January 2013

Jan. 28, 2013 -- Parking Services and ticket collections

QUESTION

It's my understanding that parking services will be sending employees to collections for parking tickets. It's also my understanding that payroll deductions are no longer an option. 

My questions are:

  • Am I to understand that my employer will be affecting my credit score over parking tickets?
  • How does collections work with the appeal process? 
  • Does it cost the university more money to use collections than self-administering? What is the breakdown? 
  • Why was the decision to use collections made?
  • Why are payroll deductions no longer an option? It seems like parking services has made it harder for people to pay citations.
  • Will students also be sent to collections? Are we, as a university, going to be affecting students credit history over something like parking tickets?

RESPONSE

From Martin Klein, Business Manager, Auxiliary and Contract Services

UAF is moving toward a single stop payment point through the Business Office for all fees owed. Parking Services now transfers charges on unpaid tickets more than 60 days old to the UAF Business Office. Processing tickets through payroll deductions was very time consuming and frequently offensive to employees. Students, faculty and staff can easily pay these charges in the same manner they would pay any other UAF charges on their account.   Options include by web, mail, phone, in person or by wire transfer. Complete details on payment options, fees and collections actions taken by the Business Office can be found online.

Tickets that have been appealed are not transferred unless they remain unpaid 60 days past the resolution of the appeal.

Questions may be addressed to Parking Services or the Business Office.

Jan. 28, 2013 -- Booting vehicles during finals

QUESTION

I suggest that UAF have a policy of not booting vehicles during finals week. 

Why is this the current policy?

I feel we do not need to add additional stress and financial hardship to students during finals week. Could we please just add an additional ticket to the students account?

RESPONSE

From Martin Klein, Business Manager, Auxiliary and Contract Services

Parking Services boots less than one-tenth of of 1 percent of UAF students' vehicles on campus. Before a student's car is booted he or she must receive multiple parking tickets and then neglect paying those tickets. Students with a concern regarding being booted should contact parking services to make arrangements for settling their account.

Jan. 28, 2013 -- Cost transfer requests process

QUESTION

Rumor has it that now ALL cost transfer requests (JVs, Labor Redistributions, JPays) that will affect a restricted fund must be approved/initialed by the appropriate grant tech at OGCA before Financial Services will key it. (Previous information suggested that only those with a 60-day memo would need extra approval.)

If that's the case, then should we send such cost transfer paperwork straight to OGCA, or are we still to send it to Financial Services (per OGCA manual p62) and let them decide if it needs OGCA approval first? If OGCA is always in the approval line-up now, what are they checking for and/or what kind of errors are they hoping to prevent by checking charges before they are keyed?

RESPONSE

From Teri Langton, OGCA

All Journal Vouchers (JV), Labor Redistribution (LR) and JPays should be sent directly to Office of Finance and Accounting (formerly Financial Services). If the JV, LR or JPay has a 60 day cost memo attached the Office of Finance and Accounting sends it to Office of Grants and Contracts Administration (OGCA).  If there is no 60 day cost memo attached and one is required or if office of Finance and Accounting has any questions the cost transfer is sent to OGCA. 

OGCA reviews JV’s, LR’s and JPay’s  to make sure the charges are reasonable, allocable, consistent  and applicable to the sponsored project. All necessary backup or explanation should accompany the JV, LR or JPay. If the explanation or back up is unclear or incomplete then OGCA will contact the department for additional details. OGCA also checks to make sure the debits and credits are correct and that the account codes are allowable on the sponsored project. Once the reviewing process is complete the JV,  LR or JPay is approved or disapproved by the senior accountant.  If it is approved OGCA will send the document to the office of Finance and Accounting and they will enter it into Banner.  If the document is disapproved it will be sent back to the department.  

There is a designated courier that goes to both OGCA and Financial services on a daily basis. This was established when OGCA moved to the West Ridge Research Building and has minimized delays due to OGCA and Office of Finance and Accounting being in different locations.

With the advent of Web Time Entry and the new Effort Certification Statement system, it's anticipated that the number of cost transfer requests are expected to drop dramatically. 

If there are questions regarding JV’s, LR’s or JPays, please contact the senior accountant at OGCA.

Jan. 25, 2013 -- Head-bolt heaters in Nanana lot

QUESTION

Are there any plans for additional outlets to be installed in the Nenana parking lot?  There are so many times that I cannot plug in if I have to leave and come back during the middle of the day. 

RESPONSE

From Debbie Hansen-Hill, Parking Services

At this time there is no plan for adding additional outlets in the Nenana lot.  If you can not find a parking space with an outlet, in the lot of your choice, please park in another lot and use the shuttle transportation to your location.

The Blue Route, which travels in a clockwise circle of campus, is also an option, it can be requested (by calling 474-RIDE(7433).             

You'll find more information on the shuttle schedules, routes and online tracker online.

Jan. 23, 2013 -- Green route shuttle at the Patty

QUESTION

Could the Green route shuttle stop at the Patty Center/SRC during non-peak parking lot shuttle hours or on request? It is not much, if at all, a detour of the Green route.

RESPONSE

From Sarah Mousseau, Transportation Services

The Green Route is our most popular route, due to the short amount of wait time, which is approximately 5-7 minutes for a complete loop.

Although, the actual distance of this requested detour is small, the amount of traffic in the area of the Nenana Parking lot, the Patty Center parking lot and Tanana Loop, is often fairly heavy, and maneuvering a 31 foot bus through heavy traffic could very easily double the route time.  Due to the nature of the traffic, we have attempted to have the routes make only right turns and as few left turns as possible for safety purposes.

Yes, there are a few times when both passenger and vehicle traffic is low enough that Green Route could drop off at the Patty/SRC by request, and the driver may be able to drop passengers at the Patty Center steps.

The Blue Route, which travels in a clockwise circle of campus, is also an option, it can be requested (by calling 474-RIDE(7433) to pick up at the Eielson/Signers’ bus stop, and stops at the Patty Center steps every loop.             

For more information visit us online.

Jan. 14, 2013 -- Stay on Track change in focus

QUESTION

Is it true that UAF tossed out the conveyer-belt, "get 'em in, get 'em out" 'plan' to push 18 credits or more/semester and instead adopt a realistic model of "finish in your own time"? I'm still a bit mad about that stupid idea and the offensive false logic & "fuzzy math" imposed upon us during the marketing campaign, during which our classes were interrupted by people coming in to share the spiel.  

RESPONSE

From Mary Gower, Enrollment Services Director

The Stay on TRACK campaign changed from a "Finish in Four" motto to "Finish in Your Time" for the Fall 2012 kick off.  This was in response to student feedback and survey data. The campaign originally encouraged students to take at least fifteen credits each semester, which will both save them money and increase their likelihood of graduating.  Realizing that not every student can take a 15+ credit load, students are now encouraged to take at least one additional course to progress on their path to graduation. Students are still encouraged to take 30 credits a year to graduate in four years.
All students are encouraged to:
 

  • Register early to get the classes they need.
  • See an academic advisor and use DegreeWorks.
  • Choose a major and stick with it.
  • Keep up their grades.


For more information visit www.alaska.edu/stayontrack/

Jan. 14, 2013 -- Donating leave time

QUESTION

Why does the university not allow a woman going on maternity leave to accept donated sick leave? The state allows it why doesn't the university and if I'm able to use my own sick leave during this time what's the difference between my own sick leave and accepted sick leave?

RESPONSE

From Erika Van Flein, UA Human Resources

The leave share program is governed by university regulation and is designed to help an employee suffering a catastrophic medical event. Normal pregnancy and delivery is not a catastrophic medical event. However, complications such as required bed rest and recovery from cesarean section surgery could qualify if the patient's physical certifies a medical incapacity for the condition and recovery. 

R04.06.130. Sick Leave.

D. Leave Share Program

1. Purpose: The leave share program is established to allow employees to voluntarily transfer hours from their unused sick leave balance to the sick leave balance of an employee with a catastrophic medical event.

Jan. 14, 2013 -- Bear sculpture at Alumni Drive

QUESTION

Why is there no nanook ice sculpture at the time and temp sign? Last year it attracted a lot of publicity during cold weather. I saw time lapse videos and pictures posted on Facebook and YouTube. I thought this was great that the University was getting so much publicity, as many wanted to take a photo or video of themselves near or on the bear with the temp in the background. I miss seeing it! I hope that it will return next winter. 

RESPONSE

Facillities Sevices has contracted out the bear ice sculpture and it should be completed and put in place soon.
 

Jan. 14, 2013 -- Paychecks and direct deposit

QUESTION

Why is it not allowed for an employee to pick up their check?  Every other place I've worked, if you receive a paper check, they hand it to you They do not make you wait for it in the mail.  

More than one "new" employee in our area has had problems with their direct deposit. I put new in quotes because they each have been here for 2-6 months. When payroll is questioned, they say they've never received the paperwork. Where is the disconnect?

RESPONSE

From Michelle Pope, director, Payroll and Benefit Accounting

Paychecks for the entire system are centrally generated at the Butrovich Building on the Fairbanks campus. These checks must be distributed throughout the system in a manner that will not be administratively burdensome, be consistent, and safeguard against loss, theft and fraud. UA administration has determined, wih the help of SW Internal Audit, that delivery by the U.S, Postal Service meets these requirements. Years ago checks were distributed manually for the entire system. The university moved away from this manual distribution because of the administrative problems and internal control issues.

Direct deposit is the safest and most efficient method of distributing pay. Currently, the university requires that manual request forms be submitted in order to set up direct deposit for payroll checks. It is always good for employees to follow up with the HR office to confirm that the paperwork has been received and properly entered.

We have been looking into a way to make direct deposit election available through employee self-service through UAOnline. This would allow employees to enter the banking information directly into the payroll system and would be implemented with the next pay period. There would no longer be an issue of lost direct deposit requests.Your MAU HR office will communicate these changes to employees as they occur.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


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