Community Campus Change and Leadership Group


Since (1987) University of Alaska Anchorage has included the Anchorage campus and four community campuses: Kenai Peninsula College (including the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna and the Kachemack Bay Campus in Homer), Kodiak College, and Mat-Su College. In 2015 Prince William Sound College came under the UAA accreditation. The Anchorage Campus provided central administrative and other services supported by state funding and community campuses provided local services and instruction supported principally by a combination of state funding and tuition revenue. The community campuses made substantially independent decisions about faculty hires and academic offerings with the goal of serving local communities.  The UAA community campuses were early adopters of online distance teaching and over time, with some exceptions, the UAA community campuses increased the proportion of online classes offered at each college. While community college faculty are members of academic units on the Anchorage campus, this relationship could be better defined and strengthened. The community campuses remain important components of UAA and play a vital role in fulfilling the university’s mission for student success and relevant workforce development as well as enhancing the reputation of UAA in communities throughout southcentral Alaska.

Given drastic changes in state funding, demographics, workforce needs, and student needs enrollment at the community campuses has suffered. Average class size for lower division general education courses has declined due to too many sections being offered across the UAA system. A business model that does not promote coordination of instructional capacity across all campuses is no longer sustainable in the State’s economic environment. For this reason, Chancellor Sandeen formed a Change and Leadership Group, led by John Stalvey, to optimize campus relationships across UAA. 


  • John Stalvey, Special Assistant to the Chancellor


  • Christi Bell, Associate Vice Chancellor & Director Business Enterprise Institute
  • Ryan Buchholdt, Interim Director, Budget Office
  • Louise Butler, Operations Manager AI&E
  • Talis Colberg, Director, Mat-Su Campus
  • Scott Downing, Assistant Professor of English, Department of Arts and Humanities, Soldotna-Kenai Campus
  • Rachel Graham, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Mat-Su Campus
  • Rachael Hannah, Associate Professor Biology
  • Barbara Harville, Professor of Communications
  • Erin Holmes, Associate Vice Provost, Institutional Research
  • Dennis Humphrey, Associate Professor of English, Valdez Campus
  • Jeff Jessee, Dean, College of Health
  • John Petraitis, Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Valerie Robideaux, Director, First Year Advising & Student Success
  • Quentin Simeon, Interim Assistant Director, Native Student Services
  • Kathryn Slagle, Term Assistant Professor of Radiologic Technology
  • Stacia Straley, Professor of Accounting and Finance
  • Cindy Trussell, Professor, Biological Sciences, Kodiak Campus
  • Lora Volden, Associate Vice Chancellor Enrollment Services


  • Optimizing Campus Relationships Across UAA: Community Campus
  • Mission, Academic Program Alignment, and Business Model


This Change and Leadership Group is asked to make recommendations to the chancellor on the mission, course offerings coordinated across UAA to optimize average class size, academic resources to support student success and meet student curricular needs effectively and efficiently, the community campus business model, and relationship between community campus faculty and academic units on the Anchorage campus.  General guiding considerations should include:

(1) UAA mission fulfillment
(2) collaboration and cooperation across campuses
(3) evidence-based understanding of student need/demand
(4) optimize instructional capacity based on student need
(5) university financial health
(6) foster and maintain strong stakeholder relationships for community campuses.

 Specific questions I would like the task force to address include:

  • Current state analysis, including current mission
  • Best practice peer review
  • Needs assessment
  • Refinement of mission
  • Desired future state (options):
    • Organizational Structure/Policies and Procedure
    • Outcome measures to measure progress and success

Current State Analysis Summary

The Change and Leadership Group was constituted and charged with analyzing the current state, investigating best practices for academic alignment at other multi-campus universities, and recommending options for improving academic alignment across UAA campuses.     
The complexity of the charge to The Change and Leadership Group led the Group to focus on separate examination and analysis of the current states of:  Course Capacity and Seat Utilization, Departmental Inclusion of Faculty; Student Pathways and Upper Division Courses; and Finance and Budget Models.  Below is a summary of the results of the current state analysis.   

Course Capacity and Seat Utilization 

Based on the data reviewed across five academic years (2015 to 2019) and from all campuses, the current state of course capacities and seats utilized is complex and is influenced by a mosaic of factors. The course capacity and seat utilization subgroup reviewed vast amounts of enrollment data across the curriculum and decided to focus on GER courses as well as some courses for degree programs (AA, AAS, and certificates) that are offered through multiple campuses. The subgroup also considered possible relationships between course enrollment number and pass rates and the pattern of enrollment across campuses. The subgroup analyzed data from five academic years (2015 to 2019), Fall semesters over three- or five-year periods (2017-2019 or 2015-2019), and a single representative Fall semester (2019) depending on the analysis. The data was disaggregated for gateway campus (campus where admitted), campus where course(s) was/were taken, Tier I and Tier II GER, distance and face-to-face, or some combination of these.  
Analysis of the enrollment data and class capacities for a majority of Tier I GER courses, the number of students in a section was similar (both range and size) across campuses for both modes of delivery (distance or face-to-face), and regarding the maximum capacity for any given course and discipline. Science related GERs showed a more varied distribution of class size and capacity across all campuses and mode of delivery. The greatest differences among Tier I GER’s occurred when the course was less than 70% capacity. The range of differences existed across campuses, for the mode of delivery, and combinations of the two factors. The absolute number of Tier I courses that filled below 70% also differed by campus, mode, and combinations. There were discipline-specific differences for maximum capacities for both Tier I and Tier II GER courses.  Tier II courses had a greater range of section size and maximum capacity across campuses and mode of delivery. These data highlighted the hefty challenge of interpreting fill rates across campuses and modes of delivery but raised a question about the possible relationship of course pass rates to enrollment numbers. It also was apparent that enrollment management and/or coordination of face-to-face delivery should merit different criteria than enrollment management of distance delivery. 
Enrollment patterns show that the vast majority of UAA students for Fall 2019 took courses exclusively at their gateway campus while a small group of students took courses from more than one campus. Across all campuses, a simple majority of the Student Credit Hours (SCHR) were generated by hybrid-enrolled students (enrolled in at least one face-to-face and one distance course) for Fall 2019 and the vast majority of the SCHR from hybrid enrolled students were taken at the students’ Gateway Campus.  Although the number of hybrid enrolled students decreased Fall 2020 due to the dramatic reduction in face-to-face course offerings, the proportion of SCHR earned at the gateway versus another campus for hybrid enrolled students was similar to pre-COVID-19 Fall 2019 proportions. There were differences across campuses in the likelihood that a student would have a hybrid schedule. There also were campus differences in the estimated amount of tuition flowing among campuses from students taking courses from more than one campus. 
Additional analyses included the relationship between the numbers of students enrolled and the course pass rate. These data do not lead to a simple analysis. In /Tier I GER's, where course capacities and enrollment were often similar across sections, there did not appear to be a relationship between enrollment and course pass rate. However, there were significant differences in the course pass rate among different sections for any given enrollment number. In contrast to Tier I, Tier II courses tended to have greater ranges of capacities and enrollments per section. These data suggest for some Tier II courses the course pass rate did appear to be negatively related to the number of students enrolled, especially at enrollment above 40 to 50 students. In other large-enrollment courses (up to 100 students) there did not appear to be a relationship between pass rate and number of students enrolled. Face-to-face sections had the largest ranges of enrollment and there was a tendency for a greater range of course completions. 

Department Inclusion of Faculty 

The departmental inclusion of faculty subgroup sought to understand whether there were college and/or departmental documents that addressed inclusion of community campus faculty in departmental governance.  Language in Board of Regents Policy P04.04 and the UNAC CBA, Article 9 sections 2.6 and 2.7 (1/1/2017 – 12/31/2019 extended through 12/31/2021) implicitly affiliates full-time (non-adjunct) faculty members with an academic unit and UAA hiring document require that specific department(s)/discipline(s) and college(s) be identified as part of the initial hiring approval.  Although university policies and procedures recognize the affiliation of faculty with specific academic homes, only a few departments have documents that discuss inclusion of faculty across campuses and there are no systems in place for requiring or supporting faculty inclusion across campuses and the extent of inclusion varies widely. There are a number of examples of departments that informally reach across campuses and create a sense of shared departmental governance as well as a number of departments that share information in various areas and some departments that have success in particular areas.  
The subgroup also devised a set of questions to be posed to faculty at each campus and college to better understand the extent of the relationships spanning campus locations. The subgroup posed these questions to open discussion:   
  1. What kinds of departmental connections do you have with faculty on other campuses?   
  2. Are you satisfied with them?   
  3. What would make them better?   
  4. How can I represent your interests to the committee and the overall group?   
One hundred and eighty comments were recorded from the eight sessions.  The qualitative analysis of the comments reveals a complex network of relationships, successes, struggles, and misunderstandings.  One unexpected finding is that, despite the COVID-induced stress of the academic environment in the last year, there is a sense among the faculty that relationships have improved with the advent of mediated (Zoom) meetings.  The effective nature of Zoom technology has facilitated departmental connections.  An unsurprising finding was the expression of faculty dedication to students that emerged in every discussion across every campus.   
Data on Departmental Inclusion of Faculty is qualitative, so we are limited in identifying the extent of issues, but we can say that a number of issues emerged in the following ways.  Every community campus and all but one College (8/9 entities), raised concerns about the lack of structural support for connecting faculty across campuses.  Although there were universal concerns about support for faculty relationships across campuses, there is enormous variability across a spectrum of the relationships themselves. 
Similarly, everyone raised concerns about academic issues and one of the problems that emerged in the data analysis is that while there are shared concerns, perceptions of the concerns and locus of the problems varied greatly.   Issues of financial or economic concerns were also universally identified; and while there is agreement that there are problems, as with the academic issues, perceptions of the problems and the locus of the problems were varied.  While faculty from each campus and college had particular perspectives on the issues, four shared themes emerged from the analysis of faculty comments across UAA.      
  1. Academic Issues emerged as a shared theme across campuses.  These issues describe the intellectual life of UAA, including the activities and success of students and faculty as well as the academic success of the institution. Academic issues include instructional methods, rigor and assessment; institutional accreditation; and faculty-related processes such as hiring and review.    
  2. Financial or economic Issues also emerged as concerns shared by faculty across campuses and include the generation, distribution, as well as sharing of and competing for financial resources.    
  3. Departmental relationships emerged across campuses as a theme that describes the importance of effective interpersonal relationships within departments to the success of the institution and satisfaction and effectiveness of faculty members.    
  4. Structural Support describes the need that faculty members see for systemic support to improve academic, financial, and relationship issues.  The complexity of institutional networks manifests multiple levels of relatively undefined relationships across campuses.  Department success across campus appears to rely primarily on the interests and skills of individual faculty members, who have developed the skills to navigate the network of relationships.    
The analysis of the faculty discussions presents opportunities for learning about, stabilizing, and even improving, faculty departmental relationships across campuses. 

Pathways and Upper Division Courses 

The pathways and upper division subgroup investigated pathways for community campus students to enter baccalaureate degrees through a community campus gateway, such as 2+2 arrangements to articulate associate degrees into baccalaureate degrees, either in the same discipline or across disciplines. There also were associate degrees that did not articulate easily into a baccalaureate version in the same discipline, as well as associate degrees for which there were no disciplinary baccalaureate versions. The subgroup also examined upper division course offerings on community campuses. 
Pathways: There are existing meta major pathways in use by First Year Advising on the Anchorage campus, but we found no evidence of their use outside of First Year Advising. Many programs have degree maps that could be called pathways, but they are in silos within those programs and not connected to other pathways for continuing education or for changing majors. Four-year program pathways at Anchorage generally do not have articulations with two-year programs in the discipline at community campuses.  In recognition of this, Academic Affairs is working with programs to identify and provide opportunities for articulation and pathways, using as a model the recent B.A. in Elementary Education articulation with UAS to develop these opportunities across UAA campuses.

In technical programs, there are clear pathways from OEC to AAS to the BS in Applied Technologies Leadership at Anchorage, but technical programs from community campuses do not have obvious on-ramps into AAS or BS programs at Anchorage. 
Articulation agreements:  We found isolated 2+2s and Articulation MOUs, but not many, and most in silos within individual programs. Some of these UAA or UA articulations were treated much the same as articulation agreements with schools outside UAA or the UA system. There are also some articulations with schools outside UA in cases where no like program exists in the UA system. Where agreements did exist, it was difficult to determine whether course scheduling processes deliberately included courses listed in articulation agreements if they were not program-internal courses. For example, the Associate of Arts Pathway to BA in Elementary Education includes course requirements from multiple disciplines, some of which may not be incidentally offered in smaller community campus course rotations. 
Upper Division Courses: Upper division course offerings at community campuses occur in isolated cases in a few disciplines, and there does not seem to be a universal, programed process for scheduling them. There was no written guidance other than a form to request permission to offer an upper division course on a community campus. The subgroup also found that there is considerable discord over scheduling upper division courses, at least in part due to scheduling issues. Where such scheduling does exist, there is not uniformity across disciplines, and it happens on case-by-case bases rather than as part of a coordinated rotation. 
Placement: Initial placement in math and writing can also impact student progression from the outset. UAA has universal placement scores for reading, writing, and math across all campuses. There are also multiple-measure placement efforts in parts of the university, but they are not universal. For example, Anchorage has a well-developed process of team assessment of writing samples by multiple writing faculty, but not all community campuses are connected to this process for student placement. Current information about multiple measures placement on the Anchorage campus is accessible through first year advisors. 
Conclusions: UAA currently lacks systemic, university-wide processes for articulating student progress from community campuses into 4-year programs in Anchorage or for the offering of upper division courses on community campuses. The isolated cases we found can serve as models for expanding Pathways across the curriculum as we seek best practices for creating more and better pathways to student success via articulation of programs, of student support, and of administrative processes.  Emerging cross-campus efforts in this area are promising and indicate it is feasible. Findings from the Departmental Inclusion of Faculty subcommittee may be useful in plotting a way forward for coordination of upper division courses on community campuses.

Finance and Budget Models 

The Finances and Budget Models subgroup sought to understand the responsibilities each community campus bears that the colleges in Anchorage do not, as well as the unique financial connections to the local communities the campuses serve. This understanding illustrates the key resource drivers that will remain regardless of the recommendations made by this committee. We will need to conduct deeper financial analysis as recommendations are solidified. Additionally, we will need to assess the impact of changing resource allocation models for the academic units at the Anchorage Campus to identify any unintended consequences and opportunities for synergies for community campuses early in the process.  
The operational needs of the community campuses include, but are not limited to: 
  • Physical plant maintenance and operations, such as utilities, snow plowing, custodial services, regular and preventative maintenance; capital budgeting and campus planning; and funding debt service obligations. 
  • Health, safety, and risk management: lab safety; hazardous material procurement and disposal; Community-Right-to-Know reporting; compliance with OSHA standards and transportation safety; and signing MOUs on behalf of the campus and partner entities. 
  • Authority for the security of the campus community and property, including making determinations on open and closed status due to inclement weather and major incidents. 
  • Delegated responsibility for fiscal and budgetary processing functions that are handled by the Financial Services department for Anchorage Campus units. 
  • Library and student services, on-site IT services, and bookstore auxiliary operations. 
  • The community campuses are responsible for several SW and UAA central cost assessments for administrative support, such as risk, computing, and general administrative assessments. These costs are new as of the Compact between the Board of Regents and the Governor.   
On the Anchorage Campus, central departments that receive their own budget allocations are responsible for these operational activities and SW assessments, so they are not as front and center in the academic and earned revenue decisions in the colleges on the Anchorage campus as they are at the community campuses. It is important to recognize that the campus directors and their management teams must allocate adequate resources to maintain and operating the physical campuses, in addition to managing the delivery of academic programs.  
It is also important to recognize that the Community Campuses are not all the same. For example, the Mat-Su College has a theater that serves as a cornerstone for the community. Prince William Sound College has a museum heavily used by the local community and visitors. The Kenai Peninsula College and Prince William Sound College both have housing and residence life activities. KPC operates two campuses and additional extension sites, while PWSC has extension sites. Kodiak College has an off-site Industrial Arts Building. This illustrates that the operational needs and considerations of the community campuses may vary based on their size and their historical ties with the local communities.  
The value of the traditional linkages to the local communities is visible in the fact that the boroughs and local governments provide financial support to the campuses, either through direct monetary funding, scholarships, a combination, or through partnerships such as Mat-Su’s Middle College. This is a critical item to consider as UAA looks at adjusting the scope and autonomy of the campuses. If actions diminish the campuses abilities to meet their local community needs, that local support may contract or cease all together. 
The Change and Leadership Group is developing a process for options to promote positive change based on the current state analysis.  


Pathways and Upper Division Courses

Charged with examining the current state for pathways, articulations, and upper division course offerings in a multi-campus model, the Change and Leadership Group recommends UAA review the following findings, resources, and implementation considerations to advance these initiatives.


There is ample evidence and documentation concerning the effectiveness of clear degree completion and articulation pathways in terms of initial recruitment to persistence to completion.

Degree program pathways models

Arkansas Division of Higher Education Career Pathways Initiative.

Valencia College. Associate in Arts Degree Pathways.

Articulated program pathway models

Ohio State University. Pathway articulations. (1+3, 2+2, 2+3, 2.5+2 among 5 institutions).

Tulsa Transfer Collaborative. Transfer articulations.

Valencia College. Articulation agreements (2+2 with 12 state universities).


Student-facing guidance

Burnham, K. (2018, October 18). “How to turn an associate degree into a bachelor’s degree quickly.” Northeastern University: Bachelor’s Degree Completion. [blog].

Penn State World Campus. Associate in Science in Human Development and Family Studies.

Tulsa Community College. University Transfer: Degree Pathway Search Tool.

Education Advisor Board (EAB) toolkits

EAB. (2017). Bringing Guided Pathways to Life.

EAB. (2019). Experiential Major Maps Workbook: a how-to guide for designing and deploying experiential major maps

EAB. (2020). How to Build an Experiential Major Map: four key elements for designing experiential major maps. [Infographic].

EAB. (2020). 2020 Case Study Compendium: highlighting 21 institutions that improved outcomes to deliver a return on education for their students.

Field Experts

Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Scholar. Community College Research Center (CCRC).

Implementation Considerations:

Academic Considerations:

As defined by the Change and Leadership Group, academic Issues refer to the intellectual life of UAA, including the activities and success of students and faculty as well as the academic success of the institution. Difficulties in coordinating pathways in the UAA context include a lack of collaboration between campuses, colleges, and departments that impede the ability to streamline guided pathways and articulations effectively.

Recommendations for Implementation

  • Identify pathways commonly navigated by students in a cross-campus fashion and assemble teams to create the articulated pathways, supplying a model to be replicated by other units. For example, elementary education is among the most frequent majors for UAA community campus AA graduates who continue to baccalaureate study, and the existing articulation agreement with UAS for elementary education can serve as a model for how UAA can create internal agreements and articulations to keep UAA community campus graduates at UAA for their bachelor’s level study.

Areas to consider include

  • Course sequencing audit
  • Pre and corequisite audit
  • Advising, particularly in relation to Academic Pathways used with first year advising
  • Curriculum and delivery method coordination
  • Memoranda of Agreement
  • More majors must be completable through remote access to upper division courses needed to complete the baccalaureate degree.
    • Start with the most sought-after baccalaureate degrees
      • Education
      • Business
      • Nursing
    • Include programs with plateaued or declining enrollments to engage new constituencies
    • Develop on-line/remote/community campus options for upper division courses
    • Include faculty from across all campuses

Resource Considerations:

As defined by the Change and Leadership Group, resource challenges refer to  factors that include the generation, distribution, competition for, and sharing of, resources.

Recommendations for Implementation

  • Identify additional stakeholders who can participate in the planning and management of articulated academic pathway creation, implementation, and alignment.

Areas to consider

  • Enrollment Services: Student Experience Designer
  • Advancement: Student Web Experience
  • Student Success: EAB Student Success Collaborative (Seawolf Tracks) application administrator
  • Academic Advising: Academic Advising Steering Committee
  • Pathway creation implications on faculty workload
  • Pathway creation implications on academic advising workload
  • Pathway creation implications on technological needs and resources
  • Pathway creation implications on student navigation and experience.
  • Research potential grant funding for a broad UAA pathways initiative. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education, for example, implemented a Guided Pathways initiative in colleges statewide using funding from a Kresge Foundation grant. Strong national emphasis on persistence and completion has attracted grant funding for many such initiatives (Achieving the Dream, Complete College America, Guided Pathways, etc.).

Relational Considerations:

As defined by the Change and Leadership Group, relationship issues have to do with intra-departmental and cross-campus interpersonal issues which vary significantly from department to department.  Relationship issues include difficulties connecting across campuses; lack of a sense of community across campuses; and perceived status and power imbalances across campuses.

Recommendations for Implementation

  • Identify pathways as a university-wide initiative and champion the efforts through cross-campus opportunities for dialogue, feedback, and professional development opportunities.

Areas to consider

  • Showcase existing pathways, articulations, and early adopters and corresponding impact data.
  • Incentivize cross-campus coordination through awards or recognition for faculty and staff.

Structural Considerations:

As defined by the Change and Leadership Group, structural support issues have to do with the needs for systemic support to improve academic, financial, and relationship issues.

Recommendations for Implementation

  • Identify and leverage existing cross-campus departmental collaborations through recognition and/or formalization. For example, the UAA English department has started efforts to make their 4-year degrees deliverable on any UAA campus through a combination of distance learning and the utilization of qualified faculty on community campuses.
  • Develop cross-campus structure to facilitate articulated academic pathway design and agreements

Areas to consider

  • Define roles, responsibilities, and expectations for initiative stakeholders
  • Articulation agreement specifics
  • Coordinated scheduling processes
  • Initiative assessment
  • Long-range planning, maintenance, review, and revision
  • Where possible, encourage faculty from all campuses to collaborate in a coordinate way to provide online pathways to complete all the degree requirements for a BA/BS degree, regardless of campus. For example, the Psychology BA/BS is intentionally designed  so that students – regardless of campus – can start that major in their first year and complete their degree requirements with online offerings.  More BA/BS programs should be designed that way and integrate the teaching expertise of faculty from all campuses.

Making Pathways Visible:

The best pathways we can build will be of little use if students don’t know about them.

  • Web presence: Outward-facing web advising resources should be designed with students and prospective students in mind.
  • Advising materials: Universal distribution and training in the pathways for advisors on all campuses
  • Catalog: Recommend pathways information be included in its own section and co-located with affected programs for cross reference
  • UAA Branding: All UAA internal articulations should make clear that UAA is UAA across all campuses while acknowledging the distinctiveness of each campus.

Departmental Inclusion of Faculty

The faculty inclusion subcommittee met with all community campuses and the chairs of all the colleges on the Anchorage campus, with the exception of the College of Health.  The subcommittee asked the following questions:

  • What kinds of departmental connections do you have with faculty on other campuses?
  • Are you satisfied with them?
  • What would make them better?
  • How can I represent your interests to the committee and the overall group?

We recorded 180 comments from eight sessions and completed a qualitative analysis.  Four major categories emerged during the analysis:

  • Academic issues
  • Resource Issues
  • Departmental relationships
  • Structural Support

A common theme running throughout the conversations on the community campuses and the Anchorage campus was concern for students and student success.  There were also a number of shared concerns, some with perspectives similar from campus to campus and some where the issues were seen from different viewpoints, depending on the campus.


While multi-campus colleges and universities are becoming more common, there is still limited research on the effects of the history of institutions, relationships of campuses to one another, influence of communities and the sense of inclusion and exclusion of campuses.  However, even this lack of research illuminates the complexity of relationships and issues.

While research is limited, we know that geographical separation of campuses results in differences of institutional identity and that communication gaps between campuses can lead to a sense of disempowerment and marginalization.  However, strategic and collaborative interactions across campuses can have significant influence on these issues because it creates a sense of cooperation, inclusion and ownership (Smit, 2016).

While it is certainly true that collaborative interactions require time and effort as well as skills and motivation and may not necessarily provide specific outcomes that participants had originally hoped for; among the benefits of collaborative planning and problem-solving are more cohesive communities, understanding of shared values and priorities, ownership and increased support of plans and actions, potential for increases in potential resources, and increased opportunities for partnerships across campuses. 

Jane Fountain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, suggests that collaboration is dependent on two dimensions, collaboration through people and collaboration through processes.

Collaboration Processes

The first dimension is collaboration through people.  Relationship skills must be developed for effective collaboration. Team members must be willing and able to work across jurisdictional boundaries to develop effective professional relationships and cohesive working groups. Skills needed by department members include active listening, fairness, and respect—qualities that produce trust in collaborative relationships. Department members need to be willing to create informal relationships outside regular hierarchical channels. Departments across campuses function well when productive communities based on trust and professional experience form around a problem, project, or practice.

The second dimension is collaboration through processes.  In addition to relationship skills, departments need effective organizational processes which include a focus on strategy, operations, systems, and their management. Effective organizational processes demand an organizational skill set that emphasizes rigor and clarity in setting goals, designing systems, building in milestones, attracting resources, and framing an organizational culture that crosses geographical boundaries.

Academic Challenges

Academic Challenges refer to the intellectual life of UAA, including the activities and success of students and faculty as well as the academic success of the institution. Academic issues emerge primarily in the form of concerns about academic rigor, including course delivery methods, teaching, student success, student-learning outcomes and assessment; faculty hiring processes, faculty review and objective faculty qualifications; and program and institutional accreditation.

Recommendations for Academic Challenges        

  • Identify departments that have effective policies related to academic issues, use those policies as models for other departments to adopt or adapt
  • Develop policy recommendations for department interaction, for example, all hiring committees should have faculty from more than one campus

Areas to consider include

  • Academic Rigor
  • Accreditation
  • Advising
  • Curriculum coordination
  • Faculty Hiring, Review and Qualifications
  • Review
  • Faculty Qualifications

Resource Challenges

Resource Challenges refers to the generation, distribution, competition for, and sharing of, resources.  For faculty, these issues emerge primarily in the form of enrollment management and course scheduling; teaching resources; and funding allocation.

Recommendations for Resource Challenges

  • Identify stakeholders who can participate in planning and management of department resource issues; identify department members to participate in creating recommendations; consider multi-department approach

Areas to consider include

  • Competition
  • Enrollments/Enrollment Management
  • Finances / Funding Allocation
  • Scheduling
  • Shared teaching resources

Relationship Challenges

Relationship Challenges have to do with intra-departmental and cross-campus interpersonal issues which vary significantly from department to department.  Relationship issues include difficulties connecting across campuses; lack of a sense of community across campuses; and perceived status and power imbalances across campuses.   Confounding relationship issues is the dialectical tension of independence and connection.

Recommendations for Relationship Challenges

  • Set policy regarding department meetings. All full-time discipline faculty across campuses should be invited to their department meetings.
  • Select a cadre of departments to begin establishing relationships and interaction, one suggestion is to select departments from different colleges who have faculty serving the on the Change and Leadership Group for example, Biology (CAS); Communication (CTC); Accounting (CBPP).
  • Set goals and expectations for this group, including sharing progress with their colleges and campuses.
  • Establish spaces for faculty members to come together over shared interests and experiences

Areas to consider include

  • Service assignments to integrate faculty members in the department and build faculty connections across rank and campuses
  • Regular department meetings; employing distance technology
  • Department-specific teaching related projects and policies
  • Department-specific student success projects and policies
  • Chair meetings: individual faculty meetings with department chairs

Structural Support Challenges

Structural Support Challenges have to do with the needs for systemic support to improve academic, financial, and relationship issues.  Faculty would like to see clarification of authority, responsibility, relationships, communication, and support, to help them to work more effectively across campuses.

Recommendations for Structural Support Challenges

  • Provide Anchorage department chairs with a list of contacts at community campuses for faculty information
  • Provide community campuses with list of Anchorage department chairs and staff support contacts
  • Develop cross-campus structure to facilitate communication, relationships, and financial issues
  • Identify stakeholders who are involved at each level of interaction (department, college, campus, academic affairs)

Areas to consider include

  • Regular department leadership meetings with the provost, deans, and directors to discuss cross campus issues
  • Shared departmental calendars and social media
  • Define roles, responsibilities, and expectations at each level of interaction, for example, chairs, deans, directors
The recommendation from this area is to continue study in the Fall 2021 semester.