Aug. 19, 2020

Dear UAF community,

Earlier today, UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen announced that UAA is recommending the discontinuation of three Division I sports: men’s hockey, men’s and women’s skiing, and women’s gymnastics. The recommendation will go to the UA Board of Regents for approval during its meeting Sept. 10-11, 2020.

I want it to be clear for UAF student-athletes, parents, coaches, and the UAF and Fairbanks community that our athletics programs are not part of this recommendation. UAF already has only 10 sports, the minimum number allowed by the NCAA. As such, we have no plans to eliminate any sports teams.

In the coming months there will be many details to work out as we better understand how today’s announcement will affect UAF’s athletics competition in the future. I am confident that our Alaska Nanooks athletics program will continue to move forward in a positive direction and will remain an important part of our university and our community. As with all of UAF departments, our athletics programs are addressing budget cuts through both reductions and new revenues.

I know the decision to recommend discontinuation of these athletics programs must have been very difficult for our colleagues at UAA. Multiple years of budget cuts have forced many difficult decisions to be made across the UA system, and none of these decisions are made lightly. UAF athletics staff will work with their counterparts in Anchorage to provide whatever support they can for the student-athletes affected by these changes.

I look forward to welcoming our student-athletes back to campus and to resuming competition when it is safe to do so. I am also looking forward to seeing our many fans and community supporters when the time is right. I thank you for your continued support.

— Dan White, UAF chancellor

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