Voice
Vice President of University Relations Carla Beam interviews President Gamble during the fall Conversation with the President while statewide employees in Fairbanks and Anchorage look on.

Conversations with the President

The third “Conversation with the President” event held Oct. 17 drew a healthy crowd of employees in both Fairbanks and Anchorage.

The conversation, held in Fairbanks and available via videoconference for Anchorage employees, featured Vice President for University Relations Carla Beam interviewing President Gamble. Questions came from employees as well as Public Affairs.

Topics ranged from Shaping Alaska’s Future (formerly known as the Strategic Direction Initiative, or SDI) and the tuition surcharge at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management to an upcoming employee hotline and the president’s outlook and predictions on the FY15 budget.

“This is the time in the history of the university where individuals can really make a difference,” President Gamble said, referring to the Shaping Alaska’s Future effort, which is now in what’s known as the “doing” phase, or third and final phase. “We need to make a change, or we’ll get left behind.”

Gamble discussed investing in UA leaders to help guide the changes that are proposed under Shaping Alaska’s Future. Those changes, known as “Effect Statements,” list the effect the university wants to achieve in a number of different areas, such as graduation and completion. A good set of metrics will help measure how successful the university is in reaching the effects.

On the budget front, President Gamble reiterated that it’s expected to be a fairly tight year. Gov. Sean Parnell has requested flat budgets and the legislative leadership have indicated the same as well.

Vice President Beam asked the president about the Statewide Administrative Assembly’s efforts to create an employee code of some kind. President Gamble earlier suggested an employee code of conduct, but he later dropped it. He still believes that such codes are helpful as well as common within many sectors, including higher education.

“I’m letting that (the SAA proposal) bubble up,” Gamble said. “I’m looking forward to seeing that.”

Another “Conversation with the President” will be planned for the spring semester.

President Gamble explains the next phase in Shaping Alaska's Future: the adoption of specific measuareble effect statements to guide the university through the process of continual improvement.

UA College Savings Plan Marketing Campaign Wins Two Awards

The UA Scholars marketing campaign features Alaskan children delivering important messages.

Award-winning campaign features Alaskan children

The UA College Savings Plan received two marketing awards this month: the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Alaska Chapter’s “Marketing Campaign” Prism Award; and the Mutual Fund Education Alliance’s (MEFA) “Retail Marketing Campaign” STAR Award for its marketing campaign that rolled out January 2013.

The new campaign features original, high-quality photography of Alaska children in a variety of locations around Southcentral Alaska. The photos have been used to create ads incorporating attention-grabbing quotes; quotes that kids at their given ages wouldn’t actually say but maybe would if they could. The quotes carry important messages, and the resulting image is intended to strike the reader as funny and meaningful at the same time.

The AMA Alaska Chapter announced the winners of the Prism Awards Oct. 24 in Anchorage. The Marketing Campaign category recognizes a small business, large business and non-profit for the success of a completed or in progress campaign. The UA College Savings Plan received the award in the non-profit category.

The winners of the Mutual Fund Education Alliance’s (MFEA) 2013 STAR Awards were announced Oct. 23 in Chicago at the 17th annual celebration. The STAR Awards program is the fund industry’s only competition of its kind. The STAR Awards competition emphasizes the importance of investor education and effective communications. The UA College Savings Plan’s program manager, T. Rowe Price, was recognized with the Retail Marketing Campaign STAR Award.

In addition to engaging current participants with the new creative design, the UA College Savings Plan sought to increase new accounts; digital advertisement conversion rates; the number of elections to automatically contribute to the plan through the Permanent Fund Dividend; traffic to the website, the fan base and activity on Facebook; and overall awareness of the UA College Savings Plan.

The campaign launched January 2013 and the results have exceeded objectives.  

New accounts: The number of new accounts for the first half of 2013 was up 22 percent over the first half of 2012.

Digital:

  • 74 percent increase in conversions from digital advertising for the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012. (This occurred even with a 15 percent decrease in budget.)
  • 718 percent increase in sales from digital ads.

Permanent Fund Dividend: 14 percent increase in the number of Alaska residents directly contributing their PFD to a college savings plan in 2013 compared to 2012. 

Website:

  • 21 percent increase in visits for the first half of 2013 over the first half of 2012.
  • 17 percent increase in unique visitors for the first half of 2013 compared to the same time period last year.

Social Media: The number of “likes” on the UA College Savings Plan Facebook page has increase 119 percent this year. Also, fans are more engaged and content is reaching more people.

Additionally, the plan received overwhelmingly positive feedback from prospects as well as current customers on the creative and friendly campaign. One unanticipated effect of using Alaska children in the imagery is the additional buzz achieved online and at events, when friends and family see the images and share them with others.

For questions about the UA College Savings Plan or these awards contact Lael Oldmixon, Executive Director via email at lmoldmixon@alaska.edu or phone at 907-450-8115.

Safety Training

The Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) department within Statewide Risk Services has been working on an RFP to provide quality online regulatory safety training for all Statewide employees. Due to circumstances beyond their control the RFP process was delayed and will not be completed until the 2014 calendar year. With the end of this year and upcoming holidays fast approaching, we will partner with UAF HSE/RM to offer their computer-based training for all Statewide employees and will extend the timeframe for employees to complete the training to the end of the first quarter of the 2014 calendar year (March 31, 2014). Information on training topics, schedules, and how to register will be announced soon.

Stay on TRACK Launches myTRACK Photo Contest

The Stay on TRACK campaign launched its second annual myTRACK photo contest (http://youtu.be/-uUwr0Q5CjU) on Monday Oct. 28 to coincide with the display of Spring 2014 courses at UAOnline. By participating in the myTRACK photo contest, UA students are entered into a drawing for two tickets on Alaska Airlines, and staff, faculty and alumni have a chance to win $250 for the department of their choice. Please share this information with your students, staff, faculty and alumni.

To enter:

1. Have a picture taken of yourself, or take your own photo.

2. In the picture, hold up the number of fingers that represent the total number of years you estimate your undergraduate program will take you from start to finish. If you have already completed your degree, indicate how long it took you.

3. Post your photo at http://bit.ly/myTRACK and you'll be entered to win.

Statewide Risk Services Giving Away Free Foot Traction Devices

Foot Traction Devices prevent injuries

Foot Traction Devices slip-on over boots or shoes for traction on icy surfaces. They have 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.

University of Alaska has a history of reported employee injuries related to slips and falls during icy conditions. Many of the injuries were severe and caused extreme pain and discomfort, and lost work days, to valuable employees. While most of the injured employees knew about the free Foot Traction Device program (“Spikies,” “Get-a-Grips,” “Yak Tracks” and/or “Spare Spikes”), they either failed to pick up or wear the devices, or were wearing them with the spikes pointing into their shoes or boots instead of toward the ground. All of those injuries could have been prevented if the employees had been wearing 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. See Jaenell Manchester in Suite 001, Butrovich Building, to get your pair.  

If you are a Statewide employee located at another University of Alaska campus, free Foot Traction Devices are available 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.

ADDITIONAL SLIP AND FALL PREVENTION STEPS: 

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 10 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 shortcuts 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, so be extra vigilant during those times. 

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

OIT Seeks Feedback

The Office of Information Technology wants your opinion.  Let us know how we are doing at: www.alaska.edu/oit/feedback.

Wood Center Food Pantry to open

A recent article in the UAF Cornerstone announced that Student Activities, along with many other campus partners, are preparing to open the Wood Center Food Pantry. The mission of the Wood Center Food Pantry is to foster a healthy UAF community by providing food and other resources to students in need.

Free supplemental food assistance will be provided to all UAF students to help ensure they are able to have a secure source of food while maintaining their families, studies and work.

Individuals can participate in the food pantry to help improve the lives of those facing hunger at UAF. Donating food is a direct way to help. Create a habit of buying a few extra cans when going to the grocery store, or when there are office pot-lucks, bring a can food to donate, then drop these off at the Wood Center Food Pantry. Donations are being accepted at the Wood Center front desk, and/or in red tubs labeled “food pantry.” In the Butrovich these are located at the base of both stairwells.

The goal is to have the pantry open in mid-November to coincide with National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week. Nov. 18-22, 2013!

Follow the food pantry on Facebook for updated information at https://www.facebook.com/WCPantry/.

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