Announcements and Recognition

Joe Trubacz and Michelle Rizk are at the head of the pack as they head up Tanana Loop during the start of the Fred Smits Memorial Walk/Run. Click on image to view more photos.

Board of Regents to meet in Fairbanks June 2–3, 2011

The next Board of Regents meeting will be June 2–3, 2011 in Fairbanks in Butrovich 109. Public testimony will be heard at approximately 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 2, and 9 a.m. on Friday, June 3. Sign-up sheets will be available prior to the meeting. Governance groups will be reporting to the board on Thursday following public testimony. The agenda for the meeting can be accessed on the BOR website.  MORE

System Employees Graduate at UAF Commencement

The UA System Office had a number of employees walk across the stage at the Carlson Center during the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ commencement ceremony May 15. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them and recognize their achievements. Click HERE for brief look at some of them and pictures from the 2011 commencement.

Google Groups Update

As part of a systemwide security upgrade, all group e-mail or departmental accounts will be replaced by Google Groups accounts. The following information will help clear up some facts, rumors and deadlines associated with this move.

Two years ago, OIT underwent a security audit and review. In that audit, shared accounts, in which multiple users share a single account name and share a password, were identified as a security risk that needed a remedy. Regardless of the switch to Google, the University needed to end this practice and no longer issue department accounts.

Old departmental accounts, sy addresses, will not go away until a solution is in place that meets department and user needs. The original target date of December 21 was moved back to June 30. It has since become apparent that it will take more time to move all the department accounts. The department accounts will not be going away on June 30.  MORE

Kuiper and Pope on award-winning business plan competition team

Statewide employees Buffy Kuiper and Michelle Pope were part of an award winning team in both the UAF School of Management Business Plan Competition and the Alaska Business Plan Competition. The contests gave teams of students the opportunity to develop business startup ideas, and pitch their business plan to a panel of judges. It provided insight into the process of developing a business plan and selling the idea to potential investors.

Their winning project proposal was for Alaska Glass Recycling Products LLC, a diversified glass recycling company based out of Anchorage. MORE

Employee educational benefit update

Discussion about several modifications to the employee education benefit, also known as the employee tuition waiver, are ongoing in an effort to improve management of this valuable benefit.  A draft of the proposed changes to regulation will be distributed to UA governance groups soon, so that employee review and input can be provided to the university’s administration once governance meetings begin again in the Fall.  Because registration for Fall semester is already underway, it is likely that changes to regulation pertaining to tuition waivers would be effective no sooner than Spring semester, or January, 2012, according to Chief Human Resources Officer Beth Behner.

The university’s proposed changes will include a six-month waiting period for newly hired employees and their dependents, as well as a different way of managing the benefit.  Employees using the tuition waiver to take courses would, under the draft proposal, have to reimburse the university for any courses they fail.  An employee’s dependents taking courses would have to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to use the tuition waiver, as they currently do when they receive financial aid and scholarships.

Here is link to the memo Behner sent out on May 3 for your background. MEMO

Photos wanted for UA Homepage

Do you take cool photos? We want to highlight the best of our University of Alaska campuses. The Statewide Office of Public Affairs is continually looking for awesome images to use in the main University of Alaska main web site. Take a look at http://www.alaska.edu/. Your photo could be there!

Photo Assignment for May:
For the upcoming month, we are specifically looking for photos of summer activities. Get out and enjoy the Alaskan summer. Share images of our beautiful state and campuses. Be creative. Be artistic. Send us the picture and tell us about the activity! 

Upload your photos here: http://www.alaska.edu/alaska/photos/
If we use your photo, we will send you a 2GB University of Alaska jump drive.

Photo must meet the following criteria:

  • Photo must be awesome :)
  • Photo must be horizontal
  • File size may not exceed 5 MB
  • Photo must be of JPEG format (.jpg, .jpeg)
  • Please provide a caption (max. of 256 characters)

Thank you!

Fred Smits Remembered

It was with great sadness we learned of the passing of Fred Smits, Executive Director of Infrastructure Technology Services in the Office of Information Technology. Fred  died unexpectedly April 30, 2011, while out jogging.

Fred’s experience and leadership will be greatly missed. Fred had been with the university since 1997, providing steady and sure leadership for the critical but seldom seen services that keep the university’s online systems running every day. Fred was to step in and assume Steve Smith’s duties and responsibilities as Chief Information Technology Officer when Steve left UA to accept a similar job at the University of Hawaii. The CITO position will now be filled by Karl Kowalski until a permanent replacement is found. David DeWolfe will manage Infrastructure Technology Services during this period of transition.  MORE

In honor of Fred, a memorial 5K run/walk was held on the UAF campus on Saturday May 14, 2011. About  30 runners, joggers and walkers started and ended the 5K race at the UAF Patty Center. Click here for PHOTOS.

Fred was an alumnus of the School of Management, graduating in December 2010 with his MBA. A scholarship in his name will go to aspiring MBA students. To make a donation download the FORM or the give through the Foundation website. (Online donors must specify the Fred Smits MBA Scholarship)

Voicemail Upgrade

This summer the Office of Information Technology Telecommunications Services will upgrade voicemail systems from Meridian Mail to Unity Voicemail. This is part of phase I of the campus-wide infrastructure and Voice over Internet Protocol upgrade project designed to upgrade the network infrastructure, replace the outdated telephone switch, and merge voice and data traffic into one simplified core network.

There will be no changes to how you access your voicemail; however, after the upgrade you will need to update your password and greeting. Unread and saved messages on Meridian Mail will still be available for retrieval and playback.

As the change will occur during the summer break, faculty and staff will want to check their university email account or the OIT website at www.alaska.edu/oit for updates and notification of the date of the upgrade.

As with any campus technology concerns, please contact the OIT Support Center at 474-8300 for any network or telephone questions. For questions about the infrastructure and VoIP upgrade project contact Kevin Jacobson, project manager, at 450-8021.

Checking the status of health plan coverage

Available on UAOnline starting between May 18 and June 17

Your regional Human Resources Office is currently processing your health care selections for the upcoming plan year.  Changes to your health care coverage election for the upcoming plan year will not be displayed in UAOnline before May 18, 2011, and may not be available until June 17, 2011. Please continue to check UAOnline between these dates for any changes to your health care coverage elections for the upcoming year.

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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