November 2013

Nov. 27, 2013 -- Parking in a 5-minute parking space

QUESTION

I have noticed that in the parking lot in front of IARC people always park in front of the parking pass machine.

The sign that says "5-minute parking" is not immediately apparent and so the space is essential a revenue generator for Parking Services as there is constantly someone with a ticket on their car in that spot.

I suggest putting a sign either on the machine or some other method to visibly warn drivers they cannot park there- or better yet- do not have a time limit on that space which is already crowded during the day.

RESPONSE

Parking has looked at this area numerous times, but for some reason people do not see the sign. The staff there has added caution tape to the sign to draw attention to it. We will also let the building coordinators in those areas know about the problem and ask them to help communicate with employees who work there.

If you have a specific issue with parking on campus, please feel free to contact Parking Services directly at uaf-parkingservices@alaska.edu or call 474- PARK (7275).

Nov. 26, 2013 -- Taku recycling bins overflowing

QUESTION

When do the Taku recycling bins get emptied? Every container is packed to the brim and ofter overflowing with materials on Saturday morning. I would assume Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the largest collection days, so I don't understand why the bins look like they haven't been emptied in weeks. Today was so bad I turned around and will attempt to go back some other time. I can see a situation where people might see overflowing bins and would drive across the street to the transfer station to dump their recyclable garbage, thus defeating the purpose of the area.

If possible, could a schedule of when bins are to be emptied be posted on the UAF Sustainability website or down by the bins, it would be helpful.

RESPONSE

UAF provides the physical location and most of the trash collection bins for the recycling programs. We also provide litter pickup and general maintenance around the collection bins on the grounds around the bins.

The disposal of the recycled items is provided and scheduled by K & K Recycling. A representative for the company stated that they provide service five days a week for paper and plastics and monitor the other bins on each run they make. By not emptying container bins that are only half full, they see a significant savings in fuel costs.

Nov. 26, 2013 -- Replace the furniture in the 23-hour study area

QUESTION

Is it possible for the university to look into replacing the chairs in the 23 hour Rasmuson study area? All are stained and unsanitary looking. We notice there have been some upgrades in the computer lab but no changes in general.

RESPONSE

Facilities Services is in the process of prioritizing the needs for new classroom furnishings in most campus classrooms. At this time we do not have all of the funding available for the number of furnishings that require replacement. The 23-hour study area in the Rasumsen Library is on the list of rooms requiring new chair furnishings. We've asked the custodial contractor to attempt to clean the cloth ones, but the results were not favorable. We hope to secure funding in the next fiscal year.

 

Nov. 26, 2013 -- Smell in Irving I Building

QUESTION

For the past few weeks, I've noticed a very unpleasant smell in Irving I. The odor, regrettably, smells very similar to urine. A coworker also compared the smell to rotting plants. It's strongest on the first floor near the entrance adjacent to O'Neill. Does anyone know the cause of the smell? Does the smell post a health risk to students and employees

RESPONSE

The odor is from some pails of old fish specimens that are temporarily housed in Irving I 103, and there is no health danger.  The specimens were scheduled to be disposed of soon. The specimens were not completely covered by the ethanol or formalin fixative, and so some of the material has decomposed, generating the odor.

Nov. 26, 2013 -- Hulbert Nanook Terrain Park opening

QUESTION

When is the Hulbert Nanook Terrain Park scheduled to open? What will the rates be? Any discount for faculty this time? I see the fences being erected so I'm getting pretty stoked.

RESPONSE

The Hulbert Nanook Terrain Park is scheduled to open at the start of the academic spring semester. There is potential of opening sooner dependent upon weather conditions.

The rates will be the same as last year, however there will be options to purchase shorter time periods that not only make it more affordable to ride a few hours at a time, but give riders the flexibility needed for busy schedules. Faculty, staff and alumni will have benefits similar to UAF students without SRC memberships.

These rates are not yet published, but stay tuned for these new options coming soon.

Nov. 26, 2013 -- Nanooks locker rooms at the Carlson Center

QUESTION

Did the university pay for the locker room renovations at the Carlson Center?

RESPONSE

No, the university did not fund the remodel. The $4.5 million renovation was primarily state-funded, but took several years to become a reality and saw additional funding provided by The Face-Off Club (booster club) and the Alaska Hockey alumni.

Nov. 25, 2013 -- Traffic in the campus core

QUESTION

Are traffic signs going to be added at the junction where cars are exiting from 3C parking lot, driving up Salcha Street, and exiting the newly expanded 3A parking lot? Stand out there after 5 p.m. and see how crazy it gets with the amount of cars, shuttles, and pedestrians in that area. Major safety risk area.

RESPONSE

Facilities Services willl be adding a stop sign at the northeast corner of 3C, which is the parking lot just south of Eielson Building and and Signers' Hall.

Nov. 13, 2013 -- Food and drink in the Nook

QUESTION

I visited The Nook in the Bunnell Building recently, and it's pretty awesome. I was wondering if food and/or beverages are allowed? I didn't notice a sign prohibiting it, but I was just wondering because of all the technological equipment.

RESPONSE

Food and beverages are permitted in the Nook, OIT staff only ask that you clean up after yourself.

Nov. 12, 2013 -- Clock on the SRC wall

QUESTION

Could a wall clock with a seconds hand be placed near the workout equipment in the south east corner of the second floor of the SRC? There used to be one but it was never replaced after renovations. It will be useful there, since that equipment is supposed to be used during timed circuits. Thanks.

RESPONSE

From Mark Oldmixon, Department of Recreation, Adventure and Wellness

The Department of Recreation, Adventure, and Wellness will address this request quickly. In addition to mounting this simple clock, we are also seeking funding for a large, digital clock with seconds to be posted on the West wall for users running on the track and trying to time their laps.

Thank you for the advice and expect a solution soon.

Nov. 11, 2013 -- Course instructor replacement

QUESTION

What happens to a course if the instructor becomes unavailable during the semester and no adequate replacement can be found?  Will the class be cancelled and students will receive a tuition refund?  How will the course show up on the transcript? How will a potential cancellation affect full-time status for financial aid purposes?

RESPONSE

Deans make every effort to replace faculty who become unavailable during the semester. Hence, usually the course can be completed, albeit with a new instructor. This of course works best if the first instructor is available to confer with the new one and to transfer course records.

If the instructor can't be replaced (usually because the material is highly specialized) or if there are no course records available for a substantial portion of the course, there are a variety of other options that can be used depending on the circumstances. 

The course may be dropped administratively, and not appear on the student's transcript.  In this case a tuition refund would normally be processed. Depending on the funding source, a student may be required to repay a portion of the aid.
 

  • If a substantial amount of the course has been completed, and after conferring with students impacted, a deferred grade may be assigned, if the instructor will be returning or a substitute found so that the course can be completed in a later semester. An exception to the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy may be granted under these unusual circumstances.
  • The student could choose to withdraw from the course, which results in a W grade on transcript and in many cases financial aid would not have to be repaid.

If you have questions about specifics, please contact the registrar who will coordinate with the appropriate dean and/or provost as necessary.

Nov. 11, 2013 -- Veterans Day holiday

QUESTION

Why isn't UAF closed in observance of Veterans Day?

RESPONSE

The Board of Regents sets holidays for the University of Alaska based, in part, on academic requirements. UAF also mirrors school district holidays when possible and observes Veterans Day on our campus in various ways, including this year's memorial roll call and resource fair.

Nov. 5, 2013 -- Nasal spray doses for flu shots

QUESTION

Will flu shots tomorrow be available as nasal spray for kids?

RESPONSE

Erika Van Flein, UA Human Resources

There will be two on-site flu shot clinics on the Fairbanks campus.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. in Wood Center conference room C.

Staff from Safeway will be onsite to give flu shots. All you need to bring is your Premera ID card, no payment is necessary.

The staff will have a limited number of the nasal spray doses. Kids have to be at least 8 years old; younger than that they should go to their pediatrician. It's important to remember this is primarily an employee clinic.

If you are not on the Fairbanks campus or are located at one of UAF's community campuses, please be sure to contact your provider or pharmacy for information on flu shots. The plan pays 100 percent of the allowable cost for routine immunizations such as flu shots.

For more information on preventive services covered at 100 percent of allowable charges, please visit http://www.alaska.edu/benefits/health-plan/preventive-benefit/.

Nov. 1, 2013 -- Shuttle tracker

QUESTION

Can someone install a monitor to show the current location of the bus on the Nenena route?  I am a staff member and do not have a gold parking pass.  That means I have to get to work about 20 minutes early if I want to be on time to my office…and at times, it can take up to an additional 20 minutes to get to my car in the evening.  There are times I need to leave during the day (from the Eielson pick up) and have no idea when a bus will arrive so I have no way to judge if I need to walk.  Since there are so many small pebbles being used on the sidewalk and crosswalks now, walking has become a hazard.  I am clumsy and wear sensible shoes, but don’t have strong ankles – it would be very easy for me to trip and fall.

One time, I called 474-RIDE to find out where they were and was greeted by a curt (read: rude) person who informed me that the bus system is not my taxi.  I realize it is not my taxi, however when bus drivers are changing out for a needed break, there is the possibility of making riders late for doctor appointments or picking up children.  We don’t have a choice when it comes to parking on campus, but we shouldn’t be treated like second class citizens either when all we are trying to do is get our business (profession and personal) done.  A monitor showing the current location of a bus in a busy pickup/drop off area is not an unreasonable request.

RESPONSE

Martin Klein, Facilities Services

Our apologies for any phone service you received that was less than courteous. The phone calls can on occasion come pretty fast an furious and it sounds like you caught a dispatcher when they were particularly stressed, but even so they should treat you in a professional manner. We are working on getting the shuttle tracker in Nenana back up and have also looked at placing a unit in the Eielson Building.  Unfortunately placing one is not quite as simple as one would think, but we will probably get there.  In the meantime you may not be aware that the realtime shuttle location can be found anytime on the web from any computer at uafshuttle.com.  You can also check the location from your smartphone using the UAF Mobile app.

Nov. 1, 2013 -- Power outage notification

QUESTION

Why wasn't there any notification sent out about whatever blew up at the Power Plant on the 29? A text message on the Nixle system would have been good. It would have been helpful to know about what caused the foul smell outside and the estimated time the power would be back on.

RESPONSE

Michelle Renfrew, director Marketing and Communications

The university uses a variety of communication mechanisms to inform the public and the campus community of an issue or emergency situation. During this power outage, information was posted on the UAF on Alert website (uafalart.alaska.edu), shared on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and recorded on the UAF hotline at 474-7UAF (7823). These communication channels are the primary tools we use to share information in non-emergency situations, such as short-term outages. While text messaging systems like Nixle or our new system, Blackboard Connect, are useful tools to communicate urgent information, we try to reserve those tools for emergencies and situations where public safety is at risk.

We encourage all employees and students to check their information in our alert system and make sure it is up-to-date. Visit uafalert.alaska.edu and click on the red button to get to the updates page.

The power outage was caused by an electrical fault which disconnected power and knocked the plant's main boilers offline. The fires in the boilers smoldered, which caused smoky conditions in the area. There was no fire in the plant. The most current information was shared as we received it. 


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