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Friday, February 27, 2009

Chancellor Rogers

Chancellor Rogers attended the February 20th UAF Staff Council meeting. It was important to him to address the council in person to provide information on a variety of topics.

* The core operating budget approved by Governor Palin will cover pay raises, operating expenses, cooperative extension, maintenance and energy programs.

* The stimulus package has 8 million dollars for education and higher education, so UAF is hoping to see some of these funds.

* There is a slim to none chance the Life Science Building will happen at this time.

* There is money coming from the Federal Agency of Natural Sciences for the Arctic Research Vessel which is operated by UAF.

* The Alaska Volcano Observatory will also receive funds in their work.

* The Pell Grant will be increased by $500 over the next 2 years.

* There is 7 - 8 billion dollars of the stimulus package to increase rural broadband connectivity nationwide.

* Toolik Lake will have a benefit of 5 million dollars from the stimulus package in their work.

* Chancellor Rogers is interested in staff feedback on the supervisory training that has been occuring.

UAF Budget

Ann Ringstad provided an update on the UAF Budget. The budget is currently sitting in the House Finance Sub Committee. It is important that we as UAF Staff contact, via email or letter, the committee members. When contacting the committee members state what UAF has contributed to you, your family or the community. Why do you feel it is important that they support the university and how does it directly affect you?

You can find the link to the committee at the Alumni Association or Statewide website.

Staff Affairs Committee

The committee has determined the topics that appear to be the most important to staff to get resolved by the end of the 2009 year are:
1. Staff Handbook
2. Staff Compensation
3. Budget Cuts: If there will be any, how are they determined? Where, Who & What will be affected?

At this point Faculty & Staff are unaware of what the budget situation may be at UAF. As we find out you will find out. Continue to watch this topic and provide comments or questions you would like answered.

Chancellor Rogers is hosting forums where faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend to address any concerns they may have. There is a forum on February 27th and March 20th.

Staff Compensation

Staff Compensation is an important topic of discussion all over campus. The Compensation Task Force is leaning towards a merit based system. There are several concerns utilizing this system to determine raises and movements within the university. A few of the concerns are:
a. What if the employee and the Supervisor do not get along?
b. What if the department does not have the budget to support a raise to a deserving employee?
c. What happens if an employee is hired in the middle of the year?
d. What are the ramifications of losing steps?
e. How will seniority be maintianed without steps?

The Task Force is encouraging feedback, comments, concerns, etc.

Staff Appreciation Day

May 11th is Staff Appreciation Day at UAF. This event will last the entire day. We will start in the morning with a welcome speech from Chancellor Rogers, followed by a Campus History lesson from Professor Cole. There will be workshops scheduled throughout the day. Workshops vary: we have professional & personal development workshops scheduled. The afternoon will focus on staff longevity.

Stay tuned for more information...