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Chancellor's Comments, March 30, 2016

Chancellor Rick Caulfield

Dear UAS faculty and staff:

While all of Alaska, including our university, struggles with the state’s budget challenges, it’s important to remember why UAS exists: to support student learning and educational equity. In past few days I’ve had some exceptionally enjoyable encounters with UAS students and prospective new students; encounters that remind me how our work truly makes a difference in students’ lives and improves the quality of life in our culturally-rich communities. In thinking about our mission, I want to share with you with a brief update about three of the six UAS strategic priorities we’ve set for ourselves in 2016 and 2017. You can find the full list of these priorities at:

UPDATE 1: Increase enrollment and retention through strategic marketing and enrollment management.

We are redoubling our efforts to encourage prospective new students to choose UAS. This weekend in Juneau our recruiters and campus life staff are hosting an “Explore Southeast” event for selected high school students who’ve already applied for admission. The goal of this event is to have students engage with talented faculty and supportive staff and to experience the excitement of campus life. We want to ‘lock in’ on these applicants and show them why UAS is a great choice. We’re also involving our current Alaska Leadership students (AL-I) to serve as student ambassadors. It’s clear that prospective students like to hear from their peers about what UAS has to offer. In addition, Ketchikan faculty and staff are expanding adult degree completion opportunities—reaching out to Alaskans who have some college but have never finished. We’ve also adjusted how we do our recruiting—including having Juneau-based recruiter Margo Connolly-Masson work much more closely with our Natural Sciences faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences to encourage talented high school science students to apply. As an example, she and Professor Sherry Tamone recently met with students at the Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl, held in Seward. We’re also working with the firm Strategies 360 to sharpen our recruitment message and to expand digital marketing. These are just some of the examples of how we’re working hard to grow our enrollments.

UPDATE 2: Review and improve UAS information technology programs and services

Working with Faculty Senate President Maren Haavig and Interim Provost Priscilla Schulte, I’ve contracted with Mr. Bruce Maas, Chief Information Officer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to conduct an assessment of UAS IT programs and services. This assessment will consist of a voluntary confidential online survey for faculty, staff, and students. You’ll see that survey opportunity coming your way soon. Maas will visit UAS during the week of April 11 to conduct interviews and hear from faculty, staff, and students at all three UAS campuses. We expect to have his report from Mr. Maas in early May, including recommendations that will inform development of our FY17 budget. You can learn more about Maas at

UPDATE 3: Strengthen university Title IX compliance, safety practices, and emergency readiness

This week we have an important opportunity to meet with Board of Regents members John Davies and student Regent Stacy Lucason who will be visiting the Juneau Campus on Thursday, March 31, to learn about how we’re addressing Title IX issues and concerns. Their goal is to support efforts to provide a safe learning environment free of sexual harassment and discrimination and to educate all members of the UAS community about these topics. For details see These are just a few of the actions we’re taking to address our strategic priorities.

As always, I value your ideas and comments.Send those to me at, and keep up the good work in support of our students and communities.

Thank you!


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