DANSRD Fall Update: Planning for our future

The Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development met August 14 through 16 to discuss and plan for the upcoming academic year and beyond. We know that the budget issues this summer have caused a lot of uncertainty for students, faculty, and staff, but we want to assure you all that the Alaska Native Studies BA, Rural Development BA, and Rural Development MA remain fully available to students.

Here are some of the highlights and important information for students.

  • There will be budget cuts, but they will have limited impact on DANSRD program or course offerings at this time and DANSRD is offering a full slate of courses this fall. We expect to continue to offer full schedules in spring and into the future.
  • We are putting our community development toolbox and skills to good use with internal department strategic planning to strengthen our position within the university system so that we will continue to offer strong programs to students across the state. We don’t just teach it, we use it!
  • We met with fellow Indigenous focused programs Indigenous Studies and Tribal Management to find ways to strengthen our programs and course offerings and make the linkages and course progressions between our programs more seamless and clearer for all of our students.

We have seen some speculation that Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development will be “dissolved’ under the “New UA’ proposal. “Although we also have questioned why the New UA planning process does not have a formal place to consider Indigenous programs, we have heard nothing that indicates that our programs will be dissolved. A statewide Alaska Native Workgroup has met to synergize and plan around our shared goals, Alaska Native serving mission, and programs.

We must all remain engaged and vigilant. Please register for the courses you need this fall AND keep advocating for our programs and all Indigenous focused programs and services across UA.

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