December 2013

Dec. 23, 2013 -- On-call shuttle for Jan. 3


Why is the shuttle only on call Jan. 3? People will be at work and it is the first day of Wintermester.


From Sarah Mousseau, Transportation Services

Historically, the first day back after the holiday break has low ridership and this year many offices will be closed due to the soft closure.

We will have two or three on-call shuttles running from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can call 474-RIDE (7433) for a ride and follow the shuttles via the shuttle tracker at You can track the shuttles via UAF's mobile application as well.

Dec. 18, 2013 -- Hot water in Signers' Hall


Why is the water that comes out of the motion sensor-controlled faucets in the Signers' Hall bathrooms so hot? It burns my hands but there are no other options to wash them.


Facilities Services has put in a work order to adjust the mixing valves on all the faucets in Signers' Hall and will also check hot water heaters to ensure they are not running too high.

Please be sure to contact Facilities Services directly at 474-7000 to report building issues.

Dec. 18, 2013 -- PolarExpress card redesign


I just read that PolarExpress cards are getting a new design. These new cards will be introduced as old cards expire.  I'm looking at my card and I don't see an expiration date. Am I missing something?


Ray Parshall, UAF Office of the Bursar

You make a good point: there is no expiration date for PolarExpress cards. However, there are criteria that determine when cards are no longer usable and new cards are needed to replace them: examples include cards older than four years (though the physical card has a life expectancy of five years, we will replace them free of charge after four years); cards that have been damaged, etc.

More information about the PolarExpress card may be found at or by calling the Office of the Bursar at 474-7384, and choose 2 at the prompt.

Dec. 12, 2013 -- Bullying in the workplace


Where can staff go to report a bully in an office? The bullying has gone on for years, and many staff have complained to the supervisor, but nothing is done about the behavior. What other options are available?


Mae Marsh, Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Bullying behavior is “unwanted and unwarranted behavior that a person finds offensive, intimidating or humiliating and is repeated so that it has a detrimental effect upon a person’s dignity, safety and well-being,” Hadyn Olsen, author of “Workplace Bullying and Harassment."

Typically bullying behavior includes acts such shouting, verbal abuse, intimidation, tantrums, vicious gossip, sabotage and aggression. This results in an environment of fear that intimidates people from speaking up and negatively impacts productivity.

UAF policy states
“All university employees are responsible for maintaining a positive working and learning environment.  Supervisors and faculty will promptly respond to complaints of discrimination to determine what, if any, remedial action may be warranted.”

If there is bullying behavior occurring in the work environment it must first be reported to the supervisor.  If the supervisor fails to take action, you can report the bullying behavior and the inaction to the supervisory chain (your boss’s boss), to HR and/or to D&EO.

UAF holds individuals to a high standard of conduct and sanctions are available under BOR policy:
“Supervisors will apply necessary and appropriate corrective action whenever an employee fails to meet the required standards of conduct or performance. Corrective action may be necessary because of employment related problems, including but not limited to: inattention to duty, unsatisfactory performance, insubordination, absenteeism, violation of law, regents’ policy, or university regulation, dishonesty, theft or misappropriation of public funds or property, inability to work effectively with others, fighting on the job, acts endangering others, inappropriate behavior toward or harassment of others, or other misconduct.”

For more information regarding your rights, visit the Diversity and Equal Opportunity website.

Dec. 12, 2013 -- Quadradic formula


This morning, Chapman Hall was lit up with a sign saying "You Got It" and the quadratic formula. Ugh. Members of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics would be happy to contribute to the UAF branding program mathematical objects that communicate more effectively than the quadratic formula does the excitement that our students and our researchers find in doing mathematics!


Darcy Harrod, Marketing and Communications

Thank you for your comment. The marketing department welcomes your suggestion on how to inspire your students. The idea behind the gobo projected on Chapman is to offer a light and encouraging message during finals time with a widely recognizably math equation and inspiring words. Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss other ways the department of mathematics and statistics can be involved with our efforts.

Dec. 11, 2013 -- Forum live broadcasts


Why is OIT so bad at handling the live broadcasts of open forums? I tried to "attend" two recent open forums (the Chancellor's forum on Nov. 26, and the Admin Services open forum Dec 10; both were a disaster. The second did not work at all, and the audio was so bad for the first, I could barely hear or understand what was being said.

In this age, being able to deliver content virtually is very important. Yet UAF cannot handle simple online broadcasts. It doesn't bode well for the future of our university and UAF should do better.


The Marketing and Communications Department chose to test Blackboard Collaborate to share the audio stream for the Chancellor's Forum in November. There were 60 people online and varied experiences from the user end. There wasn't a problem with the Blackboard Collaborate. It was with the placement of the microphone which had been set up to pick up ambient sound in the ballroom, rather than having a mic at the podium, which did not produce the best quality. We will set up differently in the future. You can try listening to the Chancellor's Forum via the recorded link. It works best with headphones and improves about five to ten minutes into the presentation.

For the Dec. 10 Administrative Services open forum, OIT experienced a problem with the live feed component of the Echo 360 lecture capture system going in to the forum. UAF has been using the Echo360 system as a Lecture Capture tool since 2008 and most recently, as a web streaming tool beginning in 2012. Up until recently, It's been reliable and it's used extensively throughout campus. While other events on the same day were unaffected, the live feed did not work for the forum. The system will be getting an upgrade over the holiday break which should resolve the issue. For those that were unable to attend in person or who had planned to watch via web stream, a recording of the forum is available at

We appreciate your patience as we try new technologies for delivering information to UAF's many locations.

Dec. 5, 2013 -- Holiday closure and administrative leave


It was recently announced that Statewide employees will be given a day of "Administrative Leave" on Dec. 27, during the winter break closure period, so they won't have to use annual leave or LOWP.  Will UAF be following suit?  If not, why is this a benefit only extended to Statewide employees at this time?


From Brad Lobland, UAF Human Resources

No. Given the number of employees at UAF, the costs associated with administrative leave, and UAF’s tight budget for FY 14, UAF will not be offering this leave to employees on Dec. 27. 
Below you'll find the closure dates and available leave options for UAF employees. Please reference it and discuss your leave options with your supervisors.

  • Paid holidays: Dec. 25–26, Jan. 1–2.
  • Winter closure – Dec. 25, 2013 through Jan. 2, 2014. An additional soft closure day may be observed on Jan. 3, 2014. For the three days of the winter closure that are not paid holidays, non-essential employees will need to take annual leave or leave without pay. Likewise, if employees choose to participate in the soft closure on Jan. 3, this is another day employees will need to take annual leave or leave without pay.
  • Departments with essential employees are exempt from the university closure. Additionally, as Jan. 3 is the first day of Wintermester, offices providing direct services to students should be reasonably staffed on that day.

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