June 2009


Tuesday, June 30, 2009 -- UA Museum of the North admissions

SUGGESTION

I would like to suggest that the UA Museum have a reduced admission fee for active duty, retired military and their dependents that is equal to the UA students. These individuals make a huge sacrifice for the community and the nation and the museum should recognize this in the same way the athletic department does. 


Monday, June 29, 2009 -- Facilities Services vehicles

QUESTION

Why does Facility Services keep parking their vans in the lot near Lola Tilly Commons? Can't they park somewhere else?

RESPONSE

Various programs and departments rent vehicles from Facilities Services. It's likely that the vans parked in the Lola Tilly Commons are used by summer programs housed in the lower dorms. 

If you would like to follow up on a particular university vehicle, please contact Facilities Services and include the vehicle number located on the left and right rear panels of all vehicles. This will help us to provide accurate information.

Monday, June 29, 2009 -- HR director reporting lines

QUESTION

I noticed on the chancellor's website the HR director reports directly to him, however, on the VCAS website it indicates the HR director reports to her. Confusing. Which is it?

RESPONSE

The director of Human Resources currently reports to the chancellor, but the reporting line may change over time. The chancellor will continue to take strong interest in seeing that there is appropriate orientation, training, and evaluation of employees.

Friday, June 19, 2009 -- Future of the Sun Star

QUESTION

I heard a rumor that the Sun Star has been discontinued. Is that true?

RESPONSE

From Lynne Snifka, Sun Star Advisor and assistant professor of journalism

Absolutely not! The Sun Star is, in fact, gearing up for an exciting year. At the end of the spring semester, the Sun Star publication board chose a new editor for 2009-10: Tom Hewitt, a double major in journalism and computer science. Hewitt is excited for the challenge, he said, and plans some exciting new things for the paper. For example, he live-blogged this year's commencement via the social networking tool Twitter. Under Hewitt's leadership and with advising provided by journalism department faculty, the Sun Star plans to enrich the student experience by not only providing the printed paper, but also developing a more robust web presence that will feature photography, regular updates, slide shows and more. 

Friday, June 19, 2009 -- student housing plans

QUESTION

What are the campus's plans for building new housing for students or faculty?  Is there any plan to incorporate the more modern type of dorms (apartment style, healthy living style, or built in library and study areas)?

RESPONSE

From Kellie Fritze, Real Estate, Facilities Services

One of the most critical challenges the university faces today in attracting and retaining students is the quality of on-campus housing. UAF's current housing was built in the 1950s and 1960s, and while the facilities have been well maintained, they do not meet the demands and needs of today's students. Chancellor Rogers is pursuing several avenues in an effort to meet those needs. Last fall, he appointed a Housing Task Force to review UAF's current student housing needs and recommend solutions. In addition, the FY10 Capital Budget Request included a new housing facility as a top priority. Since it was not funded, this project will also be included in the FY11 request. 

On July 30, UAF will host a forum to discuss current and future campus housing facilities and options to meet student needs. More than 60 contractors, developers and financial offices have been invited to participate. The workshop will include a tour of UAF's existing housing units and open discussions on UAF's housing demands, possible solutions and how to craft a housing contract or Request for Proposals that would be attractive to consultants, developers and contractors while addressing possible private partner concerns.  

Thursday, June 18, 2009 -- Costs of off-campus space

QUESTION

How much does it cost for the university to rent off-campus office space in Fairbanks?

RESPONSE

UAF currently rents space for 16 different programs at 11 different locations in Fairbanks. This includes office, classroom and technical lab space. Costs run from $0.50 per square foot to $2.20 per square foot depending upon many factors including the type and condition of facility and the term of the lease. The annual lease expense to UAF departments in Fairbanks is approximately $1.43 million. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 -- Campus space allocation

QUESTION

How come the university doesn't do a campus-wide space audit to determine if offices could be reorganized in such a way to maximize the space and logically co-locate like units?

RESPONSE

The university does campus-wide audits every other year, as well as periodic evaluations on space use by unit. Whenever a unit requests more space outside of its allocated area, university planners conduct an audit of their space to insure best use. Since 1999, UAF has made tremendous strides in creating better adjacencies between units. Given the age of buildings on campus and the limitations therein, it is sometimes difficult to allocate space in a logical manner. Due to pressing needs, people and programs are often provided space that’s available. While this is not optimal, it is often the best option at the time. UAF is not alone, however, as most universities continually struggle with space optimization regardless of their size.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 -- Flex time for employees

QUESTION

In years prior to Chancellor Jones, the chancellor [has] encouraged departments to allow for flex time for employees, especially during the summer. This is allowed in Board of Regents regulation 04.05.D.1. "Nonexempt employees will not be eligible for compensatory time-off in lieu of overtime pay. This regulation does not prohibit the arrangement of flexible working schedules for employees which do not exceed 40 hours in any work week."

With the attention to sustainability at our campuses, it seems like offering this encouragement could lead to some departments being able to stagger staff hours to allow for increased coverage of hours of service by employees working 4-10s or similar, reduced parking congestion, reduced transportation cost and happier employees. 

Will this encouragement be offered under the administration of Chancellor Rogers? 

RESPONSE

The chancellor supports and encourages supervisors to allow flexible work schedules when possible to balance the needs of employees with the needs of department. Supervisors have the discretion to approve flexible work schedules so long as the change doesn’t adversely affect service to students and the public. Employees who wish to work flexible schedules should talk with their supervisor about available options.

Friday, June 12, 2009 -- Future of Skarland Hall

QUESTION

Why is Skarland Hall being converted into a "technology showcase" business center when Residence Life is in desperate need of student housing?

RESPONSE

Due to significant plumbing issues, Skarland Hall has been identified as possible office space. The costs associated with renovating the building's restrooms for its continued use as a residential hall, and costs of converting the building to office space are currently being analyzed and considered. UAF's senior administration is aware of the need for student housing and will take that into consideration when making a decision about the building's future.

Friday, June 5, 2009 -- FY10 Staff Salary Schedule

QUESTION

When will the FY10 Staff Salary Schedule be posted?
 

RESPONSE

Per SW Human Resources, the FY10 Staff Salary Schedule will be posted before July 5.

Friday, June 5, 2009 -- SES transition plan

QUESTION

What plans does the Chancellor have to support the SES division now that Tim Barnett has announced his resignation? Will there be an Interim Vice Chancellor appointed (and when)?

RESPONSE

Chancellor Rogers will be working with VC Tim Barnett to develop an appropriate transition plan for SES.  Decisions on transition will be released prior to Dr. Barnett's departure June 19.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 -- LED lighting

SUGGESTION

Maybe it is time to start switching over to LED lighting for not only desk lamp type light bulbs, but also to replace the long fluorescent  bulbs in the ceilings and the street lamps on campus.

LEDs use a fraction of the energy of fluorescent lights, do not use toxic mercury, and last many times longer than fluorescent  bulbs (tube or compact  fluorescent ). There are now many different companies out there that offer LED lighting, and it seems that is where the industry is going.

Not only should we switch to these, you should also make it clear to staff, faculty, and students on where to get these to replace them in their office or dorm rooms.  If possible, it would be even more beneficial if the members of campus had a program to install such lighting at home as well. This sort of investment would not only save us energy, but would be a good investment in the long run.

RESPONSE

From Stephen Gemmell, Senior Electrical Facilities Engineer

Facilities Services has looked to use LED lights where their cost/benefit relationship made sense. We have for many years used $60 LED lamps in campus emergency phones due to their long life. LED streetlights cost three to four times a standard fixture. It would cost about a half-million dollars to convert just the UAF Fairbanks campus streetlights to LED fixtures. To convert all our campus exterior lights to LEDs would cost upwards of $2.5 million. Our electricity cost on campus is about $0.19/kilowatt hour. We get a bigger bang for buck when we install LEDs where the cost of electricity is highest. In Bethel, the cost of electricity is $0.50/kilowatt hour, so we have installed LED exterior lights there.

LED lighting is new technology. While the technology holds great promise, there are valid questions as to how well it will operate on a daily basis. Experience has taught us to be cautious when adopting new lighting technology.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 -- Facilities Services vehicles

QUESTION

Are UAF Facilities trucks rented?  I see one off campus at a house being built off Chena Pump on the weekends and I just wondered if it's an individual or if it's a UAF project. 

RESPONSE

From Martin Klein, associate director, Parking and Transportation Services

Facilities Services rents vehicles to other departments on campus  through the vehicle pool  www.uaf.edu/fs/vehiclepool.html.

Some employees that work for Facilities Services are on call during the weekends and are expected to respond to a call within 45 minutes to handle problems with heat, broken pipes, etc.

It’s helpful to have vehicle numbers when people have questions about university vehicles so we can provide accurate information.

Monday, June 1, 2009 -- Student and enrollment services

QUESTION

Is Tim Barnett leaving UAF?   

RESPONSE

Tim Barnett, UAF vice chancellor for student and enrollment services, has accepted a position with the University of Illinois at Springfield as vice chancellor for student affairs. His last day is expected to be June 19.

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