Fall is in the air. UA Staff Photo by Monique Musick

Hamilton announces staff changes

President Mark Hamilton has announced several staffing changes in light of the recent departure of Vice President for Administration Jim Johnsen and, by Oct. 10, Vice President for Budget and Planning Pat Pitney.

Chief Financial Officer Joe Trubacz has accepted Hamilton’s offer to become vice president for Finance and Administration. In addition to overseeing the Finance functions at Statewide as he currently does, Trubacz also will oversee Budget and Institutional Research previously led by Pitney. Budget Director Michelle Rizk and Institutional Research Director Gwen White will report to Trubacz and were named associate vice presidents.

Meanwhile, Chief Human Resources Officer Beth Behner will report directly to the president, rather than through a vice president. Behner’s title will remain the same.

“I made the decision not to replace Jim and Pat outright and instead restructure,” Hamilton said. “This reduces the number of vice presidents by one, streamlines the organizational chart and taps into talented, existing personnel.”

This announcement follows the memo the president sent to all Statewide employees on Sept. 5. If you missed the memo, click here.

Online organizational chart updates will be available at www.alaska.edu/OrgCharts/ prior to the Oct. 31 Board of Regents’ meeting.

UAA full-scale disaster exercise

The UAA office of Emergency Preparedness conducted a full-scale disaster exercise on Sept. 12, a first for that campus. Designed to simulate the university’s response to a terrorist attack, a mock environmental activist contaminated seven student "victims" on a shuttle bus with a simulated noxious liquid chemical.

UPD, Anchorage Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit, university police volunteers and the American Red Cross participated in the exercise, which took place in Student Housing. At the same time, the administrative Campus Response Team set up an Emergency Operations Center to practice nationally standardized command and control models. Members of the local and university media were on hand to cover the exercise and role-played with a university spokesperson. Chancellor Ulmer participated in the initial press conference. The exercise also helped Providence Alaska Medical Center practice its decontamination protocols.

UPD Lt. Ron Swartz planned the exercise using Homeland Security guidelines. A steering committee of almost two dozen members of UAA’s faculty and staff helped him. Anchorage’s Office of Emergency Management supplied portable radios to all essential participants. About 50 participants attended the safety briefing and orientation session that morning, and most were able to gather afterward for a debriefing and lunch. Statewide Office of Risk Services' Rick Forkel and Cam Carlson helped the group identify ways UAA’s response and recovery plans can improve.

For photos of the event, contact UAA’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at Yukonron@alaska.edu.

UAA Police Auxilary achieve national recognition

Volunteers In Police Service recently recognized the UAA University Police Auxiliary for its dedication in serving the university. Officially called the UPD Auxiliary Emergency Team, the group of volunteers from within the faculty and staff ranks have received basic training in crisis crowd control, directing traffic, radio and extinguisher use and other topics that will allow them to assist UPD. About half of the team has completed Campus Community Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) training as well.

Nancy Kolb and Rob Otterstatter came to Anchorage to meet with the team and with UPD supervisors to learn more about the university’s volunteer program. They observed the team in action as they assisted at UAA’s terrorism disaster exercise Sep. 12. As part of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the VIPS program representatives will write a feature article about the team for publication in “Police Chief” magazine and on the organization's website. Otterstatter sees the UPD AET as a model for university police departments across the country. Traditionally such volunteers are relegated to filing, answering phones, writing parking tickets and other duties that are not related to emergency response. (photo courtesy Rob Otterstatter- IACP)

Personal PFD Planner Tool

A new feature on the UA College Savings Plan web site is a Personal PFD Planner. It can be used to see how saving even half a Permanent Fund Dividend each year can grow over time.

"It's a cool tool created to show Alaskans the potential future value of PFDs saved today," said Program Director Linda Luper.

Try it online at: www.uacollegesavings.com/ua529/ua529planPFD/0,,,00.html

As an Alaska resident eligible for the PFD, you can designate half of your - and/or your children's - PFD to be directly invested in the UA College Savings Plan. To contribute half of a PFD automatically, just check the UA College Savings Plan box on the PFD application every year.

Also, there's still time to take advantage of the College Savings Month promotion in September. Open and fund a new account during September and receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card! Certain restrictions apply. See uacollegesavings.com for details.

Money saved in the plan can be used at any eligible college, university or technical school in the country. Employee tuition waivers only cover so much--be sure to save for other expenses like room and board, books and supplies. Payroll deduction is also available--call 474-5671 for more information.

System Office Supervisor Safety Training

Risk Services announces updated supervisor safety training

Are you a supervisor? Do you have one or more employees who report directly to you? Then this training is for you!

Supervisor Safety Training is designed to help you meet your obligation to provide a safe working environment as well as inform you of resources available. Look for future announcements on the specific dates the training will be available.

The three-hour training will cover the following topics:

•    Legal Responsibilities as a Supervisor
•    Building a Safety Culture
•    Hazard Recognition/Safe Work Practices
•    Risk Assessment
•    Orientation & Training of Employees
•    Accident & Incident Reporting
•    Where to find help!
•    Risk Management
•    Insurance & Deductibles
•    Loss Prevention
•    Emergency Preparedness
•    Environmental Controls/Hazardous Waste
•    Who is interested in UA (Regulatory Agencies)

This training will tie all of these topics into practical application pertaining to your own work environments, departments and risk exposures.

All supervisors attending training will receive a resource materials disk/packet and assistance in addressing any safety or risk management concerns. 

Contact Tina Holland by phone at 450-8155 or by email tina.holland@alaska.edu


Land Management Office Announces Land Sale

Regents approve tuition, construction and review budget

UA Staff Photo by Kate Ripley

ANCHORAGE---The University of Alaska Board of Regents reviewed the system's upcoming operating and capital budgets, approved stages of various capital projects and set tuition rates for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Regents at last week's meeting also hosted a legislative reception and toured current University of Alaska Anchorage science facilities. Science programs will see a major space shuffle in the months ahead as UAA anticipates the new ConocoPhillips Integrated Sciences Building’s opening next year. The new building will relieve current overcrowding.

A large portion of the meeting was spent reviewing the proposed budget for FY10.
The budget’s top priority is college and work preparedness, including outreach programs to K-12 school districts, Tech Prep and career awareness programs, testing, placement and teacher preparation.

The top priority is the result of faculty efforts over a number of years to improve student success. Projects aim to help students at three different stages---while they’re in the K-12 system; during the transition to college; and then once they’re at a UA campus.

Hamilton proposes putting $2.6 million toward those bridging and outreach programs. Other priorities include increased funding for energy, engineering and climate change programs, at $3.8 million; beefing up health programs by just over $3 million; and workforce and campus programs expanded by $2.3 million. The proposed budget totals $343.5 million in state general funds. Other funding sources include federal sources, grants and university generated receipts.

The budget likely will see some adjustments before the board reviews and takes final action Oct. 31 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The budget request then goes to the state.

In other business, regents approved a 4 percent tuition increase for 100- and 200-level courses and a 7 percent increase for all other levels beginning in fall 2010. The new rates are a deliberate shift from double-digit increases regents deemed necessary several years ago. The action marks the fourth consecutive year that increases have been held to 7 percent or less.

UA tuition ranks ninth out of 15 Western states for tuition costs among four-year public universities, said Saichi Oba, assistant vice president for student services and enrollment management at the UA system.

The board also reviewed several campus capital projects in progress. Those actions included:
* Formal project approval for a $10.7 million remodel of the Anderson Building at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, which includes money for pedestrian improvements between the main campus and the building, across Glacier Highway from the campus center;
* Schematic design approval for the $7 million exterior envelope of the Tanana Valley Campus, which will improve the insulation value from R-4  to R-21;
* And formal project approval for a $3.5 million rehabilitation of foundation pilings for two buildings at the Northwest Campus in Nome.

Numerous people testified in favor of  new engineering programs and expanded facilities at the UAA campus, including members of professional engineering firms. Enrollment in UAA engineering programs has increased dramatically and space is tight, UAA Engineering Dean Rob Lang told board members.

UA’s capital budget as currently drafted includes $50 million in maintenance, renewal and rehabilitation at multiple campuses; $61.5 million for the new life sciences building at UAF; $4.1 million in entryway improvements and road realignment for UAS; and $65 million for the new UAA sports facility.


2008 Board of Regents. UA Staff Photo by Kate Ripley
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