March 23, 2021

Dear UAF staff and faculty,

In last week's COVID-19 communication, I mentioned our hope to move UAF into Phase C of COVID-19 pandemic planning by the end of this spring semester. In Phase C, our operations would look different. Summer in-person classes could resume while still maintaining alternate delivery or staggered courses as scheduled. On-campus work would be predominant with remote work remaining possible for some positions and with the approval of supervisors. We anticipate more communication and direction from the UA system office on the “back to work” plans under Phase C soon.

As more and more Alaskans are vaccinated, we have received a number of questions about whether or not returning to work on site in Phase C, D or E will be dependent on receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. All staff members are eligible to return to on-site work with or without being vaccinated. While we encourage everyone to get vaccinated, it is not required as part of our return-to-campus plan.

We are currently in the process of revising our events policy to allow more gatherings and events on campus with the appropriate compliance and safety measures in anticipation of moving into Phase C. This will include, among other things, reopening the Rasmuson Library, the UA Museum of the North and the Georgeson Botanical Garden to the public. It is important to remember that the phase system was established by the UA System, so moving from one phase to another requires the president’s approval.

We are not out of the woods yet, and the pandemic is not over. As we move toward Phase C, we will continue to take precautions to create a safe path forward. I am eager to see more students and employees on campus again and look forward to a busy summer.

— Dan White, chancellor
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