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Monday, March 23, 2009

Chancellor Rogers - Updates

Chancellor Rogers, recently back from Juneau, was able to provide updates on several topics concerning UAF.
  • The budget is in the House Finance Subcommittee. At this point it appears Cooperative Extension may receive $190,000 and the Health Budget may receive $175,000. UAF submitted a pay raise package suggesting 60% / 40%. This would mean that 60% would come from General funds and 40% would come from Non-General funds. However, it appears this may be changed to 50% / 50% which is a short fall of $1.6 million.
  • Trying to get federal funding for the Life Sciences project.
  • Capital budget is extremely meager at this point. Governor Palin will have a marginal impact on UAF as she is concentrating on unemployment and K-12 issues.
  • There are several hoops that must be jumped through if monies are accepted from the Stimulus Package. Example: weekly reporting on how the monies are being spent, and they must be spent rather quickly.
  • There are options through the State of Alaska that UAF may be able to capitalize on to help with the budget issues. There is a Cops Grant that UAF Police Dept may be able to apply for to help with there concerns.

The Chancellor was exciting at how the Staff Appreciation Day is coming together. He realizes it will cover a variety of topics and is encouraged and excited to see all the effort being put into making this an event that will recognize staff, orient new staff, provide professional development in a fun environment.

Sean McGee - UAF Police Chief

Chief McGee and the UAF Police Dept are working on several mechanisms to make UAF as safe as possible. Although it is the departments mission to protect and serve they are also concentrating on non-traditional roles such as:
  • Education - how to be more aware of your surroundings.
  • Training - what to do in emergency situations
  • Presentations - why do you need the above two items
  • Crime Prevention Services - come to your area to provide tips to make your area safer
  • Survival Tactics - what do you do if there is a shooting

They are also working on establishing a "Building Safety Coordinator". This person would be responsible for notifying the occupants of that building of any emergency situation. Although there will be one coordinator, this will be a team effort as some buildings have multiple floors.

Chief McGee stated that there are quite a few mechanisms in place to address issues. Their concern and issue they are trying to address at this point is getting this information out to the UAF community so we are aware of what the mechanisms are and what we need to do.

Kris Racina - HR Director

UAF Staff Council would like to welcome Kris Racina. She is the new HR Director and was able to attend our March 20th meeting. During her attendance she shared her philosphy for HR. She believes Human Resources is a support function. It is a means to an end and it is there to assist UAF in meeting the mission statement in balancing campus missions, complying with State and Federal Laws. HR should be a resource to encourage working out of issues between supervisors and employees. Termination should be a last resort.

When asked about the staff levels at UAF HR, she stated that was not an immediate concern as there were some restructuring and cross training that could be done to alliveate some of the bottleneck.

UAF Staff Alliance Met Alaska Legislature

UAF Staff Alliance met in Juneau February 25th. Juella Sparks and Martin Klein were there for 2 days meeting with Alaska Legislators to advocate for UAF budget. There are 3 items worth noting from this trip.
  1. There is real concern about another multiple appropriation budget for the university this year.
  2. There is a fundamental and essential need for someone to be in Juneau advocating for UAF, possibly a Political Action Committee. UAA has established this committee and they are being utilized to the fullest extent. This would be a membership and dues paying based committee.
  3. The federal economic stimulus bill is wreaking havoc with spending plans with the Alaska Legislature.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

UA Budget

Pete Kelly met with the Rural Affairs and Staff Affairs Committees to discuss the upcoming budget. Here is a brief overview:
  • The recommendation from the House finance subcommittee is going to the full finance committee
  • The recommended budget is higher than last year's budget, but still not enogh to cover operational costs
  • Legislature says we have enough money for operating by: organizations throughout the state will pair up with UA; we can pull money from somewhere else in the "big pot"
  • Maintenance for UA is currently not covered in the budget, but will probably be added back into it before it leaves the House
  • Staff compensation increases at this point are fully funded, but this will not last forever
  • University asked for $150,000 for Future Farmers of America

If you wish to see more detailed information, feel free to take a look at the "Red Book" at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Margaret "Peggy" Wood Award

The Margaret "Peggy" Wood Award recognizes an outstanding rural staff member each year. The award is open to all staff at Bristol Bay Campus, Chuckchi Campus, Interior-Aleutians Campus, Kuskokwim Campus, and Northwest Campus.

Nominations are due by March 27th and came come from any University employee. The rural staff member who is honored with this award will receive a plaque. The rural campus will also receive a plaque.

For more information, or to nominate a rural staff member, please contact Ashley Munro, subcommittee chair at or 474-1934.

Rural Affairs Updates

The Rural Affairs Committee works with issues at rural campuses. The committee has 4 areas of concentatration this year: Consistent Annual Training; Cost of Living Differential; Creating a Strong Rural Voice within UAF; and Special Topics Workshops for Staff.

Creating a Strong Rural Voice with UAF- The Rural Affairs Committe would like to have a rural representative on as many UAF Committees as possible. Contact the RAC chair, Elizabeth Recchia (Northwest Campus) at if your committee needs a rural representative.

Special Topics Workshops for Staff- In April, the RAC will be putting together a distance technology workshop to showcase ELive and Encounter. Conact the RAC for more information. There will also be training demos for Skillsoft.

Staff Appreciation Day for Rural Staff- Staff Appreciation is not limited to staff in Fairbanks. Rural staff are encouraged to attend via distance technology. A social event will be planned at each campus site and local training may be available. Contact the Staff Appreciation Day Committee or a rural campus representative for more information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Staff Appreciation Day

Staff Appreciation Day is really taking shape! Before Chancellor Rogers Welcome remarks, a continental breakfast will be provided. There will also be an ice cream social in the afternoon.
Training sessions will be held throughout the day. Here are a few examples:
Professional Development- Skillsoft, UA 101, Safety Training, Travel Training, EEO Training
Personal Development- How to Create a Personal Budget, Are you Ready for Retirement?, Tortilla Making, Compositing with Earthworms, Vegetable Gardening, SRC tour and LIFE Program
Some sessions have limited spaces, so there will be a registration process.
WIN for Alaska will have massage stations and information booths. Don't forget to stop by and check out what you can have on a Wellness Break.