Mission, Values, Vision

Brief History of UAA

View the UAA History Timeline

The University of Alaska Anchorage traces its origins back to 1954, when Anchorage Community College (ACC) was founded. That year, ACC began offering evening classes to 414 students at Elmendorf Air Force Base—the first time that college-level courses were offered in the Anchorage area. In 1962, ACC, along with other community colleges around the state, was incorporated into the University of Alaska statewide system. Five years later, ACC began offering both day and evening classes at the current campus location. ACC provided academic study for associate degrees, the first two years of work toward baccalaureate degrees, and a wide variety of adult learning, career and continuing education programs.

In the late 1960s, strong interest in establishing a four-year university in Anchorage brought about the birth of the University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC). While ACC administered the lower division college, ASC administered upper division and graduate programs leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees, as well as continuing education for professional programs. In 1971, the first commencement was held at Anchorage’s West High School, where 265 master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees were awarded. ASC moved to the Consortium Library Building in 1973. The following year, when the first classroom and office facility was completed, daytime courses were offered for the first time. In 1977, ASC became a four-year university and was renamed the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UA,A). Ten years later, ACC and UA,A merged to become what is now known as the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

Today, some 20,000 students attend UAA, a growing and expanding university of first choice. More than 200 programs, ranging from certificate programs to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees, are offered at the campus in Anchorage, community campuses, and extension centers throughout Southcentral Alaska.

UAA Mission

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) transforms lives through teaching, research, community engagement and creative expression in a diverse and inclusive environment. Serving students, the state, and the communities of Southcentral Alaska, UAA is a comprehensive, open access, public university established on the ancestral lands of the Dena’ina, Ahtna Dene, Alutiiq/Sugpiaq, Chugachmiut, and Eyak peoples.

Approved by the University of Alaska Board of Regents on February 25 , 2021

Vision

We are known as a university of distinction, transforming lives and communities.

Aspirations

  1. We put students first.
  2. We create a culture of equity and inclusion by embracing our diversity.
  3. We embrace our role as a trusted and respected community partner.
  4. We positively impact communities and the world through innovation.
  5. We accelerate excellence through continuous improvement. 

International and Intercultural Values Statement

UAA is committed to international and intercultural education. As part of UAA’s participation in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory, the following values were developed in consultation with faculty, students and staff. These values help guide the development of international and intercultural programs and services at UAA. UAA and its students aim to:

  • Understand one’s own culture(s) within an Alaskan, national and global context.
  • Apply knowledge and critical thinking to global and cultural issues, trends and systems, and use diverse frames of reference to address problems.
  • Communicate and connect with people in other communities to extend one’s own access to information, experiences and understanding.
  • Foster additional languages, including Alaska Native languages, as a component of the UAA experience.
  • Develop an informed critical awareness and understanding of cultural differences, similarities and ambiguities.
  • Gain an Alaskan, national and international perspective on careers.

The above were approved by the International and Intercultural Task Force on March 9, 2012, and approved by the provost and executive vice chancellor and the vice chancellor for Student Affairs on May 2, 2012.

Diversity Statement

UAA recognizes and values the diversity of our unique location in Southcentral Alaska, the ancestral homelands of the Dena’ina Athabascan, Ahtna Athabascan, Alutiiq/Sugpiak, and Eyak peoples.

We honor diverse experiences and perspectives—including differences in ideas, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, culture, nationality, age, disability, veteran and socioeconomic status—and strive to create welcoming and inclusive learning environments where all are treated with respect.

At UAA, valuing diversity is integral to excellence. Diversity maximizes our potential for creativity, innovation, educational excellence, and outstanding service to our communities.