Grapevine Archives


October 2008

Friday, Oct. 31, 2008

QUESTION:

So what will be happening with all of the space that the physical books used to take up at the bookstore once the online bookstore has been established?

RESPONSE:

The UAF Bookstore will expand offerings in other areas that have been requested by the campus community, to include more UAF apparel and gifts, as well as continuing to sell office and school supplies, technology and general books, and sundries. Visit the FAQs for more information.

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008

QUESTION:

When will UAF post MP3 audio podcast files of important talks such as the chancellor's convocation talk? IPods and MP3 players work anytime/anywhere! What could be more convenient?

Why do other universities offer this convenient public service, but UAF seems to be "behind the times".

RESPONSE:

As stated in an earlier grapevine response (Oct. 3), UAF is exploring ways to have podcasts available for future lectures. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

QUESTION:

Rumor has it the university is planning to build an on-campus multi-ice rink sports center for hockey with a speed skating rink. Is this true? There is also talk of trying to get business sponsorships to fund it (like the UAA business building). Is that true?

RESPONSE:

UAF has no plans to build a new sports center anytime in the near future.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008

QUESTION:

Is the UAF portal (MyUA) going to be moved to, or become an Igoogle site with the new move to Gmail? Since you use your Gmail email  account to log into Igoogle, wouldn't it be a bit easier than the  authserv system, not to mention more useful?  If so, would there be a UA or UAF theme for Igoogle?

RESPONSE:

UA is not considering moving the university portal to an iGoogle site. However, individuals and groups are free to create iGoogle sites for themselves and share them. Since we aren't able to offer substantial storage space for student groups to house their club and group websites, iGoogle sites are a natural  fit and we encourage student groups to utilize this new resource.

Monday, Oct. 27, 2008

QUESTION:

Is the UAF Bookstore outsourcing? Does this mean that students will no longer be able to buy books on campus? If this is true what are the plans for students who add courses late or do a drop/swap after classes have started?

RESPONSE:

Textbooks will be available only though an online vendor starting with spring 2009. In working to provide lower prices and improve service, the university tested this model with great success. The online textbook vendor has a generous return time policy, increasing students' ability to return or exchange books. More information, including an FAQ, will be available soon on the Bookstore website at www.uaf.edu/bookstore/.

Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

QUESTION:

Will the university be providing flu shots for faculty and staff this year? I know some years they have and other years they haven't, but it would be nice to know before paying for the shot elsewhere.

RESPONSE:

The Center for Health & Counseling provides free flu shots to UAF students at the center or at outreach clinics (watch the Sun Star for dates, places and times). Per the UA Health in Action Team (WIN for Alaska), there are plans underway for providing flu shots for faculty and staff. Details will be in an upcoming Health Link.

Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

QUESTION:

Has UAF been considering changing most of the dorms on campus to single occupancy for increased safety, appeal, and to achieve maximum occupancy ratings? Rumor has it that students living in single room accommodations are safer, less stressed, and do better in school resulting in higher grades and better health. Is there any truth to all that?

RESPONSE:

While we are not planning to change most of the residence halls on campus to single occupancy, the Department of Residence Life tries to make as many single rooms available each year as possible. The demand for on-campus housing is the primary factor in determining how many private rooms can be offered. Each year the Residence Life staff estimates the projected demand for on-campus housing and designates a set number of double rooms that will be available for students to live in alone. Regardless of the demand for on-campus housing, Residence Life is committed to offering some double rooms as singles to accommodate upper-class and graduate students. Our students' desire for privacy in their living arrangements is well understood. Our ability to meet their expectations for private  accommodations is limited by the design and number of our residence halls. As we begin the process of trying to build a new residential facility, access to private rooms will be a top priority.

Residence Life is not aware of any research that supports the rumor that single occupancy rooms are safer, less stressful or lead to higher grades. We are well aware that single occupancy rooms are more desirable for students, and we are striving to accommodate that need.

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008

QUESTION:

Hi, I have a question about campus housing. The chancellor has said that building a new dormitory is a priority. Last year in the Sunstar there was an article about how Lathrop Hall was turned into a "hotel" because there were not enough students living on campus to fill it. I understand that the dorms are outdated, but how can we know that there will be enough student interest to fill a new dorm, when the ones that we do have can't be filled?

RESPONSE:

UAF is looking to build a new residence hall not because we are filling our current halls to capacity, but because the residence halls we have are outdated and do not meet current student needs. With the exception of the Cutler Apartments and the privately funded MacLean House, UAF has not constructed any new residence halls since the early 1970s. Today's students are looking for different living arrangements in their residence life experience compared to students in the 1970s, and we need to provide those arrangements to better attract and retain students. Survey data from the admitted student questionnaire shows that residence halls are very important in the selection of a university, and UAF's residence halls are seen to be inadequate by students choosing not to attend UAF.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008

QUESTION:

I've heard that UAF may soon be implementing a hiring freeze.  Is this true, and if so, does it apply to staff, faculty specifically or all job classes University wide?

RESPONSE:

According to John Duhamel, acting director for UAF Human Resources, UAF is not in a hiring freeze.  The rumor could be based on an initiative at UA Statewide to review all new hires for UA Statewide positions only.  This review is a cost-savings measure which could (depending on the review) delay hiring for a particular position at Statewide.  Aside from this  initiative, to possibly delay hiring vacant positions for Statewide only, UAF has not had any discussions on this subject.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008

QUESTION:

Did the UAF Museum at one point have a train in their collection a long time ago (1960's or before)???  Rumor had it that they had what was the first train in Alaska at some point. 

RESPONSE:

The UA Museum of the North has no reference to a train/railroad car in the history collection of the museum. On a related subject, however, the oldest operating steam locomotive in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, Engine #1, is featured in Pioneer Parks' Tanana Valley Railroad Museum.

Here are a few references you may find interesting:

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008

QUESTION:

I heard that Judyth Wier, associate vice chancellor for development, is leaving UAF.  Is this true?

RESPONSE:

Yes. Judyth Wier, associate vice chancellor for development, will be leaving UAF to become the executive director of advancement for the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 30.

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008

QUESTION:

In the last couple of years UAF has been moving their websites to the Roxen Content Management System (CMS) which is a proprietary system.  I have heard rumor they are thinking of moving to a open source CMS such as Drupal which is written in a more common programming language (PHP), or moving to Google Sites with the Google email move.  Is this true?  Are we going to move to an open source CMS or Google sites?

RESPONSE:

There are no plans at present to migrate to a different Web Content Management System.

Regarding Google Sites: Now that it has been decided that UAF is migrating to Google Applications for Education, Google Sites will be available for everyone. This means that students, faculty, staff, and various organizations will be able to publish personal, project , and organization web sites.

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008

QUESTION:

Has the SRC moved to the Division of Student Enrollment Services?

RESPONSE:

The Student Recreation Center (SRC) is currently part of the Department of Athletics and Recreation. The entire Athletics and Recreation department used to be under Student and Enrollment Services at one time, but it has been part of the University Advancement division since 2005.

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008

QUESTION:

Can you detail the funding source for the electronic speed sign recently installed across from the MBS Complex?

RESPONSE:

There are actually two signs, one across from the MBS Complex and a second across from the SRC. The funding source is from the Facilities Services' Operations general fund.

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

QUESTION:

I submitted a question to the UAF Grapevine and got a response in two seconds. The response was a form response too. Is this an automated system??? I thought this was where you posted a question, and someone tried to run down an answer. If this is just a search engine it should have just said so. That is rather deceptive.

RESPONSE:

The Grapevine is not an automated system or search engine, but there is an automated thank you web page that appears once a question is submitted. The system e-mails submitted questions to Marketing and Communications; staff members research the issues, write the responses and post them to the Grapevine website. If an e-mail address is provided on the form, the person also gets a personal reply.

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008

QUESTION:

I understand that UAF has access to a web content management system and that we will be required to use it. Is this true? How does one go about using it and is there a deadline for converting to the new system?

RESPONSE:

UAF has been transitioning to a web content management system, Roxen, since early this year. It is available to UAF departments. Eventually the old UAF Apache web server will be retired, but that won't occur until all web pages and content have been converted to web content management. For more information, visit the UAF web CMS FAQ page at  http://www.alaska.edu/oit/cas/projects/uaf-wcm-migration/faqs/.

Friday, Oct. 3, 2008

QUESTION:

Does the UAF Police Department still have a dog as a part of their police force?

RESPONSE:

The UAF Police Department retired their police K-9 a couple of years ago, and unfortunately, due to the general expense of the K-9 program, they have decided not to continue with the program.

Friday, Oct. 3, 2008

QUESTION:

Will Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer's lecture (on 9/23/08) be made available via webcast to allow those of us who couldn't attend an opportunity to hear his talk? Please do, if possible.

RESPONSE:

Unfortunately Dr. Pfeffer's lecture wasn't taped, however UAF is exploring ways to have podcasts available for future lectures.

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