On-site operations plan phases

June 19, 2020

Tori Tragis

Dear UAF employees,

Many questions are being asked about the different “phases” of UAF’s on-site operations plan. The term “phases” refer to the On-site Operations Plan for the University of Alaska (PDF), which governs in-person activity levels for UAF, UAA and UAS. Until recently, the UA system was in Phase A, which meant that UAF was also in Phase A. The way the phase transition works is that once the system office allows for transition to a new phase, I can request that UAF move to that phase. If authorized, I can then assign units within UAF to move to the new phase. I have delegated this to Vice Chancellors who then work with UAF’s IMT and unit leaders on plans for the new phase.

Earlier this month, UA announced that units within the UA system could move to Phase B. UAF requested permission to move to Phase B overall, meaning that units within UAF could move to Phase B when those individual units could provide the required safety plans. At this time, many of UAF’s colleges and units are operating within Phase B and are working toward operating in Phase C when the statewide system makes that option available.

But what does Phase B mean? Phase B is essentially limited resumption of on-site operations. Telework is the predominant way of doing business and some on-site work can be conducted if required for the operation and if appropriate protective measures are in place. Academically, it means that most courses are being delivered online. Face-to-face classes are only when they cannot be done remotely.

An example of meeting Phase B operations could look like the following:

  • Most employees are teleworking and conducting the majority of business via telephone, email or through video conferencing such as Zoom. All transactions should be conducted online when possible.

  • If you need to visit campus, assess your health first. If you are feeling well, you can go to campus. If you are feeling sick or have a fever, stay home.

  • When on campus, all employees and associates should wear face coverings when not in a single-occupancy office. Practice social distancing of 6 feet.

  • Supervisors should use the UA COVID-19 tracking tool to monitor where their employees are working and to grant permission to access campus when necessary.

Currently, we are not conducting in-person outreach activities in Phase B, but this could change as we move forward through phases C, D and E. We do have the ability to approve exceptions for outreach activity on a case-by-case basis. Contact executive officer Nickole Conley at nlconley@alaska.edu to request exceptions specific to outreach activities.

What’s next? Unit directors who have not yet worked on a Phase B resumption plan: Please work with your dean or director to start one and submit the plan to your vice chancellor for approval. Once approved, the Provost or relevant Vice Chancellor will notify you. If your plan has been approved, you should begin work on a Phase C resumption plan that will require the same approval process

What does Phase C mean? Phase C is the resumption of additional in-person instruction, increased congregate housing capacity, and face-to-face operations. For example:

  • Telework will remain available but not required.

  • Residence halls will open at reduced capacity, and mass gatherings may be allowed if compliant with all safety measures and the university events policy.

  • Academics may resume in-person classes with continued use of alternative delivery and staggered schedules to ensure compliance with safety measures.

  • Interior spaces will be limited to 50% of capacity unless further restricted by community or state mandates.

  • Daily health assessments will be expected, such as thermal scans or questionnaires, in all facilities, with a particular focus on classrooms, high-occupancy administrative areas and residence halls.

Once UAF can demonstrate compliance with Phase C safety measures and operational limits for at least one unit, UAF will request approval to move to Phase C. Only those units with approved Phase C plans will move on to this next phase.

COVID-19 has changed so many things that we do, including how we operate and how we will operate in the future. We have a strong IMT working on the phase planning. They are looking out for everyone’s safety and well-being as we transition back to campus and move through on-site phasing.

Thank you for choosing UAF!

— Dan White, UAF chancellor