Announcements and Recognition

Beautiful fall colors are a brief but enjoyable part of September in Interior Alaska. Photo by Monique Musick.

Message from Vice President Joe Trubacz

Dear University of Alaska Staff:

After 21 wonderful years at the University of Alaska, I’ve decided that it’s time to take on an exciting new challenge. I’ve recently accepted the position of Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration at the Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, Colo. My official last working day at UA will be Oct. 21.

The university, Alaska and Fairbanks have all been incredible and fascinating parts of my life for more than two decades. The top-notch professionals I've had the pleasure of working with will stay with me forever.  I started as the Executive Officer in the School of Engineering at UAF in 1990, served in various positions both at UAF and Statewide until becoming the Chief Finance Officer for the system in 2006. In 2008, I became the Vice President of Finance and Administration, providing me with a very broad view of our diverse UA System. I’ve enjoyed being involved in my community as the head cross country coach and assistant track coach at North Pole High School and through visiting many different parts of this state. It’s been a fantastic journey.

The university’s fiscal position is strong, and our administrative processes are running smoothly and continuing to improve. Under the leadership of President Gamble, the three chancellors and the Board of Regents, the university is moving ahead in a new Strategic Direction that will emphasize helping students reach their educational goals more effectively and efficiently, saving them money and helping get them into Alaska’s workforce in a more timely manner. I applaud this effort and have every reason to believe it will be successful. While leaving the university to take on a new job was a difficult decision, I believe the institution is in very solid shape to meet the challenges ahead.

President Gamble will consider options for replacing this position in the weeks ahead. I expect the transition will be a smooth one.

Thank you to everyone for your support. I look forward to having our paths cross in the future.

Joe Trubacz

Register today for 2011 OIT TechFest, Oct. 10-12

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) will host its annual TechFest Oct. 10-12 in the UAF Wood Center. TechFest showcases technology innovation for higher education and research and is open to students, faculty and staff.  This year’s event features keynote speaker, and Earth’s Premier Science Comedian (self-proclaimed) Brian Malow at 1 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 11, in the Wood Center Ballroom. Other highlights of the event include:

  • Technology training and information sessions (topics to include: digital photography, social media, e-timesheets, TOAD query tools and many more)
  • Faculty birds of a feather forums
  • Technology exhibition
  • Gaming station and tournaments
  • Geocache scavenger hunt (opens Sept. 30)
  • Prizes and giveaways including an IPad 2, smart phone, and laptop

For a full schedule of events, geocaching coordinates, or to register visit http://www.alaska.edu/oit/techfest/.

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.  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.

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.

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

UAA seeks nominations for naming of campus residential halls

The University of Alaska Anchorage has long referred to its residential halls as MAC, West Hall, Templewood, East Hall and North Hall. The time has come to choose names for these facilities that better reflect Alaskans’ contributions to the fields of research, academic discovery, leadership and governance. We are currently accepting nominations for consideration based on the following criteria:

  • Naming will honor Alaska community members who are no longer living.
  • The naming committee will place emphasis on contributions by distinguished Alaskans and others who have made outstanding contributions to the state, Alaska culture and/or the UAA campuses.
  • Other examples of potential nominees include: former members of the UA Board of Regents, the University of Alaska Foundation’s Board of Trustees, advisory boards, alumni, donors, former university presidents, chancellors, faculty and staff of the university who have significantly contributed to UAA campuses.

UAA will accept nominations through Oct. 14. Recommendations will then be forwarded to the Chancellor’s Cabinet for consideration.

Please limit your submissions to 500 words and submit to AVC Facilities, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508.

E-mail lists available for staff communications

The sdbutro@alaska.edu email list was recently shut down and is now replaced with ua-butro@lists.alaska.edu. Announcements such as lost and found, building-wide meetings, equipment availability, leftovers, lost extension cords or other messages can be sent to the entire Butrovich building by sending an email to ua-butro@lists.alaska.edu. Please note - this email will reach all Butrovich building occupants, regardless of department. This list does not reach Statewide staff in Anchorage.

This list is not moderated - which means your message will not sit in anyone's queue waiting for approval. However, this list will be monitored and archived. Please do not abuse the list by sending non business-related messages, such as fundraiser announcements, political emails, or any other messages that violate Board of Regents' policy. Also please remember, a "reply" to this email will send your reply to ALL members in the list.

Here is a short listing of other email lists available:

uasw-l@lists.alaska.edu = emails ALL Statewide employees in Fairbanks and Anchorage

  • secure and moderated by Public Affairs  (OPA staff approves what gets through)
  • subscriber list auto updated daily by OIT

butrovich_building-bldg-l@lists.alaska.edu  = emails only butrovich building occupants

  • secure, moderated by Jennifer Young and Facilities at UAF
  • subscriber list auto updated daily by OIT
  • to send building maintenance issue notices, please send an email to jlyoung@alaska.edu who will get your message through. Sending directly to the email list will not work.

ua-butro@lists.alaska.edu = emails only Butrovich building employees

  • not moderated, anyone can send to this list
  • subscriber list auto updated daily by OIT

If you have any questions, email ihmartinez@alaska.edu.

Statewide staff campaign to wrap up Oct. 3

The ninth annual Statetwide staff campaign will draw to an end on Oct. 3, at a closing event featuring fresh snacks, results from the campaign and some big prize give-aways, including Alaska Airlines tickets. The Board of Regents' conference room in the Butrovich is still under renovation, so the closing event will be held from 2 – 3 p.m. in the Sherman Carter Conference Room and connected by video conference to the conference room in the Bragraw Office Building.

Gifts and pledges by staff during the campaign are important for several reasons. The gifts help support students and programs at the University of Alaska, but they also help show potential donors that there is a high level of support for the university from within the organization. Because of the dual importance of staff giving, the emphasis has always been on participation levels rather than specific funding goals.

Volunteer "giving experts" James Milburn, Dory Straight, Karesa Fraser, Linda Hall, Monique Musick, Erica Kurowski and Tami Choquette helped distribute campaign information and weekly reminders (in the form of small gifts) throughout the campaign. They serve as contacts for anyone who has questions about giving and are great about turning in forms for people who haven't had the chance to run it up to the Foundation office themselves. In addition to the weekly reminders, a drawing for special prizes was held every Friday during the campaign.

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.

Wyse selected as new VP for the OnBase Higher Education Vogue

Hyland Software Inc., makers of the OnBase Content Management application, announced that the members of its Higher Education Vertical OnBase Group of User Experts (VOGUE) have selected UA’s Enterprise Content Management Administrator Alicia Wyse as its new vice president. Wyse will serve a two year term as the Higher Ed VOGUE VP.

The VOGUE is an industry specific OnBase user group that offers members an opportunity to learn more about OnBase and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) in the industry. The Higher Education VOGUE offers a website, newsletters, webinars, forums and user meetings to its members and provides a great opportunity for members to network with other higher education OnBase users.

Wyse joined the Higher Education VOGUE in 2006 and became active in the software enhancement committee during 2007. 

Results of the UA Dependent Audit

Memo from Beth Behner, Chief HR Officer

Last winter, the University of Alaska initiated an audit of all dependents enrolled in the UA health plan as of January 2011 to ensure that only eligible individuals were covered. Other employers who have conducted dependent audits have found between 5 and 8 percent of dependents to be ineligible. UA used an external vendor, ConSova, to conduct the dependent audit.

We have now completed the audit. Following the work performed by ConSova and a careful final review by Statewide HR, the university determined that 103 dependents were ineligible to be on the plan. (The university will continue taking verification documents from employees who have not yet submitted them, so this number may change.) Using the amount of $4,563 per year, which is the average cost for dependents’ health care claims using FY10 amounts, the UA health care plan is projected to save around $470,000 in projected claims costs because of this audit.

The 103 ineligible dependents represent less than 2 percent of the 5,590 dependents on the plan, fewer than have been found by other employers who undertake audits. We are pleased that UA employees have done a good job in removing or not enrolling dependents who don’t qualify as eligible. Ineligible dependents on UA’s plan present actual and potential claims costs that would unfairly burden the rest of UA employees and the institution, which pays for over 80 percent of plan costs overall.

The university’s current procedure for enrolling new health care dependents now includes a requirement that employees present verification documents to the campus HR offices for review at the time of enrollment. Benefits managers consider it a best practice to conduct health plan eligibility audits every five years or so, to ensure that divorced spouses and other dependents no longer eligible to be on the plan can be identified and removed. While there are no current plans for another audit, it’s reasonable to assume one will be conducted in the future.

I appreciate the assistance of the Joint Health Care Committee, the Staff Health Care Committee and all UA employees during the completion of the dependent audit.

Risk Management trains C-CERT volunteers in Valdez

PWSCC staff train on fire extinguishers during the C-CERT training in Valdez. Courtesy Ron Swartz

In the event of a major disaster, such as an earthquake or terrorist attack, Valdez fire and police services can count on the assistance of the newly certified Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) at the Prince William Sound Community College. The 20-hour program was offered through the System Office of Risk Services. Participants learned about fire safety, medical triage and first aid, terrorism, search and rescue, disaster psychology and general disaster preparedness. C-CERT is designed to train campus employees to take important actions following an emergency, until professional responders are able to arrive. In a serious disaster like an earthquake, emergency service workers could be quickly overwhelmed and will need to prioritize their responses. Citizens trained in CERT or Emergency Watch programs can help reduce the amount of death, injury and damage while professional responders are busy elsewhere.

Register for fall 2011 IHP sessions

Individualized Health Planning sessions (IHPs) begin on Monday, Oct. 3. Sign up and participate in a series of six face-to-face health planning sessions with your experienced, local Alaskan wellness consultant, who will customize a plan to help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals.

  • Improve overall health
  • Develop an exercise plan
  • Reduce stress   
  • Manage weight 
  • And more!

IHPs are a benefit of your UA Health In Action program, provided at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Program participation is limited, and sessions fill-up fast. We offer convenient times and on-campus locations. You must be enrolled in the UA Choice health plan to participate in IHPs.

Please note: IHP biometric screenings are now mandatory during the second and sixth sessions. Biometrics done by a medical provider will be accepted if completed within 30 days prior to those session dates. If a participant is not physically able to have screenings completed, a doctor's note will be accepted for continuation in the IHP Program.

Fairbanks registration LINK

Anchorage Registration LINK

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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