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.
Mar. 10, 2014 -- Dining services over spring break
I was surprised to see that there would be so few Dining Services options during Spring Break, with Arctic Winter Games events going on. Why not capitalize on the influx of people?
From Pamm Zierfuss-Hubbard, Dining Services Contract Manager
The dining options on campus during spring break will be minimal for several reasons. One, according to our dining contract, Dining Services closes Lola Tilly during Spring Break because the students are gone. With this departure, the number of people eating on campus tends to drastically reduce as well and it becomes the ideal time for repairs and maintenance. During this year's Spring Break, Facilities Services will be renovating spaces which will require us to shift our services to the Polar Perk location. When we found out about the Arctic Winter Games coming to UAF, we reviewed the locations of their events and event times to determine if it would be beneficial to remain open. We also spoke to the Arctic Winter Games staff to ask how Dining Services could assist their needs in feeding the athletes and learned that the athletes will be eating at Lathrop High School as part of their meal plan. Each of the competition venues will also have concession stands where attendees can purchase items during the events.
While the dining locations won't be used, catering has several events scheduled with the Arctic Winter Games over the course of the week and will continue to assist them when necessary. The Polar Perk location inside the Wood Center will be open Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m, Friday (Campus Holiday) 12 p.m. - 4 p.m, and Saturday and Sunday during Spring Break. Additionally West Ridge Cafe will be open Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. As always, we will reevaluate our hours as the games move forward and make changes as necessary.
Feb. 27, 2014 -- Overtime law
How is it that the University does not have to follow the State of Alaska's Law on Overtime? If overtime is not allowed and compensatory time is, why are there no provisions to document the comp time on a time card. This would protect both the employee and the employer (from my perspective).
From SoA website:
What is the State law regarding overtime?
Employees are entitled to overtime compensation for
hours worked over eight hours in a single day. Employees
are also entitled to overtime compensation for hours
worked over 40 hours in a single week. To count t
he hours over 40 hours in a week, count only the daily hours the employee worked up to eight hours for each day he
worked. If the employee worked over eight hours on any
day that week, those hours have already been counted as
overtime hours and need not be counted again. Overtime
compensation is 1 1/2 times the employee's regular rate of
From Tara L. Ferguson, PHR, CCP, Compensation Director
The University of Alaska doesn’t follow state overtime guidelines is because the law states that the university is exempt from state laws; therefore we follow federal guidelines on overtime, which is anything over 40 hours of regular time worked in a week is considered overtime.
Also, according to the University Policy and Regulation (R04.05.020.D.1.B) Nonexempt employees will not be eligible for compensatory time-off in lieu of overtime pay. This regulation does not prohibit the arrangement of flexible working schedules for employees which do not exceed 40 hours in any work week.
Feb. 27, 2014 -- UAF hold music
Can the hold music for UAF be changed? I have listened to it several times while on hold and it's such a downer! Isn't there some other classical music that can be used instead?
The telephone system is normally set up to play KUAC-FM http://kuac.org/kuac-fm/, but there was a problem with the quality. Telephone Services has a ticket in with CISCO and hopes to have it repaired soon.
Feb. 24, 2014 -- First floor Signers' Hall bathrooms
Is there a plan to fix up the bathrooms on the first floor of Signers' Hall? They look awful and it doesn't seem like a very good impression for people to get from one of the main buildings on campus.
From Marianne Freelong, Customer Service Manager, Facilities Services
The 3 bathrooms on the first floor of Signers' Hall are scheduled to be painted within a few months.
Feb. 17, 2014 -- Healthyroads website
I went to the Healthyroads website and registered recently. It was terrible! I took the Personal Health Assessment and was offered no advice. During the assessment, I had to choose what services would work best for me: web or phone options only. I thought the reason we switched to Healthyroads was because they could offer some in-person assistance. Is this not the case? The results to my PHA also indicated that I needed to visit my Dr. for screenings. I called my Dr. and was told I would be charged $220 for this. Why are we paying for a website that we can get for free from other sources (myfitnesspal.com, sparkpeople, etc)? and in return, why do I have to pay for my screenings? Isn't that the point of paying for a Wellness Program? If every faculty and staff member have to pay for screenings, who is actually going to participate in this program?
From Erika Van Flein, Director of Benefits, Statewide Office of Human Resources
The Healthyroads website has a vast array of features, planners, trackers, learning materials and more. The Personal Health Assessment gives you an overall picture of your state of health and gives you information on ways to improve. The coaching options (online or telephonic) are available to you, as well as resources to learn about healthy lifestyle changes you can make. When we originally planned this program, on-site coaching was definitely a component. However, with the budget reductions facing the university in the next and future years the on-site coaching was cut from the program.
Screenings can be done through your doctor's office, and the UA Choice health plan will cover these screenings at 100%. Also, we plan on offering screenings through the wellness program at service centers around the state, and on-site screenings in April. More information on these will be coming soon.
Feb. 12, 2014 -- Human Resources feedback
I don't know how to make a Human Resources complaint. Do I just physically go to the HR office? Or do I need to contact a specific person, and how do I figure out who that person is?
From Anita Hartmann, Associate Director UAF Office of Human Resources
Any UAF employee can use the HR Suggestion Box to make helpful suggestions for improvement in human resources procedures or processes. The HR Suggestion Box tab is located on the UAF HR home page http://www.uaf.edu/uafhr/ at the top of the left menu column. If an individual has a concern about a specific process, procedure, or HR staff, the individual can send a written statement to either the Interim Director (Brad Lobland, email@example.com) or the Associate Director (Anita Hartmann, firstname.lastname@example.org). HR staff contact information may be found on the UAF HR Home Page under "HR_Staff_Listing" which is a hotlink to http://www.uaf.edu/files/uafhr/Staff-Listing-for-website,-no-description-1-31-2014.pdf
Feb. 7, 2014 -- KUAC's locked doors
Why is KUAC working behind a locked door? It's really weird to have to access them by banging on a door. Was there a security problem in that basement?
From Keith Martin General Manager/Director of Technology and Engineering, KUAC-TV 9/FM 89.9
KUAC is a 24/7 operation that houses more than $4.5 million in operating equipment, necessary equipment to keep 3 channels on radio and 7 channels on TV operating. In the past we were able to keep the door open during normal business hours. Unfortunately, KUAC went through a substantial personnel reduction process Spring of 2009. Initially, we tried keep the doors open with the reduced personnel, but we found that without a full-time receptionist and office manager we could not control traffic into the station. After having some equipment stolen and not having the staff to greet visitors we decided we needed to lock the door. The decision to close the doors did not come lightly, as we thoroughly enjoy when community members stop by the station. Visitors just need to knock and our staff will come open the door. We felt that the minor inconvenience of a knock was better than the security risk of leaving the doors open.
Feb. 4, 2014 -- Budget poster costs
Recently someone asked how much it was to produce the Budget 101 poster and the answer was that it cost $97 to print it. The answer seemed to imply that $97 was the only cost because all the people who worked on it were "staff time", hence that effort was "free". Perhaps it would be possible to figure out what the cost of the Budget 101 project really was, including all the payroll hours it took to get it done?
From Julie Queen, Office of Management and Budget
Part of UAF's role is to communicate the budget and the conditions that impact it in a clear and concise way. The Budget 101 poster was developed in response to a general UAF community request to build better awareness of the overall budget. While $97 was purely reflective of the actual cost to print the posters, related staff time was also minimal (estimated 8- 12 hours). We were able to maximize efficiencies by using templates, fonts and logos from the UAF Brand Book. These tools are available to assist any UAF office in creating professional work-products with limited effort. Information contained in the poster was also pulled from other existing documents.
UAF has a responsibility to the campus and its constituents to share budget information. The poster was developed in response to that need. We will continue to make investments to promote transparency and awareness of UAF's finances and welcome your ideas on how best to do this.
Please be sure to submit your ideas for cost savings via the web form located at: http://www.uaf.edu/finserv/omb/budget-planning/suggestions/