ago, CEO Jamie Brandenburg met with employees, many of whom are disabled, to say the company's reserves could support their work through the middle of February, while he searches for commercial business not vulnerable to a government shutdown.

The partial federal shutdown, now in a record fourth week, means missed paychecks for more than 800,000 government workers. But it also threatens an untold legion of workers in private companies that do business with affected agencies.

"Most of what's getting a lot of attention from the public is the federal employees," Brandenburg said, "and I'm very sympathetic. But when the government opens back up, they get back pay. The contractors are getting overlooked."

TVS is one of almost 10,000 companies that hold contracts with federal agencies affected by the government shutdown, according to an analysis of government contractor data by The Washington Post. The data, although incomplete and frozen by the shutdown, still shows a snapshot of the risk to contractors, their employees and communities. The overall average value of their work: about $200 million a week.

No one knows how many workers are affected, and overall estimates of total federal contract workers range from hundreds of thousands to millions. It’s also unknown how many have had to stop work, but company and industry officials say financial pressures on contractors are building.

At R3 Government Solutions, an Arlington, Virginia-based company that helps federal agencies with workforce planning and managing information technology resources, a few of its contract workers serving FEMA have been sent home without pay, said Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Glenn Hartung. He has kept others on payroll for fear that they will be poached by a competitor.

"The people that are being furloughed are without pay, and the people that we're paying we're not sure how long we can continue to do that," Hartung said. "It's basically kind of a turmoil."

Agency contractors include large corporations that are not threatened. "We are watching the situation carefully, but the impact thus far on our operations has been negligible," said Jeff Davis, a vice president at General Dynamics, where subsidiaries have worked with affected agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Security Administration. But the shutdowns may be creating more stresses at smaller companies, where federal contract work easily plays a larger role. About two-thirds of contracts with agencies affected by the shutdown were worth less than $10,000 a week, according to estimates from contracting data.

At New Editions Consulting, a Falls Church, Virginia, company that helps make government websites more accessible to people with disabilities, about eight of 60 workers were told to halt work on a federal contract but were put on other work. The reassignments affect the company's overhead and profit margins, since the work can't be billed to the government. "These people have families; they have kids; they have mortgages," said the company president, Shelia Newman. "So I'm going to keep them on as long as I can."

Other companies have scheduled necessary training for workers idled by the shutdown or considered suggesting they take vacation days. Contract workers, unlike employees of the federal agencies impacted by the shutdown, have not gotten back pay for work lost during shutdowns.

Even with federal contracts that aren't officially suspended, companies can become mired in shutdown-related complications. Government background checks aren't available. Notices may not be published in the Federal Register. There may be no federal employees available to approve completed contracted work or to make payments, issue an export license or to approve new contract workers. Contract employees who work alongside government employees can't go to work even if they want to if the building is shuttered.

In many cases, the impact on contract employees will never be widely known because the government keeps no records on them, and companies are often reluctant to talk publicly about their contract work for competitive reasons. "There's a lot of understandable concern than you don't want to ever offend one of your customers," said a contractor official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Kristian Owen packages boxes at Transylvania Vocational Services in Brevard, N.C. The company supplies products such as dry milk and baking mix to food banks nationally and to relief efforts in Africa. (Photo for The Washington Post by Charles Mostoller) (Charles Mostoller/)

Contracting companies and their workers do almost everything for federal agencies. They’re the source for the vehicles, books, furniture, food and almost all of the other goods the federal government buys. However, the purchase of products accounts for only one-fifth of contract spending with agencies affected by the shutdown.

The other four-fifths is for services.

Contractor-supplied services can involve supporting government offices and programs, from clerical and keyboarding work to budget analysis and specialized studies. "The feds are the decision makers," said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president of the Professional Services Council, a national trade association of federal government contractors. "But it may be a contractor who is compiling all the data in a form for the decision maker to use."

Other contracts for services range from housekeeping and security for government-owned properties to research and development for space exploration.

Federal agencies use contractors as a supplemental workforce because they can readily scale up or down to meet varying service demands, Chvotkin said. And it gives agencies access to specialized services and highly skilled workers. "Much of the products and many of the services that the federal government uses in their own performance, as well as in providing services to citizens, are done by federal employees and contractors working together," Chvotkin said.

Growth in government contracting also is fueled by political considerations, including limiting the size of the federal workforce and minimizing government's competition with business, according to Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University. He estimates the overall federal contractor workforce at 4 million, about double federal civilian employment. "It's a small economy in its own right," he said.

The District, Virginia and Maryland may have the most at risk in the fallout from the shutdown because they account for 37 cents of each $1 of products or services delivered under contracts held by shuttered agencies.

At the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the Maryland suburbs, researchers say the shutdown is interfering with important scientific work. Meredith Elrod is a planetary scientist who works as a contractor on NASA's Maven project, an ongoing mission to study the atmosphere of Mars. She says scientific conferences have been canceled because government scientists were unable to bill their travel expenses, and grants that pay some researchers' salaries have been delayed.

Elrod's project has only a few weeks of funding left. "It's all kind of vague as to whether we have money or not," Elrod said. "We get different answers about whether or not we can work, and we have no guarantee that we're ever going to get back pay."


About this story: Estimates for contract amounts with federal agencies affected by the shutdown are based on analysis of contracting data from The data is incomplete and not being updated.

UAA’s teacher preparation programs lost accreditation. How did it happen? And what’s next?

Wed, 2019-01-16 19:16

The UAA School of Education has lost accreditation for its initial licensure programs. The Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) notified the university last Friday that its accreditation of these programs had not been renewed. (Bill Roth/ ADN) (Bill Roth / ADN/)

News that the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Education had lost its accreditation upset students and cast doubt on the future of the school, which prepared more new teachers in Alaska last budget year than any other institution.

It also raised some big questions about how it happened, who is at fault and what it means for students.

Here we attempt to answer some of those questions.

Why didn’t UAA get CAEP accreditation?

To get accreditation, UAA’s teaching degree programs had to meet five standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation — watch out, acronyms ahead — or CAEP. If a program fails to meet one of the five standards, it’s placed on probation for two years.

UAA’s teaching programs up for re-accreditation met only one of the five standards, according to the “accreditation action report" from CAEP.

The CAEP standards are shrouded in education jargon, but they basically measure the quality of curriculum and student teaching experience. Schools must also have a high-quality student admissions pool that is academically accomplished and diverse. Importantly, the school has to show that teachers who graduate the program are effective in their classrooms. And CAEP requires data to prove all of it.

So, which UAA programs lost their accreditation?

All of the education school’s “initial licensure programs,” meaning bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for people working toward their initial teaching certification.

Which standards didn’t those programs meet?

All but “clinical partnerships and practice.” But even though UAA technically met that standard, CAEP still flagged two areas for improvement within it.

The three-page CAEP report details why the programs didn’t meet the other four standards. It’s complicated. The report is flush with acronyms and jargon.

[Here’s the CAEP accreditation report and letter.]

In the report, CAEP called attention to UAA’s lack of clear or sufficient evidence to show how it met some standards. It also said a “lack of program design” to certain standards prohibited the university’s “ability to develop candidates’ understanding of professional concepts and principles of the education profession.”

According to an online Q&A posted by UAA Wednesday, the accrediting body didn’t flag “any deficiencies in the quality of faculty or student experiences, but focused primarily on the quality of management and reporting of evidential data.”

Students stand outside a classroom on Monday to hear University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Cathy Sandeen and UAA School of Education interim director Claudia Dybdahl speak about the School of Education's loss of accreditation for its initial licensure programs. (Bill Roth/ ADN) (Bill Roth / ADN/)

So, what happens if you don’t have CAEP accreditation?

State regulations require teacher preparation programs have national accreditation or “substantially meet” the national standards, said Sondra Meredith, administrator for teacher education and certification at the state education department.

UAA is trying to work out a deal with the Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development to allow UAA graduates to be “recommended” for licenses even though the programs no longer have accreditation (and might not have it for years).

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State education commissioner Michael Johnson said Tuesday night that all 2019 UAA graduates from spring and summer would be recommended for an Alaska teaching license despite the lack of accreditation. But it’s unclear what will happen for other students set to graduate later. The state education board will decide whether those students can also be recommend for licensure when they graduate.

Once graduates get their Alaska teaching license, that license should be recognized in other states, Meredith said. That’s because nearly all states, including Alaska, are part of an agreement that basically says: “We will recognize your state-approved programs if you recognize our state-approved programs,” Meredith said.

But other issues could come up — such as if a student wanted to apply for a master’s degree program. Students have also said they fear in competitive job markets their degree, suddenly from an unaccredited program, will hurt their hiring prospects.

It’s important to note that UAA is an accredited university, and UAA is the one issuing the diplomas, said Steve Atwater, executive dean of the new Alaska College of Education, based at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau.

“Students are really concerned that this is going to haunt them,” Atwater said. “I don’t think it will.”

Wait. What is CAEP anyway?

Universities pursue accreditation to have a neutral, third-party body certify that what they’re offering is credible. In some cases, accreditation is required: The State of Alaska said graduates receiving teaching licenses have to come from programs accredited by a national education specialty accreditation organization.

That’s CAEP. It was founded in 2013 out of a merger between two different previous accreditation groups. People think it’s pretty tough: CAEP’s standards for accreditation are recognized to be much higher than the previous ones.

So far, thirty-five states have agreements with CAEP. And so far, CAEP has accredited 196 schools, 14 under probationary terms and 23 with stipulations.

Four schools, including UAA, have had their accreditation revoked or denied. The other schools revoked or denied are Indiana Institute of Technology, Alfred University of New York and West Texas A&M University, according to CAEP.

How does the accreditation process work?

First the university submits what’s called a “self-study." It gathers up all its evidence that it meets the standards. Then there’s a chance for feedback from CAEP in what’s called a “formative review” — at that point, UAA would have likely been told about the areas in which it was failing, according to other administrators familiar with the process.

After that comes a site visit, a high-stakes, two- to three-day visit where evaluators from CAEP take a look around and “review evidence, verify data, and examine pedagogical artifacts,” according to the accrediting body. (Pedagogical artifacts could include lesson plans and videos of student teachers at work.)

Then a council takes into consideration the self-study report plus the visit and renders a decision.

Who was in charge at UAA during the application process?

There’s been a lot of turnover at the top of the UAA education school in recent years: Since June 2011, it has had five different deans, interim deans or interim directors.

When the UAA accreditation process began in 2016, Paul Deputy was acting as interim dean. In March 2018, he was replaced by interim director Claudia Dybdahl. By that point UAA had already presented most of its materials to CAEP. Three or four weeks after Dybdahl started, CAEP officials had their site visit.

Between when UAA officials started the accreditation process and when it got denied, the university also had three different chancellors: Tom Case retired from the job in June 2017 and Sam Gingerich took over as interim chancellor. Then Cathy Sandeen became UAA chancellor this past September.

Some people have pointed to lack of consistent leadership — as well as cuts to faculty and staff — as one reason for the problems CAEP found.

“Budget cuts definitely have impacted what the unit can do,” Dybdahl said. “We have fewer faculty, fewer staff.” At some point, she said, the school of education lost its data management position.

While some people have suggested that the restructuring of the teacher education programs across the University of Alaska system impacted accreditation, UA President Jim Johnsen called that “an erroneous argument.”

“UAF, which is in the same boat as UAA, flew through its accreditation review with CAEP. So it’s not the structure that’s the issue,” Johnsen said.

Did other public universities in Alaska get CAEP accreditation?

UAF received the accreditation in November. UAS is in the process, hosting a site visit in November 2019.

Did UAA administrators think the school would get accreditation?

Yes, according to Dybdahl. Dybdahl said she imagined UAA officials wouldn’t have started the accreditation process if they thought the programs would get denied. While UAA didn’t meet each standard perfectly, the expectation was that it had done enough, Dybdahl said. She noted, however, that she wasn’t at UAA when the process started.

“People had to know that it didn’t 100 percent or perfectly meet standards, but that’s never the expectation,” Dybdahl said.

Administrators from other schools familiar with the process said UAA had to have known at the end of the site visit in April that they were in serious trouble, because there’s an exit interview component.

While UAA got some feedback from CAEP, Dybdahl said, she “never received anything that said: You are in danger of not being accredited.”

This is also the first time UAA sought accreditation through CAEP. Before, the programs were accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. That national accrediting body merged with another to create CAEP. The new accreditation standards were approved in 2013.

How long will UAA be without CAEP accreditation?

UAA can re-apply for accreditation one calendar year after the denial. So, the process can begin again on Jan. 11, 2020. It can take up to three years to complete the process and re-accredit the program, according to UAA.

And the students who aren’t graduating this year?

Don’t do anything just yet, administrators said: If the state "allows UAA to recommend licensure as it works toward re-accreditation, the impact will be minimal to students.”

UAA also said it is “committed to providing each student with options best suited to his or her situation” including transferring to other universities or programs.

What’s next?

Dybdahl said UAA is addressing the issues flagged by CAEP. It began that process immediately after the April site visit, she said.

UAA officials will ask the state Board of Education to allow the university to continue recommending candidates for licensure until it regains accreditation. The board is scheduled to meet Feb. 4 to review what lead up to CAEP’s decision and discuss what’s next.

The university said it has no plans to close its School of Education. It has suspended recruitment and enrollment into the affected programs, pending a decision from the state board.

Will students get their tuition money back or receive discounted tuition?

“We are evaluating all options to provide students with paths that enable them to successfully acquire a degree in education from UAA that enables licensure,” Dybdahl said.