Welcome to the Grapevine

The Grapevine is administered by the UAF Marketing and Communications Department and was designed to dispel rumors, clarify misconceptions and clear up misunderstandings about UAF topics of a general nature to improve communication between the administration and the UAF community.

Many times departments are able to quickly resolve an issue and we post the solution to the problem here as well. Thank you for your suggestions.

Submit your question or suggestion here.

As always, building and facilities issues that need attention should be forwarded to dispatch@fs.uaf.edu or reported directly to 474-7000. Unsafe conditions should be reported to Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management here.

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Oct. 17, 2014 - Recycling Bins on Campus


I was on the 5th and 6th floor of the Gruening building yesterday and at both elevator lobbies I noticed a lot of "Sustainability" containers overflowing and with various junk laying on the floors around them. I called the number listed on the containers (474-6037) for pickup and the number is not in service.

Do these containers get checked on specified days by anyone? I do feel strongly about being sustainable, but all of the ugly containers and garbage lying around is an awful eyesore to our campus.

From Christi Kemper, Office of Sustainability Administrative Assistant

The aluminum, glass and plastic recycling pickups on campus are done by a team of two to three student employees. The routes change each semester as student schedules change. This semester pickups in the Gruening building normally happen on Tuesdays.

Occasionally a recycling employee misses work and it takes a little longer for all of the pickups on campus to be completed. More often, individuals bring personal recycling from home and place it on top of or inside bins, immediately filling them. When this happens we will not know it is full until the next regular pickup day unless we are called or e-mailed about it. This is why we ask that everyone drop off the recycling they collect at home to be dropped off at the community drop-off site in the Taku parking lot. 

Thank you for letting us know about the mislabeled bins - we have been working on relabeling all of the bins with a new phone number. We will have the Gruening bins relabeled as soon as possible. 

Oct. 16, 2014 -- President Gamble's concern for students


"University of Alaska considering tobacco ban on its campuses" was an article in last Friday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. In that article it stated, "Aside from a push by some students to curb public tobacco use, there are growing fiscal considerations as the UA budget tightens, Gamble said." and then went on to quote President Gamble, “The students definitely took the lead, but now there’s coming to be a business case to be made in this."

Reading these quotes from President Gamble, I get the distinct impression that he isn't interested in what the students want, only what will help the "business" or "bottom line" of the University. I am appalled and sorely disappointed that our own UA President is more concerned about money than the needs (and yes, wants) of the students. Shouldn't it be the other way around?


From Kate Ripley, UA Public Affairs

President Gamble is concerned about students, and interested in what they want and believe they have a right to, in terms of a healthy learning environment. He was simply also making the case that studies show employees who smoke cost more for health care services, lost time on the job, etc., than employees who don't. That point doesn't diminish the fact that students are, and will remain, a priority at the university.

Oct. 14, 2014 -- Lack of annual performance reviews


In response to the answer regarding step increases based on performance dated Oct. 9, what do you do when your supervisor does not give annual performance reviews?

It's frustrating when your supervisor cares so little that he/she will not take the time to do an annual performance review even after the employee has repeatedly requested one. Annual reviews provide documentation performance, list specific areas for improvement and can provide comparisons to prior evaluations, which are beneficial when employees apply for other internal jobs or ask for wage increases. 


From Brad Lobland, Director and Campus Ethics Officer of the Office of Human Resources

If a supervisor is unwilling to give an employee their performance evaluation, the employee should speak with their supervisor's supervisor or their assigned HR consultant to help ensure BOR policy and the chancellor's expectations of supervisors are being met.

Oct. 14, 2014 -- Bookstore retail pricing


I find the bookstore very frustrating. I can't speak to the textbook side of things, but the retail side is a bit ridiculous. $98 for a children's sized hockey jersey and empty shelves in the snack area seem to clearly illustrate that they only want our money, not to consistently provide items that people want. One of the few bright points in their retail area is the friendly and helpful customer service. I hope Follett is providing really good textbook service to our students otherwise I would be questioning why we continue to do business with them.


From Pamm Zierfuss-Hubbard, Contracts Manager of Auxiliary, Recharge and Contract Operations

Retail pricing for items in the Bookstore are set by the company who provides the item. In the case of the hockey jerseys you mentioned, because they are authentic, they tend to cost more. Follett has been working to obtain less expensive replica youth jerseys and while that may take time, other child/youth items are available as well. In particular, there are multiple t-shirts and sweatshirts that are hockey related that are less expensive.

In regards to the snack food area, Follett has been working diligently to not only stock items customers want but also provide a variety of items.  Some of these items are obtained locally while others are from vendors outside Alaska. The outside vendors have been problematic as of late (late shipments, canceling items, etc.) so Follett has switched to automated shipments will enable the store to be better stocked in the future.  

If you have suggestions on items you would like to see stocked in the Bookstore, please feel free to ask to speak with the store manager next time you shop there.

Oct. 14, 2014 -- Plan for the Lola Tilly


What is the plan for the Lola Tilly? It seems like it would be the perfect place to create a one-stop "shopping" experience for student services. There are a lot of rumors going around but none of them seem to be particularly geared towards serving students more efficiently.


From Scott Bell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services

Due to budget constraints our options for reusing Lola Tilly are very limited.  Converting the building into a one-stop registration/book store facility was evaluated in 2012 at a cost of at least $6M.  UAF cannot afford that investment at this time.  Our current plan is to convert the dining area into office space to meet temporary needs for office space. This will cost much less and does not preclude future conversion to another use when funds are available.

Oct. 9, 2014 - Faculty and Staff Not Receiving Step Increases


In yesterday's response to a Grapevine question Brad Lobland said: Faculty and non-executive staff receive cost-of-living increases as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreements each year, plus most also receive step increases. This year faculty and staff received a 2 percent cost-of-living increase, an additional paid day off, and their step increases.

It was my understanding that we no longer received annual step increases. I didn't get a step increase, just cost-of-living. Are other people getting step increases?


Staff and faculty received a 2 percent cost-of-living increase. While employees do not automatically receive step increases supervisors have the option to give step increases based on performance and other factors.



Oct. 9, 2014 - Paper Consumption on Campus


In recent years there has been a focus on sustainability (now apparently to the point that we cannot have toilet paper rolls that can rotate completely around). Is there any talk of reducing paper consumption on campus by limiting the number of printers and copiers on campus? Maybe there at least could be some sort of effort to discourage their use. 


From Michele Mouton, Director of the UAF Office of Sustainability

There have been numerous discussion at the Office of Sustainability about reducing printing and copying on campus. Those efforts have been useful in reducing come department use but no broad scale policy has moved forward.  With the completion of the Sustainability Master Plan in the Fall of 2014, there is a strategy which focuses on establishment of a committee to identify opportunities. In strategy 8.2 there is an initiative to Convene a Waste Reduction Committee.

If staff and faculty are interested in serving on a committee, please contact me at 474-5070.



Oct. 8, 2014 — Time capsule contents

I heard the time capsule was opened recently. What was in it?

Items deposited in the copper container and sealed in the cornerstone of the Physical Education and Recreation Center in Oct. 1962 were as follows:

  • Copy of a report by Frederick B. Boyle (“A Gymnasium for the University of Alaska).
  • News Miner – Oct. 15, 16, 18 and 19, 1962.
  • Jessen’s Weekly, Oct. 17, 1962.
  • Polar Star, Jan. 12, 1962; Sept. 21, 28; Oct. 5, 12 and 19, 1962
  • Denali, 1962.
  • Nanook News, Oct. 18, 1962.
  • Alaska Alumnus, Oct. 1960 and Oct. 1962.
  • Two ROTC shoulder patches (army patch and U. of A. patch).
  • ROTC Cadet Guide.
  • ROTC Metal Unit Patch.
  • University of Alaska decals (Seal and Nanook).
  • Official Basketball Handbook, 1962-63.
  • First Aid Handbook.
  • Recording (Alaska’s Flag Song, U. of A. Fight Song, U. of A. Alma Mater).
  • Fact sheet on Bond Issue #4 (voted on at Nov. 3, 1960 election and passed making possible the building of new gym).
  • Letter sent to all candidates for State Office by Alumni Executive Secretary Oc. 11, 1962.
  • Sample ballot of General Election, Nov. 8,1960.
  • Faculty bulletin issued by President Wood naming committee for cornerstone laying ceremony for new gymnasium.
  • Invitation for Cornerstone Laying Ceremony for new gymnasium Oct. 20, 1962.
  • Program for Cornerstone Laying Ceremony for new gymnasium
  • Farthest North College, April 1, 1962.
  • Program for Rededication Ceremony for original cornerstone on U. of A. campus Sept. 13, 1962.
  • Photograph of cornerstone laying July 4, 1915.
  • Picture and history of Grand Master Charles W. Johnson of the Masonic Lodge.
  • Roster of members of the Tanana Lodge No. 162 F&AM.
  • Address of Grand Orator.
  • 1962-63 University of Alaska Catalog.
  • Program log for opening day of KUAC.
  • Gold souvenir dollar issued when Alaska became the 49th state and good in trade for one year.
  • Progress pictures of “Physical?” Education and Recreation Building.
  • Budget proposal for 1963-64.
  • Program for Grand Breaking Ceremony Aug. 21, 1962.

Oct. 7, 2014 -- Executive staff not receiving bonuses


Is it true that members of UAF's executive staff are getting bonuses in the middle of all of the layoffs and program cuts?


From Brad Lobland, Director of Human Resources

No, members of UAF's executive staff are not getting bonuses.

Faculty and non-executive staff receive cost-of-living increases as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreements each year, plus most also receive step increases. This year faculty and staff received a 2 percent cost-of-living increase, an additional paid day off, and their step increases.

Beginning in FY 15, the former "executive" category was split into two groups: "officers of the university" (includes the chancellor and the provost), and "senior administrators" (includes the vice chancellors, deans, and directors).

The officers of the university received zero pay increases for FY 15.

For senior administrators, an aggregate pool of funds equal to 1.5 percent of salaries, was budgeted. The chancellor split this pool among the senior administrators to provide a small (.75 percent) cost of living increase, and to provide market and merit adjustments for some individuals where appropriate.

Oct. 7, 2014 -- Disabilities in relation to the on-campus shuttle


I understand that you can now only order the shuttle bus if you have a disability. Do you have to identify yourself as having a disability when you ask for a shuttle bus? To whom? In what details? Who vets these things? Isn't there a privacy issue here?


From Martin Klein, Business Manager in Auxiliary and Contract Services

At UAF we currently offer fixed route shuttle service Mondays through Fridays from 7:15 a.m.–10:30 p.m. There is no shuttle service offered on weekends.

The on-campus shuttle service is supplemented by providing on-call service to on campus locations for those who otherwise would not be able to access a location due to a mobility disability. In the case of a single, one-time, request, transportation services will respond without requiring proof of a disability. For those requiring repeat service the needs are vetted through UAF Disability Services for student riders. Service needs for staff, faculty and visitors are vetted through The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. University dispatch may ask the nature of the disability to insure that the appropriate equipment is sent out, and they only relay to the drivers if a wheel chair lift is needed, the pickup location, and destination. Use of the on-call shuttle service is not mandatory. Students or employees who do not wish to disclose the existence of a mobility disability may use the fixed route shuttle or make their own arrangements for transportation.

This is not a change from what has been done in the past. There may be some confusion because UAF has eliminated on call shuttle service to many off campus buildings due to funding constraints. All shuttle service has been discontinued to the following off campus buildings: Administrative Services Center, Facilities Services Physical Plant, 590 University Ave. (Design and Construction), Harper Building, West Valley Plaza, Georgeson Botanical Gardens. Limited scheduled service remains to the following off campus buildings: Old University Park, Hutchison Career Center, eLearning. Shuttles providing this service are ADA accessible and are wheel chair lift equipped. Schedule details may be found on the Facilities Services Shuttle Bus webpage.

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