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The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is a Land, Sea, and Space Grant university and an international center for research, education, and the arts, emphasizing the circumpolar North and its diverse peoples. UAF integrates teaching, research, and public service as it educates students for active citizenship and prepares them for lifelong learning and careers.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Mission Statement
Board of Regents' Policy P01.01.030
- Serve Alaska's employers by enrolling and graduating students in high-demand job area degree and certificate programs, including those in teaching, engineering and health fields.
- Conduct research focused on Alaska and the circumpolar Arctic, leveraging university resources with external grants and contracts.
- Increase enrollment in doctoral degree programs.
- More credits enrolled per degree-seeking student per semester.
- Generate tuition and fee revenue consistent with maintaining access for low-income students and generate other revenue to the maximum extent possible and consistent with mission.
- Increase revenue generation from private gifts.
- Increase new student enrollment of first-time freshmen and transfer students.
- Increase student credit hour production facilitated by UAF eCampus.
- Increase efficiency in instructional expenditures per credit hour delivered.
- Publish research and scholarship, making the results widely available nationally and internationally.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Graduated more students who were qualified to take a high-demand job in Alaska.|
|A1: Core Service - Serve Alaska's employers by enrolling and graduating students in high-demand job area degree and certificate programs, including those in teaching, engineering and health fields.|
|B: Result - Increased capacity in externally-funded research, and increased conferrals of doctoral degrees.|
Target #1: Grant Funded Research Expenditures
Grant-Funded Research Expenditures (in millions of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: Grant-funded research expenditures totaled $136.2M in FY21, up 22.8% from FY20 and 28.0% from FY17.
UAF's unique geographic location and natural laboratory environment make it a research destination for scientists around the world and have helped position UAF as a top Arctic research university. Globally, UAF is the 4th leading institution in the number of annual research publications about the Arctic and needs increased investment in research to recruit and retain excellent faculty to increase its competitive advantage and regain first place. Several other U.S. universities are making large investments in Arctic research centers, and these are increasing the competition for federal dollars.
Target #2: Doctoral Degrees Awarded
Doctoral Degrees Awarded
Analysis of results and challenges: UAF awarded 39 Ph.D. degrees in FY21, 10 less than in FY20. Doctoral student enrollments have declined by 20.4% since FY17. That decrease is partly due to the end of several grants that specifically targeted enhancement of doctoral education. UAF will be seeking additional grants of this nature.
|B1: Core Service - Conduct research focused on Alaska and the circumpolar Arctic, leveraging university resources with external grants and contracts.|
Target #1: Research Efficiency
Research Expenditures per Faculty FTE (in thousands of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: Research efficiency is defined as the research grant and contract expenditures, in thousands of dollars, per faculty member research FTE. The FY21 research efficiency was $338.7, marking an increase of 27.7% from FY20, and a 43.2% increase over FY17. While research expenditures over this period increased, research faculty FTE decreased, contributing to increased research efficiency. UAF secures much more research funding per faculty member than its peer institutions.
|B2: Core Service - Increase enrollment in doctoral degree programs.|
Target #1: Doctoral Enrollment
Students in Doctoral Degree Programs
Analysis of results and challenges: Ph.D. student enrollment was 308 for FY21, representing a decline of 16.5% relative to FY17. UAF's Ph.D. programs are mainly in the sciences and engineering and are strongly intertwined with external funding and graduate student research assistantship opportunities, which have decreased over this time period as the university has contracted in response to reduced funding from the State of Alaska.
|C: Result - Increased the graduation rate of first-time full-time degree-seeking freshmen.|
Target #1: Baccalaureate Six-Year Graduation Rate
Baccalaureate Six-Year Graduation Rate
Analysis of results and challenges: UAF's FY21 baccalaureate 6-year rate means that 43.0% of the students who entered as full-time first-time freshmen in Fall of 2014 graduated with a baccalaureate or equivalent degree by the end of the sixth academic year following initial enrollment. This rate reflected a rise of 3.8 percentage points from 39.2% in FY17.
Target #2: Associate Three-Year Graduation Rate
Associate Three-Year Graduation Rate
Analysis of results and challenges: For students pursuing Associate Degree, Certificates or Occupational Endorsements, 30.6% of the fall 2018 entering cohort received an award by the end of the third academic year following initial enrollment. This rate reflected a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from 32.3% in FY17.
|C1: Core Service - More credits enrolled per degree-seeking student per semester.|
Target #1: Baccalaureate Track15 Rate
Baccalaureate Degree-Seeking Students Enrolled in 15 Credits or More (%)
Analysis of results and challenges: Most students do not enroll in enough credits each semester (15) to graduate in the nominal time for their degree level. In recent years, about 17% of baccalaureate students attend part-time, but students classified as full-time usually take fewer than 15 credits, as the federal definition of full-time status is 12 credits. The percentage of baccalaureate-seeking students enrolling in 15 or more credits fell from 32.1% in fall 2016 to 25.2% in fall 2020. These declines in credit hour loads are largely attributable to the COVID pandemic, but it should also be noted that credit hour loads vary depending on a variety of factors, such as availability of appropriate courses, general economic conditions in the state and personal family considerations.
Target #2: Associate Track15 Rate
Associate-Level Degree-Seeking Students Enrolled in 15 Credits or More (%)
Analysis of results and challenges: Most students do not enroll in enough credits each semester (15) to graduate in the nominal time for their degree level. The percentage of associate-level students enrolling in 15 or more credits also fell from 12.9% in fall 2016 to 9.7% in fall 2020. These declines in credit hour loads are largely attributable to the COVID pandemic, but it should also be noted that credit hour loads vary depending on a variety of factors, such as availability of appropriate courses, general economic conditions in the state and personal family considerations.
|D: Result - Generated a significant amount of revenue from sources other than the State of Alaska, such as Federal receipts, university receipts, private gifts, and student tuition and fees.|
Target #1: University Generated Revenue
University-Generated Revenue (in millions of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: In early estimates, University Generated Revenue was up 13.5% to $261.4.1M for FY21 compared with FY20, with a decline of $0.8M in Student Tuition and Fees Revenue (-1.9%) and an increase of $29.3M in Federal Receipts (31.8%). Federal receipts were mainly competitive grants or contracts supporting research, but Title III and other funds supporting educational programming are also significant. Over the five-year period from FY17 to FY21, University Generated Revenue was up 10.5%, mostly tracing to increases in Federal Receipts and Indirect Cost Recovery, but these increases were offset by decreases in Student Tuition and Fees Revenue, CIP Receipts, and Dorm, Food & Auxiliary Services. Tuition and fee revenue has decreased 8.6% over the past five years despite rate increases; SCH generation has declined 5.6% over this period, partly due to recent decreases in the annual number of high school graduates in Alaska and partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic reducing spring 2020 enrollments. UAF also continues to be affected by reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska with increasing budget uncertainty and extensively publicized program reductions. Almost 59% of University Generated Revenue is federal grants and contracts and indirect cost recovery that is mainly derived from those. A large majority of federal grants and contracts are competitively funded based on proposals submitted by UAF, and as faculty and staff numbers are declining due to state funding reductions, it is progressively more difficult to continue to submit the large number of proposals required to increase these revenues.
|D1: Core Service - Generate tuition and fee revenue consistent with maintaining access for low-income students and generate other revenue to the maximum extent possible and consistent with mission.|
Target #1: Tuition and Fees Revenue
Student Tuition and Fee Revenue (in millions of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: Student credit hours for FY21 were down 5.6% compared with FY20. Over the five-year period since fall 2016, tuition and fees revenue has decreased by 10.5%. Although UA tuition and fees have increased, they remain below the WICHE average for undergraduate resident tuition at four-year institutions. SCH generation has declined 21.4% over the five-year period -- partly due to recent decreases in the annual number of high school graduates in Alaska, and partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic reducing enrollment from spring 2020 forward. UAF enrollment was also impacted in recent years by reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska overall, after several years of highly publicized budget uncertainty and program reductions.
|D2: Core Service - Increase revenue generation from private gifts.|
Target #1: Private Gifts
Private Gifts (Millions)
Analysis of results and challenges: In FY21 private gifts to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) totaled over $9.8M, marking a 10% increase from the previous year. In December 2020 UAF Development joined UAF Alumni Relations and UAF University Relations, forming UAF University Advancement. Furthermore, UAF Development increased stewardship activities, and implemented new ways to engage donors, alums and friends to inspire gifts of significance to the University. Regardless of the economic challenges facing Alaskans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the community support for UAF in FY21 grew, continuing an upward trend in giving since 2018.
|E: Result - Maintain student credit hour production.|
Target #1: Student Credit Hours
Student Credit Hours (in thousands)
Analysis of results and challenges: Student credit hours (SCH) continue to decline. At 129,900, FY21 Student Credit Hours (SCH) were 5.6% below FY20 and 21.4% below FY17. Reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska overall after several years of budget uncertainty and program reductions is a factor contributing to reduced enrollment and credit hour generation at UAF. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect SCH rates. From FY18-to-FY19, 43.5% of the decline in SCH occurred in spring 2019 and 35.8% of the FY17-to-FY18 decline occurred in spring 2018, both representing less than half of the total SCH decline. In contrast, 68.2% of the decline from FY19-to-FY20 occurred in spring 2020, at the start of the pandemic. For FY21, semester-specific declines were closer to pre-pandemic levels, with 45.5% of the year's decline occurring in spring.
There is continued strong effort to recruit Alaskans to UAF through contacts with high school juniors and seniors and through dual enrollment partnerships with high schools. In addition, UAF has increased efforts to recruit transfer students from western states. Online and distance education has been an area of growth in SCH, with eCampus and distance learning increasing from FY20-to-FY21 by 37.9% and from FY17-to-FY21 by 73.8%. This notable increase for FY21 is attributable to the rapid conversion of the majority of UAF course offerings to distance delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also some positive developments for the Fairbanks economy that offer opportunities, including the basing of two squadrons of F-35s at Eielson Air Force Base and the construction of the Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear.
|E1: Core Service - Increase new student enrollment of first-time freshmen and transfer students.|
Target #1: First-Time Freshman Enrollment
First-Time Freshmen Enrollment
Analysis of results and challenges: From fall 2019 (FY20) to fall 2020 (FY21) first-time freshman enrollment decreased by 2.5% to 654. This marks a decrease of 26.7% since fall 2016. The decline was influenced by decreases in high school graduates, which dropped by 5.1% for Alaska and 7.5% for the Fairbanks area in 2020 compared to the previous year. The COVID-19 pandemic depressed enrollment during FY20 with many 2020 high school graduates choosing to delay entry into college for a variety of reasons, including financial challenges, lack of child care, and lack of in-person course offerings. To combat declining first-year student rates, UAF has expanded dual enrollment under the Alaska Advantage and the North Star College programs, as well as recruitment efforts in the Lower 48 with place-based admission counselors in Oregon/Washington and California. UAF also expanded online course and program offerings, increasing distance learning opportunities for students residing outside of Fairbanks.
Target #2: New Transfer Enrollment
New Transfer Student Enrollment
Analysis of results and challenges: New transfer student enrollments were down 4.9% from 307 in fall 2019 (FY20) to 292 in fall 2020 (FY21) and down 9.3% from fall 2016 (FY17). Since most transfers occur within Alaska, the decreasing number of high school graduates also has affected transfer student numbers. Reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska overall after several years of budget uncertainty and program reductions also likely depresses recruitment of new transfer students. UAF has been making articulation agreements with community colleges in western states, and these are beginning to yield some transfer students.
|E2: Core Service - Increase student credit hour production facilitated by UAF eCampus.|
Target #1: Student Credit Hour Delivery by eCampus
SCH Generated by eCampus
Analysis of results and challenges: UAF eCampus SCH increased 37.9% from FY20 to FY21, continuing a strong upward trend that has produced a 73.8% increase since FY17. A significant proportion of FY21's increase can be attributed to courses being delivered online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, a variety of steps have been taken to increase student satisfaction and success, including online course redesign, increased instructor interaction with students, and addition of student advising and support services. UAF eCampus has increased online course and program offerings steadily in recent years. Notably, UAF eCampus partnered with edX to deliver 11 courses and 2 professional certificate programs through a massive online open course format, which is anticipated to deliver content to more than 10,000 participants in its first year. While this activity is not reflected in the measure of student credit hours, it serves as an incredible global marketing opportunity to attract students to formal UAF academic programs.
|E3: Core Service - Increase efficiency in instructional expenditures per credit hour delivered.|
Target #1: Instructional and Student-Related Expenditures per SCH
Instructional & Student-Related Expenditures per SCH
Analysis of results and challenges: Preliminary numbers indicate that instructional and student-related expenditures per SCH delivered in FY21 were $920.0/SCH, an increase of 0.6% from FY20 and an increase of 14.0% from FY17. The increase in this ratio was a direct result of reduced SCH generation for FY21 and increased expenditures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise, cost efficiency improvements since FY17 have mainly been due to increases in instructional workload of faculty, with reduction of research and service workload. Countering those are steady increases in faculty compensation and benefits costs. Gradual future improvement is anticipated, as some low-enrollment programs are eliminated and as some courses are taught collaboratively among UAA, UAF, and UAS to increase headcount/course.
|F: Result - Disseminated high quality research for Alaska.|
Target #1: Journal Citations
Analysis of results and challenges: Citations to publications authored by UAF faculty, staff, and students numbered 45,782 for FY21, up from 42,851 last year. The specific measure reported is the number of citations of papers published during the last complete 5-year period (in this case, calendar years 2016 through 2020), as reported in July of the following year.
Strategies to increase performance necessitate increasing research grant funding through strengthening our leadership position in Arctic and Alaska research. However, increasing performance is very difficult when new and replacement faculty hires are limited and matching funds required for grant acquisition decline due to reductions in state funding of the University.
|F1: Core Service - Publish research and scholarship, making the results widely available nationally and internationally.|
Target #1: Scholarly Publications
Publications Reported by the Scopus
Analysis of results and challenges: Publications are a primary measure of basic research output. Research and scholarly publications authored by UAF faculty, staff, and students and indexed by Scopus numbered 799 for FY21, up 8.9% from 734 in FY20.
Publication numbers are substantially dependent on the FTE research faculty, the number of graduate students and staff engaged in research, and on the grant and contract revenue supporting research, as well as on the productivity of individual faculty, staff, and students. Increasing research grant funding and the number of faculty engaged in research are the main strategies to increase performance on this measure. However, publications are unlikely to increase over the next several years, due to declining faculty and graduate student numbers because of reductions in state funding of the University.
Current as of November 18, 2021