February 20, 2024


February 20, 2024

University of Alaska Regents to set strategic planning goals at February meeting in Fairbanks

(FAIRBANKS) - The University of Alaska (UA) Board of Regents will take significant steps in charting the course for a strong future of strategic investment, growth, and empowering Alaska during its upcoming February 22-23 meeting on the Troth Yeddha’ campus in Fairbanks. Regents will finalize their plan for the system, the Roadmap to Empower Alaska, which advances Alaska’s economy through education, workforce development, research, and strong partnerships across the state.

Additionally, board members will receive an update on the ongoing public awareness campaign and legislative session, and further discuss strategies resulting from a special meeting with Purdue President and former Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels in January.

“Alaskans have good reason to be confident in their university system,” UA President Pat Pitney said. “With enrollment growing for a second straight semester, and the board making strategic investments for the long-term, the University of Alaska is in a strong position, and will continue to empower Alaska.”

The Board of Regents’ Roadmap to Empower Alaska is a strategic guidance framework built upon three pillars that represent the board’s long-term vision for Alaska: 

  • financially responsible and future-focused;
  • state & Arctic leadership;
  • quality education and reputation.

The pillars are framed by system goals and guiding principles, and achieved by implementing priority strategies to meet board-established system goals. The board will monitor progress on these at its quarterly meetings. The key priority strategies are:

  • increasing student recruitment, graduation, and retention;
  • sustaining Facilities Maintenance and Modernization Plan;
  • achieving cost-efficient operations;
  • UAF reaching R1 research status in 2027;
  • Empower Alaska branding.

In turn, the three universities and the system office have prioritized efforts that drive these strategies, such as expanding health workforce training at UAA; achieving R1 research status at UAF; leading in maritime, mariculture, and marine biology training at UAS; and effectively and efficiently managing corporate responsibilities at the UA System Office.

Regents will also receive an update on UA’s “Empower Alaska” Public Awareness Campaign. Empower Alaska tells stories of the impact UA has on the lives of our students and the state as a whole. The campaign has engaged donors, alumni, students, staff, and faculty to highlight programs, including drone research, mariculture at UAF and UAS, Alaska Native Success, UA’s Expertise in the Arctic, and teacher education.

President Pitney and staff will also update Regents on UA’s Arctic Leadership Initiative. The initiative aims to create a program that will position Alaskans as world leaders in Arctic issues, and establish UA’s universities as centers of Arctic expertise among Alaskans and throughout the world.

This program will build on existing programs across the University of Alaska system to provide students and early-career professionals the foundation they need to address the changing Arctic landscape and strengthen partnerships with governments, communities, and businesses to advance Arctic opportunities for Alaska.

During Thursday's committee meetings, the Audit and Finance Committee (9:00 a.m.) will receive finance, audit and compliance, athletics, Education Trust of Alaska performance, Small Business Initiative, and other financial performance reports.

The Facilities & Land Management Committee (11:00 a.m.) will receive updates on multiple projects, including the Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center, museum planetarium addition, and UAA and UAF hockey arena public-private partnerships (P3); discuss revenue opportunities from the UAF heat and power plant; get updates from the UA Land Office; and take an initial look at proposed procurement and facility management policy changes. 

In the afternoon, the Academic & Student Affairs Committee (1:00 p.m.) will take a deep dive into Alaska’s healthcare workforce training programs; discuss education programs, including Alaska College of Education Consortium updates, teacher development reports, and UAA’s pathways to teacher certification and accreditation for the early childhood education baccalaureate program; and receive updated enrollment reports. 

The full board will convene Friday at 8:00 a.m. to work through items on the main agenda.

All committee meetings and the full board meeting will be held in Fairbanks on the UAF Troth Yeddha’ Campus at the Butrovich Building (Room 109); the agenda is available online.

All meetings, except any executive sessions, are public and will be livestreamed

The University of Alaska Board of Regents is an 11-member volunteer board, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Alaska Legislature. Members serve an eight-year term, with the exception of the student regent, who serves a two-year term. The Board was established through the Alaska Constitution and is responsible for University of Alaska policy and management through the university president.

– 30 –

For more information, contact Jonathon Taylor, director of public affairs at 907-350-0168 (cell), or via email at jonathon.taylor@alaska.edu.