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Caribou are studied at UAF's Large Animal Research Station. Photo by Monique Musick

UAS Chancellor announces May 2015 retirement

University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh recently announced he will retire at the end of this academic year. Since August 1999, Pugh has been at the helm of the state public university with campuses in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. The announcement marks the completion of a 28-year career at UAS that began in 1987, including serving as the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and the dean of Faculty.   MORE...

Staff working with administration on furlough regulation details

Chief Human Resources Officer Erik Seastedt has been meeting with a group of staff from across the system to discuss and formulate possible regulations for the proposed furlough policy. The goal is to have draft regulations developed and ready for review by December.

Concerns being discussed by the group include implementation details, appeals and review processes, possible tiered structures, the impact of geographic differential, limits on the number of days of possible furlough, work day and workload reductions, impact on retirement and benefits and conditions for implementation.

The proposed furlough policy has undergone some modifications based on governance feedback and general counsel review. The following policy will be presented to the Board of Regents for a first reading in November and possible approval in December.  

Draft Furlough Policy
P04.07.115  Employee Furlough

  1. To address budgetary shortfalls in any unit of the university, employees may be subject to furlough via temporary unpaid leaves of absence or via prospective, temporary reductions in pay and equivalent work hours.  
  2. Furloughs shall be implemented in accordance with regulations and plans approved by the president pursuant to this policy, provided however that employees shall receive written notice of furlough as provided by regulation.
  3. Furlough plans may be implemented notwithstanding any other regents’ policy, university regulation or university or campus practice or procedure and are subject to appeal processes only as may be provided in regulations adopted pursuant to this policy.

New agreement strengthens sexual assault prevention and victims’ services

The University of Alaska System and the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence and stalking on all 16 UA campuses.

The agreement will strengthen sexual assault prevention training, provide additional services to victims and open new avenues for confidential reporting.  

The ANDVSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating sexual assault and domestic violence across the state. It’s a coalition of 23 victims’ service agencies and advocacy organizations throughout the state.  

“It is so empowering to be able to work with ANDVSA,” said Marva Watson, director of campus diversity and compliance at the University of Alaska Anchorage. “They’ve already established a comprehensive way of working across Alaska. This will help the university refine what we have and make it even better. I see this agreement as nothing but a benefit.” MORE....

Regents to review FY16 budget proposals

The annual November Board of Regents’ meeting to review and approve next fiscal year’s budget has been expanded to two days to allow more time to review UA’s options in this tight fiscal environment. UA staff will present different budget scenarios for consideration at the meeting, which will be held Nov. 5–6 in Room 109 of the Butrovich Building in Fairbanks.

As part of the FY16 budget, the state reduced UA’s budget by $17 million due to state revenue shortfalls. Meanwhile increases in fixed costs and slight enrollment declines have resulted in a current budget gap of approximately $26 million. The budget environment for the coming year is expected to be challenging as well.

As was done last year, UA is using the Shaping Alaska’s Future Issue and Effect statements to help guide budget priorities for FY16. Any requests for growth or for new programs will be much more reliant on internal offsets than on general fund increase requests. The budget request must align with, and support, the highest priorities of Alaska, students and employers.

The meeting webstream link and full agenda will be posted at www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas/.

Climate survey aims to evaluate and improve campus safety and support

The University of Alaska in the near future will conduct an email-based “climate survey” on sexual assault and harassment.

The goal of this voluntary, confidential and anonymous survey is to help us understand how we can improve campus safety, outreach, education and services. It is a safety survey that gauges the appropriateness of our campuses’ attitudes and responses to sexual assault. We encourage your participation, but stress it is completely voluntary.

Your privacy is of paramount concern. Only aggregate results will be compiled, with no traceable information (such as IP addresses) that would link back to the participant.

Survey participants are forewarned that questions are explicit, and could be upsetting to some. People who object to the nature of the questions may opt not to take the survey or stop taking it even after they start. No students or staff under the age of 18 will receive the survey. The survey itself will include valuable information about counseling and other resources on campus, should you need them.

The survey questions were created from a review of national, peer-reviewed studies and current campus practices, and represents the most promising survey practices in the field based on empirical evidence. Scales are selected from among those that appear in peer-reviewed research publications, etc. Survey methodology follows content and implementation practices endorsed by the Office for Civil Rights, with a strong focus on privacy, protecting participants from distress, and providing access to a wide range of support. For more information on what to expect, please go to the OCR website.

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