Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008
- When they make new buildings on campus (or renovate them), who decides on what the architecture and design of the buildings are going to be? Is there a person or committee who decides what the architecture (and face) of our campus is going to be? The design of buildings on this campus range from the very bland and ugly, to very complicated, and to beautiful (depending on each person's taste in design), as well as being well or not very well designed. Is there a way that students, staff, faculty and the community can be involved in that discussion?
- Is there a similar group that discusses and possibly encourages the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly building designs? Is the Cold Climate Housing Research Center involved with the design discussion of buildings on this campus?
- Is there a group that encourages the integration of building design and construction research projects into the buildings of this campus? For example, testing different solar panel systems on the roofs of new buildings, so that way we get some more research going each time we build a new building.
RESPONSE (from Linda Zanazzo, Director of Facilities Services):
- Over two-thirds of UAF's facilities were constructed between 1950 and 1979. Some of UAF's facilities were also constructed prior to that time. During those years a variety of architectural designs were constructed on campus. UAF developed design standards for its facilities in the 1990s. Since that time, UAF's projects have been designed independently, but with the goal of blending with and complementing the existing architecture. Examples include the Reichardt Building, the UA Museum of the North, the West Ridge Research Building, the BiRD Building, and State Virology facility. For each new facility or major renovation project, a committee is established to assist with issues such as programming, selecting a design consultant, and colors. The committees consist of faculty, staff, students and community members, depending upon the type of project.
- UAF is developing new projects to incorporate LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. UAF is in the process of designing the Tanana Valley Campus Center's exterior replacement. Members of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center are assisting with potential energy savings solutions. UAF is also incorporating sustainable and energy improvements for the proposed Life Sciences Innovation and Learning Facility. UAF will continue analyzing cost benefits to increase sustainable materials and improvements in its facility designs.
- I am not aware of any single group that encourages integration of research projects into buildings. There are many separate departments on campus who perform research. When departments contact us and let us know that they have a construction-related research project, we have assisted. For new projects, equipment and technologies are researched and tested, such as solar panels, lighting systems, green roof systems, cowl walls, HVAC equipment, etc. . Chancellor Rogers recently established a Sustainability Task Force. This group will be providing additional suggestions for improving sustainability at UAF. The chair of that committee is Robert Holden, associate director of Auxiliary and Business Services. I am also fortunate to be a member of that committee. We would welcome any suggestions you may have.
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008
I heard that UAF will be offering Free Open Courses on the OpenCourseWare consortium. What does that mean?
According to a UAF news release distributed Nov. 13, 2008, the UAF Center for Distance Education has signed an agreement that will bring UAF courses to a worldwide audience and introduce Alaska students to courses from more than 200 universities and colleges. Under the agreement, UAF will join the OpenCourseWare Consortium and contribute 10 courses over the next two years. The consortium is a partnership of more than 200 higher education institutions worldwide who make their courses and course materials available free to the public online. For more information, see the news release in the UAF newsroom at http://www.uaf.edu/news/news/20081113113349.html.
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
Does the Cooperative Extension Service have a home at UAF? They used to be in the College of Rural Alaska (which is now the College of Rural and Community Development), then they were temporarily moved to the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, but where are they now? I could not find their home on the UAF or UA organization charts.
The Cooperative Extension Service is housed with the Academics Affairs unit under Provost Susan Henrichs. The UA Board of Regents announced the change in February 2008. The latest UAF organization chart (PDF) is posted on the chancellor's website.
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008
In a previous question, it was indicated that UAF was not aware of any information regarding single rooms being more beneficial that double rooms. So I have a two-part question.
- Has the UAF administration and housing considered doing a study to find out if single or double (or other populated) rooms are more beneficial to students regarding safety, higher or lower grade, and general health?
- Has the psychology and sociology departments considered doing research to find out the same, and possibly including a study of how the different dynamics of single vs. double rooms change the dynamics of their lifestyle, and their mental state.
If not, please inquire if they are interested in pursuing the answer to such questions. If these departments follow through with this, we might have found a way to provide more appeal to UAF housing (backed with statistical and research information), and some good research for the campus.
UAF has no immediate plans to conduct such a study. We would welcome proposals from students or faculty in the psychology or sociology departments -- or any other UAF departments -- that would result in useful data regarding UAF residence halls.
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008
I heard that UAF will start posting audio MP3 files, so the community can download to their ipods. I could not find the website for UAF audio MP3 files... where is it?
As stated in an earlier grapevine response (Oct. 3), UAF is exploring ways to have podcasts available for future lectures. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008
Why doesn't UAF have a registrar or Admissions director? There are interims but when will these positions be filled?
Two national searches were done last fall and last spring to fill the director of Admissions position. Neither search produced a qualified applicant for the position. An acting director was hired in May 2008. The registrar position became vacant in July 2008 with an interim being hired immediately. By the beginning of Spring 2009, a determination will be made on how to proceed with both positions.
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008
When they make a new building on campus and do 1 percent for the arts, do they make committees or groups to decide on what art that goes into, on, or around a building? Is there a way that students, staff and faculty can be involved in the process?
When we are able to invest 1 percent for art in a state-funded new building, a committee is formed that typically consists of faculty, staff, students and community members. The individuals usually have some affiliation with the building -- either occupants of the building or an adjacent building, or someone involved in one of the programs as faculty or student. The selection committee is formed from recommendations of the deans and directors from the units that are the primary occupants of the building. UAF's next new construction will hopefully be the Life Sciences Building, if you know of someone interested in art in the Life Sciences Building (or any other building) just send a note to the provost or the vice chancellor for administrative services and you will likely be invited to serve on that committee.