Announcements and Recognition

Firefighters and friends gathered Aug. 2 to commemorate the installation of a plaque dedicated to the late Phil Rounds. Photo by Monique Musick.
The plaque in honor of Chief Phil Rounds was unveiled Aug. 2, which would have been his 58th birthday. Click to view photos.

Phil Rounds memorial bench dedicated

On what would have been Phil Rounds’ 58th birthday, family and friends gathered to celebrate his life and dedicate the plaque, bench and garden that was built in his memory on the west end of the Butrovich lot. Chief Rounds passed away from cancer November 2008.

The Aug. 2 ceremony featured several speakers who shared their memories of Chief Rounds, including the fire marshall who read the fireman’s prayer. Following the ceremony, family members sat on the memorial bench and released 13 white balloons in honor of his birthday. About 50 people from various local fire departments attended. President Gamble and several other administrative staff members participated in the memorial before heading to the staff picnic at Pioneer Park. Celebrants enjoyed birthday cake, punch, peanut M&Ms and miniature Butterfingers- his favorite candy- as they shared their fond remembrances of a man known to many as “Chief Wonderful.”  PHOTOS

Statewide staff gather for 2011 picnic

Food, games and fun!

The 2011 Statewide staff picnic, held Aug. 2 at Pioneer Park, featured incredible food catered by Big Daddy's Barb-Q, relaxed socializing and games for kids of all ages. By moving the picnic away from the president's house, parking and transportation issues were resolved, children had access to a full playground in addition to the games set up at the picnic, and everyone was able to kick back and relax. Many thanks go to President Gamble, Dianne Taylor and Dianne Milke for organizing a very enjoyable event. Click HERE to view pictures from the picnic.

Click on photo to see images from the staff picnic. Photo by Monique Musick.

UA Land Management issues public notice

UA Land Management issued the following public notices:

Land Sale Public Notice & Ad (Click HERE to view)

All comments regarding competitive sales and leases must be received in writing, at the address below, no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011.  All comments regarding over-the-counter sales must be received in writing, at the address below, prior to the acceptance of an offer.

All competitive offers must be received at the address below, no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.

University of Alaska Goose Bay Development and Disposal Plans (Click HERE to view)

Parties interested in commenting on the Goose Bay Development and Disposal Plans must submit written comments to the University of Alaska at the address below, by no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011.

For more information, please visit the UA Land Management website at www.ualand.com.

New voice mail launched

OIT replaced the aging Meridian Mail system with the new Cisco Unity system on Aug. 21. This upgrade is part of the first phase of the UAF Voice-over-IP (VoIP) project.

Unread and saved messages on your old Meridian Mail account are still available by dialing 5000 or 474-5000 off-campus.

For information on how to use your new voice mail system see this Voice Mail Reference Sheet.

As with any campus technology concerns, please contact the OIT Support Center at 8300 or 450-8300 for any network or telephone questions.

Risk Services gives away free foot traction devices

What are Foot Traction Devices and how do they prevent injuries?

Foot Traction Devices slip-on over your boots or shoes for use on icy surfaces and have more than proven their value for almost a decade at the University of Alaska.

Many winter slip-and-fall injuries have been prevented and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs have been avoided due to Foot Traction Devices. In the past, the University of Alaska has experienced reported employee injuries related to slips and falls during icy conditions. Many of the injuries were severe and caused extreme pain and discomfort to valuable employees in addition to many lost workdays. Most of the injured employees knew about the free Foot Traction Device program (“Spikies”, “Get-a-grips”, “Yak Tracks” and/or “Spare Spikes”), but failed to either wear the devices, failed to pick them, or were wearing them with the spikes pointing into their shoes or boots instead of towards the ground. The most commonly cited excuse for not wearing the devices was “I left them in my car.” All of those reported injuries could have been prevented if the employees had been wearing their Foot Traction Devices.

Free Foot Traction Devices will be available soon in all sizes (small to XXL) for all Statewide regular, temporary, part time, and student employees. Stop by and see Jaenell Manchester in Suite 001 in the Butrovich Building basement to get your pair today.  If you are a Statewide employee located at another University of Alaska campus, free Foot Traction Devices are available to you from the Risk Services Department at your location. Last year we had extremely icy conditions for a portion of our winter that resulted in slips and falls, so get your pair early.


  1. During icy conditions, slow down and plan more time for travel.
  2. Most slips occur when you are in hurry and getting out of your vehicle or upon leaving a building when your feet are warm and a water layer forms under your feet. When getting out of your vehicle, place both feet on the ground before standing or stand outside the building entrance when leaving a building for about ten seconds to allow your shoes to cool down before walking.
  3. Most vehicles are equipped with handholds, which can be used to assist you with exiting your vehicle.
  4. Be sure to remove your Foot Traction Devices before walking on hard surfaces in buildings as metal spikes on hard dry surfaces can be slippery.
  5. Pay attention to where you walk and avoid slippery areas whenever possible. Do not take short cuts through unmaintained areas even though others may be doing it.
  6. Slippery conditions are most prevalent near dawn and dusk because of re-freezing and sand sinking below the new ice layer. Be extra vigilant during those times.

Wear your Foot Traction Devices during icy conditions to prevent serious injury to yourself and to help keep medical costs down.

Electronic timesheets roll out in pilot

UA’s Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC) determined Web Timesheets to be UA’s no. 1 automation priority.  Over the past year, a project team with representatives from each MAU has been working on developing the new web timesheet process.
Upon implementation, UA employees will complete timesheets in UAOnline. Employees will be able to access their timesheets in any location with Internet access. In August, a new timesheet link appeared in UAOnline under the employee services menu. However, until the tool is fully implemented, only those employees who are in the pilot group will be able to access the online timesheet. 
A pilot for the non-exempt employee web timesheet began Aug. 15, 2011. Each MAU has selected a limited number of non-exempt employees and timesheet approvers to participate in the pilot. A pilot for the exempt employees and faculty is targeted to begin in November. During each pilot, selected employees and timesheet approvers will use the new processes and will actively provide feedback for improvements.

Online Demos & Survey are available:
While the August pilot group will involve only those employees in a few departments at each MAU, the project team would like all non-exempt employees and timesheet approvers to have the ability to preview the online non-exempt timesheet and provide feedback. Detailed online demonstrations will be created for employees and timesheet approvers prior to full implementation.

Please view the high level demonstration of the new non-exempt web timesheet at the following link to see its current state of development. The demo takes only 10 minutes or so to watch. After you have watched it, please provide your feedback through the survey link noted below.

If you are a timesheet approver, please view both the non-exempt employee demo and the timesheet approver demo. These are viewable from within the UA Domain. Then complete the same survey to provide your feedback.

  • Non-Exempt Employee Demo:  HERE
  • Timesheet Approver Demo:  HERE
  • Feedback Survey:  SURVEY

Additional information on the Web Timesheet Project can be found at the following links:

  • Web Time Entry Project SITE
  • Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs

New decals required Sept. 1

Don't risk a ticket! New parking decals for 2011–2012 must be displayed in your car window beginning Sept. 1. Parking services has put the renewal forms online, including the option for automatic payroll deductions. Renewal forms were due Aug. 20 to ensure timely receipt of decals. For more information or to file online visit: http://www.uaf.edu/fs/services/parking/

Direct link to pdf form =>

Regents' conference room closed for repairs in September

The Board of Regents' conference room, Butrovich 109, will be closed for the month of September while it undergoes renovations and upgrades. Through a combined effort by Campus Technology Services and Video Conferencing Services, the room will be transformed into a fully functional video-conference room complete with a new screen, projector system, wireless microphones and plasma monitor. The white boards will also be replaced.

With these new changes the room will be ready for Regents' meetings and other video-conference events without requiring laborious set-up and the transfer of a lot of equipment. The kitchen will be remodeled to house the equipment and a new touch screen control board will be installed for moderator use. The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of September.

Statewide staff sow seeds of promise

For eight years Statewide employees have collectively joined together to plant the seeds of promise at the University of Alaska by donating to the UA Foundation during the annual staff campaign. Staff giving not only helps to grant the wish of a college education, it also helps the Foundation attract and cultivate corporate donors and other financial support for the University of Alaska.

A strong showing of support from staff makes a huge difference in leveraging public dollars. It demonstrates a belief in our schools, students and the UA experience while making that same experience even more accessible to more students. For this reason the emphasis of the staff campaign has always been more on participation than on a specific fundraising goal.

The campaign was officially kicked off on Aug. 23 with a morning breakfast break and select speakers. Dory Straight, campaign chair, highlighted the goals of the campaign, in particular specific scholarship funds that are just below the endowment level that staff giving could really impact.

Julie Lawreth, OIT executive officer, spoke about the Fred Smits MBA Scholarship Fund established this fall by Smits' family to support students seeking a Master in Businesss at UA. Smits, a long-time UA employee, unexpectedly passed away while running April 30. Lawreth, a friend, running partner and colleague of Smits, asked statewide staff to assist in the goal of endowing the scholarship over the next few years.

Garrett LaMay, the first recipient of the Battalion Chief Phil Rounds Scholarship for fire science students, thanked statewide staff for their part in establishing and endowing that scholarship fund. The scholarship provided him with the opportunity to attend school and work with the UAF Fire Department without stacking up a bunch of student debt.

Kate Ripley, public affairs director, shared her philosophy of giving to programs that mean something to her personally. She prefers to spread her gifts to select programs at each MAU. Ripley, originally a resident of Juneau, likes to support high-priority programs at UAS. At UAA she contributes to a memorial scholarship for a young creative writing student tragically killed on his way to class. At UAF she supports the journalism department and KUAC. By selecting funds that mean a lot to her, she receives greater satisfaction out of her charitable donations.

Around the room posters listed funds that have almost reached the endowment level that are featured in this year's staff giving campaign. Throughout the coming weeks, staff campaign committee members will distribute donation forms and FAQs as well as small gifts of appreciation. (They also serve as gentle reminders to participate in the campaign.) Door prizes are awarded each week, and a grand prize drawing for Alaska Airline tickets will be awarded at the wrap-up event Oct. 3.

To read further about the UA Foundation, including the impact of staff giving, please review the 2010 Annual Report "Seeds of Promise." Or download a PDF version of the report.

Michelle Rizk, Kate Ripley and Julie Larweth visit together before the Staff Campaign kickoff on Aug. 23. Lawreth presented information on the goal of endowing the Fred Smits MBA scholarship fund and Ripley shared her philosophy of giving to programs that mean something to her personally. Photo by Monique Musick.

2010 Longevity and Peer Awards event was well received

On Aug. 18 statewide staff members in Anchorage and Fairbanks gathered together to recognize their coworker's years of service and to honor the recipients of the Outstanding Employee awards for 2010. There was a great turn-out in both locations and plenty of ice cream, sundae toppings, yogurt, fruit, veggies and beverages to go around.

SAA President Monique Musick welcomed attendees and thanked everyone for their service to the university; noting that with each passing year, priceless experience and institutional knowledge is gained. No gift can truly reward the value and knowledge each long-time employee brings. Following the introductionary comments, President Gamble addressed the assembled crowd. He too emphasized the value of experience at an institution. He reminded the long-term employees of their role as mentors to the newer employees eager to begin their careers. He also remarked that the Outstanding Employee awards, a recognition granted not by managers, but by co-workers, is one of the greatest honors a person can receive. It is truly a sign of hard work and dedication to be recognized by peers, President Gamble said.

President Gamble assisted in handing out gifts of appreciation and congratulating 5-year, 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, 30-year and 35-year employees. A list of those employees and biographical information can be read in the program booklet downloadable HERE.

Lisa Sporleder, analyst technician with OIT Data Center Operations, was the recipient of the non-exempt Outstanding Employee award for 2010. Sporleder's contributions to the university both through her work and her participation in governance has had a huge impact. Her leadership in establishing the wellness program at UA has helped her fellow workers and saved the university many thousands of dollars. In addition her leadership in service activities such as the food drive and mug collection has a lasting impact on the community. She helps out so often that it is easy to take for granted all her hard work. This award recognizes all that she does for the university, her co-workers and the community at large.

Debbie Kendricks, Assistant Director of Mining & Petroleum Training Service, was the recipient of the exempt Outstanding Employee award. Kendricks has an incredible list of accomplishments in her 32-year career at the university. In one year, by herself, she managed all enrollment, scheduling, evaluation, job placement, revenue and expenditures for 4,200+ students in over 150 classes. She has the only Federal OSHA/MSHA audit to be totally clean in the U.S. She is the only woman in the U.S. who is totally certified to teach both surface and underground mine safety certification programs as well as underground mine rescue. She’s managed disaster preparedness training for the entire government of Aruba and was vice president and chief financial officer for the Sakhalin Alaska College, a joint venture between the Russian Academy of Science and MAPTS for eight years. She’s also personally paid students' tuition out of her own pocket for deserving students. The award for Kendricks was presented to her in Soldotna.

Izzy Martinez took great photos of the event that can be viewed HERE.

First floor first aid kit custodian needed

Risk Management is seeking a volunteer to be custodian of a first aid kit on the first floor of the Butrovich. A centralized location would be preferred. First aid training is provided for the volunteer. If interested please contact Tina Holland.

Harvest time!

Vegetables are ready to harvest from the Butrovich employee garden. Varieties include beans, lettuce and squash. There is also one that many people have not tried -- kohlrabi. We have planted both purple and green on both sides of the flag, and some are ready to harvest now. They should be about fist-size to harvest. Below are a few website links for information and recipes. Kohlrabi can be eaten both cooked and raw. Please do keep an eye out for fresh veggies and greens to take home for your supper! They are there to be used and enjoyed.

Kohlrabi plants info: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/kohlrabi.cfm
Kohlrabi recipes: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/kohlrabi/
Kohlrabi recipe (greens): http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2010/06/asian-greens.html

This summer was a bit of a learning experience for the employee gardens. The planting was late and we ran out of compost material. It is remarkable the difference between the plants that received compost (East side of flag pole) and those that did not (West side of flag pole.) If you ever questioned the value of adding compost to your soil, let the difference in plant size and productivity between the two beds alleviate any doubt!

Volunteers are requested one last time. The beds will need to be harvested and the soil turned before winter. If you are interested in helping with the final harvest and cleanup please contact Jocelyn Martin.

The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Photo by Monique Musick.
Numerous yellow squash are ready for harvest. Photo by Monique Musick.

UA Health Link

Keep up-to-date on current wellness benefits and be inspired by healthy lifestyle tips through the UA Health Link. This online newsletter provides monthly updates on IHP programs, wellness breaks, current incentive programs and more. If you missed this month's issue, read it HERE.

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