Dear university community,

Yesterday you received several communications regarding the University of Alaska’s response to preventing the spread of COVID-19. I know there are many questions as details are still emerging. However,
many answers are now available. I will continue to share information as the situation is unfolding. At this point I want to thank all of the administrators, staff, and faculty who are busy at work throughout today’s University holiday answering questions and developing processes to make next week’s transition as smooth as possible.

I want to reassure everyone that UAF remains open. There are, however, some facilities that are closed. The
UA Museum of North and Nanook Recreation are currently closed to the public. Facilities included in the Nanook Recreation closure are the Student Recreation Center, the Patty Ice Arena, the Patty Pool, the Outdoor Adventures equipment rental office, and the West Ridge Fitness Center. Please continue to check the UAMN and UAF Nanook Recreation websites for the most up to date information on the facility closures.

We have extended spring break by an additional week, which means there will be no classes through March 22. This applies to all courses, on-line or otherwise. This move will provide all of our employees a window to transition their courses to an alternate delivery method or, if necessary, apply for an exception to the new policy guidance. Unless specifically exempted, classes will resume March 23 using an alternate delivery method.

Options for alternative delivery include, but are not limited to audio conference or web-conference, Blackboard, fully online delivery or recorded lectures. Faculty may apply for an exception to the policy on moving courses to alternative modes of delivery. Exception requests should be submitted through your dean, Provost (or VC) to the Chancellor’s office. At this point, it is my expectation that exceptions will be very limited and primarily for small, hands-on classes at CTC, such as those that Federal guidelines require demonstration of hands-on skills (e.g., Airframe and Powerplant) and for which adequate hygiene and social distancing can be assured. Please see the
academic course alternate delivery policy guidance (PDF) for more information.

At this time, there are no plans to extend the spring semester but we are keeping an eye on requirements for contact hours and will provide revised guidance as needed. The semester is still scheduled to end on April 27 with final examinations through May 2.

As an added note about lab courses, UAA announced that they will hold many lab or other hands-on activities in person. As primarily a commuter campus with most students living in the area, they have more flexibility to use this delivery method. Outside of CTC, however, UAF is not a commuter campus and many of our students do not live in or near the local area. Given this difference, I am encouraging alternative delivery methods for our lab and other hands-on activities, with afore-mentioned exceptions.

The student guidance that came out yesterday included the following:

  • Students currently out-of-state at their permanent residence should remain where they are. Students should contact Residence Life
    (, and 907-474-7247) to arrange for items necessary to complete the semester to be sent to them.
  • Residential students currently at their in-state (Alaska) residential address have through 7 p.m. March 17 to retrieve necessities from their residence hall. Students should contact Residence Life to find out how.

Students who cannot return to their permanent residence or off-campus alternative may apply for an exception to allow them to remain on-campus residences. Examples of justifications may include:

  • Students who are prevented from returning to their permanent residences
  • Students who are prevented from accessing online or distance courses from their permanent residences
  • International students who are unable to return to their home countries at this time
For questions regarding housing, please contact Residence Life (, and 907-474-7247).

On Tuesday, March 17 we were scheduled to host an Enrollment Forum. We will instead use this time to provide a COVID-19 campus update. We will work on rescheduling the Enrollment Forum or provide an alternative delivery method in the coming weeks. The COVID-19 forum will be web-streamed from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and will provide updates on what the university is currently doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, class delivery updates, facility closures, and travel guidelines. Questions can be submitted live during the broadcast and an updated FAQ sheet will be made available.

Employees should return to work Monday, March 16. For employee-related FAQs and additional information
visit the UA Coronavirus website. Please note that yesterday’s UA-wide guidance included direction for employees not to return to work for 14 days if having travelled to certain locations or for individuals who have travelled to areas of the country experiencing community transmission of the coronavirus. Please review the travel and community restrictions policy guidance (PDF) before returning to work and if a 14 day self-quarantine applies to you then please contact your supervisor to set up a work from home arrangement or to arrange for administrative leave.

Faculty can find helpful resources to assist with the transition of their course work to alternative delivery methods using the
eCampus guide to moving classes online.

Yesterday’s new guidance included updated travel restrictions. Additionally, until further notice, UAF is suspending all university-related travel to rural villages to minimize risks to those communities. This decision was made after considering requests from rural communities and tribal governments. Exceptions requests may be submitted through your Dean to the VC level for approval.

Thank you for your patience and dedication to UAF as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.

— Dan White, chancellor

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