Academic Plan


This is an outline form of UAF's academic development plan. During AY 08-09, this outline will be revisited, and expanded upon, by a working group consisting of administration, faculty and staff representatives.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks is distinctive in the University of Alaska system for its research-intensive mission, its Ph.D. programs, its Land Grant status, and its service to rural and Alaska Native peoples. These elements are central to the strategic direction of UAF, America's Arctic University,

The top priority of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is to provide high quality education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. To accomplish this, UAF will continue efforts to secure the resources to support our many successful programs, including those comprising a broad and strong academic foundation in the liberal arts. The Academic Development Plan focuses on four themes and related areas of emphasis, where targeted enhancements have the greatest potential for sustaining excellence and moving UAF forward. These areas offer special opportunities, in that they build upon existing strengths, have immediate opportunities for development, and address significant needs in the State.

All UAF programs are accountable for the resources that they use, and any program receiving significant new resources is expected to set goals to be achieved using those resources, identify measurable outcomes, and report regulary on progress.

Building on Academic Excellence

Concept: Enhance student success through learning and research opportunities across the spectrum of student experience.

Areas of Emphasis:

  • Bridges between UAF and K-12 Education: Strengthen connections to K-12 education to improve student transitions from secondary to post-secondary education.
  • Strengthening Foundations of Student Success: Enhance comprehensive and academic advising, developmental education, and the core curriculum, in order to foster completion of degree and certificate programs.
  • Improve Teaching and the Learning Environment: Provide faculty development programs on best practices and new approaches in teaching, and continue to acquire state-of-the-art instructional facilities and equipment.
  • Honors and Leadership Programs: Further develop opportunities for exceptionally well-prepared and motivated students.
  • Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning: Expand undergraduate research opportunities, internships, community engagement, and other out-of-classroom learning activities.

Economic and Workforce Development

Concept: Produce graduates who are job-ready in areas of high employer demand, and conduct training and research applied to the development, planning, and management activities of the State.

Areas of Emphasis:

  • Resource Ecploration, Development, and Management: Enhance programs that enable the State to develop and mangage its natural resources effectively.
  • Engineering and Applied Technologies: Enhance programs aimed at training engineers and technicians to meet the needs of Alaskan industry.
  • Educator Preparation: Further develop programs that train and provide continuing education for pre-K and K-12 teachers and counselors.
  • Health Careers and Pre-professional Programs: Enhance and develop programs that prepare students for careers in health care and for post-graduate professional degree programs.
  • Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship: Enhance programs that develop knowledge, skills and abilities in business and accounting to increase Alaskan's success in the global economy.

Nothern Peoples in a Global Context

Concept: Educate students and conduct research on life in the North and its global context.

Areas of Emphasis:

  • Alaska Native Peoples: Foster the success of Alaska Native students and research concerning Alaska Native Peoples. including documentation and preservation of languages and culture, in collaboration with other indigenous peoples.
  • Behavioral Health and Cultural Understanding: Contribute to healthy communities through reseach and education in the social sciences and develop understanding of cultures in their global context.
  • Sustaining Alaskan Communities: In collaboration with Alaska communities and in the context of the global economy, develop more effective approaches to alternative/renewable energy, food sources and subsistence, and economic development.
  • Engaging Alaskans with UAF: Increase opportunities for Alaskans to learn from and participate in the university's research and creative activities.

Northern Sciences

Concept: Increase faculty-student research collaborations and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the North.

Areas of Emphasis:

  • Global Change and Adaptation: Observe, interpret, predict, and develop plans for adapting to change and its impact on the landscape, ecosystems, resources, economies, and community stabiltiy.
  • Environmental Quality: Understand human impacts on the northern environment and environmental impacts on people and cultures.
  • Biomedicine and Health Sciences: Conduct biomedical and health education, research, and outreach that relate to Alaska's unique environment and lifestyles.
  • Natural Hazards: Improve understanding and prediction and develop strategies for mitigating the impacts of natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis,and severe weather.
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