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07-15-20 From the Chancellor

Hello UAS Faculty and Staff:

Where’s the sun?  As I sit here working remotely from my dining room table I keep looking out on the beauty of Alaska. We are so lucky to live in this place I can do without the sun!

Things have been tough on all of us these last six months (years?). The hardest part for me is not seeing everyone face to face or being able to fly over to Ketchikan and Sitka.  Zoom is fine but it isn’t the same.  I appreciate how much every one of you has stepped up and dealt with the challenges.  COVID and the continuing talk of a merger have been difficult to deal with, but I see optimism and excitement about the coming months. 

We will have about 65% of our classes face to face this fall.  Students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks while in indoor open areas.  Physical distancing will be required in classrooms and at any face to face meetings.  I know many of you are concerned about coming back to campus and some of you have childcare issues. Please work with your supervisor to figure out the best work plan for you.  We want to be as flexible as possible while making sure we are providing coverage in front offices. 

In terms of the “merger” the Board of Regents has been busy selecting an Interim President.  As you probably know Pat Pitney was selected to serve in that position for 12 to 18 months while the Board searches for a new President. I have already reached out to Michelle Rizk and several Regents expressing my concerns about the plan and will reach out to President Pitney when she starts her new position on August 1.  My hope is that they will delay the study or take it off the table altogether.  I keep reiterating that even if this is the direction they want to go, it won’t save any money for FY 22.  The NWCCU and the Federal Department of Education are the only ones who can approve such a move and that will take a significant amount of time.

So stay tuned and stay in touch, 

Dr. Karen Carey
UAS Interim Chancellor