May 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009 -- Supervisor definitions

SUGGESTION

With the HR memo on supervisor training finally defining what a "supervisor" is, i.e., who is required to attend, AFTER many staff attended needlessly, how can we avoid this type of snafu in the future? Can deans and directors not use their own judgment in order to make such decisions? Do we need to be so hierarchical a system that common sense can not be exercised in individual cases? The bureaucracy continues to run amok at UAF, with no sign of slowing.  

RESPONSE

From Kris Racina, UAF Human Resources director

HR is working to identify designated supervisors, which is difficult because Banner contains no "supervisor" code or designation. There are also employees serving as leads, who may not be official supervisors, but who interact and direct employee work, and who might also benefit from the training. It’s up to their dean or director to determine whether they should attend.

The issue of training came up as a recommendation from Staff Council to the chancellor. The concerns were such that the chancellor asked HR to roll out the program right away and work out issues as they emerged. The goal of the program is to ensure that supervisors are effective and successful. It’s beneficial for all employees to be well versed on university policies including those that apply to supervisors.

Please feel free to forward suggestions you might have to improve the program.

Friday, May 22, 2009 -- Supervisor training for faculty

QUESTION

UAF now requires supervisory training of staff members who are in supervisory positions.  Many faculty members in addition to teaching and research are in supervisory positions.  Are faculty members required to take mandatory supervisory training (maybe under the title of faculty development)?  If not is that something UAF looks to add to their future contract?

Incidentally most studies show that increased supervisor training not only creates smoother working environments for both the workers and supervisors, but also tends to improve a supervisor’s career advancement by them being more capable as a supervisor (hence promotions).  

RESPONSE

Faculty members are not required to take the supervisory training, but are welcome to attend any of the classes. There are no plans to require supervisory training as part of the faculty contracts.

Friday, May 22, 2009 -- LARS birthday party

QUESTION

Is LARS having a birthday party for the babies this year?

RESPONSE

The Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station hosted a Spring Open House on Saturday, May 16.

Friday, May 22, 2009 -- Nanooks hockey conference

QUESTION

Rumors have circulated around the Internet, as well as the UAF community, that the Alaska Nanooks hockey team may be moving from the CCHA to the WCHA. Is this true?

RESPONSE

From Forrest Karr, UAF Athletics and Recreation director

We are working with both conferences to explore affiliation with the WCHA for a number of reasons including the potential to increase revenue, reduce team travel costs, reduce team travel subsidies and the opportunity to play four league games each year against our natural in-state rival.

Chancellor Rogers will be briefed on May 27. If he decides to move forward, students, faculty, staff and the greater Fairbanks community will all be invited to open forums for discussion and input.

Friday, May 15, 2009 -- Dean of College of Liberal Arts

QUESTION

Did the dean of College of Liberal Arts leave UAF?

RESPONSE

 

Yes, Dean Ron Davis resigned for personal reasons.  We are presently beginning an internal search for an interim dean, who will probably start in June.  We will soon begin the nationwide search for the new CLA dean; we intend to advertise the position over the summer and interview candidates early in the fall semester.

Friday, May 15, 2009 -- Constitution Hall elevator

QUESTION

There is talk that an elevator might be installed in Constitution hall. Have they considered the concept of a small connecting addition between first and second floors of the Wood Center to the first-second floors of Constitution Hall with a small third floor connecting to the backside of the building with an elevator?

RESPONSE

There isn’t currently funding available to construct the Constitution Hall elevator. The elevator project has been designed so that Constitution Hall could be connected to the Wood Center in the future, however.

Friday, May 15, 2009 -- ARSC employees

QUESTION

Why were ARSC employees not allowed to attend the Staff Appreciation Day, without penalty from their supervisors?  One girl was scared to death to be away from her desk, except for the lunch ceremony?

RESPONSE

From, Debra Damron, ARSC Communications
 

It's distressing and surprising to hear that an ARSC employee was under the impression ARSC staff were not allowed to attend the event, especially since several ARSC staff were given special recognition and several employees attended  the recognition ceremony as well as participated in many of the sessions offered throughout the day.

ARSC Director Frank Williams sent an email April 22 to supervisors reinforcing support for staff to attend events associated with Staff Appreciation Day. He stated his encouragement for ARSC staff to attend, subject to emergencies and totally clear higher priorities. The employee is encouraged to bring their concerns to one of the directors of ARSC. No one should feel fearful on the job. If there is a perception that penalties would be incurred for attending an important event recognizing staff, the management of ARSC wants to know so that the issue can be addressed directly.

Friday, May 15, 2009 -- Department head duties

QUESTION

Can a dean require a department head to take over the departmental budget, including responsibility of allocation of salaries to faculty members within the department?

RESPONSE

 

Department chairs can be assigned the responsibility for managing a departmental budget. The budget responsibilities could include allocation of amounts for faculty salaries. However, the department chair would not be setting faculty salaries or awarding increases to faculty members. Department chairs are members of faculty bargaining units, and as such, are not supervisors of other faculty members. The dean or director is the hiring authority and supervisor of faculty members. It is therefore the role of the dean or director to decide whether a faculty position will be filled and what the initial salary will be. Provisions in the collective bargaining agreement set forth the amounts for salary adjustments for faculty members. At most, department chairs might make recommendations to the dean/director about initial salaries of new faculty, or might share their input on other issues that would affect compensation, e.g. whether a faculty member should be promoted or should be considered for a retention offer.

Department chairs also may be asked to make recommendations to the dean about how many and which adjuncts should be hired, and at what level of compensation. However, the dean is the hiring authority and would make all final decisions on these matters.  The dean could indicate to the department chair that he or she should only recommend hiring the number of adjuncts permitted by the total amount budgeted for adjuncts.

Friday, May 15, 2009 -- UAF logo on T-shirts

QUESTION

The geology department had a T-shirt that had a logo modified from the UAF logo, that turned out to be copyright infringement and so the department had to stop doing that. Now the geology students are so afraid that they have a design that does not even say "University of Alaska". 

What are the rules for department T-shirts?

RESPONSE

 
The geology students shouldn't be afraid to use the UAF name and logo. It is true that the UAF logo is trademarked, which means it can't be altered or modified; to do so would be copyright infringement.

However, there are many ways to incorporate the UAF name and logo as components of a design. We approve hundreds of designs for t-shirts and other merchandise each year. Guidelines for appropriate use of the UAF logo are available at www.uaf.edu/logo/. Please send questions and layouts for review to Marketing and Communications at logo@uaf.edu before your design goes to print.

We are happy to work with departments and campus groups to develop designs that work for them while maintaining UAF's visual identity.

Visit www.uaf.edu/marketing/standards/graphic/ for more information about UAF's graphic standards.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 -- Green technology in university facilities

QUESTION

The campus is considering building new buildings on campus such a new engineering building, a new energy center building, and a new life sciences building.  In the preview of these proposed buildings, none of them show any indication of using the green roof technology or rainwater collection system that the Cold Climate Housing Research building is using, nor any other indications of sustainable innovation.  Doesn't the green roof technology work, and does the roof on the CCHRC building work?  Is the UA system planning on putting any of this green technology in their new building designs?

RESPONSE

From Jenny Campbell & Cameron Wohlford, Senior Project Managers
 
We're still evaluating plans for green roofs on these facilities due to their infancy in design. We understand the importance of sustainability and energy conservation, and balance that with capital construction and maintenance cost of systems that have not been Alaska tested for buildings of this size. We are eagerly awaiting test results from CCHRC on the different types of systems and how they could be used in a larger scale. Both Life Sciences and the Energy Facility are currently planned to be at least LEED certified, regardless we know we need to reduce energy use and increase the life of university buildings. To that end, the original BIOS, now Life Sciences, did include a small component of green roof technology as did the Energy Building in the concept report that was prepared for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power January 2009. Neither were widely publicized due to the lack of design and cost/benefit study.

Facilities Services is optimistic about using a green roof, but there are challenges. A green roof has to be placed on top of an effective water-proof membrane with high R-value insulation (R-60), which can be expensive to construct. When the roof sod becomes water laden in the spring and during heavy rains, it loses all of its insulating value, and actually surcharges the structural elements of the building. It is unproven technology on large buildings in Fairbanks.

On a smaller scale, we plan to test some of these applications on the Honors House retrofit project. A portion of the roof is planned to be a green area for garden or live deck. We also plan to test both gray and rain water-recycling systems as well. We are working with CCHRC to both design the retrofit and improve on CCHRC's testing.

Facilities Services is committed to testing and researching how we can reduce our energy consumption and incorporate green technology in university facilities.

Friday, May 8, 2009 -- University Park Building

QUESTION

I heard that UAF is considering tearing down the UPark Building. Is this true and what will happen to
the programs presently located in the building?

RESPONSE

From Linda Zanazzo, Facilities Services
 
It is true that the west wing of the University Park Building is expected to be torn down next summer. Due to collapsing heat lines in the west wing of the building, the temperatures cannot be regulated during the winter. This has been an ongoing problem for many years, but it has gradually worsened and finally come to a point that it can no longer be maintained. A relocation plan has not been finalized. The campus is working to develop a plan that will meet the current occupants' needs. 

Friday, May 8, 2009 -- Executive raises or bonuses

QUESTION

I heard that employees at the executive level will not receive raises in FY10. Will they receive bonuses in lieu of raises? Also, what percentage was approved by the Legislature for staff increases in FY10?

RESPONSE

Statewide System and UAF executives will not receive base salary raises this year. Executive bonuses have not been determined and any bonus would depend on available funding and meritorious service. The Legislature approved an annual increase of 4.5 percent for staff.

Friday, May 8, 2009 -- Constitution Hall elevator

QUESTION

I heard that Constitution Hall is getting an elevator. What is going to happen to the Alumni Office?  

RESPONSE

That project is on hold. Facilities Services will be doing a space analysis of the Alumni Association's needs.

Friday, May 8, 2009 -- Geophysical Institute layoffs

QUESTION

How come the first time that most of the non-GI staff heard about the layoffs was on the front page of the News-Miner today?

(question came in April 30)

RESPONSE

Affected employees at the Geophysical Institute were the first to be notified about the layoffs. Although the news would have likely been shared amongst colleagues and friends, it's not our practice to make announcements to the entire campus regarding a few individuals at the unit level. In this case, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner inquiry came just as the employees had been notified.

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