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Alaska Pacific University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
4101 University Dr
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
(800) 252-7528
School Information
Alaska Pacific University (APU) provides a world-class, hands-on, culturally responsive educational experience in collaboration with our students, communities, and Tribal partners. The 175-acre Alaska Pacific University is tucked into the forest, among Anchorage’s trail system. It’s on the perimeter of an intellectually vibrant section of town, in a state ripe with cultural and geographic diversity. With a remote educational center on a 900-acre private farm, APU is the landing pad for a rigorous, educational adventure.
General Information
Alaska Pacific University has taken steps to infuse anti-racism into its university functions. Its director of admissions has experience at other universities promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She explicitly advocates increasing diversity at APU by increasing the enrollment of students of color. APU’s President issued a statement after the death of George Floyd condemning the U.S. for systemic racism and oppression. She committed the university to conducting workshops and trainings dedicated to DEI. One of these workshops was a BIPOC-only art display in August 2020. This event described the U.S. as systemically racist, endorsed Black Lives Matter, and promised to use its position of “privilege” to uplift BIPOC art. APU’s library is vocally supportive of anti-racism, providing an Anti-Racism Resources database complete with links to books, articles, and videos advocating critical race theory. The library defines racism as purely a product of power and prejudice. There is currently no evidence Alaska Pacific requires critical race theory-related training for its students or faculty. See below for more information:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Toni Riley, Director of Admissions at Alaska Pacific University, is an "Experienced educational professional with a demonstrated history of working towards college enrollment with low-income, first generation, and students of color. Skilled in increasing the diversity of populations at post-secondary institutions and strategically implementing resources on campus to support and retain historically underrepresented populations." She previously served as the "Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" at Loyola University Maryland.
  • On June 10, 2021, the university announced that it has "chosen to become a test-blind school and will no longer consider standardized test scores when determining undergraduate admissions or merit-based scholarships." Director of Admissions Toni Riley was quoted as saying "Years of research has shown that standardized testing is biased against Black, Latina/Latino/Latinx, Native, and some Asian students...we’re eliminating a bias and a burden that hinders many potential students, while cutting ties with a testing industry that continues to perpetuate systemic racism."
  • The William Randolph Hearst Alaska Native Endowed Scholarship provides "'access and opportunity to underrepresented, low-income and minority populations'" as well as "financial support to Alaska Native or Native American students."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • APU President Valeri Davidson has "started to line up a series of workshops and other learning activities to help us, as individuals and a community, address issues of racism and privilege." She added, "We are also exploring ways to make such training an accessible, ongoing, and integral element of our collective work."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • APU's "Strategic Plan 2023-Spring 2022 Update" states that it would "[i]ndigenize [the] APU curriculum" by "[creating] an inventory of examples of indigenized education currently employed."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • APU's job posting for Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies (August 2024) states, "Candidates should have demonstrated ability in successfully teaching undergraduate courses in composition and rhetoric to students with a range of academic preparation and from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds."
Program and Research Funding
  • On December 8, 2022, the university announced that it received a "Grant Award from Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity," which would be used to "continue creating pathways into healthcare careers throughout the state of Alaska, particularly in nursing, through their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Practical Nursing programs." The grant is geared towards organizations that focus on social determinants of health, which considers an individual’s physical, social, cultural, and economic environment.
  • The Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions "supports students from minority backgrounds as they pursue careers in climate, weather, ocean and coastal science."
  • APU joined with Alaska Anchorage to provide a comprehensive guide to "Anti-Racism Resources," which offers "resources that discuss combatting racism and oppression in the United States."
  • In APU's "Anti-Racism Resources," it defines "racism" as "prejudice + power." It adds, "Anti-racism refers to actions taken to combat racism, protect the marginalized, and tear down systems of oppression. It is more than being not racist, which can be accomplished through passivity and inaction. Instead, the term anti-racist describes a person who is taking direct action against racism."
  • APU's "Anti-Racism Resources" provides links to books such as "Good White People," "Me and White Supremacy," "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race," "White Fragility," "The New Jim Crow," "How to Be an Antiracist," and "Whitewashing Race."
  • APU's "Anti-Racism Resources" provides links to an article titled, "Critical Race Theory and Social Justice Perspectives on Whiteness, Difference(s) and (Anti)Racism."
  • APU's "Anti-Racism Resources" provides YouTube videos decrying "color blindness," explaining "Oppression 101," and "Systemic Racism."
  • APUS's Teacher Education K-8 Certificate program emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion which is described in part as follows: "We employ differentiated instruction, culturally responsive pedagogies, include indigenous ways of knowing, and place-based instruction in teacher education spaces and encourage our candidates to engage practices of teaching through culture and honoring a variety of worldviews."
  • One of the goals of APU's 2023 Strategic Plan is to "[d]evelop and use relevant curriculum and culturally responsive delivery methods."
Symbolic Actions
  • APU President Valerie Davidson issued a statement to the community after the death of George Floyd. She decried the "old wounds of racial division and oppression in the United States." Davidson added that APU was "founded on the bedrock concept of racial equity." She later wrote, "Our Black relatives should not bear the weight of fighting for justice, ending systemic racism, and addressing a sad national legacy of anti-blackness alone." "Alaska Pacific University commits to ensuring that equity, justice, and anti-racism, are critical components in our efforts to create a safe, inclusive learning environment on campus and in the world around us."
  • On August 7, 2020, APU held an "In Solidarity Online Exhibit and Zoom Event." The event offers a description, writing, "Throughout the world we are calling for justice. Since western contact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have experienced systemic colonialism resulting in racism, loss of land, violence, and the severing of cultural ways of being." It adds, "...movements such as Black Lives Matter...are addressing these issues through education, visibility, policy change, and understanding." The APU Gallery, led by curator Melissa Shaginoff, used the month of August 2020 to only exhibit "BIPOC" art. "We want to use our institutional privilege to life the voices of BIPOC individuals in equity."
  • On June 17, 2021, the university announced that it would recognize "Juneteenth National Independence Day" with a holiday on "June 21." Then-Interim President Hilton Hallock stated, "I encourage you to use this holiday to reflect on the systems and structures of racism in our country and recommit to the work of social justice and equity needed on our campus and in our communities."
Last updated April 19th, 2024
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