Feedback requested on UAF’s Strategic Plan


From Eric Heyne, Chair, UAF Strategic Planning Steering Committee

d8nek1wkf5j4afqx7w3uqejfoq62xq6As part of its accreditation process, UAF undertook a year-long process of drafting a new strategic plan. More than sixty faculty, staff, and students on six subcommittees and a steering committee put in many hours of work thinking about where UAF stands and where we should be going. This spring we are revising that draft, and we would like to have your input. Please take a look at our plan and let us know what you think. It’s only six pages long, but we hope it will guide us through the challenges of the next few years, as UAF approaches its centennial celebration in 2017.

The draft plan (pdf) is available and posted on the provost’s website. Once you’ve had a chance to review, please give us your feedback on the plan here. Please respond by March 22, 2013.

Please use the Google form (link above) rather than leaving your comments on the blog. Using the form will ensure that the committee gets your feedback.




  • Gretchen King

    If you comment here, on the Cornerstone article itself, it does not necessarily reach the members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

    If you’d like your comments to reach the committee, please use their feedback form, located at:

  • Mark Evans

    I have lived in Alaska since 1999, am a Marine Corps Vet and I am currently an engineering undergraduate student. My wife works at FMH and so through her I have been introduced to many of the medical providers in Fairbanks. Since we have no post undergrad programs for healthcare providers, all of them are transplants and while a lot enjoy Alaska, many do not care for it but cannot refuse the pay rates here. I wonder if like the Governor’s plans to increase emphasis on engineering to be able to meet future infrastructure growth demands in Alaska, we shouldn’t be looking to be able to provide locals with the educations to meet more of the professional post-undergrad type positions. These are just some thoughts that I have had. Thank you for your time and the opportunity to express my opinion.

    Mark Evans

  • Kirsten Williams

    As UAF moves forward into the next 100 years and beyond, I think it is important to remember what UAF was founded on: down to earth research oriented student participation. What makes UAF special is well… what makes us special: an on-campus terrain park, a space launch, acres of farm land, special state specific/high latitude geared research… all surrounded by the vast wonders of Alaskan nature.
    I agree with everything in the Plan, but I just wanted to reiterate those points.
    As important as it is to compete at a national/international scale, and as important as it is to expand that, enlarge this, and remodel that, I also think maybe less is more. Let’s keep UAF weird, quirky and special. Shiny, glitzy colleges in the lower 48 are good, sure, but they’re nothing compared to the institution we have. Our complex mix of 70s style architecture next to state-of-the-art lab facilities cannot be found anywhere else, and I think people really appreciate that.

    Close knit community that celebrates tradition and history. That’s what UAF is.

    Thanks for sharing this with us – I think people like knowing what goes on behind closed doors.

  • Deborah Segla

    The goal addressing resource management seems to be directed toward facilities and capacity rather than natural resource management which is noticeably missing. Food security and renewable energy needs, which are critical, are not mentioned. Realistically, the number of undergraduate students is a finite number. But to attract new students we need partnerships with other universities, with specific expertise, for credit as well as state of the art online classrooms developed. We need to envision a new model of higher education.

  • Rajive Ganguli

    Generally quite good.
    Goal 1 – we need to complete the GERC process.
    Goal 2 – this is about time.
    Goal 7 -The statement can be easily misinterpreted. Please rephrase it so “resource management” is not interpreted as “resources such as mineral wealth, forests etc”. How about “Develop innovative approaches to managing University resources to support it’s mission, and position it to meet challenges of the future”

  • Mary Matthews

    I like the plan but I think it should have more in it reflecting the future of online and e-learning. There is a rapidly developing world of major institutions offering FREE online courses. UAF should, in keeping with its value for the dollar philosophy, offer credits to students completing these courses. This being particularly true for developmental classes. In today’s world there is no real reason to spend money taking pre-college math and English classes when they are available for FREE. In addition open source materials save students money and for 100 and 200 level classes faculty should be encouraged to use those resources as opposed to the endless and senseless purchase of texts. UAF needs to step forward and accept credit for online open university courses. Though I can respect the math/science core requirements. I think majors in the arts or liberal arts should be offered an incredibly practical math course encompassing and demonstrating what artists need to know and WILL USE in their careers as opposed to what somebody thinks they should know i.e. how to mat and frame, how to create an installation, how to make a profit, how to use funding sites, etc.
    It would be better to have only one course called Practical Math and one course called Practical Science and let students into the classes if they fail they just take the same class again rather than taking a series of pre-classes that do not reflect the content of the actual for real college class.

  • Grace Amundsen

    One of the goals is improving academic advising, but the subtitle talks mostly about high school and career advising. Can we put more effort into getting trained, motivated academic advisors in departments for graduating on time? I’ve had four advisors in four years, only one of whom knew much about course offerings, had any idea of what classes I should be advised to take when, and the four year plan for graduation in my department isn’t even possible as classes are scheduled, and hasn’t been updated in years.

  • Lawrence Duffy

    Good comments, especially about advising and keeping
    UAF unique. Unfortunately, outside reviewers usually
    want all state universities to look like theirs.

  • Lawrence Duffy

    Good comments; keep UAF unique and student focused.


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