The University’s Forgotten Virtue

daniel-piscoya-1BY DANIEL PISCOYA
Managing Editor, UAS Whalesong

Staff Writer Erin Laughlin’s article about the 2017 Innovation Summit includes a quote from a short interview of Chancellor Caulfield. Caulfield states that UAS’s commitment to innovation can be seen “in terms of new, cutting-edge online degree programs, and high impact learning opportunities through internships, job shadowing, and field research opportunities.”

These innovations play to UAS’s strengths: our proximity to the capitol through internships, our proximity to the sea through field research opportunities, and our proximity to far-away students via online degree programs.

However, the interview itself is also a play towards UAS’s strengths. Erin’s conversation with the Chancellor was unscheduled – she simply walked over to the Hendrickson building and knocked on the door. Continue reading “The University’s Forgotten Virtue”

The Strategic Path: Student Success

Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
For the UAS Whalesong

We are entering year four of significant budget cuts. When the largest budget item is the payroll, it is no wonder we are feeling a little stressed out. Budget reductions result in workforce reductions. We are also roughly half way through a cumbersome reorganization (aka, Strategic Pathways). Up to this point, the endgame has been vague and the logic behind some of the changes has been elusive. As a result, the appetite for change seems to be shrinking.

Reorgs are stressful, that is a given. Budget reductions are stressful, that is a given. To some, this might feel like a rock and a hard place. In this place of higher learning, we can find a constructive path forward if we focus on the one reason we are here – student learning. Continue reading “The Strategic Path: Student Success”

In Response to the Editorial: Is the University Forgetting its Purpose?

Chancellor, University of Alaska Southeast
For the UAS Whalesong

As UAS Chancellor I appreciate the questions raised in the recent Whalesong editorial: Is the University Forgetting its Purpose? The editorial focused on costs of the new UAS entrance sign and other facilities, and about budget priorities when UA budgets are reduced. The writer wonders if building renovations come at the expense of courses, degrees, faculty, and staff that are the heart of any university. Continue reading “In Response to the Editorial: Is the University Forgetting its Purpose?”

The University’s Real Image Problem

daniel-piscoya-1BY DANIEL PISCOYA
Managing Editor, UAS Whalesong

According to the FY2017 Approved Operating and Capital Budgets, I have seen the University raise tuition by over 12% (Appendix B) since I arrived in Fall 2013, and then request an additional 5% increase in the FY2018 Operating and Capital Budget Requests.

As made clear in the titles of the documents above, the University’s Operating Budget (programs, staff salaries, tuition) and its Capital Budget (renovations and campus signs) are two very separate things. An increase in one does not necessarily offset the other. Continue reading “The University’s Real Image Problem”

Is the University Forgetting its Purpose?

daniel-piscoya-1BY DANIEL PISCOYA
Managing Editor, UAS Whalesong

UAS made it into the Juneau Empire on Jan. 11 for our new campus welcome sign. In an article titled “New UAS welcome sign gives nod to cultural significance of campus location,” Capitol City Weekly Reporter Clara Miller  elaborated on Vice Chancellor Joe Nelson and Professor Lance Twitchell’s push to include Tlingit at the entrance to UAS’s Juneau Campus.

While Nelson and Twitchell’s victory is well-earned and it’s high time – all of UAS student housing’s signs have Tlingit on them already – I’d like to draw attention more to the sign itself than what language is on it. Continue reading “Is the University Forgetting its Purpose?”

The Symposium Continued: How to Do Something About Everyday Discrimination

Student Activities Coordinator
For the UAS Whalesong

When helping to plan and organize the Power & Privilege (P&P) Symposium for the first time on the Juneau campus last year, I was often asked by students, colleagues, and community members: “Why?” They were genuinely curious, as you might be, too. Why is a Symposium that focuses on how social hierarchies and identities manifest themselves in our communities  needed or even relevant on a college campus? They’d say things like: ‘Aren’t we past that?’ ‘This sounds like a liberal issue.’ ‘People are making a bigger deal of these issues than they need to.’

As we work to prepare for next year’s event, I’d like to address some of these concerns through the context of microaggressions. We likely all recognize discrimination when it’s blatant, such as: the Orlando gay nightclub shooting and numerous examples of police brutality against members of racial minority groups in the last year. These macroaggressions might be dismissed or minimized by some as extreme, isolated incidents. But many scholars, social justice advocates, and people of minority status see these macroaggressions as indicative of larger societal inequities in the United States. Continue reading “The Symposium Continued: How to Do Something About Everyday Discrimination”

New Year’s Resolutions: How to Reach Your Goals in 2017

adelle-labrecqueBY ADELLE LaBRECQUE
Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong

Welcome back, readers—and Happy 2017! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season and are enjoying the New Year so far. Are you ready to begin the spring semester? Excited for any specific courses? I hope so!

On the note of “The New Year,” how many of us have set New Year’s Resolutions for ourselves? How are they going? Are you enjoying the progress? Are you meeting your expectations? Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions: How to Reach Your Goals in 2017”

Thoughts on the Power and Privilege Symposium

Peer Advisor & SAB Member
For the UAS Whalesong

As a current member of our Student Activities Board and a past Student Activities staff I was delighted to hear about the Power & Privilege Symposium coming to UAS. The Power & Privilege Symposium (P&P Symposium) was adapted to our UAS campus from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and came to our campus by way of our Student Activities Board. As a board, we sent two students to our regional conference (National Association of Campus Activities- West) and through the education sessions there, one of our staff members Tara Olson and one of the students, Felix Thillet Jr. learned about this symposium from the Whitman College students themselves. Continue reading “Thoughts on the Power and Privilege Symposium”

Spotlight: UAS Electrician Shawn Eggers

For the UAS Whalesong

With autumn solstice long gone, the darkness deepens, shadows lengthen, flexing muscles. The summer brightness falters. In September, as brilliant leaves fall, light weakens. October stumbles into November, then in limps December. The diminished daylight is dismal if you happen to be fan of lightness. Like, who isn’t? Continue reading “Spotlight: UAS Electrician Shawn Eggers”

The Symposium Continued: Decolonizing the Curriculum

Professor of History, Chair of Social Sciences
For the UAS Whalesong

Who speaks? Who’s heard? And how many voices are heard? In my work as a teaching professor, these are the questions I continually ask myself when making decisions about decolonizing the curriculum in my history courses.  For me, it’s a work in progress – for nearly twenty years now at UAS, with another dozen years of teaching history at the secondary level and as a university instructor before that. How to decolonize my history courses? I don’t have authoritative answers, but I do have a few principles to follow. Continue reading “The Symposium Continued: Decolonizing the Curriculum”