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UAF Plans for Fall Classes with Pandemic Changes


Like most institutions across the country the University of Alaska Fairbanks is uncertain about how much on campus activity there will be when the fall semester starts. A letter to the university community from UAF provost and executive vice chancellor Anupma Prakash says some classes will be conducted in person and campus housing will be available, both with precautions to limit potential transmission of COVID-19.

Speaking to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, UAF chancellor Dan White said the handling of last spring’s abrupt campus closure should give students confidence going into the fall.

UAF Fall: Q:”…for this fall.”  :27

Chancellor White said so far UAF fall enrollment is down 11%, much better than the national average of 20-40%, and credits some of that to the fact that even pre-pandemic UAF was ahead in terms of distance delivery, with 45 degree programs available online.

UAF Online: Q:”…continues to grow.” :14

White also talked about the resumption of collegiate sports, noting that while there’s a lot of uncertainty there as well, but again expressed confidence that UAF athletics will resume to some extent.

UAF Athletics” Q:”…be playing hockey.” :20

White also discussed a 3-year $35,000,000 reduction in state funding UAF is trying to accommodate, a cut which has already resulted in the elimination of over 20 academic programs, and other changes, including suspension of the University of Alaska Press. White highlighted one bright spot: UAF based scientific research.

UAF Research: Q:”…grew last year.” :11

White pointed to UAF’s Alaska Earthquake Center and Poker Flat rocket launch facility as among university research units that have secured new project funding, while noting that others like the on campus state virology lab are busy responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.