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Community members turned out to Strategic Pathways forums in great numbers with the majority of the testimony focused on UA athletics programs. Photo by Monique Musick

System News September 2016

  • Phase 2 of Strategic Pathways Begins in Early October
  • The University of Alaska Board of Regents Approves Direction for Strategic Pathways
  • University informs individuals of data breach, finds no evidence of use of personal information
  • Strategic Pathways Phase 1 update (video)

Phase 2 of Strategic Pathways Begins in Early October

Meetings on October 4 and 6 will mark the official start of Phase 2 of Strategic Pathways. Eight new teams, comprising students, faculty, staff, alumni, university administrators and community members from across the state will begin review of four academic programs and four administrative service areas. Each group will weigh the pros and cons of options for meeting the state’s needs while reducing costs, increasing access, and enhancing quality for University of Alaska students.

The four academic areas in the Phase 2 review include e-Learning, fisheries, health and community campuses. The administrative areas include human resources, institutional research, student affairs and university relations.

The review teams will meet for a second time November 7 and 8 and then on December 9, present options to university leadership.

Information regarding Strategic Pathways, including team members, can be found at: www.alaska.edu/pathways/.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents Approves Direction for Strategic Pathways

The University of Alaska Board of Regents took on a full agenda in its meeting this month in Juneau. The agenda included meeting with the State Board of Education, reviewing the initial FY2018 budget request, considering a single versus the current three accreditations, providing support for the university’s Strategic Pathways process, recognizing the service of long-time Regent Mary K. Hughes, reviewing the performance of the university president and approving funding to complete the new engineering building at the Fairbanks campus.  MORE....

University informs individuals of data breach, finds no evidence of use of personal information

Several months ago, the University of Alaska (UA) became aware that an unknown hacker using an employee’s credentials gained access to UA data systems at the Mat-Su campus. An investigation of the incident found that while sensitive student data stored on a network drive was vulnerable, there was no evidence that data or student information was accessed or stolen.

Approximately 5,416 Individual names and social security numbers were on the system that was compromised. For some individuals, educational records, such as transcripts, appeals forms and grant award amounts were present on the hard drive including addresses and phone numbers.

“There is no evidence that there has been any use or attempted use of information exposed in this incident,” said Karl Kowalski, the university’s chief technology officer.  “The University of Alaska went through a rigorous and thorough forensics investigation to determine whose information was affected.”

Individuals whose personal data was vulnerable have received a letter from ID Experts explaining the nature of the breach and the actions the university has taken since then to protect them from identity theft or credit fraud. ID Experts is an Oregon-based company that specializes in data breach and recovery services. Through ID Experts, the university is offering protections including:

  • Identity theft protection services;
  • An insurance policy for those affected that will reimburse them for any fraudulent expenditures resulting from the data breach; and,
  • Complete access to their fraud resolution representatives. With this protection, ID Experts will help resolve issues if an individual’s identity is compromised.

Employees and students who receive a letter from ID Experts and who would like more information should call 1-888-849-1191. Those who did not receive a letter will know their data was not compromised in this incident.

The University of Alaska is committed to protecting individuals’ security and privacy and takes this incident very seriously.  In order to help prevent future situations, this fall employees and faculty will be required to participate in Information Security Awareness training that will include education on the circumstances, which lead to this incident.

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