Voice

Shaping Alaska’s Future – What’s your part going forward?

In June, the 23 Issue and Effect statements that comprise the stated outcomes of the Shaping Alaska’s Future initiative were adopted by the UA Board of Regents as official policy. Now comes the hard part: making the changes necessary to drive those outcomes.

Every employee received a copy of the issues and effects this summer along with a letter from President Gamble. (Download a copy HERE) This was an invitation to get involved. Pick up the booklet, read the words, internalize them and find where you fit. Each and every one plays a part in this process.

Emphasis has been put on leadership development and management training not because they are the only ones making changes, rather so they can better work with staff and faculty to implement change. They are encouraged to listen to ideas—to reach out and invite the insight and knowledge of the people working at all levels within the institution to overcome challenges and become more effective. That said, it is up to each individual to speak up.

Begin with your own work. Could you be more efficient, provide greater service, or work with others within or outside the university to better serve our many publics (students, staff, faculty, alumni, employers, donors, partners--Alaskans) and fulfill our mission as a university?

Making suggestions for change is not always easy, especially in an institution so set in its ways. You may also have ideas that fall outside your job area. Maybe you just want to submit an idea anonymously. In those situations, suggestions can be submitted through personal contacts to local governance groups or through the online submission form (Staff Suggestions) to be reviewed and delegated to the proper departments for consideration.

Proposals that have undergone a significant amount of discussion and development can be submitted to the Summit Team, a top leadership team made up of the president, the vice president of academic affairs and research, the chancellors and the provosts from each university, for their consideration (SUMMIT TEAM). They have been charged with implementing systemwide improvement processes and can “fast track” change across all the universities.

When a change is successfully implemented, that also should be shared. Not only so that others can learn and benefit from lessons learned, but also for tracking progress and momentum with this initiative. The Staff Submission form is one place that these successes can be shared. As more is accomplished throughout the system, progress will be reported on the SAF website (shapingalaskasfuture.)

Do not wait any longer for someone to tell you what to do to begin Shaping Alaska’s Future. Begin with yourself and the work you do every day.

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