A new year brings new challenges

by Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Faculty and Staff,

As we begin spring semester, I want to acknowledge the recent challenges our community members have faced. Illness and personal loss, widespread weather-related damage, extreme travel delays and related expenses, and a host of other challenges have made the transition to the new year particularly difficult.

I’m writing to let you know that UAA leadership continues to closely monitor how omicron and other factors are impacting UAA and Alaska. Our goal is to proactively protect the delivery of a quality education to our students and provide a safe work environment on our campuses for all. Faculty members now have the option to move their class online for the first two weeks of the semester. Additionally, I ask all university supervisors to act within university policy to be as flexible as possible with staff needs for remote work in the first two weeks of the semester. The health and safety of our community members and that of their families remains a high priority.

If you normally work in person at a UAA campus and have symptoms of illness, please do not come to work but, rather, get tested and call your supervisor to ask about remote work possibilities until your test results come back. If you test positive for COVID-19, report it to UAA Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management by email, or call 907-786-1300 and follow the instructions about isolating/quarantining.

Though challenges remain, we have reason to believe 2022 will be better than 2021. As Alaskans, we adapt and support each other. We pay attention to each other's needs and work to meet them. Let’s press on and support each other so our students can be successful!

Sean Parnell
UAA Chancellor

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