Work team convened to draft formal System Office Mission Statement

February 18, 2022

The System Office Administrative Review completed in May 2021 recommended that the System Office formalize a mission statement “that explicitly affirms the role of the office” stating that it should be primarily one of support and collaboration rather than one of command and control. This was based on a similar recommendation made by the Statewide Transformation Team in 2015. In response, Acting CHRO David Bishko asked the review committee co-chairs, Ian Hartman and Monique Musick, to develop a process for drafting such a mission statement. 

With the support of Interim President Pat Pitney, a team comprising representatives from the three universities and the System Office convened on January 21 to organize and initiate that process. Many of the members had previously served on either the administrative review committee or on the Statewide Transformation Team. 

The goal of this project is to build clarity behind the role of the System Office, ensure alignment with leadership vision and system priorities, create accountability, and develop a measure against which employees across the university system can evaluate the work they are doing and how it contributes to the mission of the University of Alaska system.

The work team members are:

  • Monique Musick, System Office, Manager Communications & Marketing - lead
  • Ian Hartman, UAA, Assoc. Professor of History
  • Michelle Pope, System Office, Director of Human Resources Operations
  • David Bishko, System Office, Acting Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Wayne Mowery Jr., System Office, Assoc. General Counsel
  • Michael Ciri, UAS, Vice Chancellor Administrative Services
  • Bruce Schultz, UAA, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Andrew Aquino, System Office, Project Coordinator
  • Nettie La Belle-Hamer, UAF, Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Ronnie Houchin, UAF, Associate Director for Student Engagement, Staff Alliance representative

Creating an open and inclusive process for input and feedback is critical to the success of this endeavor. The team is committed to providing regular updates and communication, holding forums, remaining open for feedback and collaboration, and engaging stakeholders to create the best possible product including the use of surveys, face-to-face meetings, feedback forms, and ranking of proposed mission statements. 

Stakeholders across the university system can follow updates on the process and provide feedback through the System Office Mission website. 

The stakeholder engagement process is kicking off in February with meetings with the System Office Staff Council, system governance groups, and a survey for System Office employees. Based on themes revealed through the initial feedback, the team will propose draft mission statements for ranking and feedback from the entire university community. Ultimately final options, and the rationale for their development, will be sent to the Executive Leadership Team and finally Interim President Pat Pitney for approval. The work is expected to conclude in early May. The final mission statement will be introduced to the Board of Regents to consider formal inclusion in policy this fall.