UAF sign

Caitlin Miller/News-Miner

The sign at the main entrance to the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus is seen Oct. 22, 2020, in Fairbanks. News-Miner PHOTO

A faculty Covid committee is asking University of Alaska Fairbanks leaders to require the vaccine for all faculty, staff and students.

Chancellor Dan White disclosed the request Thursday in a letter to UAF employees.

“A big question for UAF is whether we should seek approval to require vaccines more broadly, such as for all employees or all in-person activities,” White wrote. “I received a memorandum from the faculty Senate Covid committee, through the Senate president, requesting a vaccine mandate for all UAF faculty, staff and students.”

White said that he and President Pat Pitney are discussing a “broader application of requirements.”

A vaccine mandate would require staging, White said, noting that he would first consider the requirement for faculty, followed by employees and students.

The requirement would apply to students engaged in in-person classroom learning.

In addition, President Biden’s announcement Thursday that his administration will require vaccination for all employers with more than 100 workers could “change this discussion significantly,” White wrote in the letter.

“We are aware of President Biden’s ‘Path out of the Pandemic’ order, which would require vaccination for all employers of over 100 people (private and federal contractors),” White wrote. “That plan is currently being assessed and would, of course, change this discussion significantly.”

White continued to encourage UAF employees to submit their vaccine information to a voluntary university registry for employees and students. “Knowing our vaccination rates can help us plan appropriately,” White said in the letter.

The chancellor also plans to host a forum on Covid-19 that has yet to be scheduled.

Contact political reporter Linda F. Hersey at 459-7575 or lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.