FY21 budget includes funding for UAA and UAF athletic programs

University of Alaska athletics will continue unchanged next season.

“It was stated and affirmed that we would have athletics at UAA and UAF,” said Keith Champagne, UAF Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Athletics. “Same sports as this year, same everything. We’re optimistic that we have the support of the Board of Regents to move forward with athletics into the future.”

During its Nov. 7-8 board meeting, the UA Board of Regents adopted a $277 million state operating budget request that includes funding for the University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Alaska Anchorage’s National Collegiate Athletic Association intercollegiate athletic programs. 

The Alaska Nanooks athletic program is a multidivisional member of the NCAA, with 10 teams competing at the Division I and Division II levels, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country running, men’s and women’s Nordic skiing, coed rifle, women’s volleyball, women’s swimming, and men’s ice hockey. 

The vision for UAF Athletics is to build a 21st century integrated intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We are diligently integrating Nanook Athletics into the Fairbanks and surrounding communities.

“The primary form of mass media advertising by academic institutions in the United States is, arguably, through their athletics programs,” says Harvard Business School Associate Professor of Business Administration, Doug J. Chung.

Intercollegiate Athletics generates brand identity, awareness, and marketing for our respective campuses. A highly visible athletics program can increase the number of prospective student applications, bolster alumni participation and encourage and facilitate philanthropic support to the entire campus-beyond the athletics department. In terms of student athletes, athletics provides a vessel for students to grow and develop physically, emotionally, socially and culturally.

The athletics department is a leader on campus and in the community by embracing the uniqueness of all individuals and providing the best environment for all student athletes to reach their full  potential as leaders and citizens. In fact, Nanook Student Athletes maintain a 3.2 grade point average or higher overall.

UAA Athletics serves the Anchorage and campus communities by fielding competitive NCAA teams in 13 sports and providing recreational opportunities for students, faculty and staff. UAA is a proud member of the Great Northwest Athletics Conference (GNAC), Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) and Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, bringing student-athletes from all over the world to participate in basketball, cross country running, gymnastics, hockey, skiing, track & field, and volleyball.

The Board of Regents will discuss and vote on the future of UA athletic programs beyond 2020-21 season at an upcoming board meeting. The meeting will include a report from the UAA and UAF chancellors on the financial state of athletics at each university, plans for new revenue and cost-saving measures. The date for that meeting has not yet been set.