August 2009

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 -- Platinum parking

QUESTION

I heard that the giant tunnel that they're digging near the Power Plant is going to be Platinum Decal parking, and will have underground access to every major building on campus.  Is that true, and if so, how do I get a Platinum Parking Decal?

RESPONSE

The Alumni Drive project is to complete the first phase of an electricity distribution system upgrade project. There are no platinum decal parking lots planned at this time. 

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 -- Susan Butcher Institute

QUESTION

I haven't heard anything about the Susan Butcher Institute lately. Will there be more programs/events forthcoming ?

RESPONSE

There are currently no programs being planned for the Susan Butcher Institute. We are beginning the process of reviewing all of our leadership programs at UAF to look for efficiencies and ways to enhance outreach and education in this important arena to students, staff, faculty and the community.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009 -- ARRV port

QUESTION

I have heard rumor that the ARRV (new research vessel) may home port in Homer or Juneau.  Is that correct?

RESPONSE

Seward is currently the planned homeport for the ARRV, however the communities of Kodiak and Juneau have expressed interest. Chancellor Rogers visited Seward and will also visit Kodiak to hear their request. A final decision will be made after hearing from interested communities.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009 -- Coffee shop in the Rasmuson Library

QUESTION

Is there a coffee shop going into the library?  I've heard rumors about it for awhile.

RESPONSE

Dining is planning to put a coffee shop in the library. The goal is to have it open at the start of the fall 2009 semester.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009 -- Definitions of layoff, nonretention and termination

QUESTION

What is the difference between being laid off, terminated and non-retained? 

RESPONSE

From Kris Racina, UAF Human Resources director

Board of Regents Policies and University Regulations provide for several separate and distinct methods of terminating employment.  These include:

Termination for cause

Termination for cause is a disciplinary process.  (See Regents' Policy 4.07.060.) The employee’s supervisor generally initiates discipline.  Requests to terminate employment may be subject to review by the supervisor’s supervisor, and are reviewed by MAU HR, with advice from SW HR and General Counsel.  Termination for cause requires investigation and/or may involve a series of disciplinary steps, including counseling, reprimands and suspensions.  If “just cause” for termination is established after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the employee is terminated without a notice period, and is not eligible for rehire.   Termination for cause and ineligibility for employment may be disclosed to prospective employers and Unemployment Compensation.  The employee may be required by prospective employers to disclose that he/she was terminated for cause and the reasons.

Nonretention

Per Regents' Policy and University Regulation 04.07.100, the university may discontinue or not renew an existing employment relationship (other than tenured faculty) without just cause through nonretention.  Nonretention requires notice, or pay-in-lieu of notice, prior to termination.  The employee’s supervisor initiates requests for termination.  Such requests may be subject to review by the supervisor’s supervisor, and are reviewed by MAU HR, with advice from SW HR and General Counsel.  Nonretention is a status that does not reflect discredit on an employee. As a result, any performance reasons are not routinely disclosed to the employee, and the employee does not have to disclose any reasons to prospective employers.  Nonretained employees remain eligible for rehire, though references must be checked, as should be the case for all applicants for employment.  Prospective employers and Unemployment Compensation are told that the employee was nonretained and that nonretention does not reflect discredit on the employee.  An employee who believes that a nonretention violates the law, Regents' Policy or University Regulation may seek administrative review of the nonretention through the grievance process.

Layoff

A layoff may be based on: a lack of or reduction in available work; a lack of sufficient available funds; a good faith reorganization; or another reason, not reflecting discredit upon the affected employee(s), which has been approved by the chancellor or president of the university, as appropriate; or any combination of the preceding reasons.  Layoffs may be initiated at various administrative levels.  Layoff entitles the employee to the notice, procedures, benefits, and review process set out in University Regulation 04.07.110.  Prospective employers are told that layoff does not reflect discredit on the employee's performance.

For more information visit the Board of Regents’ website or contact UAF Human Resources at 474-7700.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009 -- Encouraging local hire for rural construction

SUGGESTION

FromLinda Zanazzo, Facilities Services

I am wondering if it might be possible to encourage hire of local people when UAF does a rural construction or renovation project. What I have in mind is adding some kind of local-hire incentive to the bid process by offering a certain amount of “points” to the bidder’s score if they commit to hiring a certain percentage of local people to carry out the work. Of course, there would have to be some kind of way to level the playing field if the bidder felt that, if they hired local people, the job might take a little longer and cost a little more. Nonetheless, this seems like a surmountable obstacle.

Considering that one of UA’s “strategic goals” is “community engagement”, I would think that such a process would really burnish the University’s reputation in rural communities by providing for some local employment.

RESPONSE

Alaska Statutes require a preference for Alaska bidders', but it does not provide for local hiring preference. UAF has two primary methods for hiring contractors. Invitations for bids are awarded based upon lowest cost. Requests for proposals are awarded to the contractor with the highest scored proposal. Proposals are scored, by evaluation committee members, based upon each projects' evaluation criteria.  UAF's evaluation criteria provides additional points for contractors with an existing office near the site of the project. As a public procurement unit of the state, awards based upon local hire preferences are not authorized. 

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009 -- Supervisor training on workplace bullying

SUGGESTION

Please include a class in the supervisor training series on recognizing and stopping workplace bullying.

RESPONSE  

This topic is covered in the required supervisor training course EEO and Sexual Harassment. Employees who feel they are being bullied can contact Human Resources or the Office of Equal Opportunity to discuss options. Staff in both UAF HR and the Office of Equal Opportunity are trained to recognize workplace bullying and deal with the negative effects, and can help with this issue if it’s brought to their attention.

Monday, Aug. 3, 2009 -- Watering flower beds

QUESTION

I greatly appreciate the plant beds that are located throughout the campus, and the addition of new beds of annual and perennial plantings.  However, I've seen these areas (and grass lawns) on campus being watered during the mid-day hours this summer, when temperatures are hottest.  Watering plants in the sunniest part of the day increases water usage and can lead to the "burning" of the plants/grass.  Would it be possible for the watering to occur in the mornings and late afternoons instead?

RESPONSE

From Darrin "Bear" Edson, Facilities Services, Roads, Grounds and Labor Superintendent

Thank you so much for your interest in the UAF campus and for your appreciation for what we do. You are correct, watering during the middle of the day in the summer months does have the potential of higher water use. While we'd like to water only during the night or morning hours, the truth is, we have employees on campus watering from 11 p.m. at night until 9 a.m. in the morning, daily. We do have two trucks operating during the day time hours, one deep soaks all the outer flower and shrub beds. The other services all of our flower boxes and hanging baskets. We try to water as much as we can during the evening or early morning hours. We will continue to improve and work towards the goal of all grounds maintenance tasks happening at such time that it has no effect on the campus normal operating hours. 

Again, Thank you for your awareness and appreciation.
 

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