System News

Statewide Administration Assembly members, incoming and outgoing, gathered together in Fairbanks for the annual face-to-face meeting. SAA members are elected by their coworkers in Fairbanks and Anchorage to represent Statewide staff in the UA governance system.

President Gamble begins new review program for Statewide executives

Statewide executives are participating in a “360-degree” review this summer and through the fall after a decision by UA President Pat Gamble to reenergize employee performance evaluations.

Such reviews aren’t entirely new to UA, but such a thorough approach for all executives has not occurred before. The 360-degree review program requires feedback from a number of individuals beyond the executive’s direct supervisor, including coworkers, peers, colleagues and others. The end result is a comprehensive review based on a variety of perceptions of the executive’s on-the-job performance. Along with this process, Human Resources is running a pilot program on a new performance evaluation process for non-supervisory employees.

“It is important to make sure that employees understand how they are doing in their positions, so frequent and varied communications about work-related behaviors are crucial,” said Paula Donson, an associate vice president who is coordinating the 360-degree reviews on behalf of President Gamble. “It is not that their boss gives them poor feedback – it’s that feedback from only one source is incomplete.”  MORE...

Construction projects highlight June Regents’ meeting

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a series of far-reaching construction and maintenance projects at its two-day meeting that wrapped up in Fairbanks June 3. The projects include a new sports arena at the University of Alaska Anchorage; student housing at Kenai Peninsula College; extensive continuing repairs to an aging power plant at the University of Alaska Fairbanks; and a long sought-after addition to the student housing and dining complex at the University of Alaska Southeast.

The board also approved two new graduate certificates at UAA (one in children’s mental health and one in career and technical education), a major reorganization of UAA’s growing health program structure and an updated mission statement for UAS.

Read more and view images from the meeting HERE.

Safety Training Program

In an effort to improve safety at the University of Alaska System Office, the Health, Safety and Environmental section of the Office of Risk Services is developing a Safety Training Program for employees. The new program will provide safety and health education and assist employees in identifying recognized hazards in and around their work areas. Risk Services is committed to providing a workplace free of those hazards.

In the coming months you will hear more information about the Safety Training Program and be offered the opportunity to attend trainings directly related to the types of hazards you may be exposed to while performing your work duties.

Everyone has an investment in workplace safety. When we recognize the importance of safety as a core value in our organization and integrate it into our business model, we add value to ourselves. Please continue looking for your chance to become involved and make sure you seize your opportunity to attend training about risks identified as affecting you.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tina Holland at tina.holland@alaska.edu or at (907) 450-8155.

Emergency Management gears up for July exercise

Awareness Training for Butrovich occupants July 18

A simulated emergency response exercise involving a terrorist incident will take place on the UAF campus July 26-28, and Statewide employees in the Butrovich Building will need to play a role.

The exercise involves multiple internal UA/UAF departments as well as other partners,  including Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks North Star Borough and the City of Fairbanks. Emergency Management at both Statewide and UAF have organized and coordinated the event, which will include a terrorist scenario and multiple mock casualties. Other departments involved include UAF media relations, UA Public Affairs, UAF facilities, OIT and others.

Emergency Management will hold two “awareness training” sessions on Monday, July 18 in Room 109 for all Butrovich Building occupants. The first session will be held at 9 a.m. and the second at 10:30 a.m. Please make every effort to attend one of these sessions! Building evacuation procedures and other information relevant to the July 26-28 exercise will be presented. Remember, the only thing worse than failing to plan and practice emergency preparedness would be to explain to parents and others in the community why we did not.

For more information please contact UA Emergency Management Director Rick Forkel at 450-8149.  


Deadline for the Alaska Performance Scholarship

Eligible students must file a FAFSA by June 30

Do you have a child who recently graduated from an Alaska high school or home school program? Are they considering attending UA? If so, please take note of the following information regarding the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS).

Passed by the Alaska Legislature in 2010, the APS provides scholarship funds for Alaska high school graduates who complete a rigorous curriculum, have a minimum GPA and score well on the SAT, ACT or Workkeys examination. This spring the legislature approved a $6 million appropriation to fund the APS for Academic Year 2011-2012. The APS must be used at an in-state institution, including the University of Alaska.

To receive a scholarship students must:

1. File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.gov by June 30, 2011 - (please list a UA campus);
2. Apply and be admitted to a UA campus; and
3. Register for classes

Even if your son or daughter is eligible to use the Employee Tuition Waiver Benefit, your child must file a FAFSA or they will be ineligible for the APS! The employee tuition waiver benefit is for TUITION ONLY. The APS can be used to cover additional educational expenses beyond tuition. But APS recipients must file a FAFSA by the June 30 deadline.

Go to the web site below for full details – including a schedule of webinars for families and students looking for information on the Alaska Performance Scholarship:


New Statewide Administration Assembly officers announced

The UA Statewide Administration Assembly elected new officers during their June 8 Annual Meeting. The officers terms begin July 1.

Monique Musick was elected President of the Statewide Administration, replacing Lisa Sporleder who is stepping down as president but continuing on as an SAA member.  Monique was SAA Secretary for the past two years.  Erica Kurowski was elected Vice President, replacing Dana Platta who will serve as an SAA alternate this coming year.  New SAA member Dory Straight becomes the new SAA Secretary, replacing Monique Musick.

Incoming SAA President Monique Musick

Monique was born and raised in Ester, Alaska. She discovered photography in high school and has done it ever since. She attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in 2001, earned a Journalism degree with an emphasis in photography. Following graduation she became the designer and production manager for Mushing Magazine. When the magazine was sold to new ownership, Monique leased the building and opened her own photo studio and gallery. Three years later the Publication Specialist position opened at Statewide and she came to work for UA Public Affairs. Here she gets to do what she enjoys: photography and graphic design.

Monique became involved with SAA in 2009 shortly after coming to Statewide. She enjoys being an active member of System Governance, supporting co-workers, and participating in policy review. In addition to photography she enjoys sports, outdoor activities, prospecting, music and time with friends.

Erica Kurowski Becomes SAA Vice President

Erica began serving on SAA in 2009 when she filled in for the remainder of an Anchorage member’s term. She was elected to a full term in 2010.  Erica was born and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia. Her only time away had been when she spent four years completing her undergraduate degree at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, where she was also a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. She completed her B.S. in Political Science with a concentration in Pre-Law and a minor in Leadership Studies in May of 2007.

Erica moved to Alaska in September 2008, when she accepted a job as an Administrative Assistant with the UA Land Management office. Erica began her current position as a Claims Technician with the System Office of Risk Services, in Anchorage, in July 2009.   Erica and her husband were married in October 2010, and live in Anchorage. They spend their free time playing on a softball team sponsored by the UAF Alumni Association South Central Chapter, fishing, camping,  sightseeing, traveling and reading.

New SAA Member Dory Straight Becomes SAA Secretary

Dory Straight is the Scholarship Officer for the UA Foundation. Dory began her career at UA in 2008 when she moved to Alaska from Idaho. Dory is responsible for administering the UA Foundation scholarships and awards program, along with increasing private support for existing UA scholarships. She enjoys working with donors to lighten the financial load on our students.

Dory has been married for 28 years to Ray Straight, her high school sweetheart. They have three daughters and five grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys fishing with her husband, spending time with her grandchildren, talking with her daughters, gardening, crocheting and reading.

SAA Highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly held their all-day annual meeting on June 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the morning, SAA met with a variety of managers, directors and executives for an overview of issues that affect Statewide staff. Later in the day was the SAA business meeting, which included officer elections.

The new officers for 2011-2012 are: Monique Musick, President; Erica Kurowski, Vice President; Dory Straight, Secretary.

All meetings are open to the public, and Statewide employees are encouraged to contact their governance group to address workplace concerns, policies and other matters affecting Statewide staff.

June 8 meeting overview:

  • New member orientation
  • Risk Management overview
  • Emergency Closures
  • Facilities and Grounds- changes on UAF campus
  • Health plan changes
  • Dependent audit update
  • E-Learning with Skillsoft
  • Overview of business and IT executive level groups
  • Tuition and scholarship information
  • Legislative recap
  • UA Foundation overview
  • Employee recognition and awards
  • Bylaw changes
  • Officer election

For information please read the overview HERE.


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