May 2012

May 31, 2012 -- Shuttle service arrival times


What is going on with the shuttle bus dispatch?  The drivers do a great job, but calling in to get a ride is torture. The dispatchers do not say what the ETA of the shuttle will be (i.e. if there are drivers at lunch or a shift change, so there may be a delay). Waiting fifteen minutes for a shuttle one day, five the next and then twenty the following is very hard for people to adjust their schedules. If we are trying to get to appointments, should we call from our desks and then walk to the stop (possibly missing the bus)? Also, the dispatchers usually have no customer service. Thanks.


From Sarah Mousseau, Transportation Services

Giving an accurate estimated time of arrival continues to be our biggest challenge, and we are always looking for ways to improve. The dispatchers will do their best to give an ETA by using the shuttle tracker and radio response from the drivers. Please don’t hesitate to call us back if a bus has not arrived at your location within a reasonable amount of time.

If you have a question or comment about any aspect of UAF shuttles, please send an email to If you experience a delay, it helps if you can give us as many details as possible so we can address the issue thoroughly. Passengers can also check our shuttle tracker to see the buses in near-real time.

May 30, 2012 -- UAF Logo fees and fines


This is in response to "UAF Logo Usage" as shared via

While I'm glad UAF Administration is not going to force fiscally strained departments to reprint new materials; this $1,000 fine is the stick - but I wonder where is the carrot?

UAF's own Marketing Department is in a building which displays the old logo (photo is on the campus map building): and dealing with and enforcing the logo guidelines is their actual job.

I have always considered it my personal mission (and that of the Department I have chaired over a decade) to be strong student recruiters. We constantly promote UAF as do other departments like Music and Art. For the Film program I created an 8-second High Definition intro which uses the UAF logo in 3D glory. Yet all I (and others) have received is this threat of fees.  

Where is the "good job"?  "Nice work?" or funds for actually using the new logo in new promotional materials? Excuse me as I go look for a carrot...


From Michelle Renfrew, Director Marketing and Communications

Thank you for your comments. You are absolutely right in that Marketing and Communications of all departments at UAF should be featuring the UAF logo in the appropriate way. We are currently working on updating the sign you're referring to and it should have been taken care of a long time ago. 

UAF has many departments around campus who do a stellar job in promoting the university in a professional manner and consistent with the UAF brand guidelines. This is imperative to our success because we could not do it on our own.  We have many strong partners around campus and are grateful to those of you who promote the UAF mission is such a strong and positive way. Please keep up the great work.

We are currently working on a number of tools and templates for use on campus to make your jobs easier. I personally subscribe to the "carrot" philosophy as compared to the "stick". A strong brand provides many benefits to all of us and is much more than our logo. Our job at Marketing and Communications is to be a resource for campus and to help promote and communicate the many remarkable things we do every day.  

Please visit the branding website for more information.

May 22, 2012 -- Shuttle schedule during construction


With the construction closing down the Nenana parking lot, perhaps the shuttle buses could run a regular morning schedule (approx 7:15am-8:30am) between Taku and Bunnell. After calling for a ride numerous times and waiting over 25 minutes, the employees were 10 minutes late this morning.


From Sarah Mousseau, Transportation Manager

We did have some unexpected issues this morning, but don't expect future delays in service for our on-call shuttles. Our summer hours are 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. and we're on-call for all campus locations.

Drivers are aware of the specific service needs due to the construction and generally head to the Taku Lot first thing in the morning. If you have any further delays or questions, please contact 474-2494. 

Call 474-RIDE (7433) for the on-call shuttle.

May 22, 2012 -- Displaced parking in East Bunnell


The new engineering building is going to be built in 2014, but construction will start soon. What is going to happen to Gold parking lot decal holders? I suggest that S. Bunnell cover the metered parking to allow the East Bunnell gold decal holders to park in that lot. Maybe reduce the UAF vehicle parking slots too. Those vehicles can park at facilites. East Bunnell parking is going away very soon due to construction. Another thing are there going to be more handicap parking added to South Bunnell lot? If those in East Bunnell have to move more spaces are needed.


UAF received half of the funding for the Engineering Building from the Legislature this year and construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2013.

Thank you for your feedback on the parking needs in that area. Parking Services will be making decisions about specific parking needs closer to the groundbreaking.

Monday, May 14, 2012 -- Gold permit parking during construction


With all of the construction on campus this summer, I know there will be greatly reduced parking. As a gold lot permit holder, will I still be guaranteed a parking spot?


You shouldn't have any problem finding a space to park in your assigned gold lot. Should you experience any difficulty, contact Parking Services at 474-PARK(7275).  If you currently park in West Eielson, parking during the construction will be available in the South Bunnell gold lot. Gold lot spaces may be available in  East Bunnell, Chapman and Fine Arts lots, but due to limited availability, please contact Parking Services to get a pass to park in one of these lots.

A construction parking map and overview of projects is available online.

Friday, May 11, 2012 -- Utilidor project


It looks like the utilidor project will cross the road. Will the road be closed? If so, is there an estimate as to when and how long?


From Mike Ruckhouse, Facilities Services

Yes, the utilities steam capacity expansion project to construct a new pathway for high pressure steam from the UAF Power Plan to West Ridge, will cross the Tanana Loop between the round-about and the SRC. The contractor expects to create a detour (temporary road) 50 feet to the North for a short time to accommodate two lanes of traffic. The work is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Please watch for heavy equipment, flagger and signs. This summer is expected to be a rather busy construction season on campus. You'll want to allow extra time to get to your destination.

A construction parking map and overview of projects is available online.

Campus visitors may want to refer to the Construction Parking map (pdf) or call 474-PARK for parking information.

Friday, May 4, 2012 -- Blackboard outage timing


We just received a notice that OIT is upgrading Blackboard Sunday May 13. Final grades are due by Wednesday, May 16. In the future, it would be helpful if major upgrades to potentially critical software were not scheduled during critical times of the semester, such as when faculty are trying to compute and submit final grades.

Blackboard is scheduled to be unavailable all day Sunday. It's hard to access grade data stored on Blackboard to compute final grades if Blackboard is unavailable.

Suppose there is a major disaster and the Blackboard data is lost? Woe to faculty who make the mistake of using some of the advertised features of Blackboard, such as storing grade information on it.


From Karl Kowalski, Chief Information Technology Officer

OIT has been working with Blackboard to identify and remediate several issues the vendor has yet to resolve within the current version of Blackboard. Our typical window for performing such updates would have been during spring break, however, the fixes and updates were not released by Blackboard in time to perform adequate testing.

We have since received, and with the participation of several faculty and staff members, tested and verified this upgrade during the month of April. This effort resulted in participating faculty members voting to proceed with the upgrade of UAF Blackboard Learn. These fixes are critical to Blackboard improvement and although the timing is not the best, we picked the only time available between now and the regular annual maintenance window the first full business week of every January.

We had to work around a number of dates and landed on May 13, 2012, which is Sunday; Mother's Day; UAF Commencement Day; one week before the annual FAST outage; two days after final exams; three days before final grades are due by instructors; and one day before MayMester begins.

All the data is backed up and can be restored to its existing state in the event that something should happen during the outage. The team involved has already successfully performed this upgrade twice since February in Test and Pre-production instances of UAF Blackboard Learn. Everything is documented and contingency plans are in place. The activity is scheduled from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. which includes contingency time to recover from something going wrong. This event will more likely be concluded by noon. OIT does not take such endeavors lightly.

We apologize for any inconvenience this timing may cause, but we truly hope people take the time on Sunday to attend the commencement and festivities or just relax and enjoy the morning. We also hope you will join us thanking the faculty and staff who have participated during the last two months, and who are willing to arise early next Sunday to once again go through the upgrade and verification procedures necessary to enhance UAF Blackboard Learn.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 -- FY13 salary schedule


When will the FY13 salary schedule be available?


The FY13 salary schedule is effective July 1, 2012. It will be posted online sometime in June.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 -- Grapevine out of date


I am so disappointed that the Grapevine is never updated.  Why even advertise it as a source of information?


We do try to keep the Grapevine up to date. It's a busy time of year for many departments. There are several questions currently out to departments, but we'll follow up and post answers soon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 -- Climbing wall and the new utility


Just curious, but are there added costs and time having to route the new utility to the West Ridge around the outdoor ice climbing wall?


From Scott Bell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services

When it was constructed the climbing wall was sited to avoid conflicts with the new utilidor project.  The wall has not increased the cost of the utilidor project.

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