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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

UAF Staff Council President's Report - November 2011

  • Tuition Waiver - Staff Council leaders carried to Staff Alliance the tuition waiver resolution requesting that no changes be made to the tuition waiver benefit.  Staff Alliance adopted the resolution with additional language to address conflict with Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
  • Staff Compensation - Board of Regents voted to accept the budget with the inclusion of the proposed 3.5% staff compensation increase and forwarded it to the Governor's office for review.  Governor is scheduled to submit his budget to the legislature in mid-December.  UAF Staff Council encourages staff to contact the Governor and express the importance of keeping this increase in his budget. 
  • System Governance and Strategic Direction - Discussion of health care, the employee and dependent tuition waiver, the President's policy and regulation review, and the status of the Strategic Direction.
  • Policy and Regulation Review - President Gamble is undertaking a policy and regulation review with the goal of creating a clear, current and relevant document for the university.  An online form has been created to collect recommended changes to the policy and regulations.  Staff alliance will be working to identify sections that are most relevant to staff for consideration in the process.  All staff members are encouraged to provide input either to UAF Staff Council representatives or by completing the online form.

The following Departments, Schools, and Colleges are recruiting for staff council membership.  Please consider being a part of the council.  Staff voices need to be heard, let yours be one of them.
  • CRCD
  • IAB
  • SFOS
  • CLA
  • CNSM
  • Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services
  • IRAC

Chancellor Rogers

Topics of conversation to the UAF Staff Council during November 16 meeting.
  • Supervisor Training - reviewing program to determine what works, what does not work, and possible improvements. 
  • New Diversity Director -  Mae Marsh has been selected to replace Earlina Bowden beginning the first week of March 2012.
  • Soft closure - memo has been sent out informing staff that soft closure is an option and NOT a requirement.  Staff can choose to take leave during the week before and/or after the Christmas/New Year's holiday.  There will be reduced activitiy on campus during this time. 
  • SRC more affordable to staff - Mike Humphrey was the lead on how to make this workable.  He has since taken a position with the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Mike Sfraga, Vice Chancellor for Students, is working on this topic.  When the information is provided to Chancellor Rogers it will be forwarded to the UAF Staff Council.
There was added conversation concerning the soft closure issue:  The Chancellor was asked if a message could be sent out to staff informing them if they felt pressured to take leave during soft closure contacting Kris Racina is an option.  Chancellor Rogers general feeling is that to send out multiple messages regarding the same issue becomes spam and is overkill.  No matter how a message is worded there is always the possibility of misinterpretation.  It was stated there was discussion about not sending anything regarding soft closure.

He stated that if a staff member is feeling pressured to take leave during soft closure; they may contact either Kris Racina, 474-7700 or, or the Chancellor, 474-7112 or

Accreditation Update

Dana Thomas, Vice Provost, informed staff council members of the accreditation process, provided handouts of the UAF Mission Statement and Core Themes, Objectives, and Indicators.  Anyone wishing to receive a copy of these documents may contact their staff council representative or the UAF Staff Council office.  Claudia Koch, Unit 7 representative, is a member of this committee.

UAF has not received a final report from the Northwest Commission for the accreditation just completed.  From the draft report given to UAF received 3 recommendations and 3 commendations.

As UAF has completed the initial accreditation process we are now beginning an ongoing cycle.  The Northwest Commission requires the accreditation process be completed every 7 years. 
  1. Year One - define and/or revise university mission statement, themes, objectives, indicators, and the fulfillment of them.
  2. Year Three - review the comments from the Northwest Commission of year one's information.  Make any changes to year one's items if needed or wanted.  Review resources and capacity.
  3. Year Five - review the comments from the Northwest Commission of year one and three's information.  Make any changes to year one or three's items if needed or wanted.  Give data on indicator survey gathered and  how the information is used in the budget and planning processes.
  4. Year Seven - review the comments from the Northwest Commission of year one, three, five's information.  Make any changes to year one, three, or five's item if needed or wanted.  Provide an evaluation of the mission fulfillment and accomplishment.  The following year begins year one again. 
At this point, the UAF Accreditation Committee is discussing revising the university's mission statement.  There is conversation about putting the "Land, Sea, and Space Grant" into the preamble.  The current mission statement states what we do, the goal is to have it state who we are and why do we do what we do.  The Chancellor's Cabinet has suggested the mission statement be one sentence.  Something easily remembered, relevant, and helpful when recruting students and/or donors.

Faculty Senate Comments

Cathy Cahill, Faculty Senate President, was present via telephone at the UAF Staff Council meeting of November 16.  She provided the following information:
  • Faculty is reviewing UAF policy that affect academics and the faculty.  They are only reviewing the UAF Human Resources policies being review are those that directly affect faculty.
  • Accreditation cycle is back in swing.
  • Discussion about breaking commencement from one into two.  Considering a separate commencement for Masters and PhD students.  This is a very real possibility.
  • Legislative forum, Interior Delegation, to come to UAF campus November 30.