System Governance

SAA Highlights September 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.

September 12 meeting overview

The Statewide Administration Assembly last met September 12. 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 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 10.

Staff Alliance

SAA President Monique Musick recapped the Staff Alliance meeting held Sept. 11. Data is being analyzed from the results of the Work-Life Survey conducted by Staff Alliance. There were 800 survey respondents. Staff Alliance President Juella Sparks is compiling the responses, redacting names and verifying IP addresses. Staff Alliance will be sharing the results with the launch their new blog. The Staff Alliance blog is being developed in order to better communicate with staff throughout the system.

Juella Sparks met with President Gamble. In light of the budget cuts and reduced tuition increases, Staff Alliance is putting forth a 3.5% salary increase request for FY14. (A reduction from the 5.5% proposed in the spring.)

Gamble agreed with Sparks that the grievance process could use review. The last iteration of the grievance handbook is from 1993.   With it being almost 20 years since the grievance procedures have been reviewed, Staff Alliance representatives, Mary McRae Miller and Gwenna Richardson from UAS, are working with HR to review, update and simplify the grievance process.

Staff Alliance is reviewing ideas for Performance Awards, such as financial bonuses, additional annual leave, with special attention to special longevity awards of 20 or more years, to help supplement what could be lean years for compensation increases.

Governance Office Transitions

Position descriptions have been approved for both a governance officer, to fill the vacancy from Pat Ivey’s retirement, and for a coordinator, to replace Kim Fackler and Josh Luther. Currently the governance office is unstaffed. The recruitment for these positions could be underway simultaneously, in order to most efficiently get the Governance Office open again.   Due to budgetary considerations, the coordinator will be 10.5-month position. Reducing the department to these 2 positions does not preclude the possibility of a part-time student worker in the future, dependent on sufficient budget.

Strategic Direction Initiative

Paula Donson and Chas St. George pronounced that Phase I of SDI has concluded. Phase II started with the July 23 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

The SDI office will be conducting broad surveys and working with governance and advisory groups for further input.   President Gamble’s message is that SDI is tied to UA accreditation plans and individual accreditation plans at each MAU.   Dana Thomas’ interview with Chaz St.George discussing SDI and its link to accreditation, which appeared in the Journal of Commerce newspaper, is available on the SDI website: .

Statewide Staff Campaign

The UA Foundation is getting ready to begin their Statewide Staff Campaign.   Dory Straight is soliciting feedback about employees’ favorite things from past campaigns to help promote philanthropy throughout the staff.   Please send suggestions to .

Staff Development

Monique Musick will be meeting with Anne Sakumoto and Juella Sparks to discuss staff development on a general systemwide front, as well as specific suggestions for statewide.   Monique will bring forward the conclusions of their meeting at the October SAA meeting.

Tuition Waiver

The final Tuition Waiver policy is forthcoming.   There are administrative issues that will need to be ironed out due to basing the eligibility on GPA as a governing criterion, instead of the SAP, and complying with FERPA. There is still 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.   It is anticipated that the policy will be ready for the Board of Regents to review at their meeting later this month.

HR Announcements

Becky Conner, from UAF HR, has been hired as the new HR Payroll Accountant.   She is now handling payroll here at statewide.   If you have any payroll related questions, please continue to contact your PPA, Elaine Main , or Laura Frisone .

Health Care Task Force

The Health Care Task Force has completed its mission and will bring their recommendations to the Joint Health Care Committee for their review and action.

Staff Health Care Committee

Plan participation changes for FY13 were within or near projections. The 500 Plan participation was down 25%, now only covering approximately 140 individuals. The 750 Plan participation was down 23%, and the High Deductible Health Care (HDHC) Plan was up 31%. Opt-outs increased from 10% to 12%.  

Staff Alliance approved the Staff Health Care Committee’s recommendation for a patient advocacy consultant service, SAA also approved this recommendation.

Performance Evaluations

A draft Performance Evaluation will be brought before governance in the near future.   Human Resources will roll-out a pilot program to statewide, before full implementation to all the MAUs.   There is no timeline for the initial roll-out or the full implementation at this time, but is a high priority for management.   Annual Performance Evaluations are seen as a key piece of communication for supervisors and their employees for setting goals and objectives for the upcoming year, as well as documentation of what has occurred throughout the year.

Holiday Potlucks

The Thanksgiving Potluck will be held on November 16 and the Holiday Potluck on December 14.   Details will be forthcoming as the dates approach.

Butrovich Building Issues

Elaine Main has taken over as Building Coordinator.   She can be reached at x8026 or . She will be handling the procurement of the new Butrovich building signage, to match that of the Bragaw building, requested by SAA earlier this year. The new Mother’s Room, 206a, is now available for use.

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