University of Alaska Regents move ahead with Alaska Native success initiative, reinstate UAA alpine skiing

At its Jan. 15 meeting, the UA Board of Regents recognized and celebrated the success of the UAA Alpine ski team’s fundraising efforts and voted unanimously to reinstate the team to the athletics program.The team raised $628,000 in cash and pledges in recent months to fund the team for the next two years.

“The team and the community pulled together to generate the funding to support the team’s operations. This impressive effort exemplifies the team’s competitiveness in everything it undertakes and shows the overwhelming community support for the ski team. They are to be congratulated,” said UA Interim President Pat Pitney. “It’s so heartening to see that support and we hope the reinstatement will be followed by an ongoing effort to be more self-sustaining through continued fundraising support.”

Prior to the Jan. 15 meeting, Pitney issued a statement to faculty, staff and students emphasizing the importance of civility, respect and peaceful assembly and highlighting steps the Board of Regents is taking to increase equity and inclusion across the UA system. Her message can be found here:

As part of this effort, Pitney provided an update to the board today on an initiative to increase the success of UA’s Alaska Native students, staff and faculty and all students, faculty and staff of color. Through this initiative, steering committees and working groups including Alaska Native community leaders and the chancellors will work with faculty and staff on university-based action teams to develop solutions for addressing Alaska Native recruitment, retention and success throughout the UA system. 

The motion that the board passed set the stage for getting a baseline and understanding of where we're starting from in terms of our Alaska Native Success, equity and inclusion, Pitney said. “We want to build on the good things happening and will capitalize on those things that are scalable. We also want to address our shortcomings.” Information on this initiative can be found at: