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.
- Serve Alaska's employers by enrolling and graduating students in high-demand job area degree and certificate programs, including those in 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 eLearning & Distance Education (EDE) services
- 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 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 $104.3M in FY19, up 3.3% from FY18 and 7.0% from FY15.
UAF is the world’s leading institution in the number of annual research publications about the Arctic, but needs to continue to recruit and retain excellent faculty to increase its competitive advantage. Several other U.S. universities are making large investments in Arctic research centers, and these are increasing the competition for federal dollars.
The federal deficit reduction efforts beginning in FY13 are continuing to decrease the availability of both competitive and non-competitive research funding. Other factors reducing research expenditures include loss of funding to the International Arctic Research Center from agencies in Japan, and decreasing State of Alaska agency funding of research grants and contracts.
Target #2: Doctoral Degrees Awarded
Doctoral Degrees Awarded
Analysis of results and challenges: UAF awarded 37 Ph.D. degrees in FY19, 18 fewer than in FY18. Doctoral student enrollments have declined by 16.8% since FY15. 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 FY18 research efficiency was $245.0, marking an increase of 7.1% from FY18, and a 29.8% increase over FY15. Despite a decrease in research expenditures over the same period, the proportional decrease in research faculty FTE resulting from declining state support has been even larger. 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 321 for FY19, a decrease of about 27% from the peak in FY12 (which included all UA PhD students) and 16.8% relative to FY15. UAF’s Ph.D. programs are mainly in the sciences and engineering and are strongly intertwined with external research funding and graduate student research assistantships, so the decrease over the past five years in grant and contract funding is a major reason for the enrollment decrease over that period.
|C: Result - Increased the graduation rate of first-time full-time degree-seeking freshmen.|
Target #1: Baccalaureate Six-Year Graduation Rate
Target #2: Associate Three-Year Graduation Rate
Associate Three-Year Graduation Rate
|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. The percentage of baccalaureate-seeking part-time students (<12 credits) has been about 17% in recent years, but students classified as full-time usually take fewer than 15 credits as well. There was a significant downward trend in the percentage enrolling in 15 or more credits in earlier years, falling from 38% of baccalaureate-seeking students in fall 1998 to 30.6% in FY11. The proportion increased from FY13 through FY15, reaching 33.8%. Since then, the number has ranged between about 31% and 33%, with FY19 at 30.9%. The FY13 to FY15 increase was likely at least in part the result of the university Stay On Track campaign, which promoted enrollment in at least 15 credits per semester in order to graduate within the nominal time for the degree sought. That campaign is no longer active.
Target #2: Associate Track15 Rate
Associate-Level Degree-Seeking Students Enrolled in 15 Credits or More (%)
Analysis of results and challenges: The percentage of associate-level students enrolling in 15 or more credits has ranged from 10% to 13% over the past five years, with FY19 falling 1.5 percentage points to 10.4% from 11.9% in FY18. Most community campus students attend part-time and progress on this measure through the Stay On Track campaign has been slow but noticeable.
|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 down 7.9% to $204.7M for FY19 compared with FY18, led by declines of $11.5M in Student Tuition and Fees Revenue (-22.8%) and $5M in University of Alaska Receipts (-11.0%). 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 FY15 to FY19, University Generated Revenue was down 9.4%, mostly tracing to decreases in Capital Improvement Project Receipts and Student Tuition and Fees Revenue. Tuition and fee revenue has decreased 20.2% over the past five years due despite rate increases; SCH generation has declined 17.0% over this period, partly due to recent decreases in the annual number of high school graduates in Alaska and partly due to low unemployment rates, which particularly impact community campus enrollments. UAF likely continues to be affected by reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska with increasing budget uncertainty and extensively publicized program reductions. Almost 50% 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.
|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 FY19 were down 4.6% compared with FY18. Over the five-year period since fall 2015, tuition and fees revenue has decreased by 20.2%. Although UA tuition and fees have increased, they remain well below the WICHE average for undergraduate resident tuition at four-year institutions. SCH generation has declined 17.0% over the five-year period – partly due to recent decreases in the annual number of high school graduates in Alaska, and partly due to low unemployment rates, which tend to cause both recent graduates and older individuals to choose jobs over higher education. UAF is also being impacted in recent years by reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska overall, after several years of very public budget uncertainty and program reductions.
|D2: Core Service - Increase revenue generation from private gifts.|
Target #1: Raise $6.0 million in private gifts in FY19 and FY20.
Analysis of results and challenges: In FY18 private gifts totaled $6.0M. Private gifts vary substantially from year to year due to large bequests and other major gifts, so it is also important to look at longer term trends. The five-year average of private dollars raised is $9.0M, while the average for the previous five-year period was $7.3M. For the past several years UAF has had a focus on alumni development and individual giving. Economic uncertainty in Alaska due to very low oil prices made some donors less able or less willing to contribute in recent years.
|E: Result - Maintain student credit hour production.|
Target #1: Student Credit Hours
Student Credit Hours (in thousands)
Analysis of results and challenges: At 146,873.5, FY19 Student Credit Hours (SCH) were 4.6% below FY18 and 17.0% below FY15. An important factor in the enrollment declines over the past three years is the decreased number of high school graduates in Alaska, which have fallen since their peak of 8,245 in 2010 (Alaska Department of Education and Early Development). SCH are strongly influenced by roughly the past five years of high school graduates, given the median completion time for baccalaureate degrees of five years. An additional reason for decreased enrollments traces to economic conditions. Both nationally and at UAF CTC, postsecondary enrollment tends to decrease with decreasing unemployment. The Fairbanks September 2012 through 2016 unemployment rate (5.1%) was the lowest rate since November of 2007 and was significantly less than that in September 2011 (5.9%) (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). However, during 2016 unemployment rates increased a few tenths of a percent (relative to the same time the previous year) as the Alaska economy slowed. This trend continued into 2017 and 2018, with September unemployment rising to 5.9% and 5.7%, respectively. Reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska overall after several years of budget uncertainty and program reductions is likely another factor contributing to reduced enrollment and credit hour generation at UAF.
There is continued strong effort to recruit Alaskans to UAF, through contacts with high school juniors and seniors and through dual credit and Tech Prep partnerships with high schools. In addition, UAF has increased efforts to recruit transfer students from western states. As discussed in that measure, eLearning has been an area of growth in SCH. There are some positive developments for the Fairbanks economy that offer opportunities if UAF can muster the resources to respond, 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 2017 (FY18) to fall 2018 (FY19) first-time freshman enrollment decreased by 4.9% to 772. This marks a decrease of 19.0% since 2015, and is lowest number in at least 20 years. This decline is greater than that expected based on the decrease in Alaska or Fairbanks area high school graduates. However, the low unemployment rate, allowing some potential students to enter the workforce instead, has also reduced freshman enrollment. Reduced market appeal of the University of Alaska overall, after several years of budget uncertainty and program reductions also likely adds to the challenge of first-time freshman recruitment.
Target #2: New Transfer Enrollment
New Transfer Student Enrollment
Analysis of results and challenges: New transfer student enrollments were up 0.3% from 319 in FY18 to 320 in FY19 but down 8.3% from FY15 to FY19. Since most transfers occur within Alaska, the decreasing number of high school graduates also has affected transfer student numbers. Low unemployment rates also appear to decrease 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 eLearning & Distance Education (EDE) services|
Target #1: Student Credit Hour Delivery by eCampus
SCH Generated by eCampus
Analysis of results and challenges: eCampus SCH increased 11.0% from FY18 to FY19, continuing a strong upward trend that has produced a 41% increase since FY15. UAF has increased course and program offerings steadily in recent years. 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.
|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 FY19 were $686.2/SCH, a decrease of 19.0% from FY18 and 19.8% from FY15. Cost efficiency improvements since FY15 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 42,211 for FY19, up from 40,964 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 2014 through 2018), as reported in July of the following year. There is a break in data continuity from FY16 to FY17, as UAF has changed its data source for this measure from Web of Science to Scopus. Both are proprietary databases that include information on a vast number of research publications in the sciences (including social sciences) and engineering. Both also include information on the number of times each indexed publication has been cited by other publications, which is widely regarded as a measure of the recognition and use of scientific research. The Scopus database costs significantly less, but includes a wider range of publications.
Strategies to increase performance are the ones described under grant-funded research expenditures; 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 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 the primary measure of basic research output. Research and scholarly publications authored by UAF faculty, staff, and students and indexed by Scopus numbered 778 for FY19, up 8.4% from 718 in FY18.
This new definition was introduced in FY17, with accompanying break in data continuity, as UAF has changed its data source for this measure from Web of Science to Scopus, and from fiscal-year to calendar-year reporting, with calendar 2018 being reported for FY19. The definition includes journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and reviews, but not articles in press.
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 August 15, 2019