Announcements and Recognition

Statewide staff give thanks and share with the community through annual charity drives and staff potlucks. Photo by Monique Musick.

UA College Savings Plan announces scholarship account winners

A 12-year-old boy from Seward has won a $25,000 University of Alaska College Savings Plan scholarship account and four other young Alaskans have won $2,500 scholarship accounts.

The winners were announced during commercial breaks during the Sunday Night Football game Nov. 27 on NBC. Logan Smith of Seward won a $25,000 scholarship account. An announcer, who presented Logan with a giant check revealing the amount of the scholarship account, surprised the boy and his family at their home.

The scholarship account drawing is for all people who check line 6 of their Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend application, in which residents may elect to put half of their PFD into a new or existing UA College Savings Plan account. MORE...

New Growth on Campus

The UAF School of Natural Resources & Agricultural Sciences held a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 22 for the new greenhouse across from the Butrovich building on UAF's West Ridge. The $4.5 million teaching and research facility replaces the 40-year old West Ridge greenhouse that was removed earlier this year to make space for the construction of the Life Sciences building. Photo by Monique Musick

Soft closure and reduced business hours over winter break 2011

This year, the UA System will have a winter break December 28-30, 2011. The UAF campus has notified UAF employees of two additional timeframes during which UAF departments may reduce business hours or have a “soft closure.” UAF has given its departments options for soft closure between Dec. 19-23, 2011 and Jan. 4-6, 2012.

President Gamble has decided that Statewide employees also will� be permitted to use annual leave or leave without pay to extend their time off during Dec. 19-23 and/or Jan. 4-6. UA Statewide employees are expected to take annual leave or leave without pay during the official days of winter break, unless a departmental supervisor notifies employees that their services are essential and leave cannot be taken. No employee is required to utilize annual leave or leave without pay beyond the official days of winter break.

While some employees prefer to take leave without pay rather than using annual leave, don’t forget that PERS retirement is affected by the use of leave without pay for time periods in excess of 10 days per year. Please consult with Erika Van Flein for more information on that subject.

Holiday Party 2011

President and Mrs. Gamble hosted a Holiday party at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage Nov. 29 for Statewide staff and their families. The Gambles wanted to do something in Anchorage for the holidays, comparable to the summer picnic in Fairbanks. The party was on the 10th floor of the hotel, and offered fantastic views of downtown Anchorage.

The room was festively decorated for the holidays and everyone was filled with cheer. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments were served while staff mingled and enjoyed the views. President Gamble said that he was happy to do this for Statewide staff in Anchorage, and that if this was something that staff enjoyed, then he would like to make this an annual event.

There was a great turnout, with most Anchorage staff able to attend. It was nice to meet outside of the office and get to know co-workers families. Staff in Anchorage will look forward to the holiday celebration again in the future.

Giving Thanks

Delicious smells wafted around the Butrovich on Friday Nov. 18 as food was warmed and gathered into the Board of Regents' conference room for the 2011 statewide staff Thanksgiving potluck.

This year, event coordinators Izzy Martinez of Public Affairs and Dory Straight of the Foundation came up with an inspired idea of creating gift baskets to use as both decoration for the potluck and a pre-Thanksgiving donation to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank.

Departments picked up baskets and filled them with food, games, fruit, nuts, cider and other items for donations to families in need. Several of the baskets included complete Thanksgiving meals, sans turkey. A total of 160 pounds were donated to the Food Bank following the potluck. A lot of food was shared at the potluck too, and there was a great turn-out. Thank you to everyone who participated, and a special thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible. It was enjoyed by all.

View more photographs from the potluck HERE.

Risk Services offers safety training sessions

The System Office of Risk Services will be offering Safety Training in November and December. This training will be offered in two parts. Part 1 will include training on the Emergency Action Plan and Hazard Communication (Awareness Level) and Part 2 will include Ergonomic/Office Safety. Electrical Safety (Non-Qualified) will be coming soon. Class sizes are limited, so register early.

The schedule and registration information is available on the Risk Services Website. The training sessions are Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:15 a.m. to noon and 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. All are welcome to enroll and participate.

2011 Holiday Tailgate Potluck

Please join us Friday, Dec. 16,� from noon - 2 p.m. in the Board of Regents' Conference room for the annual Holiday Potluck brought to you by the Statewide Administrative Assembly.

For fun, we chose a Holiday Tailgate theme for the potluck. Bring in your favorite tailgate food and sport your favorite team colors - any sport, any food. Got a favorite nacho recipe for fight night? Bring it in! Got a killer chicken wing recipe for football night? Bring it in! This potluck is a laid back, no-fuss eating fest before the long break.

We're doing an online sign up again. You can find a link to the form and a list of who is bringing what at the following page: https://sites.google.com/a/alaska.edu/2011-holiday-potlcuk/.

Questions about potluck can be directed to Izzy Martinez in Public Affairs at ihmartinez@alaska.edu or at 450-8100.

Sign up for the potluck online HERE.

A BIG thank you to everyone who donated baskets at the Thanksgiving potluck. They were a major success: a 160 pounds of awesomeness! If your department is super excited like we are - get together and bring in a sport themed basket donation! We have a limited number of baskets to choose from or you can bring in your own. Bragging rights will be awarded to the coolest, most creative basket! See Dory Straight in Butrovich suite 206 or via email at dstraigh@alaska.edu.

Now you can AskUA!

AskUA is a new centralized knowledge base where OIT customers can search for:

  • "How to" information
  • General information about OIT services
  • Information and resources about University applications and
  • FAQs

Access AskUA as a guest or by logging in. Guests can access customized UA knowledge articles, though logging in with your UA Username and Password (same credentials as Google Apps @ UA and UAF Blackboard Learn) gives visitors access to 12,000 additional knowledge articles and customization options.

AskUA is updated frequently with new articles and new information. It’s easy to search by keyword or category. If you have technology questions, check AskUA first—it may be your quickest source for an answer.

Search AskUA Now! http://knowledge.alaska.edu

Tips for Online Shopping this Holiday Season

During the holidays many of us conduct more online purchasing then other times of year. It also happens to be the busiest time of year for fraud and identity theft. Below are some tips to keep safe online this holiday season. If you do departmental purchasing they are good to keep in mind at work as well.

  1. Shop from a computer that is updated with operating system and application software patches regularly.
  2. Don’t use public computers or unsecured public wireless networks to do online shopping.
  3. Shop from well known and reputable websites.
  4. When it is time to create accounts with a new merchant use strong passwords (8+ characters and a combination of numbers, letters and symbols).
  5. Always look for URLs that start with https:// as a sign the information you enter online is being encrypted, especially when giving out personal information or credit card numbers.
  6. Pay by credit card rather then debit card to avoid unexpected missing cash from accounts in the event a merchant is compromised and your card number is used for fraudulent purchases.
  7. Enable pop-ups blocking when browsing and carefully inspect marketing email for signs of phishing, such as URLs that do not link to the company's website.

Stay safe online!

VoIP Telephone System Deployment

Over the next couple of months, the Office of Information Technology, in conjunction with World Wide Technology Inc. will upgrade the telephone system in the Butrovich Building to the new Cisco VoIP system.� There are a number of events that will take place over this time to ensure a successful rollout.� You will see technicians in and around your work areas gathering information and preconfiguring network equipment. OIT also will provide formal training to those wishing to learn about the new VoIP phone system.

The initial schedule of events is as follows:

*Building Kickoff Thursday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m., Butrovich 204*

We will need 1-2 people from each department who will be responsible for gathering and providing information during the Departmental Interview process.� The information needed includes number of phones, people assigned to each phone number, lines assigned to each phone, etc.� We will start with an overview of the deployment process. All are welcome to attend.

VoIP Phone System Training
January – Times/Dates to be announced

OIT Training will provide training to those wishing to learn about the features of the VoIP phone system.

Phone Deployment
January – After Hours - Dates to be announced

New VoIP phones will be placed on each desk.� Work is accomplished after hours to minimize disruption to your workday.� The following morning, you find a new phone alongside your old phone.� You will be able to use the new phone to make calls, however, incoming calls will continue to ring on the old phone.

VoIP Phone System cutover
January - Date to be announced

The cutover with take place on the Sunday following phone placement.� At this time, the new VoIP phone will be fully functional.� We will have onsite telephone support in the building on the following Monday to assist will any issues that may arise.� We will collect old phones on that Monday as well.

The primary contacts for any questions or concerns you have during this process are:

Kevin Jacobson
VoIP Project Manager

Dave Hill
Telephone Services Manager

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this transition.

Winter parking hazards and reminders

Winter has officially arrived for another long stay in the Interior of Alaska. In an effort to improve the work environment at the Butrovich Building, please read the following reminders:

  1. Please do not idle your vehicle along the front or sides of� the building.� Exhaust from idling vehicles in these locations are sucked up by the ventilation system and the fumes are disbursed in the building.� (Please remind your vendors.)
  2. Even though you cannot see the parking lot lines, they are still there. The area in the front of the building has horizontally stripped portions which you should line your car up with. If parking close to the building or in the side lot, please park in between the head bolts. All parking is straight, not diagonal.
  3. The area directly in front of the Butrovich building is one way. Traffic in this area should run in a West to East pattern (President’s Suite to Human Resources).
  4. There is a stop sign at the end of the building and another at the exit of the auxiliary parking area.� Please obey the signs.

Thank you to all of the staff members working in Butrovich. Our combined efforts make this building a wonderful and safe place to work!

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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