Western Academic Leadership Forum

WALF 2009 Annual Meeting

Taking Stock: Strategic Leadership in Changing Times

April 22-24, 2009 | Anchorage, AK | Hosted by: University of Alaska Anchorage UAA logo




5:00-5:15 pm

Michael Driscoll, WALF Chair; Provost, University of Alaska Anchorage and Fran Ulmer, Chancellor, University of Alaska Anchorage

5:15-6:00 pm

Turbulent Times for Higher Education and National Affairs
Terry W. Hartle, Senior Vice President, Division of Government and Public Affairs, American Council on Education
The keynote address will provide a federal relations update related to critical issues facing higher education in the West, impacts of the economic downturn, and prospects for economic stimulus package funding for student aid and university infrastructure projects.

6:00-6:30 pm

Roundtable Discussions
Hosts: Members of the Executive Committee

6:30-7:30 pm




7:30 am

Depart from hotel lobby for UAA campus

8:00 am

Check in and Breakfast, UAA Library 307

9:00-9:15 am

Welcome & Meeting Overview: UAA LIB 307
Michael Driscoll, WALF Chair; Provost, University of Alaska Anchorage

9:15-10:30 am

What’s Up in the West:  Harbingers of Concern and Hope for Higher Education
Dennis Jones, President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)
Jones will discuss the latest and greatest challenges facing higher education in the West:  state revenue constraints and economic instability, whether postsecondary enrollments are likely to surge or sink in the coming months, and how higher education can best help put the West back on the path to renewed growth.

10:30-10:45 am


10:45-11:45 am

Student Success & Retention: Benchmarks, Best Practices & Lessons Learned
Ron Henry, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, Georgia State University; Alan Lamborn, Vice President for Undergraduate Affairs, Colorado State University; Paul Thayer, Vice President for Student Services, Colorado State University; David McDonald, Associate Provost-- Academic Affairs, Western Oregon University
This panel will provide an overview of student success issues including the use of data to identify problems and evaluate solutions, engaging faculty in retention, the importance of a institution-wide approach, and defining and measuring student success at the institutional/unit level.

Noon-1:15 pm


1:15-2:30 pm

Freshmen Retention Strategies:  Protecting Your Recruitment Investment
An interactive discussion with the panelists and attendees moderated by Sam Gingerich, Senior Administrator and Academic Officer, South Dakota Board of Regents and William Cathey, Vice Provost for Instruction and Undergraduate Programs, University of Nevada, Reno
A well recognized, published measure of “success” is freshmen-sophomore retention rates.  What are some of the most successful strategies for campuses and systems?  

2:30-3:15 pm

Programming for Student Success:  What Really Works?
An interactive discussion with the panelists and attendees moderated by Sam Gingerich and William Cathey
What are some strategies for improving graduation rates?  What about special programs for part-time and transfer students?  Share your successes and learn from others.

3:15-3:30 pm


3:30-5:00 pm

Tour: UAA Aviation Technology Center

As we celebrate Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood, it is with great pleasure that the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) hosts the WALF 2009 Annual Meeting. UAA is the largest institution of higher education in Alaska with almost 20,000 students on five campuses throughout Southcentral Alaska. UAA is an open access university with academic programs leading to occupational endorsements; undergraduate and graduate certificates; and associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees in a rich, diverse, and inclusive environment. The Anchorage campus is the city’s sixth largest employer, employs 3,200 faculty and staff, and is Alaska’s biggest source of workforce development.

The tour will visit the UAA Aviation Technology Center, where state-of-the-art simulators are housed that provide site specific training in controlled airports in Alaska, continental U.S. and international locations. At this facility, the Aviation Technology Division conducts research in a variety of fields, such as navigation systems, aviation safety, and aviation infrastructure. The UAA Aviation Technology Division is part of the multi-university, nationally collaborative Center of Excellence for General Aviation (CGAR). This tour will provide you with a general overview of UAA’s growing and expanding strategic priorities, programs, and facilities, while offering you the unique opportunity to explore and experience our first class Aviation Technology Center and simulators!

5:15 pm

Return to hotel.
Dinner on your own.



Aft Deck, Hotel Captain Cook

7:30-8:00 am

Breakfast, Aft Deck Hotel Captain Cook

8:15-8:30 am

WALF Business Meeting
Michael Driscoll, WALF Chair

8:30-9:15 am

Faculty Success & Retention: Benchmarks, Best Practices & Lessons Learned
Susan Carlson, Association Provost for Faculty Advancement and Diversity, Iowa State University; Kiernan Mathews, Director, the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), Harvard Graduate School of Education; Joseph Fedock, Senior Vice Provost, Montana State University; Nicole Ballenger, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Wyoming

This panel will provide an overview of faculty success issues including the results from surveys on faculty satisfaction, programs providing flexibility for moving in and out of the tenure track, and ways to respond to faculty needs at different stages in their careers.

9:15-10:15 am

Faculty Satisfaction Strategies: What is the Role of Communication?
An interactive discussion with the panelists and attendees moderated by Joseph Fedock

Institutions may have good policies in place but when it comes to tenure decisions a disconnect may occur. How can communication tools connect policy and practice? What is the role of the annual evaluation? How do tenure and promotion take place?

10:15-10:30 am


10:30-11:30 am

Faculty Worklife Flexibility: Models for Today’s Professional
An interactive discussion with the panelists and attendees moderated by Joseph Fedock

How do we allow faculty to grow as their interest in a subject area changes? What are some good strategies for the use of part-time faculty and researchers? How do we accommodate life’s demands on faculty with equitable treatment across the institution?


State Roundtables
Hosts: Members of the Executive Committee

Join other attendees from your state to discuss relevant topics and suggestions for WALF initiatives in the future.





12:30 pm

Depart hotel lobby for An Alaskan Excursion. (Note this activity requires an additional registration fee and may be subject to cancellation if the minimum attendance is not met.)

Join us for an afternoon of breathtaking scenery and wildlife viewing. This tour offers a 45 minute scenic shuttle ride along Turnagain Arm to the base of Alyeska Resort (http://www.alyeskaresort.com/) in Girdwood, Alaska where you will take a seven minute ride on the Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway to the observation deck for lunch. After spending time eating and enjoying the incredible mountain and Turnagain Arm views, the group will then take the tramway down to Girdwood and take a short shuttle ride to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (http://www.awcc.org/home.html). Located near Girdwood, this center provides an opportunity for you to view Alaska’s wildlife up close! The tour ends with the return drive back to Anchorage along the scenic coast, offering opportunity to take photos you missed along the way there. In total, the tour is anticipated to last approximately four to five hours.

Be sure to bring your camera for this extraordinary Alaskan experience!