COVID-19 Message to Faculty and Instructors

Dear faculty and instructors,

First of all, a big thank you to all of you for your hard work in getting the fall semester rolling. An extra thanks to those of you who made last-minute adaptations to your classrooms to provide an improved face-to-face offering to our students.

Instructional spaces: 

With the help of scheduling staff at your college or at the registrar’s office some of you switched to larger classrooms or made other adaptations as needed. If you are still running into issues with the instructional space, please do bring these issues to the attention of your dean or director. I will work closely with them, with Facilities Services, as with the registrar’s office to resolve issues as best as possible.

Face covering reminder:

As you know, UAF’s face-covering policy requires that among other things, instructors and students wear face coverings at all times in the indoor classrooms. Please do wear your face covering appropriately. At the start of the class, please remind the students of this mandate. If a student is unwilling to follow the face-covering mandate despite your prompt, please report the issue to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities (CSRR),which will take up the matter directly with the student. For students, there are disciplinary consequences for not following the mask mandate that can range from a warning up to expulsion (reserved for more extreme situations).

COVID-19 reporting: 

If a student in your class reports to you that they have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, please ask them to fill out and submit the student COVID-19 reporting form immediately. This will initiate the contact tracing protocol. A UAF contact tracer will reach out to you and to the student to determine who constitutes a close contact in that case, and she will reach out to the impacted students with guidance on what they need to do. You do not need to make a general announcement about the student illness in your class.

Exercising flexibility:

We are now in our second week of classes for the fall semester and the fourth semester of operations under a pandemic. Faculty have already been exercising considerable flexibility in accommodating the needs of students who are absent due to COVID or any other reason. Thank you for your continued flexibility and for working one-on-one with your students who need assistance to be successful in their course. If faculty need assistance with technology, OIT and eCampus are a resource for you.

I understand that adjustments may not be feasible for all faculty or for all classes, especially with extended absences. CSRR is a resource for both faculty and students to navigate such situations. Please feel free to reach out to them to inform them of any student situations that may require absence from class or if a student expresses barriers they are experiencing that prevent them from participating in your course. CSRR will work collaboratively with you and the student on a path forward that considers the needs of both sides. Students should also work closely with their academic advisor to develop an alternate plan for meeting their academic needs. If they do not know who their academic advisor is, they can check here

I share my gratitude for all that you are doing. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at