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.
- Deliver outreach and public service to Alaskans as a Land, Sea, and Space Grant university.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|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: Generate $103 million in grant-funded research expenditures in FY19, and $100 million in FY20.
Grant-Funded Research Expenditures (in millions of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: Grant-funded research expenditures totaled $101.0M in FY18, down 5.1% from FY17 and 5.7% from FY14. The FY17 to FY18 decrease came as federal grants and contracts to UAF fell by $2.9M and State of Alaska grants and contracts fell by $1.3M.
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.
Grant-funded research expenditures are forecast to increase from FY18 to FY19 based on historical proposal activity, but expenditures are expected to decline again in FY20 and thereafter.
Target #2: Confer 50 doctoral degrees in FY19 and 45 in FY20.
Doctoral Degrees Awarded
Analysis of results and challenges: UAF awarded 55 Ph.D. degrees in FY18, six more than in FY17 and eight more than FY16. However, a continuing increasing trend is unlikely because doctoral student enrollments have declined by 15.25% since FY14. 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. In addition, research grant expenditures, which fund many Ph.D. students’ stipends and research, are down 5.6% since FY14, although an upswing is forecast for FY19.
|B1: Core Service - Conduct research focused on Alaska and the circumpolar Arctic, leveraging university resources with external grants and contracts.|
Target #1: Maintain research efficiency measured in terms of research expenditures (in thousands of dollars) per faculty FTE at $205/FTE in FY19 and FY20.
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 for FY18 was $228.9, marking a drop of 3.2% from FY17, but a 14% increase over FY14. 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, and our goal is to maintain that performance.
|B2: Core Service - Increase enrollment in doctoral degree programs.|
Target #1: Enroll 339 students in doctoral degree programs in FY19 and 329 in FY20.
Students in Doctoral Degree Programs
Analysis of results and challenges: Ph.D. student enrollment was 350 for FY18, a decrease of about 20% from the peak in FY12 (which included all UA PhD students) and 15% relative to FY14. 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. Although research expenditures are forecast to increase in FY19, PhD enrollment will likely continue to be affected by the recent downward trend in state general fund support for the University, which has decreased the number of teaching assistantships available to Ph.D. students.
|C: Result - Increased the graduation rate of first-time full-time degree-seeking freshmen.|
|C1: Core Service - More credits enrolled per degree-seeking student per semester.|
Target #1: Increase the percent of baccalaureate degree-seeking students attempting 15 or more credits to 34 percent in FY19 and FY20.
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 32% and 33%, with FY18 at 32.6%. 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: Increase the percentage of associate-level degree-seeking students attempting 15 or more credits to 13 percent in FY19 and FY20.
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 12% to 13% over the past five years, with FY18 falling a percentage point to 11.9% from 12.9% in FY17. 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: Generate $219.9 million in university-generated revenue in FY19, and $217.4 million in FY20.
University-Generated Revenue (in millions of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: University Generated Revenue was down 5.4% to $222.3M for FY18 compared with FY17, primarily due to declines of $7.8M in federal receipts (-8.5%), $2.8M in capital improvement project receipts (-50.6%), $1.1M in dormitory, food service and auxiliary receipts (-6.6%), and $1.1M in tuition and fees (-2.2%). 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 FY14 to FY18, University Generated Revenue was down 5.5%, mostly tracing to decreases in State of Alaska restricted fund support of the University. Tuition and fee revenue has increased 8.2% over the past five years due to rate increases; SCH generation has declined 15.6% 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 after several years of budget uncertainty and extensively publicized program reductions. The future prospects for increasing University Generated Revenue are guarded. 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. Nearly 30% of University Generated Revenue is directly related to enrollment (tuition, fees, dormitories, food service, and other auxiliary services), and UAF is being compelled to eliminate some academic programs due to reduced funding and the Board of Regents mandate to reduce the duplication of programs among UAA, UAF, and UAS.
|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: Generate $51.4 million in student tuition and fee revenue in FY19, and $52.2 million in FY20.
Student Tuition and Fee Revenue (in millions of dollars)
Analysis of results and challenges: Although student credit hours for FY18 were down 2.2% compared with FY17, the tuition rate again increased by about 5% (varying slightly by level) and some fees increased as well. Over the five-year period since fall 2014, tuition and fees revenue has increased by 8.5%, primarily due to rate increases. 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 15.6% 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. UAF aims to increase tuition and fee revenues by increasing fees where appropriate to cover increasing costs of commodities and services; working with the Board of Regents to set tuition policies that preserve access while securing sufficient revenue; effective student recruiting; and continued efforts to retain students until graduation. Having sufficient capacity in High Demand Job Area programs and other academic programs is important to continued recruiting success, and program eliminations will make it more difficult to reach enrollment goals.
|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: Generate 149,200 credit hours in FY19 and 144,500 in FY20.
Student Credit Hours (in thousands)
Analysis of results and challenges: At 153,984, FY18 Student Credit Hours (SCH) were 6.8% below FY17 and 15.6% below FY14. An important factor in the enrollment declines over the past three years is the decreased number of high school graduates in Alaska, which reached a peak of 8,245 in 2010, decreased to 7,668 in 2014, rebounded to 8,108 in 2016, then fell again to 7,681 in 2017 (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, with September unemployment rising to 5.9%. 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. For FY18, UAF internally reallocated more than $1M (including both continuing and one-time funds) to support additional recruiting, development of online-programs, and other steps to improve enrollment. 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: Enroll 900 first-time freshmen in FY19 and FY20.
First-Time Freshmen Enrollment
Analysis of results and challenges: From fall 2016 (FY17) to fall 2017 (FY18) first-time freshman enrollment decreased by 9.0% to 812. This marks a decrease of 17% since 2014, and the lowest number of first-time freshmen at UAF since 800 in 1999. 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: Enroll 330 new transfer students in FY19 and FY20.
New Transfer Student Enrollment
Analysis of results and challenges: New transfer student enrollments were down 1% from 322 in FY17 to 319 in FY18 and 14% from FY14 to FY18. 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: Generate 42,000 credit hours at UAF eLearning and Distance Education in FY19, and 44,000 credit hours in FY20.
SCH Generated by UAF eLearning and Distance Education
Analysis of results and challenges: eLearning and distance SCH increased 5.2% from FY17 to FY18, continuing a strong upward trend that has produced a 41% increase since FY14. 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: Reduce instructional cost efficiency measured in terms of total instructional and student-related expenditures per student credit hour delivered to $800/credit hour in FY19 and FY20.
Instructional & Student-Related Expenditures per SCH
Analysis of results and challenges: Instructional and student-related expenditure per SCH delivered was $846.60/SCH in FY18, ian increase of 4.9% from FY17 to FY18 and an increase of 0.7% since FY14. 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: Generate 45,000 citations in 2015-2019, and 47,000 citations in 2016-2020.
Analysis of results and challenges: Citations to publications authored by UAF faculty, staff, and students numbered 40,964 for FY18, up from 36,332 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 2013 through 2017), 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: Generate 704 publications in 2019, and 690 publications in 2020.
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 718 for FY18, up slightly from 717 in FY17.
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 2017 being reported for FY18. 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.
|G: Result - Provided knowledge transfer to Alaskans through public service.|
Target #1: Increase Outreach Units to 350 in FY19 and FY20.
Analysis of results and challenges: Pending final FY18 update from Cooperative Extension.
Outreach Units fell by 15% from FY17 to FY18, due to the continuing decline in Non-Credit Instructional Units, which have dropped by almost 90% since the baseline in FY12, and by a decline in 4-H participation that resulted from a statewide reduction in 4-H FTEs and the retirement of the Anchorage district agent.
UAF has recently developed systematic indicators of public outreach and engagement as part of its self-assessment for accreditation. Data for most of these are not available for all of the past years included in other parts of this performance report. Outreach consists of many and varied activities that are not easy to capture in a composite metric, but after consideration UAF adopted the following “outreach unit”, using FY12 as an example: (% of FY12 4-H participants) + (% of FY12 CES publications distributed or accessed) + (% of FY12 number of public workshops offered by CES, MAP, and others) + (% of FY12 UA Press books sold) + (% of FY12 noncredit instruction units). The result was 500 for FY12. The individual components comprising this outreach unit are described as strategies below. Since UAF does not have much historical performance information for these measures, it is difficult to predict normal annual variability or future performance. A substantial amount of year-to-year variability is expected, because some of the activities are grant funded, and others depend on opportunities that arise due to partnerships with organizations outside the university.
The biggest challenge for outreach is the vast area and widely distributed population of Alaska, which UAF strives to overcome by placing extension faculty in many communities around the state, having faculty and staff travel to other locations to deliver programming, on-line access to information, distribution of a wide variety of free and purchased publications, and 4-H programming throughout the state supported by volunteer leaders.
|G1: Core Service - Deliver outreach and public service to Alaskans as a Land, Sea, and Space Grant university.|
Target #1: Maintain Outreach publication distribution at 190,000 in FY19 and FY20.
Outreach Publication Distribution and Access
Analysis of results and challenges: In FY18, the Cooperative Extension Service recorded 190,887 publications sold or distributed, either physically or downloaded from the web site. This year marks a 7% increase over FY17 and an 8% increase over FY16. This continues last year's change in definition, excluding description page views as being less substantive measure of outreach to clientele.
Target #2: Sell 26,890 books and maps published by the UA Press in FY19 and 26,616 FY20.
UA Press Books and Maps Sold
Analysis of results and challenges: Book and map sales increased 6.6% from FY17 to FY18, but are down 5.1% since FY14. A total of 27,167 units were sold in FY18. Annual book sales by the University of Alaska Press vary depending on the popularity of new titles, but have been consistently above 23,000 units per year for the past five years. The University of Alaska Press is one of very few book publishers operating in Alaska today, and the only one that focuses on scholarly and educational books and e-books. Its publications cover an expanding range of subject areas, including politics and history, Alaska Native languages and cultures, science and natural history, biography and memoir, poetry, fiction and anthologies, children’s books, and original translations. The FY14 funding increment provided by the legislature is enabling the Press to continue to publish quality books about Alaska and the north, but reductions to other university funding may impact book production in the future. Because the Press is dependent on revenue from its books, fewer books published constitute a threat to its continued operation.
Target #3: Generate 400 non-credit units in FY19 and FY20.
Analysis of results and challenges: Non-credit instructional units fell by 49% from FY17 to FY18 and 85.7% from FY14 to FY18. The long-term downward trend is primarily due to a change in focus at Kuskokwim Campus, though reductions at other campuses have also contributed. Kuskokwim has handed over two substantial areas of non-credit instruction, Adult Basic Education and driver training, to Yuut Elitnaurviat, the Bethel vocational-technical center. In addition, vocational-technical workshops in areas like oil-fired boilers, wastewater treatment, hazwoper, and others have been transferred to Yuut Elitnaurviat. UAF aims to meet community demand for non-credit instruction, as long as costs can be met and as long as for-credit instruction is not adversely impacted, but does not have an institution-wide goal to increase it.
Target #4: Increase 4-H participation to 5,000 in FY19 and 6,000 in FY20.
Analysis of results and challenges: Participation in 4-H programs fell off dramatically in FY18 to 4,011, marking drops of 64% from FY17 and 73% from FY14. This decline, after years of more than 11,000 participants per year, is due to a statewide reduction in the number of 4-H FTEs, as well as the retirement of the Anchorage district agent.
The 4-H programs are coordinated by Cooperative Extension Service faculty and staff, and led by volunteers across the state. Reported headcount is duplicated, that is, if an individual participates in more than one 4-H activity that participant is counted twice. Reported participation much greater than that was reported in FY15 and earlier. However, a new reporting process was instituted in FY15.
Target #5: Maintain Cooperative Extension public workshops at 300 or more in FY19 and FY20.
Analysis of results and challenges: Pending FY18 update from Cooperative Extension.
Reduced numbers of faculty in the Cooperative Extension Service and Marine Advisory program due to state funding reductions will continue to result in decreasing numbers of workshops offered over the next several years.
Current as of October 26, 2018