Writing guidelines

A voice of inspiration

The words we choose -- our brand voice -- define our identity and tell our story. Our brand voice must faithfully represent the personality of UAF, which is sociable, engaging, stimulating, down-to-earth and always game. All our communications should bring that personality to life and paint a picture of who we are, how we think and what we want to achieve. 

Our voice reflects our values. We are sociable and engaging. We are by nature a close-knit community that seeks authenticity, challenge and adventure at every turn. We look at individual achievement in terms of how it affects our community and greater society. We are down-to-earth. We speak from the heart, using straightforward language to communicate even the most complex ideas. We are stimulating and always game. We aren't afraid to make bold statements. We don't just offer degree programs -- we offer life-changing experiences and boundless opportunity.

Required language

Federal law requires the following statement to appear on any bulletins, announcements, publications, catalogs, application forms, websites or other recruitment materials that are made available to participants, students, applicants, or employees:

 Affirmative action/equal opportunity and nondiscrimination notice (required)

(Approved short version)

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution. UAF does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, age, sex, physical or mental disability, status as a protected veteran, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, parenthood, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, or other legally protected status. The University's commitment to nondiscrimination, including against sex discrimination, applies to students, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. Contact information, applicable laws, and complaint procedures are included on UA's statement of nondiscrimination available at www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.

(micro version—if space allows please use the above approved short version)

UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.

Accreditation statement (optional)

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


The tone of UAF is sociable and engaging. Using the plural "we" illustrates a shared experience and common goals. We have an ever-present connection to our surroundings and our community, and the language we use is one of inclusion, not exclusion. Our words should draw people in and make them feel they are part of something greater.


We are the University of Alaska Fairbanks, inspiring great people to do great things.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks boasts a multitude of graduates who go on to achieve unparalleled success.

We live in a physical environment of singular beauty, extreme climate and rugged terrain -- a place that inspires powerful words and imagery, thought-provoking debates and independent thought. Thus, the tone should be emotionally and intellectually stimulating. It should evoke images of real-life discovery and a practical, hands-on academic experience.


Venture outside the classroom, where fieldwork really is in the field -- unless it's in the forest, ocean, or any of the rugged terrain that makes up Alaska's vast, natural laboratory. Around here, if you're game, you're in.


UAF offers programs that guide students from introductory knowledge to advanced work within a special area of concentration. Many noncurricular resources are available that help translate our students' goals into reality.

The tone and content of the language should be down-to-earth and unpretentious, but also confident, with a sense of adventure.


We invite you to explore the possibilities of the Last Frontier -- where inspiration is around every bend, independence is championed, and adventure is inevitable.


We urge you to tour our world-renowned facilities, bear witness to the spectacular natural environment that compels contemplation, and realize your full academic potential.

To show that we are always game, our words and phrases should encourage fearlessness in social, academic and professional pursuits.


We have experts to guide you and a dare-to-be-great situation with your name on it.


We offer a wide range of disciplines and degree programs to choose from, as well as friendly, knowledgeable career counselors who can help you determine which path is right for you.


Rather than simply listing facts, important details should be prefaced by their greater significance, when possible. Sentences should vary in length to create depth, maintain dynamic flow and arouse interest. Longer sentences may convey essential and necessary information, while shorter sentences or fragments can deliver powerful statements and evoke emotion.

Example of an opening paragraph

There are places in this world where you are destined to discover who you truly are. Here at UAF, as wisdom passes from one generation to the next, revolutionary ideas are thriving and a new academic culture is taking shape. Smarter questions. Better answers.

Rather than always speaking about the university from our point of view, speak directly to readers or prospective students about their own desires. It may read like a personal challenge or a list of specific opportunities -- perhaps some so unconventional, the reader never considered them before.


You've got skills to master, records to set and discoveries to make.

Launch a rocket. Monitor muskoxen. Study in Spain. It's your life. Make it off the charts or off the grid.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks believes that all students should have the opportunity to reach their goals. Thus, it is our mission to help each and every student attain the skills needed to succeed in the modern world.

Editorial guidelines

All communication materials written for or about the University of Alaska Fairbanks should have consistent style, tone and editorial standards. 

Points of pride

The following section equips campus communicators and brand champions with points of pride, facts about the university that illustrate our brand and support our tagline of "Naturally Inspiring."

Alaska significance

  • UAF is America's northernmost Land, Sea and Space Grant institution and one of only a handful of universities in the nation with this triple-crown distinction.
  • UAF played an essential role in Alaska's statehood. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1955–1956 wrote the state's constitution in the student union building, now known as Constitution Hall. The constitution was signed in what was then the university gym and is now Signers' Hall
  • UAF got its start with about $100 dollars for a cornerstone that was laid in 1915, two years before the university even officially existed. Today, UAF has the largest presence, impact and geographic scope of any university in Alaska. In addition to its seven campuses, UAF maintains research stations, learning centers, Cooperative Extension Service offices and Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program offices across the state.
  • UAF is home to the UA Museum of the North, which holds the world's largest collection of Arctic dinosaurs, among other notable holdings.


  • The School of Education in 2017 was ranked in the 99th percentile among undergraduate programs for elementary teachers.
  • U.S. News and World Report named UAF the only Tier One National University in Alaska.
  • U.S. News and World Report included UAF in the following lists in 2017:
    • Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
    • Best Online MBA Programs
    • Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (Graduate)
    • Best Online Education Programs (Graduate)
  • UAF is the leading PhD-granting university in Alaska.
  • UAF has had 19 faculty Fulbright Scholars since 2010.
  • The College of Engineering and Mines consistently fields one of the nation's best steel-bridge-building student teams. It has won the regional title three times since 2013 and placed ninth at nationals in 2016.
  • Mining engineering students won first place in an international mine design competition in 2017.
  • Our business administration undergraduates have placed above the 90th percentile on the national business exam for more than a decade, and placed in the 99th percentile in 2016. Out of 600 universities!
  • Students launched their first student-designed and student-built cube satellite in 2015.
  • Students named UAF the number one outdoor college in Backpacker magazine in 2016.


  • UAF has the highest number of publications in Arctic research of any university in the world.
  • UAF operates the Research Vessel Sikuliaq [see-KOOlee-ack], one of the most advanced university research vessels in the world.
  • UAF is home to the Poker Flat Research Range, the largest land-based rocket research range in the world and the only high-latitude rocket range in the country.
  • UAF ranks in the top 150 of the nearly 700 U.S. academic institutions that conduct research.*
  • Jessica Cherry was invited for a second round of interviews for the NASA astronaut program. Out of 18,000 applicants, only 100 make it to the second round. Cherry is a research associate professor at UAF's International Arctic Research Center.

* as defined by the NSF for R&D expenditures

Key messages

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