Update on building Alaska’s Health University

December 16, 2010

To: UAA Community
From: Mike Driscoll, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
RE: Update on Building Alaska’s Health University

On Sept. 21, Chancellor Ulmer and I announced a proposed reorganization of the health programs to reside in a health-based college at UAA. Since that time, I have met with faculty and staff from the College of Health and Social Welfare, the College of Arts and Sciences, Allied Health, WWAMI and the Department of Biology in a series of preliminary consultations to identify key issues involved in such a reorganization. A number of complex issues were brought to my attention during these meetings, and as a result, there will be some changes to our original plan. We had intended to form a comprehensive task force that would make recommendations to the Chancellor and me by the end of December. However, thanks to the valuable input from our UAA stakeholders, I have decided to change course and organize a Health Conference to take place this coming January. Attendees and facilitators will be named shortly. At the conference, five task-driven teams will address issues raised regarding the proposed reorganization:

  1. Executives: The three academic deans whose colleges are involved in the reorganization
  2. Faculty: Curriculum and Professional Practice
  3. Faculty: Research and Professional Practice
  4. Faculty and Staff: Student Success
  5. Staff (Fiscal Officers): Administration

I will also be consulting with students and an external advisory team whose members will consist of community partners and other Alaska health care stakeholders.

Based on recommendations of the conference participants and the external advisory team, I will prepare a new draft proposal for the health-based reorganization. The UAA community, along with our external partners, will have an opportunity to comment on the draft proposal during the month of February. After changes are made based on feedback, the proposal will be forwarded to the Chancellor’s Cabinet for assessment, review and finalization.

Once approved by UAA leadership, the proposal will be submitted to the President and the Board of Regents (BOR). We anticipate this will be an item on the April BOR’s meeting agenda. If the reorganization is deemed a substantive change within the meaning of regional accreditation policy, it will also need to be reviewed and approved by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Though there has been a change in plan since the September announcement, our target date for implementation of the new organization still remains July 1, 2011.

Thank you for your consideration, your valuable input and your commitment to UAA and our students.

Additional information, documentation and periodic updates may be found at: http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/academicaffairs/health-reorganization.cfm.

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