Alaska Native Success Initiative

Native students

 


Goal

The University strives to better represent the Alaska population, for all to feel they belong, and for the change to be visible and recognized. 

The University of Alaska System, guided by the Board of Regents, is committed to:

  1. Improving the participation and success of Alaska Natives through educational achievement statewide, and
  2. Improving Alaska Native representation and success throughout the University of Alaska system.

Understanding that the university is also underrepresented in other minority groups, the work from this process will inform efforts to increase diversity and success throughout the university’s programs and operations. 


 Structure

A steering committee of leaders representing the University of Alaska Board of Regents, chancellors, and Alaska Native corporations, tribal entities, and organizations will help guide the process. The steering committee will serve in an advisory role to the university president.  

University based action teams led by their respective chancellor or designee will conduct a baseline evaluation of the climate for Alaska Native students, faculty and staff at each university. This evaluation will include both qualitative and quantitative data related to programs, recruitment, retention and academic success. 

Several members of the steering committee are members of the university action teams; this is by design to ensure alignment and communication across the working groups.


 Process

After the action teams develop the baseline evaluation of each universities’ current program offerings and data on the recruitment, retention and success of Alaska Native faculty, students and staff, the steering committee and action teams will develop an overarching five-year plan with specific system-wide and university-based goals and targets.  Additionally, the process is expected to yield recommendations for policy and regulations changes.  

 Concurrently and independently, it is anticipated that the ANCSA Education Consortium will compile information on programs focused on increasing education attainment by Alaska Natives. Representatives involved in this effort will be invited to participate in developing the UA System five-year plan.


 Steering Committee

  • Jennifer Booz, Chief Diversity Officer*
  • Ronalda Cadiente Brown, Associate Vice Chancellor for Alaska Native Programs*
  • Sheri Buretta, Interim President and CEO, Chugach Alaska Corporation; UA Board of Regents Chair
  • Karen Carey, UAS Chancellor
  • Emily Edenshaw, President & CEO, Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Liz Medicine Crow, President and CEO, First Alaskans Institute
  • Joe Nelson, Board Chair, Sealaska
  • Tabetha Toloff, CAO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council
  • Richard Peterson, President, Central Council, Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Pat Pitney, Interim UA President
  • Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor
  • Geri Simon, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Charlene Stern, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education*
  • Daniel White, UAF Chancellor
  • Michele Yatchmeneff, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and ANSEP Assistant Director*

University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Jennifer Booz, Chief Diversity Officer*
  • Eric Carlson, Associate Professor of Library Science
  • Sara Childress, Director of the Office of Equity and Compliance
  • Emily Edenshaw, President & CEO, Alaska Native Heritage Center, community member
  • Annmarie Iya, Undergraduate student, Native Student Council club president
  • Agatha John-Shields, PhD, Term faculty, School of Education
  • Claudia Lampman, Vice Provost for Student Success
  • Benjamin Morton, Dean of Students
  • Joe Nelson, Board Chair, Sealaska, community member
  • Sondra Shaginoff-Stuart, UAA Chair of Alaska Native Studies
  • Christina Stuive, Associate Professor of Counseling, Kenai Peninsula College
  • Aleesha Town-Bain, BBNC Education Foundation executive director, community member
  • Jessica Saniguq Ullrich, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
  • Michael Ulroan, ANSEP Senior Director of Acceleration Components
  • Maria Shaa tlaa Williams, PhD, Professor, Alaska Native Studies
  • Michele Yatchmeneff, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and ANSEP Assistant Director*
  • Rebecca Young, Clinical-Community Psychology PhD student, 2019 cohort

University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Barb Amarok, Director, Northwest Campus
  • Jessica Black, Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development
  • Courtney Carothers, Professor, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
  • Keith Champagne, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Reverend Anna Frank, Fairbanks Native Association board member
  • Owen Guthrie, Director of eCampus
  • Carlton Huatala, Rural Student Admissions Counselor
  • Margaret Rudolf, PhD student, Arctic & Northern Studies
  • Gabrielle Russell, Manager, Indigenous Student Services
  • Geri Simon, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Charlene Stern, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education*
  • Sean Asiqłuq Topkok, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts Center for Cross-Cultural Studies
  • Brooke Woods, student, Fisheries & Ocean Sciences

University of Alaska Southeast

  • Louise Brady, Title III, Sitka
  • Gloria Burns, President, Ketchikan Indian Community
  • Ronalda Cadiente Brown, Associate Vice Chancellor for Alaska Native Programs*
  • Dionne Cadiente-Blattner, Tribal Education Programs Director, Douglas Indian Association
  • Dannielle Carlson, Rural Admissions Counselor
  • Lauryn Framke, UAS student
  • Joe Hillaire, Nang Sk’at’aas, UAS student
  • Mischa Jackson, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education
  • Joe Nelson, Sealaska Board Chair
  • Sarah Peele, UAS student
  • Richard Peterson, President, Central Council, Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Lance Twitchell, Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages

* Lead facilitators for campus action teams will serve as ex officio members of the steering committee.

Initiative staff

  • Andrew Aquino, Project Coordinator, President’s Office
  • Kerynn Fisher, Special Assistant to the President
  • Roberta Graham, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Paul Layer, Vice President for Academics, Students and Research
  • Michelle Rizk, Vice President for University Relations

Baseline Reports

In accordance with the November 2020 Board of Regents resolution*, these reports present baseline data and identify barriers and opportunities for Alaska Native students, staff and faculty recruitment and retention. Understanding each university has unique needs and resources, university-based action teams conducted a baseline evaluation of the climate for their respective university.

UA Baseline Report and Preliminary Initiatives

The Board of Regents establishes understanding and addressing racial justice issues as a board priority. As a first step, the board authorizes and directs the university president to take the necessary actions to collect data; study and understand the university climate and programming; and identify the barriers, challenges and opportunities to improve participation and outcomes for Alaska Native and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff, in particular to address diminished Alaska Native and Indigenous student and faculty recruitment, selection, retention, development, and advancement over past academic years. The president will report her findings back to the board in June 2021. This motion is effective November 6, 2020.

Timeline 2021

Mid-January 2021:
Kick-off meeting

  • Participants: steering committee, action teams, university diversity and equity staff, and representatives from the Alaska Native Studies Council, Racial Justice for UA and ANCSA Education Consortium. 
  • Purpose: Clarify and/or modify the qualitative and quantitative data for the baseline evaluation and refine expected outcomes of the process through development of the five-year plan. 

February and March:
University Action Team Meetings

  • Participants: university action teams
  • Purpose: university action teams will meet independently to collect and analyze data and begin to develop recommendations for their university and for the system

February and March:
Steering Committee meetings

  • Participants: steering committee members, initiative staff
  • Purpose: updates on university action teams, evaluate process and address specific issues

April and May:
University Baseline Evaluation Report Out and Plan Kick-off

  • Participants: Steering committee, action teams, university diversity and equity staff, and representatives from the Alaska Native Studies Council, Racial Justice for UA and ANCSA Education Consortium.
  • Purpose: Each action team provides a summary of the baseline evaluation.  

May-June:
Review the draft five-year plan

  • Participants: Steering committee, action teams, university diversity and equity staff, and representatives from the Alaska Native Studies Council, Racial Justice for UA and ANCSA Education Consortium
  • Purpose: provide input on baseline.

Early-June:
Board of Regents Meeting

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board, Steering Committee 
  • Purpose: provide the baseline evaluation per BOR motion.  

September:
Board of Regents Meeting

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board, Steering Committee 
  • Purpose: Provide board with update on draft five-year plan.

October:
Update to Alaska Federation of Natives

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board Chair 

November:
Board of Regents Meeting

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board, Steering Committee
  • Purpose: Present final five-year strategic plan.