System News

The days are getting longer! Soon the sun will be high in the sky all day. Don't forget to stop and enjoy the colors of sunrise and sunset while they still last. Photo by Monique Musick

Regents wrap up busy two-day meeting

The Board of Regents just wrapped up a two-day meeting packed with business items.  Highlights include approval to move forward on the UAA sports arena and the Career and Technical Education center at KPC; approval of an amendment to the UA non-discrimination policy to include “sexual orientation”; acceptance of the Academic Master Plan; approval to go forward with comprehensive planning and design for two new engineering buildings for UAA and UAF; approval of new degree programs; and operating budget adjustments to include adjunct union compensation and additional receipt authority for increased pell grant activity. READ THE FULL STORY.

Gamble names former business dean UAA chancellor

University of Alaska President Pat Gamble announced Jan. 31 that TomCase, the former dean of the University of Alaska Anchorage College of Business and Public Policy, will succeed Fran Ulmer as UAA chancellor.

“Tom is the right person for this big job,” Gamble said.  MORE....

UA College Savings scholarship drawing

Think inside the box! Check “yes” on the college savings box on Line 6 of your PFD application to contribute to an account in the UA College Savings Plan AND you’ll be automatically entered to win a $25,000 scholarship account or one of four $2,500 scholarship accounts. The 2011 PFD application period runs from Jan. 1 – March 31. This is a convenient way to help contribute to your child’s educational future – with no additional paperwork for you.

The UA College Savings Plan can be an effective vehicle for saving for a child’s future. Any earnings grow tax deferred and are tax free if used for qualified education expenses at any eligible school in the country. For more information and official rules for the scholarship account giveaway please call (907) 474-5671 or visit www.uacollegesavings.com.

University of Alaska Emergency Management leads Full-Scale Exercise (FSE) planning effort

UA Emergency Management is leading the planning effort behind a full-scale exercise (FSE) scheduled for July that will involve twenty-two agencies including first responders from UAF, Fort Wainwright, Bassett Army Community Hospital, Eielson Air Force Base, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Fairbanks Fire Department, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks International Airport and the local American Red Cross. A full-scale exercise is designed to be as realistic as possible and is used to challenge and evaluate a community’s emergency management plan and test coordination among multiple agencies. It is a lengthy simulation exercise, which takes place on location using as far as possible the equipment and personnel that would be called upon in a real event.

President Gamble was on hand at the first planning meeting to make opening comments and personally thank participating agencies for their involvement in the upcoming summer exercise. Thirty-two individuals, representing federal, state and local agencies attended the FSE planning meeting on January 28th. The involvement of policy makers, media and communications personnel, key department heads and other officials in addition to field personnel such as fire, police, EMS and search and rescue, is key to the success of a full-scale exercise.

One of the most important factors for a successful exercise is the planning process. As the exercise planning team, UA’s Emergency Management office will oversee, and ultimately be responsible for, the exercise foundation, design, development, conduct and evaluation. The team will determine exercise objectives, tailor the scenario to meet the exercising entity’s needs and develop documentation used in evaluation, control and simulation.  Because planning team members are highly involved in the exercise, they are ideal selections for exercise facilitator, controller and/or evaluator positions.

Leading up to this summer’s event more meetings will be held. The end goal is an effective exercise resulting from a collaborative approach that integrates the different stakeholders and resources from the various agencies, organizations and individuals within the community.


Health plan changes

Over the past few weeks the statewide office of human resources has sent out a number of notices outlining changes to the UA Choice health plan coming in FY12. While the news may be unpleasant, it is important that all employees have the facts prior to the Open Enrollment period that runs mid-April to mid-May. These new health-care changes will go into effect July 1, 2011.

More information will be emailed and mailed to employees soon, explaining the details of the plan changes.

If you have questions, please contact your local HR office: UAA (907) 786-4608; UAF (907) 474-7700; UAS (907) 796-6263; SW (907) 450-8200.

FY12 Health Care Memo from Beth E. Behner, Chief HR Officer HERE.
FY12 Heath Care Plan Deductibles HERE.
FY12 Health Care Overview PDF HERE.

Dependent audit: Deadline to contact ConSova is Feb. 28

On February 8, Beth Behner, Chief HR Officer sent out a memo about the depended audit that's ongoing and the rationale behind it. (See link to the memo below.) If you have not yet contacted ConSova, and wish to keep your dependents on the UA Health Plan, it is important for you to be in touch with ConSova by February 28.  If additional time is needed by employees who are having challenges in obtaining and submitting documents, ConSova will continue to receive verification documents after that date, provided you contact them by February 28 and keep them informed of your efforts.

Since that point additional questions have been brought up and employees have expressed concern that their dependents will be dropped from their plan before they have a chance to complete the audit. Statewide HR has just released a new set of FAQs to address these concerns.

NEW! Dependent audit FAQ. HERE
Dependent Audit Reminder from Beth E. Behner, Chief HR Officer 2/23 HERE

Dependent Audit Memo from Beth E. Behner, Chief HR Officer HERE.
FAQ on Dependent Audit HERE.
How to Secure Personal Information for Dependent Audit HERE.

Legislators go back to work

Session runs Jan 18–April 17

The first session of the 27th Alaska State Legislature got under way at the state capital in Juneau on Jan. 18 and will run through April 17. Once again, the UA System will use its state relations webpage as the “go-to” spot for information, briefing sheets about UA issues and links to the Board of Regents’ budget request. Links to the state’s bill tracking system, legislator contact information and other resources are also available at www.alaska.edu/state/.

The SupportUA Listserve also will help keep you informed. If you haven’t already, you may sign up to receive occasional messages from UA Executive Vice President Wendy Redman at the listserve link on  www.alaska.edu/state/. If you don’t want to receive such updates, follow the simple directions to unsubscribe.

University Relations strives to ensure messages sent on the SupportUA-L listserve do not differentially benefit or harm candidates, political parties or groups, and comply with the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. In any communication you may have directly with legislators, please refrain from using university resources if your communication is partisan or would benefit one candidate or political party over another. You may use your personal email and computer for such purposes.

If you have any questions about the state relations efforts, webpage or listserve, please contact Kate Ripley in Public Affairs at 450-8102 or klripley@alaska.edu.

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