September 2012

Sept. 21, 2012 -- Naturally Inspiring spray paint


What was used to "paint" the new marketing slogan on the grass?


A special paint was used that is made especially for turf and grass. It will be easily removed the next time facilities services mows the grass.

Sept. 20, 2012 -- Pedestrian bridge near Ballaine Lake


Although this may be more of a DOT issue, I wonder if a pedestrian bridge can't be built near Ballaine Lake.  With the large cabin subdivision across from the lake, there are often students running across the road (in busy morning or afternoon traffic) to reach the bike path.  I only bring it up here because it seems that the population in that area is related to UAF.


Nicole Nordstrand, Facilities Services

Thank you for this suggestion. As you suspected, this is something that would fall under the purview of DOT/PF. You may want to consider bringing this concern to the

Fairbanks Metropolitan Area Transportation System

which has representation from the State of Alaska, cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the university.

While Ballaine Lake is on university-owned land, it is within the DOT/PF Right of Way, which requires that the university receive written permission from the State to make any changes or construction within the Right of Way.

Sept. 20, 2012 -- New marketing slogan


I noticed "UAF Naturally Inspiring" spray-painted on lawns in several locations around campus. Is this a new marketing slogan for UAF?  I consider myself a reasonably bright guy and I don't get the meaning of "naturally inspiring" in a literal or figurative sense when it comes to a higher education institution.  Marketing slogans don't work if their meaning and relevance has to be explained.


Michelle Renfrew, director, Marketing and Communications

In 2011, UAF embarked on market research to gather feedback about what people think and how they feel about UAF. After conducting focus groups, in-depth interviews, secondary research analysis and a major survey, we found that our stakeholders -- our staff, faculty, students, prospective students, alumni and community members -- view UAF as the following: 

  • We are a welcoming and embracing community.
  • We are located in a stimulating and energizing environment that allows us to do the work, research and many activities we all love.
  • We are authentic in that people can be who they want to be and are readily accepted.
  • At UAF you get practical value: a quality education for an affordable price.

In a nutshell: it is our geographic location on the map, this place called "Alaska" and our many unique programs that make UAF so special. It's what allows us to offer everything from certificates to PhDs, to conduct the cutting edge research we are known for and yet offer relevant courses unique to our many diverse students both urban and rural. At UAF our students are immersed in hands-on learning. UAF is Naturally Inspiring.

The Naturally Inspiring tagline will be part of a new marketing campaign that will kick off this fall. Very few taglines are so descriptive that they're understood without proper context. Without the supporting visuals, narratives and other marketing materials to accompany these taglines in their marketing efforts, one would not understand their meanings or relevance.

Some of the activities you will see on campus leading up to the launch in November are meant to build excitement about the new tagline. Once we launch the marketing campaign and introduce the brand components to campus it will become clear.  Until then, we are thrilled to know that people are talking, speculating and wondering what it's all about!

More information is posted along with an introductory video on our branding website.

Sept. 19, 2012 -- Wireless slow at Cutler


The internet in Cutler is SO slow. Someone told my roommates that this is because our apartment is in between two routers and in a "black hole" of internet.  That sounds kind of bogus to me, personally.  Is UAF doing anything to speed up the wifi up here?  We pay a wireless fee!  We should have faster internet!


Martha Mason, Executive Director, OIT User Services / CIO

Thank you for communicating your concern over the wireless network in the Cutler apartment complex.  The Office of Information Technology is aware of the difficulties faced by some wireless users in Cutler.  There are a number of factors which can contribute to this.  Some of the primary factors involved are radio signal strength, wireless access point client load, and client wireless device. In your apartment you may be experiencing issues due to any or all of these factors. Due to the current placement of the access points throughout the complex, there are some areas, particularly third floor bedrooms, which have a relatively low signal strength.

There are a wide variety of wireless client devices with varying characteristics, so while some devices may be able to connect in these areas of lower signal strength, others may not.  Furthermore, as users today typically carry a greater number of wireless devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.), there is a greatly increased client load on any given access point. Some of the older access points which are currently deployed throughout campus, including Cutler, are not designed to process this increased client load and users may experience decreased speeds when the access point becomes overloaded.

The good news is that OIT is currently working to upgrade these access points to new models throughout campus, including Cutler. In Cutler, OIT is pulling new data cabling in order to place the access point in more centralized locations so that signal strength throughout the complex will be higher and more uniform.  Furthermore, the wireless protocol running on the new access points being installed is capable of achieving greater signal quality to clients at greater distances than the previous protocols, and the new wireless access points are capable of handling a greater client load. Some areas of the complex have been completed, and as the work progresses you should see this improvement in your area as well. 

OIT is targeting early to mid-October to have the additional wiring and access points in service for the Cutler complex. Remember, you can always contact the OIT Support Center to report specific technology  problems.

Thanks again for your question, and have a great semester.

Sept. 17, 2012 -- Web guidelines not followed


Why does UAF Marketing NOT have to follow the same web guidelines as the rest of us?  Their photo site, does not use the standard Roxen template departments are forced to; and the logo is NOT approved according to the regulations THEY put forth?


Jenn Baker, web developer, Marketing and Communications

While Roxen is the only departmental web option supported by OIT, it is not required by departments to use. Departments may choose to use other platforms, but have to pay for and provide their own support, and are still required to abide by UAF's web guidelines. In some cases, users need more functionality that would be cost prohibitive for OIT to develop and support, such as for the photo store and gallery. We still recommend Roxen for most websites, as it free to departments, has a selection of themes and OIT support and training.

In the case of the UAF photo store and gallery, when it was launched in 2011, the logo at the time was an acceptable variation. Admittedly, the exclusion of the required banner was an oversight and the site is now in transition. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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