Alaska Native Student Success Task Force

Task Force Members


  • Claudia Lampman, Vice Provost for Student Success, Office of the Provost
  • Paul Ongtooguk, Term Assistant Professor, Alaska Resources Library and Information Services


  • Audrey Alstrom, Regional Director, Alaska Native Science & Engineering Programs
  • Michael Bourdukofsky, Chief Operations Officer, Alaska Native Science & Engineering Programs
  • Jeane Breinig, Associate Vice Chancellor, Alaska Natives & Diversity
  • Kelly Foran, Director, TRIO Student Support Services
  • Beth Leonard, Professor, Alaska Native Studies
  • Angela Peacock, Program Manager, Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation
  • Don Rearden, Professor, Community & Technical College
  • Libby Roderick, Associate Director, Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence
  • Mikayla Savikko, Regional Director, Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program
  • Aleesha Towns-Bain, Executive Director, Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation
  • Deanne Woodard, Associate Dean, University Studies
  • Mike Ulroan, Regional Director, Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program
  • Michele Yatchmeneff, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

About this Task Force

Alaska Native students comprise more than 10 percent of the total student population at UAA and is a population that’s growing. Anchorage has the largest community of Alaska Native people in the state. UAA has a long history of serving Alaska Native students. Several programs (ANSEP, RRANN, Native Student Services) exist to serve this important student segment. Graduation rates for Alaska Native students have improved in recent years. Our new orientation program and first year advising programs should continue to contribute to positive change. However, a significant achievement gap remains between Alaska Native students and students from other racial/ethnic groups at UAA. Many other universities in the US have made better progress in fostering indigenous and rural student success. What we are currently doing can be improved. UAA can and should do better.

This Task Force is asked to make recommendations to the chancellor on the structure, function, activities, and programs to support Alaska Native student success through a reimagined Native Student Services program. General guiding principles should include: (1) collaboration with and no duplication of existing student services (e.g., advising, financial aid, student conduct, etc.); (2) evidence-based interventions with defined metrics to measure success; (3) collaboration and cooperation across existing Alaska Native serving programs at UAA; and (4) voluntary participation of faculty (e.g., no mandating co-location of all Alaska Native faculty offices).

Charge to the Task Force

Specific questions to be addressed by the task force include:

  • Current state analysis. What is the current state of academic programs and student services programs to support Alaska Native students at UAA? How are they staffed and funded? Conduct a valid survey of a sample of Alaska Native students who dropped out or stopped out of UAA to ascertain principle reasons for their decisions to leave.
  • Best practice peer review. Review and report on at least 3-4 effective programs that effectively serve indigenous and rural students. What interventions have been effective? How might these apply to the unique needs of Alaska Native students at UAA? What organizations structures/positions are in place at these institutions to support indigenous and rural student success?
  • Intervention identification and support structures. Based on the analysis in previous sections, identify 2-3 high impact interventions we should deploy at UAA (e.g., transition program, peer mentoring, freshman learning community, etc). Propose an organizational structure (staffing) to support these interventions.
  • Evaluation. Propose specific outcome measure we will track to assess effectiveness of our interventions.
  • Desired future state. Based on answers to the above, what are options for developing an effective Alaska Native student success program at UAA? What resources would be required? What are the priorities and next steps we would take to grow and develop such a program? (Be realistic, but do not restrict your thinking due to resource concerns.)


This task force will provide recommendations by April 30 2019.

After Task Force Final Recommendations

  • Chancellor will review recommendations
  • Recommendations will be circulated to campus community for input
  • Chancellor will review input and further consult with shared governance, cabinet and others
  • Chancellor will announce a decision
  • Implementation will begin in Fall 2019