What is prioritization?

Prioritization is a self-evaluation process used by many high-ranked universities. The prioritization process was designed to help UAA make informed, thoughtful change to benefit our students. Prioritization is a thorough, participatory and transparent process, involving faculty and staff input throughout.

When did prioritization start?

UAA began work in May 2013.

Can you offer a short summary of the prioritization process?

UAA faculty and staff submitted reviews of their own academic programs and support functions to two task forces—the Academic Task Force and the Support Task Forces. Both task forces included seasoned faculty and staff who committed to take an institutional perspective throughout the process. Task force reports  were issued in August 2014. The analysis of those reports took place during Fall 2014, and the Chancellor’s Cabinet issued its final implementation recommendations in February 2015. For a more in-depth look at the prioritization process, please visit the prioritization archive. (link)

Why did UAA decide to go through this process?

For UAA, prioritization is about becoming the best institution possible. It was important for us to take a significant look at ourselves to make sure we were offering the programs and services that best meet the needs of our students and the state.

Is prioritization about money? Is it the same as budgeting?

Initially, prioritization was started because UAA hadn’t done such a comprehensive self-evaluation in its more than 50-year history, and it was time. However, while the university was in the midst of the process, the budget climate for the entire University of Alaska system shifted from flat funding to significant cuts for the foreseeable future. UAA will use the prioritization report as one of several tools to strategically reallocate resources while under financial constraints.

When do changes and/or recommendations for the report go into effect?

Some changes may happen quickly, others may take place over an extended period of time. Each recommendation has an implementation or review date included. Academic program changes will undergo an expedited program review as required by the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents policy.

Is this the last we’ll hear about prioritization?

Though this is the first time UAA has undertaken this process, the university intends to use this framework to evaluate programs on a regular basis.

Who can I contact to get more information?

Please email uaa_prioritization@uaa.alaska.edu.

Media Contacts

For interview and information requests, journalists may contact:

Kristin DeSmith
Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Relations
(907) 786-1263

Sarah Henning
Public Relations and Marketing Manager
(907) 786-1435 office | (907) 250-3352  cell

If you’re a journalist who would like to sign up to receive future press releases from UAA University Relations, please email sarah.henning@uaa.alaska.edu.