UAA Initiatives

Based on two Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues grants, a unique partnership between the University of Alaska Anchorage, a large, public university, and Alaska Pacific University, a small, private university, launched two initiatives.


Engaging Controversy

  • Offered faculty development intensives to increase the skill level of faculty across the disciplines in proactively introducing controversial topics into the classroom
  • Launched a Books of the Yea program which engages the university communities in discussions on controversial topics based on shared texts
  • Created Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education

Alaska Native Ways of Teaching and Learning

The program is run through UAA’s Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence and the UAA Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Engagement and Academic Support.

For presentations or consultation, please contact Difficult Dialogues Director Libby Roderick at or 907-786-4605.