Update on UAA's on-site operations

by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Community,

On June 1, UAA will move to Phase B of its COVID-19 response plan. I am writing to you today to clarify what that means for faculty, staff and students this summer and fall.

I hope by now you all have seen the statewide framework for University of Alaska system operations.

Phase B is characterized by medium risk and medium levels of precautionary measures. What does that mean at UAA?

  • UAA's summer classes remain 100% alternate delivery; staff, faculty and students should all continue working remotely (special exceptions have been made where necessary with stringent guidelines).
  • UAA fall classes will be delivered primarily via alternate delivery methods, however some classes will be offered in-person. UAOnline will provide accurate, up-to-date information on fall course delivery by mid-June; please join me in encouraging students to register for their fall classes.
  • By the start of the fall semester, we expect to have more employees working on-campus. A plan will be developed to manage capacity limitations to aid supervisors in guiding their department's workflow in-person and remotely.
  • My expectation is that UAA deans, directors and unit leads will determine how to implement the prescribed guidelines within their areas.
  • Please note that the guidelines within the statewide framework also apply to Seawolf Athletics. News about fall competition is forthcoming.

There continues to be a tremendous amount of discussion and debate about the impacts of COVID-19 on university campuses across the nation, including at UAA. Balancing safety with academic rigor and with fiscal realities is delicate work, but I am committed, alongside the leadership of the municipality and state, to allowing this minimal return to campus life while ensuring all the necessary precautions.

You may have heard this week that some universities are electing to truncate their semesters by starting early and finishing by Thanksgiving. While this potential solution created conversation among University of Alaska system administrators, we decided that it was not an optimal choice here. We will continue instead with the guidance of our framework to open slowly and predictably according to the conditions present. A level of certainty about what to expect throughout the fall semester is essential for student, staff and faculty success.

Safety is paramount, and I appreciate all you are doing to keep the curve flat in Anchorage. Personal responsibility remains critically important to stop the spread of COVID-19. If all continues to go well, this move to Phase B will be followed with a move to Phase C in the fall, however such a move will NOT change course delivery methods this fall.

Thank you, I will continue to communicate with you every step of the way.

Cathy Sandeen
UAA Chancellor

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