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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Dec. 19, 2014 -- New associate dean of the Graduate School


I just heard that the Provost has hired a new associate dean of the Graduate School. How can money be available for a new administrative position when we are in such budgetary crisis and staff and programs are being cut? If the current Graduate School Dean is not effective (He has never responded to my emails) why not address that problem rather than hire someone else to do his job?


From Susan Henrichs, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

The associate dean of the Graduate School position (1/2 time) is a temporary position that is being filled because the Graduate School Dean, John Eichelberger, will be absent for substantial periods of time due to activities related to the University of the Arctic and the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/) next year. I believe that the additional investment in administration will pay financial dividends for UAF in terms of enhanced international graduate student recruiting and research opportunities.

Dec. 19, 2014 -- Veterinary Medicine program


Only five Alaska Residents enrolled in first UAF vet class. Why does the first UAF vet class have only 5 Alaskan residents?

My impression is this very expensive program is funded mainly by state money, so why not restrict enrollment to Alaskan residents?


From Susan Henrichs, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

The Veterinary Medicine program is a 2+2 collaboration with Colorado State University. UAF offers the first two years of courses for the four-year program; however, the program is under the authority of Colorado State and they set the admission criteria, which are highly competitive. Our applicant pool this year had 20 Alaskans out of 92 applicants, so in fact the Alaskan contingent did quite well.  Currently the national average of acceptance rates into veterinary colleges is one acceptance per 10 applicants. Five acceptances out of 20 applicants this year made for exceptionally good odds for these Alaskan students. We expect the numbers to increase as we go forward and students become aware of the existence of this program. UAF offers pre-veterinary advising to help students attain the necessary qualifications. Please keep in mind that students applying this year have been preparing for a minimum of 4 years. They began their pre-veterinary studies when this program did not exist, and so many from this cohort chose to leave Alaska, become residents of other states which had veterinary schools, and attempt to gain admission in that other state.  It's likely that more individuals who want to be veterinarians will remain in Alaska now.

The Veterinary Medicine program received $200,000 in state funding two years ago, but is largely tuition supported.  Non-Alaskan students will pay a special non-resident tuition rate to attend the classes here, currently $54,000 per year, which is twice the rate Alaskans pay.  Veterinary Medicine faculty are also having considerable success in securing research and outreach grants.

Dec. 18, 2014 -- Commencement


I recently read about the fall commencement at UAA. Why doesn't UAF do something like that for fall graduates?


From Cheri Renson, Marketing and Communications events manager

UAA has some space limitations which supports that need for the December ceremony. UAF has traditionally held their fall/spring ceremonies in May and suggestions for support haven't gained momentum. 

We'll be sure and forward your question to the commencement committee. 

Dec. 17, 2014 -- Nanook Shuttle


 Why did Residence Life wait until finals week to announce the Nanook Shuttle wasn't running?


From Laura McCollough, Department of Residence Life director

Good Question. Residence Life provided information about winter break closing the first week of December. This information included transportation options for getting to the airport. During the second week of December Residence Life sent out an email to all residential students that provided information about airport transportation and that the Nanook Shuttle was not an option for 2014.     

In hindsight I should have provided more communication to the broader UAF community. Lesson learned!

Dec. 16, 2014 -- Docusign tuition waiver


I filled out a docusign tuition waiver and had my supervisor e-sign it. It has been a while but the credit has not been applied to my student account. Do I need to do anything else or just wait longer? How long should it take for a docusign tuition waiver to be processed?


From Amanda Wall, Office of the Bursar director

Due to tax reporting implications, we are unable to post any payments, other than personal payments, to student accounts until January 1 of the year in which you are registered. We will apply all waivers as soon as we return from the holiday break. We also do not apply waivers for fall prior to July 1 of each year. 

Individuals can always contact the Office of the Bursar to verify receipt of waivers at uaf-bursar@alaska.edu or 474-7384.

Dec. 1, 2014 -- Statewide office holiday closure


How come the SW offices are closed on Dec. 24 and UAF offices are not?


From Erik Seastedt, Chief Human Resources Officer

Each major unit of the UA system sets its own schedule for holiday closure based on the services needed around holiday time. A variety of essential personnel will still be working at SW on Dec. 24 to make sure payroll is processed, bills are paid, electrons flow, and etc. A hard closure on Dec. 24 made sense at SW to globally give permission to our non-essential employees to take a leave day on what is usually considered a holiday. UAF’s non-essential employees have the same opportunity to take a leave day with supervisor approval, however UAF’s service needs to students, faculty and staff are very different and the decision to remain open on Dec. 24 best accommodates those needs.

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