June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 -- Use of elevator at Student Recreation Center

QUESTION

Why is the elevator at the SRC controlled by a key? It is difficult enough to get around campus if you're not mobile (you can't use the handicapped doors at WRRB with your Polar Express card after hours, for example, and handicapped parking spots are not always conveniently located), and it frustrates me to have to ask a student employee to come over to the elevator with me so they can call it down. Ideally, I should be able to access the building like anyone else.

RESPONSE

From Ruth Olsen, coordinator of the Student Recreation Center
 
Unfortunately we have had to control the elevator for access. The elevator door is in the entry of the SRC lobby and people could enter the SRC, go up the elevator, and get access into the facility without paying or entering through the access gate. I have gotten keys and given them to those individuals that require a key to access upstairs. I would be happy to accommodate any individual with their own key for easy access!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 -- Two-ply vs. one-ply toilet paper on campus

QUESTION

It appears as though the toilet paper in UAF's restrooms have gone to one-ply. Is this a permanent change, and if so, is this due to cost-cutting measures?  

RESPONSE

John Renfro, superintendent of custodial for Facilities Services, said he is not aware of any one-ply toilet paper being used on the UAF campus. "The toilet paper we use in-house and on the contract side is two-ply. These are green/earth-friendly paper products." Renfro added that while these products cost a little more, "making sure customers are comfortable is also something we take into consideration."
 
If the anonymous sender of this question could write back to let us know where on campus single-ply paper is being used, it would be much appreciated!

Friday, June 18, 2010 -- Concept study for proposed new engineering building

QUESTION

Which architectural firm prepared the concept study for the proposed new engineering building on the UAF campus? Does it incorporate LEED design criteria? Can the public obtain a copy of the study? 

RESPONSE

Bezek Durst Seiser out of Anchorage was the firm that did the study. It was only for space programming and not true design. It has mostly utilization data in it and UAF is working with the UA chief facilities officer to determine what the summarization of that data should be; it is not yet available to the public.

Friday, June 18, 2010 -- Speed limit suggestion

SUGGESTION

Why is the speed limit along the upper road only 20 mph while the limit on the lower road is 30? 20 is just way too slow. At least make it 25. or only have the 20 mph limit from Reichardt to Wood Center.

RESPONSE

According to UAF Chief of Police, Sean McGee, pedestrian density is a determining factor when it comes to deciding upon a posted speed limit. There are simply far more pedestrians between the area of the upper campus residence halls and the Wood Center than there are in the areas of Tanana Loop by the Student Recreation Center and the Lola Tilly Commons.

Friday, June 11, 2010 -- Stop sign suggestion

SUGGESTION

I would like to suggest a stop sign at the intersection of Yukon Drive and Tanana Loop for the traffic headed downhill from the GI. For vehicles on Yukon Drive at the stop sign, it is difficult to look 45 degrees to both the left and the right; it would be safer if only the vehicles coming up the hill on Tanana Loop had the right of way.  

RESPONSE

This hasn't been officially discussed at the master planning level. Given the downhill grade from West Ridge, a stop sign could make it difficult for traffic to stop, especially when the road is wet or ice covered.

Friday, June 11, 2010 -- Private donations and research dollars

QUESTION

Regarding President Hamilton's recent request for a tuition hike: A University of Alaska spokesperson was recently quoted in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner stating that private donations and research dollars are down. If true, why has that occurred considering the recent growth in expenditures by the university for both advancement/development and research support?

RESPONSE

There is often a correlation between the size of the development office and how much money gets raised. One of the impacts of the economic decline last year is the University of Alaska Foundation had less money available to support development resulting in a loss of critical staff at a time when giving was already down.

For the current fiscal year, UAF may exceed the goal for private fundraising. Donations are in line to reach $6 million for the current fiscal year. The donations are a mix of endowments, corporate and private gifts, the majority of which are restricted to specific scholarships or programs. UAF needs to increase the level of development support in an effort to further grow this area.

Although private donations are a small percentage of UAF's overall budget, the funds, when designated as unrestricted, can help to fund priorities that would otherwise go unfunded.

Research has leveled off since 2005, but saw a slight increase this year and could improve as the nation invests more in climate change and alternative energy research. Researchers at UAF are amazingly effective at bringing in federal grants and contracts and many do not have the time to take on additional projects. In order to grow research we have to hire new faculty and staff. UAF's biggest challenge is the lack of research space to house these new researchers and their laboratories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010 -- Vice chancellor for research candidates

QUESTION

I've heard that candidates for the vice chancellor for research position will be coming to campus soon, but can't find any information on the UAF website. Who are the candidates? When will they be on campus? Will there be any public forums? Will their CVs and other application materials be made available prior to their visits?

RESPONSE

The candidates for the vice chancellor for research will be interviewing in July. They will meet with research center and institute directors, campus and statewide leadership and make a presentation on day two of their visits. The presentations will take place in Wood Center at 10:30 a.m. The dates and candidates and CVs are listed here:

For more information, contact Larry Hinzman at ldhinzman@alaska.edu

Thursday, June 10, 2010 -- Art piece displayed in the library

QUESTION

Why does the Rasmuson library have a painting of the colonization of Native Alaskans by missionaries prominently displayed next to the entrance?  Couldn't some other painting fill its place?

RESPONSE

This particular mural was chosen to hang in the entrance because it was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs Elmer Rasmuson for which the library is named. Rasmuson served as a member of the Board of Regents from 1950-56 and president of the board from 1956-1969.  The mural was the project of the Alaska Council of Churches in conjunction with the United Campus Ministry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  

To quote the brochure about the painting, "Alaska's history is inextricably intertwined with the accounts of missionary activity of the Christian church and had a profound influence in shaping the destiny of Alaska."  

UAF promotes the free and open discussion of ideas and, in doing so, supports a diverse array of art pieces across the campus.

Other artwork prominently displayed on the library's main floor are two sculpted metal pieces done by Robert Jones, a wool blanket made by Kathleen Carlo and two paintings by Rusty Heurlin.

As with many great works of art, this one may someday inspire someone to learn more about Alaska's history and its peoples. The mural is the work of Rie Munoz of Auke Bay, Alaska and is based on the book, "Cry in the Wilderness" by Tay Thomas. If you'd like to learn more about this work, the complete brochure is available in the library near the mural. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010 -- Status of MyUA

QUESTION #1

I heard that with google apps, that MyUA is now obsolete and will soon go away, since there is no need for a single sign on and the email does not work. Is that true?

QUESTION #2

I heard that UAA is taking over the MyUA website. Does that mean that I will lose access to MyUA?

RESPONSE

The university has made a strategic decision to discontinue the the use of the Luminis platform from SunGard October 2010. This is the software that the MyUA Portal is built on. The use and adoption rates systemwide have been very low for a variety of reasons. Each campus has been asked to look at the impact of discontinuing the MyUA portal and make plans for providing access to services formerly in the portal. All campuses are set to discontinue use and UAA is not taking over the MyUA website.

Thursday, June 3, 2010 -- Grant-funded position and staff appreciation day

QUESTION

I am a term-funded employee, paid completely via restricted funded projects. My supervisor told me I could not attend staff appreciation day because it is illegal for the grant to pay my time for events like that, so I was not allowed to go. Now, he says I cannot attend required safety training, as that is not in the scope of work for the grant.  Is this true, that I cannot attend these events, because I am paid by federal grants?

RESPONSE

Staff appreciation day can't be charged to federal grants. However, the supervisor should allow and encourage employees to attend and the supervisor should discuss with their dean or director for permission to charge to fund one. 

Safety training is a university requirement. The employee can charge time to the grant as an administrative cost. 

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact UAF Human Resources directly at 474-7700.  

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 -- Online classifieds

QUESTION

Has there ever been a discussion about creating an online classified ad "bulletin board?"  If not it would be a great way to have students, staff and faculty to connect centrally.

RESPONSE

Actually yes. Campus Technology Services is currently working on an eClassifieds solution for UAF and plans to have it up and running this summer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 -- Bike lane and sidewalk on Tanana Loop

QUESTION

Are there any plans for a bike lane and sidewalk on Tanana Loop West and are there any plans for a bike lane on Yukon Drive?  It's frustrating and dangerous for everyone to always be dodging bikers/pedestrians on these two roads specifically.  

RESPONSE

A project on North Tanana loop will begin this summer when Facilities Services will identify a six foot wide walkway and install the base. This base will serve as the walking / riding surface until funding becomes available to install a permanent concrete surface. Facilities is also looking at the possibility of installing LED lighting along the walkway.
 
As far as Yukon Drive, there are no existing plans to install a bike lane at this time. There is space along the south side of the roadway for an additional lane and the Campus Master plan calls for lowering the usage of that roadway by vehicles, so there may be changes in the future. Again, there are funding issues prior to actually performing the work.

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