UAA Releases Prioritization Report

The University of Alaska Anchorage released a comprehensive prioritization report Wednesday examining both academic and support functions.

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Two task forces were assembled to take an in-depth look at every program and function at the university.

One group focused on the academic side of things, while the other investigated support functions.

Their goal: to determine which programs align with UAA’s mission, which one’s don’t, and which ones need an even closer look.

Academic Task Force Report (PDF)

Programs like Alaska Native Studies, Art, English, and Women’s Studies are ranked high, while ones like Economics, Political Science, and Music landed in the lower categories.

UAA Vice Chancellor Bill Spindle says just because a program was identified as a low priority doesn’t necessarily mean it is facing imminent cuts.

“All it means if you’re in one of these lower categories is we’re gonna do further review,” Spindle said. “We may determine by the further review that my gosh, we keep you where you are, we need to add stuff to you.”

“We may realize that we can combine this with something else, but we’re gonna take a thorough look.”

Spindle says one thing the reports have made clear is the breadth of programs and functions offered at UAA.

“It’s like a small city,” he said. “We take care of everything here; from a police force, to a maintenance organization, to facilities, grounds keeping.”

“Everything you can think of that goes on in a municipality, we do here.”

Support Task Force Report (PDF)

The task forces reviewed over 300 academic programs and nearly 180 support functions.

Though the administration is still reviewing all of the information, Spindle says the task forces’ recommendations have given the university a good starting point.

“What this report has done for us is it gives us a clear mandate for change,” Spindle said. “We can look and see, where do we want to head from here?”

That’s the big question for the university. And Spindle says it’s one they can’t quite answer yet.

University officials expect to have a plan on how to move forward by December. And changes stemming from that plan could begin as soon as next summer.