Nanook Athletics update

May 21, 2021

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

Last week I sent a message announcing the appointment of Brock Anundson as the new athletic director for UAF. This is the first step in a suite of actions ongoing to position the Nanooks for future success in each of our 10 sports. The path will require work, as well as time, understanding, passion and commitment. Here are some steps that are underway:

  1. Tim Selgo, of Athletics Staffing and Consulting, was contracted to provide us with a roadmap to success. Tim’s 35 years’ experience in collegiate athletics as a coach and an administrator prepares him well for this task. He is currently wrapping up a report that is a robust assessment of where our Athletics Department is and where we need to be, organizationally and structurally. The assessment will provide a characterization of what we are spending on athletics, what we should be spending, and if the two do not match, how we get to where we should be from where we are. Athletics, like other areas of UAF, are cutting their budget. No area of UAF has been untouched by the dramatic cuts imposed by the budget compact between the university and the state. If additional funding is needed, we will be thinking innovatively with limited internal funds, but also working more closely with our many alumni, corporate partners, donors and friends to support and build the program of the future.

  2. Jim Hall, one of the top compliance people in the country, was brought in on a short-term basis to examine our compliance practices. Jim’s years of experience have been valuable as he does a deep dive into Nanook operations. He will tell us where we have challenges, vulnerabilities or weak practices. Where he discovers current or past problems, we will work closely with the NCAA to rectify them and put measures in place for a solid foundation moving forward. Importantly, Jim’s work will get us positioned for the future.

  3. Kurt Patberg has conducted over 250 searches (administrators, coaches, commissioners), and was brought in to help with our search for a permanent athletic director. That work has borne fruit, and we are excited about Brock Anundson’s arrival in Fairbanks in July.

  4. Carl McAloose has served as our interim AD for the past couple months and will continue to serve until Brock is on board. Carl’s experience as a student athlete, coach, athletic director, conference commissioner and NCAA leader has made him the perfect person to provide UAF professionalism and stability in this time of transition. Carl’s in-person presence in the Patty Center has been appreciated by all.

It has been about five years since we did a gender equity analysis of Nanook Athletics. These are normally conducted every five to six years. ASC conducted our last analysis and is being contracted to conduct our next. Some of the changes you have seen in the Patty Center (remodeled locker rooms) were identified by ASC in their last review and were fixed. There are currently some additional locker room changes underway to improve gender equity. We look forward to this next round of analysis and improvements. 

As UAF emerges from COVID-19 and rounds out the final year of the compact, the Nanook Athletics teams will be competing, building pride and exemplifying the enthusiasm we have for UAF. While some parts of UAF are a research university (the world leader in Arctic science, I might add), some a community and technical college, and some a rural college, we are all Nanooks. We are all part of Nanook Nation. 

Thanks for choosing UAF.