Feb. 22, 2021

Dear UAF faculty and staff,

We are midway through the budget reduction to UAF brought about by the compact signed between the Board of Regents and the governor in summer 2019. UAF’s reduction is roughly $35 million. Units across UAF have tightened belts, reduced programs, reduced offerings and eliminated some services. That said, some units have added revenue through increased enrollment and new online offerings. UAF’s eCampus has enabled many programs to reach students they would not have otherwise had access to through the Alaska Advantage program and the EdX platform. The same is true of the very successful North Star Middle College.

As part of the budget reduction process, all three of the UA universities underwent expedited academic program review. We chose to review half of our programs in the first year of the compact and half in the second. Our approach was to review the most expensive half of the programs first and the less expensive half in the second. In accordance with Regents’ Policy 10.06.010, and as required by University Regulation 10.06.010.C.2, UAF followed this process and timeline for the 2020-2021 expedited, exceptional academic program review. The effort began last October, and we are now nearing the final stages of the process. Remaining steps are as follows:
  1. Monday, Feb. 22, I share my preliminary recommendations with the UAF community through this communication.
  2. Monday, Feb. 22, through Friday, Feb. 26, preliminary recommendations are open for feedback.
  3. Tuesday, Feb. 23, I will hold a listening session by Zoom for feedback, or you can watch online at
  4. March 1, I will submit my recommendations to the vice president of academics, students and research.
  5. March 11, my recommendations will be reviewed by the Academic Council, with recommendations sent to the president.
  6. May 27, recommendations forwarded by the president are reviewed by the BOR Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) Committee.
  7. June 3-4, BOR ASA recommendations are reviewed by the full Board of Regents.
The program review committee forwarded their recommendations to me on Feb. 5. Two review committees were assembled, one to review CTC and CRCD programs, and the other to review programs offered at the Troth Yeddha’ campus. Both committees were chaired by Vice Provost Alex Fitts. Both committees were composed of one student appointed by student governance (ASUAF), one staff member appointed by Staff Council, two faculty members appointed by Faculty Senate, one faculty member appointed by the provost, and two administrators (dean/directors) appointed by the provost.

A total of 87 programs were reviewed by the committees. Of these,
  • 52 were recommended to continue
  • 17 were recommended to continue with an improvement plan
  • 15 were recommended to continue with revision or restructure
  • 2 were recommended for deletion
  • 1 did not have a consensus opinion
I have reviewed feedback received to date, including the 87 motions submitted by Faculty Senate, feedback submitted by web submissions or by email, input from the provost, and input from the Core Cabinet.

The following are not decisions I have made, but they are an early indication of the possibilities given all of the input received to date. As the following are not set in stone, I am interested in your feedback. That said, I am leaning towards agreement with all the committee recommendations except for the following:
  1. The committee recommended deletion of the B.A. in digital journalism, a revision/restructure of the B.A. in communications, and continuation with improvement plan for the M.A. in professional communication. I intend to recommend against deletion of the B.A. in digital journalism and rather include this in the overall revision/restructure of the communication and journalism programs. I would like the Communications and Journalism Department to work with Dean Ellen Lopez on a revision/restructure plan for all degrees and produce a report to the provost for consideration by December.
  2. The committee did not reach consensus on the B.A. in philosophy. I intend to recommend that this program continue as currently offered because of the extensive work that program faculty have done in working across the universities to allow UAF students to receive a B.A. in philosophy.
  3. The committee recommended an improvement plan in one year for the B.A. in foreign languages. I intend to recommend that the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature work with Dean Lopez and submit a revision/restructure plan and produce a report to the provost for consideration by December.
The result of these recommendations would result in the deletion of only one certificate. This is not a surprise as the programs reviewed in this round were the relatively low-cost, high-enrollment programs. I believe that our opportunity to rewrite our budget is through revenue growth. Students attend UAF for the quality programs we offer. The recommended improvement plans and revision/restructure will help us revitalize key academic programs, which is one of our strategic goals. We need our programs firing on all cylinders to grow enrollment and achieve our goals beyond the compact. Our budget forecasting indicates that with planned cost reductions, continued downsizing of footprint, monetization of land/facility resources, and enrollment growth we will meet the FY22 budget and be positioned well for the future.

I look forward to receiving feedback on this round of program review at the listening session on Feb. 23 or via this form any time until Feb. 26. You can also give feedback by participating in the session by Zoom, or watch online at

Thank you for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor
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