Your representatives need your feedback. Help us help you. Give us your input, concerns, issues, suggestions or comments so that we can more effectively represent you on Staff Council and to the administration.

Feedback, comments or suggestions can be posted on this blog anonymously by selecting comment at the bottom of the article that caught your attention.

***The blog cannot be read using Internet Explorer. Please use another browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you experience further issues, contact us at

Monday, December 15, 2008

Staff Handbook - Update

During the March 20th Staff Council meeting Kris Racina, UAF New HR Director, attended and stated that she is on board with making a Staff Handbook Directory available on-line for employees to find valuable information. This is in the beginning working stages.

Thanks John Duhamel for your efforts in making this happen.

Members of Staff Council have met with John Duhamel, Interim Director UAF HR. Staff Council is attempting to establish an on-line reference guide for staff. We are hoping that this will make it easier for staff to locate information. This will be an on going task. As information is gather you will be get posted through this site.

UAF Toastmasters Club

Ana Richards, Director of Multicultural Affairs, and Jackie Debevec, Career Services Dept, are in the process of establishing a UAF Toastmasters Club. Toastmasters is a great organization to assist people in learning how to speak and feel comfortable in front of groups of people, how to organize an event, become a leader in the workplace and in your community. There is also the opportunity to become a mentor to those that come in behind you. The initial meeting will be on Tuesday, January 27th, from 5:30 - 6:30 pm in the Wood Center E/F. The meetings will be held every Tuesday. If this is something you are interested in participating in you may either contact your Staff Council representatives or Ana or Jackie directly.

Customer Services & Financial Commitment

Pat Pitney, Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services was a guest speaker at the Staff Council meeting Friday, December 12th. She wanted the council to know that her and her staff are committed to following the Chancellors vision of customer service being the number one priority. Their customer service is mostly focused on staff and faculty as we are the ones that deal with students and the public and believe their customer service mindset will trickle down through us.

Ms. Pitney currently has four goals for the current fiscal year:
  1. Rationalize the budget process internal to UAF and fully understand all aspects
  2. Figure out the funding for Life Sciences and Energy Research
  3. Business Structure
  4. Risk Management

She reminded the council that when UAF commits funds to a project that those funds are pulled from another area of the university.

Governance Budget

The budget will out Monday, December 15th. You will be able to find the briefing papers on the Statewide website for anyone interested.

Staff Appreciation Day:

Staff Council is working to make this more of an event for all. In the past it has been for a couple of hours after a staff council meeting. We are now trying to make this an all day event in which staff, faculty, students and the community are welcome and encouraged to participate. It is currently scheduled for April 23rd. The events are currently in the draft process. However, there are a variety of events that the committee is looking to incorporate into the day. Would you be interested in taking a Yoga class, Sushi making class, Ballroom Dancing or what about Banner 101, Travel training, Blackboard training for you workaholics? Give us feedback on what you would like to see during this event.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Frenzy Financial Sense

The Financial Aid Office ishosting some great workshops starting Spring 2009 and we're all invited to come.

Here are some of the February FAFSA Frenzy Workshops:
  • Every Tuesday from 1:00 - 2:00 pm in RAS 301 and every Wednesday at 6:00 pm at TVCC: Financial Aid 101 & Scholarship information.
  • Every Thursday from 1:00 - 2:00 pm in RAS 301: Complete your FAFSA.

And they will have a table set up every weekday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Wood Center.

Starting in March, they are hosting the Financial Sense Workshops every Thursday from 1:00 - 2:00 pm with the location TBA:

March 5 - Budgeting your money

March 19 - Understanding credit

March 26 - Student loans: Everything you need to know

April 9 - FAFSA follow-up

April 16 - Digging for gold: researching scholarships

April 23 - Learn to save

April 30 - Repaying your student loads

Monday, November 24, 2008


This may be fading away! The current contract expires January 2009. It will cost $195K to extend the contract for an additional 3 years. Due to budget restraints Statewide is unable to fund the program. It is up to each MAU to share in the cost. We'll give you a final updates on Skillsoft's future next month.

December 15, 2008

GOOD NEWS ALL!!! It was announced in the Staff Council meeting on Friday that the Skillsoft contract has been approved to be extended for an additional 3 years. WOW!!

Child Care vs. Tuition Waiver

The President Cabinet is currently discussing incorporating child care as a benefit, possibly using the Tuition Waiver for cost. This would be a benefit to those who may have children and are not looking into taking classes at UAF. The Tuition Waiver could be exchanged to pay for child care. We will keep you informed as this discussion continues.

Budget & Compensation Revisited

A 4.5% "grid increase" has been requested for the FY2010 budget and it will probably be the last time a "grid increase" is used to include our step increases within the budget request. It looks like the System will not be going back to the old way of doing step increases. Other options are being investigated. The Staff Compensation Task Force (SCTF) is looking into other ideas, including merit-based raises, using an end-of-year bonus concept, and others. They are always looking for ideas, so feel free to pass them on if you have one.

There is also a high probability that health care premiums will be going up as early as July 1, 2009. There is still discussion and calculations to be made to determine exactly how much the increase will be; we will let you know as soon as we hear anything.

Another item SCTF is working on is the fact that the "grid increase" request for FY2010 is 4.5%. Being that the request is based on cost-of-living in Anchorage, which is currently already at 4.6%, the chance that the new rates almost definitely won't cover the cost-of-living increase in addition to the health care premium increase is incredibly high. The SCTF is meeting next week and hope to get some answers and ideas.