System Governance

SAA Highlights August 2012

Statewide Administration Assembly

The SAA Highlights provide a brief overview of discussion items from monthly meetings of the Statewide Administration Assembly. SAA often reviews processes and decisions still under development, so discussions at meetings may not reflect the final or official views of the University of Alaska.  Consider these Highlights as informational in nature, not the final word on a subject.

August 18 meeting overview

The Statewide Administration Assembly met August 15. The following is an overview of the meeting. All meetings are open to the public, and statewide workers are encouraged to contact their governance group to address workplace concerns, policies and other matters affecting statewide staff.  If you have any questions please contact SAA president Monique Musick at

The next SAA meeting will be Wednesday, September 12, at 10 a.m.

President's Report: Staff Alliance

SAA President Monique Musick recapped the Staff Alliance retreat held Aug. 8 & 9. A large bit of discussion was held on the budget. With budget cuts anticipated, how will this affect the staff, faculty, students and programs of the university?

The Health Care Task Force is continuing to review options to present to JHCC. Some possible ideas being reviewed are an on-site clinic, becoming part of the State of AK plan and reviewing past plan suggestions made by consultants Fall River and Lockton.

The Compensation Committee is being restructured. Each governance group is to have two representatives on the committee. Musick and Amy O’Sullivan volunteered to represent SAA. First item of business will be justification for a salary increase in FY14.

It was announced that System Governance will stay under Academic Affairs. Dana Thomas is the new Vice President of Academic Affairs. New position descriptions are being drafted for staff for the System Governance Office. Kim Fackler’s last day will be August 17th.

Staff Alliance is working on starting a blog to better communicate with staff.

Lactation Room

In July, SAA sent a letter to administration stating the need for a formal lactation room in Butrovich. It was announced at the meeting that Room 206A has been designated as the new “Mother’s Room.” A formal announcement will be made once the room is ready for use. Keys to enter the room will be available by request from Jennifer Young or Elaine Main.

Butrovich Signage

New signage has been approved for the Butrovich building. The intent is for the signage to mirror the signage in the Bragaw Building as a showing of unity between the two Statewide offices. Jennifer Young is coordinating the purchase and installation.


Michelle Rizk gave an update on the FY14 budget. The budget process kicked off the week of Aug. 6. The first preview will be on Sept. 7. Regents will vote on the finalized budget during their Nov. 6th meeting. From the Regents, the budget will move forward to the governor. The governor creates his statewide budget – which may or may not include the university’s spending priorities – and then forwards his budget to the legislature for their approval. The revised budget returns to the Regents in the spring for final approval. Budget focuses are coordinated with SDI – student, research, high-demand jobs and K-12 partnerships. Capital budget requests include deferred maintenance, UAA & UAF engineering buildings, UAS dorms and designs for the power plant replacement.

President Gamble has asked for a 2% resident and graduate tuition increase, with a 4% increase for out-of-state tuition. Tuition makes up just 12% of UA’s budget. MAU leaders are to look for additional retention and recruitment opportunity to sustain budget needs at each MAU. Research grants and some federal financial aid may potentially be adversely affected by sequestration (forced budget cuts across the board as of January 2013 if Congress does not allocate 1.2 trillion in cuts/savings.)

Strategic Direction Initiative

Paula Donson and Chas St. George pronounced that Phase I of SDI has concluded. Phase II started with the July 23rd meeting with MAU leaders. Leaders met to put together a purpose statement, though it is still an evolving document it encompasses the following goals:

·        Student Attainment & Achievement

·        Productive K-12 Partnerships

·        Public/Private Partnerships

·        Research & Development

·        Accountability to people of Alaska

Vol. 2 of the SDI newsletters will outline these new themes.

Web Time Entry

Carolyn Weaver described where UA is on the Exempt Web Time Entry Project. With non-exempt fixes and payroll modifications rolled out, HR is working on developing and testing the Exempt interface. Final development should take place in Oct., with pilot departments being identified for testing. The exempt pilot will launch in mid-Nov. The roll-out should be complete by the end of Mar 2013.

Deadline for timesheet approval is now Wed. evening. If anyone has any problems or questions with web time entry they are welcome to contact HR.

Governance Reporting Structure

As Musick recapped in the President’s Report, SAA is to report to Academic Affairs. This change requires that our by-laws change to reflect this permanent move. First reading will be at next meeting.

President Gamble has requested a “modify” option to any future resolutions presented to him. Currently we only present “approve” or “disapprove” options. This change allows the president to more effectively negotiate changes.

Staff Awards

The Staff Service Award nominations will now start in December. Having the nominations in February confused some employees about the time period that was being recognized. Since the awards are based on calendar year, it makes sense to have the nomination at the end of the calendar year.

It was mentioned that a request was presented that the 5/10/15 year recognition be certificates instead of mementos. Musick stated that she fought this past award season for mementos and will continue to do so. Carolyne Weaver made a comment that with the diminishment of the scope and budget of the event, maybe there is a possibility of raising funds from outside sources. Michelle Rizk requested that the supervisor of employees being recognized be made aware so that they can take the time to attend.

A question arose of the possibility of the Fairbanks employee summer picnic. It was announced that the Anchorage employee holiday party was so successful that Fairbanks will also be having a holiday party in lieu of a summer picnic.

Pavilion Funds

It was decided that since a pavilion is unfeasible for the Butrovich building that possibly a pergola might be a good substitute. Dory Straight volunteered to research the possible design of a pergola to propose for the Butrovich grounds.

SAA 2012-2013 Goal Setting

Staff appreciation and morale were identified as top priorities. Suggestions were made on helping to boost morale within the Butrovich building. Public Affairs was commended on the Statewide Voice. The Voice is a great example of highlighting a positive outlook for the university and showing the benefits of our work here at Statewide.

Tuition Waiver

Details are still being worked out on the tuition waiver. Employees will still be using GPA as a governing criterion, instead of the SAP. There is a possibility of divorcing employee benefit of the tuition waiver from dependent benefit. Dependent benefit of the tuition waiver could be administered as a scholarship.

Health Care Task Force

The HCTF will be meeting face-to-face next week in Anchorage. Any suggestions from this meeting will not be implemented until FY15 or later.

ASEA Unfair Labor Practice

ASEA dropped the six remaining unfair labor practice claims.

Chief of the Statewide Office of Human Resources

Donald Smith was officially announced as new CHRO. Recruitment of a new Labor and Employee Relations Director will be under way soon.

Performance Evaluations

The performance evaluation process has been on hold since the withdrawal of the proposed Code of Conduct. Tara Ferguson and Anne Sakumoto have been tasked with reviewing the president’s proposed evaluation/appraisal form with Donald Smith. Governance groups will get a chance to review the new evaluations. It was explained that the appraisals are not just an evaluation, but also a staff development tool. It will be a private document between employee and supervisor. The appraisal will review personality aspects as part of the review, with plans for staff development.

Feedback on Proposed Healthcare Changes

UAF Staff Council has received much feedback on the proposed canceling the opt-out option and adjusting the family plans for the healthcare plan. You can visit their blog at to add your own comments or speak to one of our representatives to SHCC – Linda Hall, Ivan Leibbrandt, or Heather Arana.

Joint Health Care Committee

Gwenna Richardson and Melodee Monson are the newly elected staff representatives to JHCC.

Butrovich Building Issues

The current custodial contract is up in January. Jennifer Young has been asked to be part of the RFP process for the new custodial contract. It is unlikely that the current contractor will re-bid. They are an out-of-state company and were not prepared for the cost or logistics of doing business here. Email Jennifer with any issues regarding the custodial service. All incidents are reported to the contractor immediately.

The group discussed possible ways to coordinate clocks in the building without incurring labor charges.

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