Voice
Happy Holidays to all Statewide staff and their families! Photo by Monique Musick

UA Wellness, Phase 2 Q&A Available

UA human resources developed a new Q&A on the next phase of the wellness plan and requirements for earning a $600 rebate next fiscal year including: why we are being asked to do more, how it is accomplished, how to track progress and how the rebate is paid. Please click HERE for more information.

UA Announces Winner of myTRACK Alaska Airlines Contest

University of Alaska student Danielle Dallmann won two round-trip tickets courtesy of Alaska Airlines as part of the university's myTRACK photo contest.

In the contest, students posted a "selfie" to UA’s Facebook site indicating with their fingers how many years it would take to earn their degrees. The contest is part of UA’s annual Stay on TRACK campaign, now in its fourth year, which encourages students to graduate on time and with less debt.

The contest ran July through October. Dallmann, a Juneau student who is Hawaii-bound with her winning tickets, had this advice to share with fellow students: “do not assume that taking 15 credits a semester is ‘too much work’. Once you register for those classes and begin taking them, you'll realize that 15 credits is actually quite a manageable load.”

Dallmann also shared that “as much fun as college is, it is costly! Another year at college may not sound as good if you discuss it in terms of finance.” It costs students an extra estimated $10,000 for a fifth year, plus the lost salary income from starting their career a year late. She reflected that students taking additional years to complete their degree tend to miss out on “what else lies in store for them as early as their on-time graduated peers would experience.”

Anchorage student Haley Lorenson won a $250 gift card as the top vote recipient, receiving 299 votes for her myTRACK selfie.

UA’s efforts to encourage full-time students to take additional credits have made a difference. Students who attempt and earn at least 15 credit hours a semester perform significantly better than full-time students who take less than 15 credit hours a semester. First-year retention to the second year of college is 23 percentage points greater for students taking 15 credits per semester compared to students who take lighter course loads.Graduation rates among full-time students with heavier loads are impressive–39 percentage points higher (over a 10-year period) for students who take at least 15 credits a semester compared to those who take less.

Maintain Without Gain Challenge

Complete the challenge to earn incentive credit and be entered into a UA-sponsored drawing for a $50 VISA gift card*!

Sometimes being healthy isn’t about losing a bunch of weight or dropping 10 dress or pant sizes. Sometimes all we really need to do is just stay right where we are. And that’s the goal of our Maintain Without Gain Challenge!

This 6-week challenge will last from Thanksgiving through New Year’s – weigh in on November 24th and again on January 4th. You don’t need to run mile upon mile. You don’t need to stop eating for a week. Instead, participants are encouraged to simply maintain their weight within 3 pounds over the holidays. Avoid the temptations of tasty holiday treats, and start your new year off in the right way! Plus, you’ll be better prepared to avoid temptation in the future!

By completing this challenge, you'll also earn a credit toward next year's wellness rebate! Please share this opportunity with your spouse or FIP if they're enrolled on the UA Choice health plan so they can participate and earn a credit, too!

Getting started is just a click away. Visit the UA Benefits page to access Healthyroads!   Spouses can register by going to Healthyroads.com.  

For more information, call Healthyroads customer service at 877.330.2746  between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Alaska time.

New UAOnline Instructions

As of November 21, 2014, employees will no longer be required to enter their PIN when submitting their web time sheet in UAOnline.

The time sheet Certification page now presents the employee with "Agree" and "Cancel" buttons at the bottom of the page.  Employees can select "Agree" to certify and submit their employee time sheet, or "Cancel" to return to their time sheet without submitting it for approval.  Informational text has been added to the top of the page with instructions regarding the button selections.

Revised instructions for Non-Exempt and Exempt employees reflecting the certification changes are available on the Web Time Entry (WTE) page; the direct links to each of the documents are also listed below for your reference.

Non-Exempt (Hourly) Employees
Quick Reference Instructions -  http://www.alaska.edu/files/hr/wte_employee_quick_reference.pdf
Step-by-Step Instructions -  http://www.alaska.edu/files/hr/wte_nonexempt_stepbystep.pdf

Exempt (Salaried) Employees
Quick Reference Instructions -  http://www.alaska.edu/files/hr/wte_exempt_quick_reference.pdf
Step-by-Step Instructions -  http://www.alaska.edu/files/hr/wte_exempt_stepbystep.pdf

Update Your Contact Information

EDIR and UA Alert settings must be current

We now have alert-notification capability to push out emergency notices through multiple means (home phones, work phones, cell phones, email, text messages) through the UA Alert system.

Please make sure your phone numbers and emails are correct and set your contact preferences. UA Incident Management Team(s) must be able to reach you with important information due to inclement/dangerous weather events or other emergencies at our locations in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Please go to this website to update/verify your information if you haven't already done so:
http://www.alaska.edu/uaalerts/

The maintenance of a non-emergency directory that is up to date is also very important for the day-to-day business of the university. If you have changed positions, titles, phone numbers, e-mails, addresses or other directory information, it is up to you to make the necessary changes to your EDIR listing. Please update your information to ensure our online directory (https://people.alaska.edu/) information is accurate. We no longer publish a printed directory for Statewide, so EDIR and People, accessed from our front web page, is it!

For instructions on how to update information in EDIR visit:
www.alaska.edu/oit/services/enterprise-directory/edir-help/

If you have trouble logging into EDIR, contact the OIT Support Center at 450-8300, 800-478-8226 or helpdesk@alaska.edu.

New Process for Weather-Related Time Off

Starting immediately, in the event of a weather-related closure declared by the president or appropriate chancellor between now and June 30, 2015, employees may charge sick leave (code 550) if they are unable to safely commute to work. Employees deemed ‘essential’ should discuss this with their supervisor.

UA is in the process of developing a policy for FY16 which will allow additional leave options for weather-related events and we encourage supervisors and employees to work together regarding options in the event of a weather-related closure. 

This is also a good time for everyone to review or update departmental phone trees, department emergency action plans and current contact information.

The safety of our community is a high priority. Please contact Human Resources at 450-8200 if you have further questions about leave and flexibility options.  

Regents to Consider Tobacco Ban and Furlough Policies

On the agenda for consideration at the December 11-12 Board of Regents meeting in Anchorage are two policies which have in the past garnered widespread UA community interest.

The furlough policy would give UA administration the ability to temporarily reduce pay in the event of a budgetary shortfall. This policy is considered a “just in case” tool and would not be used unless serious budget issues could not be remedied by other cost reduction or revenue generating solutions.  Administration has worked over recent months with a systemwide staff committee to create regulations that define and limit this policy.  

The tobacco-free/smoke-free policy would create a systemwide ban on all tobacco and related products at any property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by UA. This policy would apply to students, faculty, staff, visitors, vendors, and contractors. If approved, the policy would be implemented across every campus in the UA system no later than December 2015. Chancellors would select the implementation date for their campuses within this timeframe. Draft regulations for this policy have been circulated to governance groups for comment.

Holiday Food and Mug Drive

The 2014 Holiday Food Drive started Nov. 21!

We work for a university, so how about a little homework? Check your cupboards for all the food you’ve purchased, but not used. These items could help give someone else a happy holiday feast. Any food going out of date in the next few months? Rotate your stock and benefit the Fairbanks Food Bank in the process! (Please don’t bring outdated food in for the Food Drive, as it would need to be discarded.)  We will place boxes on each end of the first floor, by the Arctic Floats and Erector Bear, and one on the second floor.

I will also be doing the Orphaned Coffee Mug Drive. Bring in any unused coffee mugs that are taking up valuable space in your cupboard or kitchenette. It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside; they don’t have to be Christmas mugs. Drop them off at my cubicle in Suite 102 by the windows, behind the purple vine. My elves and I will dress the mugs up with a packet of gourmet cocoa, a candy cane, some wrapped chocolates, and a festive bow. The mugs will go to the Food Bank along with the food we’ve collected.

If you need more information, call me at 450-8364. Let’s make this year special for someone else!

Lisa Sporleder
Butrovich Food Drive Chair

Statewide Winter Holiday Break and Closure 2014

UA Statewide regular, benefitted employees are advised of the following dates:

Monday, December 15 through Monday, December 22:    
Regular work day, soft closure permitted (see definition below).  Use of annual leave or leave without pay (LWOP) required if not working.

Tuesday, December 23:    
Regular work day, soft closure permitted.  Use of annual leave or LWOP required if not working.

Wednesday, December 24: 
Hard closure, all offices closed.  Use of annual leave or LWOP required if not working.  Supervisors may authorize work as necessary.

Thursday, December 25 :
Winter holiday, all offices closed. Non-exempt employees claim Holiday leave on time sheet.

Friday, December 26 :
Winter holiday, all offices closed. Non-exempt employees claim Holiday leave on time sheet.

Mon-Wed, December 29, 30 and 31:   
Hard closure, all offices closed. Use of annual leave or LWOP required if not working.

Thursday, January 1st :
New Year’s holiday, all offices closed. Non-exempt employees claim Holiday leave on time sheet.

Friday, January 2nd :
New Year’s holiday, all offices closed. Non-exempt employees claim Holiday leave on time sheet.

Monday, January 5:
Regular work day.


NOTE:

Soft closure, or ‘discretionary’ work days:  Departments may reduce business hours or service level provided and/or allow multiple staff time off.  All time used will need to be claimed as annual leave or LWOP.

Exempt employees considering the use of Leave Without Pay (LWOP) must contact the Human Resources office at (907) 450-8200 PRIOR to the use of this leave category.

During all dates above, individuals whose services are deemed by their supervisor as ‘essential’ must work as directed unless appropriate backup is designated. 

Employees in PERS retirement (Tiers I, II, or III) should contact HR if taking LWOP because your retirement credit could be affected.

SAA Highlights

Update from the Statewide Administration Assembly

Statewide staff cost savings forum

SAA recently held a cost savings initiative forum. The purpose of the forum was to stimulate discussion among statewide staff on cost saving measures and to take a proactive stance regarding change. SAA members feel that employees need to take ownership of coming changes and impacts of budget reductions. Staff themselves may have some great ideas on how to reduce expenses, create additional revenue and mitigate the impacts of budget reductions. SAA wants to make sure that staff has plenty of opportunity to share those ideas.

Members of the President's cabinet presented the cost saving initiatives that they are currently exploring. Great questions were generated from these briefs. SAA posted the list of initiatives to the governance webpage, along with the cabinet member responsible for exploring each of the cost savings topics. You can review the initiatives at http://www.alaska.edu/files/governance/StatewideCostSavingInitiatives.pdf

Each cabinet member stated that employees with questions on their assigned topic are welcome to speak directly to them. SAA will be hosting a smaller forum in a few weeks for any employee that wishes to discuss these initiatives or introduce their own cost saving initiative. We look forward to helping bring about change within the university system.

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