Alaska Native Success Initiative

Native students

 


Goal

The University strives to better represent the Alaska population, for all to feel they belong, and for the change to be visible and recognized. 

The University of Alaska System, guided by the Board of Regents, is committed to:

  1. Improving the participation and success of Alaska Natives through educational achievement statewide, and
  2. Improving Alaska Native representation and success throughout the University of Alaska system.

Understanding that the university is also underrepresented in other minority groups, the work from this process will inform efforts to increase diversity and success throughout the university’s programs and operations. 


 Structure

A steering committee of leaders representing the University of Alaska Board of Regents, chancellors, and Alaska Native corporations, tribal entities, and organizations will help guide the process. The steering committee will serve in an advisory role to the university president.  

University based action teams led by their respective chancellor or designee will conduct a baseline evaluation of the climate for Alaska Native students, faculty and staff at each university. This evaluation will include both qualitative and quantitative data related to programs, recruitment, retention and academic success. 

Several members of the steering committee are members of the university action teams; this is by design to ensure alignment and communication across the working groups.


 Process

After the action teams develop the baseline evaluation of each universities’ current program offerings and data on the recruitment, retention and success of Alaska Native faculty, students and staff (Reference B), the steering committee and action teams will develop an overarching five-year plan with specific system-wide and university-based goals and targets.  Additionally, the process is expected to yield recommendations for policy and regulations changes.  

 Concurrently and independently, it is anticipated that the ANCSA Education Consortium will compile information on programs focused on increasing education attainment by Alaska Natives. Representatives involved in this effort will be invited to participate in developing the UA System five-year plan.


 Steering Committee

  • Sheri Buretta, Interim President and CEO, Chugach Alaska Corporation; UA Board of Regents Chair
  • Karen Carey, UAS Chancellor
  • Emily Edenshaw, President & CEO, Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Liz Medicine Crow, President and CEO, First Alaskans Institute 
  • Joe Nelson, Board Chair, Sealaska 
  • Gloria O’Neill, President and CEO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council; UA Board of Regents Member
  • Richard Peterson, President, Central Council, Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Pat Pitney, Interim UA President
  • Bruce Schultz, Interim UAA Chancellor
  • Geri Simon, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Daniel White, UAF Chancellor
  • Aaron Schutt, President and CEO, Doyon, Inc.

University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Michele Yatchmeneff, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering*
  • Jennifer Booz, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Emily Edenshaw, President & CEO, Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Claudia Lampman, Vice Provost for Student Success
  • Joe Nelson, Board Chair, Sealaska 
  • Chris Stuive, Associate Professor of Counseling, Kenai Peninsula College
  • Maria Williams, Professor of Music

University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Charlene Stern, Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community and Native Education*
  • Barb Amarok, Director, Northwest Campus 
  • Jessica Black, Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development 
  • Courtney Carothers, Professor, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
  • Keith Champagne, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Owen Guthrie, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
  • Carlton Huatala, Rural Student Admissions Counselor (invited)
  • Margaret Rudolf, PhD student, Arctic & Northern Studies
  • Gabrielle Russell, Manager, Indigenous Student Services 
  • Geri Simon, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Sean Asiqluq Topkok, Associate Proffesor, College of Liberal Arts Center for Cross Cultural Studies
  • Brooke Woods, student, Fisheries & Ocean Sciences
  • Reverend Anna Frank

University of Alaska Southeast

  • Ronalda Cadiente Brown, Associate Vice Chancellor for Alaska Native Programs*
  • Dionne Cadiente-Laiti, Tribal Education Programs Director, Douglas Indian Association
  • Dannielle Carlson, Rural Admissions Counselor
  • Mischa Jackson, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education
  • Joe Nelson, Sealaska Board Chair
  • Richard Peterson, President, Central Council, Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Lance Twitchell, Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages
  • Gloria Burns, Ketchikan Indian Community
  • Joe Hillaire, Nang, Sk’at’aas, student
  • Lauryn Framke, student
  • Sarah Peele, student

* Lead facilitators for campus action teams will serve as ex officio members of the steering committee.

Initiative staff

  • Roberta Graham, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Paul Layer, Vice President for Academics, Students and Research
  • Steve Patin, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Michelle Rizk, Vice President for University Relations

Timeline 2021

Mid-January 2021:
Kick-off meeting

  • Participants: steering committee, action teams, university diversity and equity staff, and representatives from the Alaska Native Studies Council, Racial Justice for UA and ANCSA Education Consortium. 
  • Purpose: Clarify and/or modify the qualitative and quantitative data for the baseline evaluation and refine expected outcomes of the process through development of the five-year plan. 

February and March:
University Action Team Meetings

  • Participants: university action teams
  • Purpose: university action teams will meet independently to collect and analyze data and begin to develop recommendations for their university and for the system

February and March:
Steering Committee meetings

  • Participants: steering committee members, initiative staff
  • Purpose: updates on university action teams, evaluate process and address specific issues

Mid-April:
University Baseline Evaluation Report Out and Plan Kick-off

  • Participants: Steering committee, action teams, university diversity and equity staff, and representatives from the Alaska Native Studies Council, Racial Justice for UA and ANCSA Education Consortium.
  • Purpose: Each action team provides a summary of the baseline evaluation.  Using the baseline, refine and kick off the process for completing the five-year plan with specific system-wide and university-based goals and targets

May-June:
Review the draft five-year plan

  • Participants: Steering committee, action teams, university diversity and equity staff, and representatives from the Alaska Native Studies Council, Racial Justice for UA and ANCSA Education Consortium
  • Purpose: provide input and refine draft five-year plan.

Early-June:
Board of Regents Meeting

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board, Steering Committee 
  • Purpose: provide the baseline evaluation per BOR motion.  Review draft five-year plan for board input. 

September:
Board of Regents Meeting

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board, Steering Committee 
  • Purpose: Approval of the five-year plan.

October:
Update to Alaska Federation of Natives

  • Participants: President, Chancellors, Board Chair