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Mission Revision Updates & Process

Why are we revising our current mission statement?

Our current mission statement was developed over ten years ago, and we need to ask ourselves, “does it accurately reflect who we are?” Not everyone sees themselves or their programs in the current mission. It is essential that our mission statement accurately reflects who we are, what we do, and who we serve.

We also needed to review our current mission in light of the new NWCCU accreditation standards that require institutions to have a broad-based mission statement, supported by measurable goals and metrics, and to focus on student success and student achievement. Further, the new NWCCU standards require that institutions place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of their planning and assessment to close equity gaps. Lastly, to conform with the new standards, we no longer need to organize our mission fulfillment efforts around core themes.

Based on these reasons, we embarked on a process to revise our mission, goals, and metrics to accurately reflect the identity of UAS and meet the new standards outlined by the NWCCU.

Process and Timeline

Process

We followed a process that began with our reasons for revising the mission and allowed everyone in the UAS community to voice their opinions. Most feedback came through Google Forms, although some met as a campus or department or small groups and sent input directly to the chancellor. All feedback, regardless of the method it was received, was read and considered. At each level, the institutional effectiveness director compiled the feedback into themes. Executive cabinet members reviewed all comments and themes as the basis for mission statement revisions. We hope to have a revised mission statement to present to the Board of Regents at their February meeting.

Timeline

February 2018

In preparation for re-accreditation, Provost Carey, serving as the UAS Academic Liaison Officer, convened a group of faculty and staff to review the UAS Vision, Mission, and Core Themes.  Because of the upcoming accreditation visit, no changes were considered at that time and any changes to these elements would be addressed after the NWCCU visit in 2019

April 2019

Successful re-accreditation.

February 2020

30 faculty and staff representatives attended a half day workshop (notes from the February workshop, PDF), discussing the following:

  • Does the current mission describe who we are?
  • Is the current mission measurable?
  • Does the current mission emphasize student achievement and success?
  • Discuss your thoughts about having Institutional Learning Outcomes
  • What should our goals be for student achievement and success?

August 2020

Executive Cabinet and Institutional Effectiveness reviewed the new NWCCU standards and discussed the question "What does UAS look like in 5 years from now?"

September/October 2020

Executive Cabinet utilized feedback from the prior mission focused workshops and the new accreditation standards to create a proposed mission statement. All faculty and staff were asked for their input and feedback on the proposed mission statement and over 40 faculty and staff provided responses, through both email and the provided google form. Overall, employees were split on their reactions to the proposed mission. Close to 50% of employees provided suggestions for revising the proposed mission and 22% requested UAS keep the current mission. Additionally, close to 1 in 4 faculty who responded to the survey (summary of survey responses) requested that research/creative expression be included in the mission statement.

October 2020

Executive Cabinet reviewed all feedback from faculty and staff and utilized suggestions and revisions of the proposed mission to craft version two. Initially the executive cabinet proposed both a mission and goals, but through the feedback, it was decided to simplify this by only having a mission statement and developing metrics with goals directed connected to the mission statement. All faculty and staff were again asked to provide input and feedback on version two of the proposed mission statement. Again, over 40 faculty and staff provided responses, with most showing a positive response to this version with minor edits.

November 2020

Executive Cabinet reviewed all feedback and developed version three of the proposed mission statement. On November 13, the Chancellor asked faculty, staff, and students governance groups and members of the Chancellor’s Core Cabinet to review and provide feedback on version three of the proposed mission statement. Faculty and staff groups provided feedback and recommendations. The Faculty Senate was also asked to survey faculty for input on whether or not the word "research" should be included in the mission statement.

December 2020

Executive Cabinet reviewed the suggestions of the governance groups and is working on a proposed final version of the mission statement to discuss on January 6, 2021 during Spring Start-Up.

January 2021

Chancellor Carey presented the mission revision process and the proposed version at Spring Start-Up (presentation); She announced that the UAS community would be asked to vote on the proposed mission. Eighty-five percent of respondents voted to approve the proposed mission statement.

Future Process Plans

February 2021

Obtain approval of revised mission from the Board of Regents.

February–May 2021

Develop measurable goals and metrics in support of the mission statement. These goals and metrics will be approved by the Chancellor’s Core Cabinet which includes governance representatives.

Spring 2022

NWCCU Three Year Report, FY19–FY21.

Mission Drafts

UAS Current Mission

Student learning enhanced by faculty scholarship, undergraduate research and creative activities, community engagement, and the cultures and environment of Southeast Alaska.

Proposed Version 1: September 18, 2020

UAS is a student-centered, regional university where students learn, grow and define their future through high quality instruction and individualized student support. Located in Southeast Alaska with campuses in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, UAS is uniquely positioned to offer marine and maritime, coastal rainforest, and indigenous studies in addition to an array of liberal arts, education, business, and workforce development programs.

Proposed Version 2: October 19, 2020

UAS is a student-centered university that provides quality instruction in liberal arts, professional, and technical fields. We belong to, and serve, the coastal environments, cultures, economies, and communities of Alaska through scholarship and creative activity, interdisciplinary education, and workforce development.

Proposed Version 3: November 13,2020

The University of Alaska Southeast is committed to equity and inclusion in education, offering student-centered learning and engagement in liberal arts, professional, and technical fields on the homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples. We belong to and serve the coastal environments, cultures, economies, and communities of Alaska through scholarship and creative activity, interdisciplinary education, and workforce development.

Proposed Version 4: January 6, 2021

The University of Alaska Southeast is a student-centered university that provides instruction in liberal arts, professional, and technical fields. On the homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples, we serve the coastal environments, cultures, economies, and communities of Alaska, through interdisciplinary education, workforce development, and scholarship, research and creative activity.

Communications

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

UAS faculty and staff,

As discussed at Spring Start-Up, we have reached the point where it is time to vote on the proposed mission statement. The UAS process for revising our mission statement can be found on the mission webpage: <link>

The proposed UAS mission is as follows:

The University of Alaska Southeast is a student-centered university that provides instruction in liberal arts, professional, and technical fields. On the homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples, we serve the coastal environments, cultures, economies, and communities of Alaska, through interdisciplinary education, workforce development, and scholarship, research and creative activity.

Please follow this link: <link> to vote on the new mission.

We ask that all votes be submitted by end of day Friday, January 15th.

Thank you,

Karen Carey

Friday, November 13, 2020

Hello UAS Governance Leaders and Core Cabinet,

The Executive Cabinet worked together to review feedback from the 2018 and February 2020 UAS mission and metrics meetings, and the revised NWCCU standards, to develop a new UAS mission. As part of our regular accreditation process, the UAS Executive Cabinet proposed a new mission in October based on revised NWCCU standards and guidance on goals and metrics. Feedback was solicited from all faculty and staff. From that feedback, the mission statement was re-worked and again sent to all faculty and staff for input. From this feedback, we now have a refined mission statement that we hope to finalize soon. Our last step is a final review from governance leadership groups. This updated mission is similar to version 2, enhanced to recognize the homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples and UAS’s commitment to equity and inclusion.

Proposed Mission Statement:

The University of Alaska Southeast is committed to equity and inclusion in education, offering student-centered learning and engagement in liberal arts, professional, and technical fields on the homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples. We belong to and serve the coastal environments, cultures, economies, and communities of Alaska through scholarship and creative activity, interdisciplinary education, and workforce development.

We encourage you to solicit feedback on the mission and provide this feedback in a summary email to the Executive Cabinet via Karen by close of business Tuesday, December 1st. We plan to present our new mission to the Board of Regents at the January meeting. The Executive Cabinet would like to thank everyone for their feedback on the mission thus far, with special thanks to Lance Twitchell, Kevin Krein, Dave Noon, and Andrea Dewees.

Thank you,

Executive Cabinet

University of Alaska Southeast

Monday, October 19, 2020

Good morning all:

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the proposed mission. Through this feedback, executive cabinet made revisions to the proposed mission. The document attached includes version 2 of the proposed mission, a brief summary of the feedback received for the originally proposed mission, details about version 2, and possible metrics for this mission.

Please send this document to your teams and encourage them to submit feedback using this form: <link>

We ask that all feedback be submitted by end of day Monday, October 26th.

Proposed Mission V2:

UAS is a student-centered university that provides quality instruction in liberal arts, professional, and technical fields. We belong to, and serve, the coastal environments, cultures, economies, and communities of Alaska through scholarship and creative activity, interdisciplinary education, and workforce development.

Best,

Karen Carey

University of Alaska Southeast

Friday, September, 18, 2020

Hello cabinet members and UAS governance leaders,

In April 2019, UAS successfully achieved reaccreditation with the NWCCU. Overall, the site visit was successful, and we received four commendations.

We also received recommendations requiring us to 'expand on the strong progress made in the analysis and use of disaggregated demographic and learning outcomes data to support the evaluation of mission fulfillment,' and revise and refine its objectives and indicators to better inform its future planning and decision-making.'

Further, the NWCCU has revised its accreditation standards, focusing on student success and achievement, and an emphasis on measurable goals linked to a broad mission. As we begin our new accreditation cycle, we have an opportunity to think about where we want UAS to be in 5-7 years, and what our goals should be to achieve that.

With an eye on the future, the Executive Cabinet worked together to review feedback from the 2018 and February 2020 UAS mission and metrics meetings, and the revised NWCCU standards. Through this process, we have developed a proposed mission with goals tracked by Institutional Effectiveness through clear and measurable metrics.

The proposed mission and goals are as follows:

Proposed Mission Statement:

UAS is a student centered, regional university where students learn, grow and define their future through high quality instruction and individualized student support. Located in Southeast Alaska with campuses in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, UAS is uniquely positioned to offer marine and maritime, coastal rainforest, and indigenous studies in addition to an array of liberal arts, education, business, and workforce development programs.

Proposed Goals: (metrics will be developed for each goal)

We strive to achieve our mission by:

Providing students with equitable and easy access to education

Removing barriers to completion through student-centered support

Creating a diverse and sustainable UAS community of students, faculty, and staff

The executive cabinet asks that you review the mission and goals with your team/colleagues and provide feedback using the following form: <link>

Please feel free to send this link to individuals, but we encourage you to have a conversation together to discuss this mission. We request all feedback be submitted by end of day Friday, October 2nd.

Thank you everyone for everything you do for UAS.

Karen Carey

University of Alaska Southeast