Welcome to the Grapevine

The Grapevine is administered by the UAF Marketing and Communications Department and was designed to dispel rumors, clarify misconceptions and clear up misunderstandings about UAF topics of a general nature to improve communication between the administration and the UAF community.

Many times departments are able to quickly resolve an issue and we post the solution to the problem here as well. Thank you for your suggestions.

Submit your question or suggestion here.

As always, building and facilities issues that need attention should be forwarded to dispatch@fs.uaf.edu or reported directly to 474-7000. Unsafe conditions should be reported to Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management here.

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May 22, 2015 -- Wall decals


Where does one go to obtain one of those large wall decals, like the one in the main part of Signers' Hall. I've not been able to find anything about it on the marketing and communications homepage, which is where I assume they would be.

The branded wall decals that you see around campus were designed by Marketing and Communications and made locally by Auto Trim Design. If you are interested in more information, please fill out a Marketing and Communications request form at http://news.uaf.edu/project-request-form/ and someone will get back with you.

May 19, 2015 -- Cornerstone Award


Who was awarded the Chancellor's Cornerstone Award? Isn't that usually announced during staff appreciation?  I can't find anything online about it.

Debby Fristoe, School of Management and Angela Lin with the University of Alaska Museum of the North received the Chancellor's Cornerstone Award during this year's longevity awards program. 

May 15, 2015 -- Summer dining on campus


Why does ALL DINING on campus close during the summer? There are many folks who are on campus all summer - it is really frustrating when the only places open on campus are Arctic Java.


From Pamm Zierfuss-Hubbard, Contracts manager, Auxiliary,Recharge and Contract Operations

During the summer is when Dining Services conducts most of its maintenance in dining locations.  This summer we are doing renovations to Campus Cache and warranty work to Dine 49.  Dine 49 will reopen within the next few weeks and Campus Cache will reopen when the work is completed.
Overall, with the students on summer break, it is simply not cost effective to keep all dining locations open.  We are currently working on several other options to expand dining on campus during the summer.
Thanks for the feedback!

May 15, 2015 -- Bullying


If I suspect someone is bullying other employees but it is not happening to me directly, is there anything I can do? If the bully is someone in an executive level position how can I be sure I won't be punished if I do say something?


From Anita Hartman, Associate Director, UAF Office of Human Resources

A first step would be to assess whether the behavior you are witnessing is bullying.  Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable actions of an individual (or a group) that is directed towards, an employee (or a group of employees) and which results in 1) intimidating, degrading, humiliating, or undermining behavior, or which 2) creates a risk to the health or safety of employee(s).  There can be reporting relationships which can hinder reporting of such behavior which is why the UA Confidential Hotline was implemented early in FY15 www.alaska.ethicspoint.com .  Additionally, the University of Alaska complies with the State of Alaska Whistleblower Act http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/statutes.asp#39.90.100  


May 15, 2015 -- Student summer employment


Is there a consistent policy on how many hours per week students can work this summer?  Some departments are telling students they can work 40 hours/week and others are saying 29 hours/week.  I'm told that the 29 hours is tied in with the new health care law.


From Anita Hartman, Associate Director, UAF Office of Human Resources

University regulations define student employment status as nonexempt (i.e., hourly) temporary employment that is both non-continuous and variable as necessitated by both the department requirements and the student's academic schedules.    

If the department budget permits, student employees may work up to 40-hours per week during the summer period between academic years.  Students should be informed that they will be in a taxable employment status if working more than 20-hours/week.  As nonexempt employees, student employees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and Alaska Wage and Hour Law criteria with respect to overtime, no compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay, and so forth.

The requirement to offer health care benefits to continuing student employees will become a budget burden in the start of fall 2015 semester  if, during the look-back period, that student employee worked on average more than 30-hours/week then health care must be offered.  Students hired strictly for seasonal summer employment (e.g., to mow grass) who are not employed during the rest of the year are not subject to the Affordable Care Act requirements to offer health plan coverage. 

Supervisors are welcomed and encouraged to discuss their student employment plans with their unit's HR Consultant.


May 6, 2015 -- Copyrights and Fair Use


If someone wants to use something that the University of Alaska has copyright to (e.g., photographs from old yearbooks or old university publications) who do people contact to get permission? We used to have a copyright office but now it's the Office of Intellectual Property and it doesn't appear to be the same thing.


From Karen Jensen, Associate Professor and Collection Development Officer, Rasmuson Library

The UAF department responsible for creating the copyrighted work, such as the Institute of Arctic Biology or the School of Fisheries, can generally give permission for limited, non-exclusive use of works published in university publications. If the department no longer exists, Fair Use may apply, depending on the circumstances. For commercial uses or other inquiries, try contacting the UAF Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization.

Regarding old yearbooks or newsletters, it's difficult to say who might own copyrights on photos included in these publications. While the university owns the copyright to the works themselves, that is to say the entire yearbook or newsletter, it's possible that photos are individually owned. Without specific credits to that effect however, it would not be possible to determine alternate ownership.  But if the use intended falls under Fair Use, permission from the university is not needed.

For additional information on Fair Use, you can check out the Copyright & Fair Use article by iTeachU.

May 5, 2015 -- Personal holiday for trade union employees


Do the trade union employees get a personal holiday?


From Anita Hartmann, Acting Director of the Office of Human Resources

The short answer is no.  However, the Crafts & Trades Local collective bargaining agreement Article 3.10 - Union Leave Bank states:

"In lieu of the personal leave day currently being provided to non-represented employees, the parties agree to establish a leave bank for use by Local 6070 Bargaining Unit Members for Union training, collective bargaining, payment of witnesses under the provisions of Article 6.5.H.(2) and all other Union business. The Statewide Director of Labor Relations and the Local 6070 President may mutually agree in writing that a meeting, such as a labor management committee meeting or a health care benefits task force meeting, shall be considered work time rather than union business leave."

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