August 2011

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011 -- Cleaning white carpet design in Eielson Building

QUESTION

With the large amount of white on the new logos in the carpet at the entrances of the Eielson building, how will they be kept clean?

RESPONSE

From Martin Klein, Facilities Services

A white design in a high-traffic entrance will create some cleaning challenges. We have carpet designs in the entrances to both the Elvey Building and the Patty Ice Arena. Our custodial contractor takes extra care to keep those carpets looking good and similar effort will be required in the Eielson Building.
 

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011 -- Nixle alert on a vehicle fire

QUESTION

Why wasn't there a Nixle alert about the vehicle on fire in front of Wickersham yesterday?

RESPONSE

From UAF Police Chief Sean McGee

The UAF Fire Department did not request an alert; The fire was extinquished with a fire extinguisher.


 

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 -- Flower bed at Yukon and Tanana Drive

QUESTION

I've missed seeing the flowers that have always burst forth each summer at the intersection of Yukon and Tanana; this summer there are only weeds. Since this a major artery on campus, can something be put in?

RESPONSE

Facilities Services has a new design for the flower bed at the intersection Tanana Drive and Yukon Drive including a small brick retaining wall and perennial flowers for easier maintenance. It's expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 -- Warehouse paper costs

QUESTION

I was wondering why it is that a ream of copy paper cost $62 if we purchase it through the warehouse? We can get it delivered, free of charge, next day most of the time, for around $40.
 

RESPONSE

From Linda Miller, Warehouse manager

We buy our paper from Unisource and our last cost per carton was $52.00 a case; with the 17 percent mark up we sell it of $62.00 a case. Each case has ten reams. There is a cheaper paper we could buy from the box stores and at one time we did sell a less expensive brand, but we had several complaints about how it fed through copiers or printers, so we upgraded to a higher quality paper. The State of Alaska had a contract for paper which met the quality and specifications required by users. We fed off that contract and continue to do so since we have determined that buying the cheaper paper too often results in unhappy customers. As a side we also deliver next day for free. 

Certainly no department has to buy paper from the warehouse, and If the cheaper paper works for them they should probably buy it. 

Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 -- Emergency notification during recent drill

QUESTION

So with the emergency response drill is going on and I had no clue until just now. My phone never got a message from Nixle and if my coworkers had said it was going on, I wouldn't know. For the Nixle, maybe I have to sign up again? My coworker had to sign up twice, granted he only got the text message on his phone about half an hour into the "drill". Is there a way to see if that can be done faster?

Also, although the sign at the bottom of the hill and such says that there is a drill going on and to call a phone number, if this were a real situation would the car and main walker entrances get blocked off somehow? It's hard to call by the time you are already heading onto campus. If you are a walker on say Fairbanks street, you won't see the sign at all. If it's a general community member, they may not be signed up for notices through the Nixle.
 

RESPONSE

From UAF Police Chief Sean McGee

You may need to check your settings to be sure that you have selected the box for UAF messages and for both text and e-mail alerts. We've had instances where campus employees had selected the notifications for the City of Fairbanks or the Fairbanks North Star Borough, but missed UAF as it appears last on the screen.

Also, Nixle seems to work better with AT&T than it does with ACS or GCI. This has to do with the "shortcode" message systems that are used by ACS and GCI.  The UAF Police Department has been working to resolve technical issues.

We're continually striving for better and more layered communication systems. Nixle is a free service and so we've been working with it to see if it meets our needs. We periodically review other services for functionality and service, but at this time have not purchased an alert notification system for our campus.

During an emergency, information may be provided in several ways.


If this had been a real emergency and we needed to keep people away from the scene or off of the campus entirely, we would have closed the roads down.

The purpose of the exercise was to test our systems and find out where we can improve. I appreciate you letting us know about your issues. Please feel free to give me a call if you have additional feedback or concerns.
 


 

Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 -- Recycling in the Taku Parking Lot

QUESTION

Is it possible to located the recycling dumpsters in the UAF Taku parking lot next to the Farmer's Loop transfer station? Until they install recycling bins at the transfer station, it would be nice to have easier access.

RESPONSE

From Michele Hebert, UAF Sustainability Coordinator

Over the last year, UAF trucked over 500,000 pounds of recycled materials to K&K recycling. This is from the Nenana Parking Lot, in part, because UAF only has one dump truck and is limted by what we can handle with current staffing and equipment. Adding an additional recycling transfer station along a major roadway has the potential of creating a waste management site larger than UAF can handle. Enthusiastic folks are asked to use other recycling locations in the community i.e. Alaska Waste located at 3050 Phillips Field Road and the Fairbanks Recue Mission.

For more information on recycling, visit the Office of Sustainability website.
 

Friday, Aug. 12, 2011 -- Using annual leave balances to screen internal candidates

QUESTION

When applying for another internal employee position, can the interviewers look at the employees leaves (sick or annual) leave as a means to screen out them? If they go into banner and see the employee has used quite a bit of leave or has saved leave can they use that as a means to eliminate them in the screening process? Can they inquire in the interview why the employee has no leave or a lot of leave?

RESPONSE

From Kris Racina, UAF Human Resources

Leave balances in Banner are not a valid means of screening during the hiring process. If you believe this has happened to you, or if you are aware of a hiring authority or committee who has used this information to screen internal candidates, please contact the director or associate director of HR.

Thursday, Aug.11, 2011 -- Information for graduate students

QUESTION

As someone who works in outreach with UAF, I find that any office with an affiliation to the word "Information" gets hit up constantly on the most random of topics. One subject, in particular, that I find my office dealing with despite having minimal information on it is the subject of graduate students.

What route should a graduate student take to secure a research position? Where does it begin? Should they go through Admissions? The school that they are studying under?  

RESPONSE

Students should be encouraged to make contact with the department most closely aligned with their research interest or visit the department website to get information that will help them to select a faculty advisor.

The Graduate School usually offers thesis completion fellowships (not available to incoming students). Teaching assistantships come from specific departments and research assistantships come from faculty members/institutes.

For people not seeking a degree (post-baccalaureate), they might want to explore opportunities in UAKjobs. Some research jobs are not affiliated with a specific program, so anyone can apply. 

Feel free to put them in contact with Graduate School and/or Admissions for general questions about the admissions process.

Wednesday, Aug.10, 2011 -- Emergency assembly points

SUGGESTION

All departments are supposed to have a DEAP (DEPARTMENT EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN) which includes assembly points for all buildings. Since UAF has so many visitors to each building at any one point during the day or night wouldn't it make sense to have signs posted at the assembly points (i.e. parking lots or inside other buildings) clearly marking the area as a codified assembly point for specific buildings? That would better ensure that students and visitors know where an assembly spot is located in the case of an emergency.

RESPONSE

From John Clendenin, Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management

Department Emergency Action Plans are part of an Occupational Health & Safety Administration requirement that has been designed here at UAF to incorporate University Fire Department requirements. Although the plans are specific to employees, your suggestion has been discussed with the safety, facilities, and fire departments. We will be looking at implementing this into UAF emergency evacuation procedures.

I encourage departments that don't yet have Department Action Plans, to complete the process soon. The form is available on the safety website.


 

Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 -- Flower bed maintenance

QUESTION

Does the flower bed at the intersection of Chandalar Drrive, Alumni Drive and Tanana Loop require a lot of maintenance or does it just seem like there are always people working on it?

RESPONSE

From Darrin Edson, Facilities Services

Facilities Services uses a large student crew to assist our grounds employees in weeding and watering flower beds. Some beds take more time than others, because of a variety of issues and conditions.  Campus beautification requires a large investment of time, effort and money. We are constantly looking at ways to improve the service we provide the campus as well as find more affordable and less time consuming ways of doing so.

For instance, we have a few larger annual flower beds that are being transformed into perennial beds this summer and in the future you will be seeing more and more large flower boxes used. This will allow us to control the cost and location or placement of colors.

Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 -- Walkway from south Bunnell to Duckering

SUGGESTION

The entryway to the Duckering Building from the south Bunnell parking is very awkward. The way the sidewalk is now requires people to walk way past the entrance and then double back; that is why people take the 'shortcut.'  It makes much more sense to put in a sidewalk where people are naturally going to walk than to put in a fence.  It doesn't have to be a concrete sidewalk, a Brown's Hill rock walkway would be quite sufficient.

RESPONSE

Thank you for your suggestion. This is in the planning stages and should be completed by the end of summer.


 

Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 -- Building by the SRC

QUESTION

Lot's of people are asking me whether there are going to be public executions on the gallows that have been erected next to the SRC. What infractions will result in hangings??

RESPONSE

Please tell them it's UAF's new Outdoor Education Center climbing wall. It should be ready for rock and ice climbing instruction this fall. Half of the funding for the 30-foot wall was provided by ASUAF.

Monday, August 1, 2011 -- Safety of Moore Hall structure

QUESTION

Will Moore Hall be safe enough for students to move into this fall? I have some concerns over the safety of the building after what happened this summer.

RESPONSE
From Scott Bell, associate vice chancellor for Facilities Services

The Moore Hall parapet (the band around the top of the exterior walls which covers the wall/roof joint) is being replaced because it was installed incorrectly when constructed in the 1960s. UAF had a local structural engineering firm evaluate the building structure and they are very confident the building is safe for people to live in. The problem with the building parapet is not a structural problem. The new parapet will be made of lightweight materials and the work closely inspected to ensure it is well built.


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