July 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 -- Union question

QUESTION 

I know that the university has to take a neutral position in regard to the unionization efforts by the ASEA, however it's very disconcerting to see the union make false promises to sway votes. Recently, fake parking tickets were placed on staff vehicles at UAF, advertising that the ASEA can "make parking permits go away," even though, for example, faculty members represented by the faculty union pay the same decal rates as everyone else.  I'm not saying I'm opposed to reducing parking costs, but I am opposed to the ASEA advertising false promises in an attempt to sway votes for unionization. Are these types of false claims something that the University can address with the ASEA?

RESPONSE

From Beth Behner, Chief Human Resources Officer

Parking fees apply to all employees who use parking lots at UAF’s main campus. A fee is charged for parking decals whether employees are represented by a union or not.  The only union that has a negotiated reduced rate for parking decals is the adjunct unit. Adjunct faculty members, who may only teach part time, are only required to pay half of the regular rate for their parking permits. Non-union employees who work less than half-time receive the same deal. The University considers it fair to charge these employees less for parking, as their use of UAF parking lots during normal working hours is also proportionally less. No union has negotiated lower rates for parking permits for full-time employees with the university. The university is unlikely to be able to agree with any union proposals for reduced parking costs when the rates in existence are designed to cover parking-related costs that the university must fund.

In response to your other point, the university is careful not to interfere with employees' rights concerning union organizing activities. That is what we would describe as being "neutral."   But the university is able to actively address misinformation and unrealistic promises, while still observing employees' rights. While the university could ask ASEA to stop making promises that can't realistically be fulfilled, the union doesn't have to listen to the University. The union could simply continue to make promises designed to gain employees' support. Therefore, the university has found it more helpful to communicate directly with employees.  It is the employees in the proposed unit who ultimately will be able to evaluate the union's promises in the context of facts and explanations provided by the university.

Please continue to bring union statements and promises to our attention if you think the claims are not supported; the university appreciates the opportunity to convey its position!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 -- Logo merchandise and the bookstore

QUESTION 

Rumor has it, that with the bookstore sale this week, and the overstock of clothing, the new contract with Follett Bookstores will entitle them to be the exclusive dealer of Nanooks logo wear. Does this adversely affect sales for the Athletic department? With their widely publicized budget woes, I'm concerned that (supposedly) removing a source of revenue with this bookstore contract will adversely affect the community, such as raised ticket prices, and the potential loss of programs, etc. Is any of this true?

RESPONSE

Athletics stopped selling licensed merchandise last year. UAF has many licensed vendors that can sell merchandise with our trademarks but the sale of trademark merchandise on the Fairbanks campus and on websites is now limited to the bookstore. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 -- L.I.F.E. program hours

QUESTION 

I think the L.I.F.E. program is awesome - but our office takes staggered lunches so that our office can remain open all day. Since my usual lunch is from 1 to 2 p.m., I wouldn't be able to be in the SRC during my lunch hour, which is the ideal time for me to work out. Any chance of extending the mid-day hours to 2:15 p.m. (or revisiting the hours in the case of other employees who don't take lunch from 12-1)? 

RESPONSE

From Ruth Olsen, Athletics and Recreation

We recently discussed the L.I.F.E. program hours during a Spring SRC Board meeting.  The L.I.F.E. program was implemented to promote UAF employees to work out prior to work, the typical noon lunch hour, and after work.  Unfortunately we realize that these times may not work for everyone but we cannot cover individual special situations as each person would have a specific time that may work better for them.

Monday, July 26, 2010 -- Admissions and the Registrar

QUESTION 

Admissions and the Registrar have been merged, but as of yet there has been no campuswide announcement to staff as a whole. Notifying Deans and Directors does not constitute notifying the UAF community. 

RESPONSE

The announcement was sent to deans, directors and department chairs on July, 28, 2010 with the expectation that information would be shared with various units. 

The following announcement has also been included in the July 26 edition of the Cornerstonestaff and faculty newsletter. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of the Registrar have been reorganized and integrated. The new organization is now the Office of Admissions and the Registrar. Mike Earnest is the University Registrar and Director of Enrollment Services. T he phone number for the combined department is 474-7500. Students needing assistance should come to the window located on the first floor of Signers' Hall. 

Monday, July 26, 2010 -- Geophysical Institute director retirement

QUESTION 

I hear that Roger Smith is leaving the GI. Is this true?

RESPONSE

Yes. After more than a decade at the helm of UAF's Geophysical Institute, Roger Smith has indicated that he'll be retiring from UAF June 30, 2011. A process/committee for recruiting a replacement has not yet been established. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010 -- Rubber Duckie ticket sales

QUESTION 

Is this true: "The Geophysical Institute Outreach Office is selling Rubber  Duckie Race tickets in 611F Elvey. Tickets are $10 or $5."  Answer:  "Yes" just read the Cornerstone.  So, my question is:  How does UA justify this activity taking place during work hours?  I have to admit I see all sorts of vending going on during work hours (Mary Kay, Avon and Girl Scout Cookies etc.) but I didn't think this was an approved activity.  Now that I see vending advertised I am wondering?

RESPONSE

Yes, a staff member from the Geophysical Institute Outreach Office staff volunteered to sell Rubber Duckie tickets on campus. UAF and the Geophysical Institute are non-profit members of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, which organizes this celebration of Fairbanks' rich history.
Offering the tickets is a simple way to participate and encourage involvement from the campus community. All proceeds from the ticket sales go back to Golden Days planning and activities.

The Geophysical Institute Outreach Office staff will also offer assistance with another Golden Days event, including the Young Pioneers Day. Several UAF departments or units plan to participate in the Golden Days Parade as well.

In addition to Golden Days, the GI Outreach Office and other staff participate in the Tanana Valley State Fair--another annual community endeavor.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 -- Nenana Parking Lot paving

QUESTION 

With all the production (closing, prepping, etc.) on the parking lot across the road from the ice arena, why was only one-third of the lot paved?

Also, kudos to the grounds crew for removing the broken tree next to the entrance to Eielson so quickly, and efficiently. By 9 am one could hardly tell there had been a tree there at all.

RESPONSE

This paving project was done with a combination of some parking and year end funds. The rest of the paving will be done as funds become available. 

Friday, July 16, 2010 -- Gold parking spaces at Butrovich

QUESTION

Parking Services noted that "In addition, as of fall 2010 UAF will begin offering gold space parking on West Ridge including Arctic Health East and West, Elvey, O’Neil and Sheenjek lots."

Why is the Butrovich parking lot exempt from being converted to a Gold Decal lot?

RESPONSE

Parking and Transportation is plans to assess the Butrovich parking lot along with other parking on West Ridge. Space will only be sold if there is sufficient demand in an area to create a manageable area of gold space. The final assessment will be completed in a few weeks.   

Friday, July 9, 2010 -- UAF Summer Fun Card

SUGGESTION

It would be great if there were some sort of "UAF Summer Fun card" that for a fee---say, $100 or so---would provide unlimited access to the Museum, the Botanical Garden, and LARS (etc?), instead of having to buy memberships in each (or not, in the case of LARS). Does such a thing exist? 

RESPONSE

Currently, UAF doesn't offer an all-inclusive pass, but thank you for your suggestion. It has been forwarded to the appropriate offices.

Thursday, July 8, 2010 -- Office of Electronic Miniaturization facility

QUESTION

What will happen to the specialized equipment and custom space when OEM  (Office of Electronic Miniaturization)  shuts down?

RESPONSE

The equipment and facility are being managed by the Institute of Northern Engineering while the university negotiates with the funding agency. It is expected that equipment not retained by the federal government will become available for UAF use. The facility will either be used to house UAF programs/offices, leased to an outside entity or sold.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 -- Pot hole on Yukon Drive

QUESTION

Is the pot hole at the top of Tanana Loop, where you turn onto Yukon Drive ever going to be filled? It is getting bigger and there is another large crack developing next to it. I know funds are tight but a couple shovels of gravel would be a start. 

RESPONSE

Facilities Services has issued a contract to repair the hole and several others on campus. Unfortunately, pavement contractors are overbooked during the summer so they haven't been able to complete UAF projects yet.  

Placing gravel in the pot hole would cause additional problems, but Facilities Services has scheduled a temporary repair July 7, so it should be a little better until it's permanently fixed. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 -- Group e-mail accounts and Google Apps

QUESTION

Since UAF first began migrating e-mail accounts to Googlemail, OIT has not provided a clear solution as to what will become of departmental email accounts (fy----) which have not been migrated. I was told today that they will be eliminated in their current form come December 31 and "probably" migrated to Googlemail, but we've received no definitive news. These accounts are crucial for our department and this worries us. We're concerned they will be eliminated altogether. Can anyone tell us for certain what will happen to these accounts or how they will change?

RESPONSE

From Karl Kowalski, OIT user services

OIT is in the process of determining the functionality of the departmental accounts that currently exist. The way the accounts are currently used varies from department to department and we have been examining the hundreds of accounts to figure out how best to meet specific requirements. In mid July, we will move three of these accounts to make sure they function as needed. The plan is to resolve any issues, then have other group account owners fill out a form to determine their particular needs and begin to migrate the remaining accounts. 

We have also created a standardized naming convention. Each will begin with the MAU initials a period then the department or group name. For example, fymusic, will most likely become uaf.music@alaska.edu.  

We want to make sure that we provide the functionality that everyone expects. We will also not eliminate any functionality until we have a solid replacement in place.

Friday, July 2, 2010 --Desktop Alert Notices

QUESTION

I just received an "Alert" message from campus police which took over my computer screen and was impossible to miss. I thought it worked great. I'm wondering why some people in our office received this message and some did not, though. Do they need to sign up to receive this service? Thanks!

RESPONSE

The desktop client was pushed to all PCs in the UAF domain. The Mac client is not available yet. If they are on a PC and did not get it, we can push it again. There is also a download they can install at http://www.alaska.edu/keys/#Windows%20installers 

Friday, July 2, 2010 --Tent on campus

SUGGESTION

There is a tent (seen on June 30 & July 1) off to the left of the staircase going down to the time/temp sign on College/University. The tent is clearly visible a short distance down the stairs; it is a purple dome just a little ways to the left.

RESPONSE

UAF Police were made aware of the tent on campus and contacted the sole occupant to ask that they move off campus.

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