Announcements and Recognition

Commencements are coming! Click on photo for full schedule of UA Commencement celebrations statewide.

Sign Up for the Fred Smits 5K Run/Walk

Event starts 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28th

Please join OIT, the UAF School of Management, and the Smits Family for a fun 5K Run/Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28th. The 5K Campus Loop begins/ends at the UAF Patty Center Parking Lot.

Sign up online in advance of the event, and consider making a donation to the Fred Smits MBA Scholarship in lieu of race fees. http://www.alaska.edu/oit/fredsmits5k/

This UA Wellness event welcomes all ages and participants to come out and enjoy a campus loop in memory of Fred Smits, who passed away while running on April 30, 2011. Fred Smits was executive director of the University’s Infrastructure Technology Services from 1997 until his death in 2011. He was also an avid runner over his lifetime and ran a 10K every Saturday, regularly tracking his progress in preparation for many Running Club North races and the Fairbanks annual Midnight Sun Run.

Fred came to UA after working as a civilian contractor in information technology for the Saudi Arabian
Air Force, and had previously worked for several defense contractors. He worked with computers
beginning in the late 1960s and also served in the U.S. Army in Panama and Vietnam. Fred earned a
business degree from Pepperdine University and had most recently received his MBA from the
University of Alaska Fairbanks SOM in December 2010.

Fred Smits MBA Scholarship Fund is nearly endowed!
The Fred Smits MBA Scholarship Fund was set up by the Smits family to give scholarships to dedicated students in the UAF School of Management MBA program. Reaching the $25,000 endowment level will allow this scholarship to exist in perpetuity. It is very close! The UAF Foundation invites you to make a gift to honor Fred Smits. Please visit www.uaf.edu/giving to contribute electronically.

Questions? Contact Julie Larweth jmlarweth@alaska.edu

New York Life Contributes $900,000 to University of Alaska

Multi-Year Grant Brings Total Giving to $1.7 Million Since 2007

New York Life announced a three-year, $900,000 gift to the University of Alaska (UA) April 23, to support educational activities and scholarship programs for disadvantaged students. New York Life’s funding to UA has exceeded $1.7 million since the company’s first gift in 2007.

“The percentage of Alaska high school graduates who choose to attend college right here in Alaska continues to improve each year, and one of the key components in attaining their ultimate goal—a degree—often depends on their preparation in high school,” said UA Vice President for University Relations and UA Foundation President Carla Beam. “Support from generous companies such as New York Life provides opportunities and resources for students to better themselves and contribute to Alaska’s future.”

New York Life donated to UA under the state’s Education Tax Credit program, which provides a tax credit to businesses that make contributions to Alaska universities and accredited nonprofit two- or four-year colleges.

“New York Life is proud to continue to support UA’s educational enhancement programs that give motivated and enthusiastic students from some of the most rural parts of Alaska the opportunity to explore their interests and further their education,” said Chris Park, vice president of corporate responsibility for New York Life.  “We’re happy to fund high-quality educational programming for Native, rural, and low-income students. As part of a corporate tax credit program, this gift is a win-win for everyone.”  MORE...

Disaster Preparedness Conference Well Attended by UA Campus Representatives

A large turnout from multiple campuses throughout the University of Alaska System took part in the 2012 Spring Preparedness Conference in Anchorage April 10-12, sponsored by the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs and the Division of Homeland Security.

Over 230 people from across the state, including first responders, school district employees, state and federal emergency planners and representatives from UA campuses, spent three days learning, sharing and networking at the conference. Presenters included the school superintendent and fire chief from Joplin, Missouri, who shared their respective experiences before, during and following the devastating EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that hit the community on May 22, 2011.  About 25 percent of Joplin was destroyed, with the official death toll at 160 people.

Opening comments by Gov. Sean  Parnell included acknowledgment of the effort University of Alaska has put forth regarding Emergency Management and community preparedness activities, including last summer’s full-Scale exercise at UAF. MORE...

Alert Beacons Installed on UAF Campus

Butrovich Building outfitted with alert beacon

While traveling around the UAF campus, including the Butrovich Building, you may notice new wall-mounted alert beacons in more than a dozen locations. In an emergency, the beacon flashes, sounds an alert and displays a message from the UAF Police Department about the nature of the incident and appropriate response.

The initial pilot program placed the beacons in high-population areas. As the program gains momentum, additional beacons will be installed.

Messages will tend to fall into two categories: advising occupants to shelter in place, or to evacuate the facility.

The beacon system is connected to the Alertus web-based pop-up system. When activated, both the beacon and computer pop-ups will display the same information. The alert notification system is activated by the UAF Emergency Communication Center, housed within the police department.

More information on crisis communication is available on the UAF on Alert website.

State Farm Donation Supports the Alaska Statewide Montor Program

Kris Thoma, State Farm Agent, presents a check for $5,000 to Dr. Barbara Adams, Interim Director of the K-12 Outreach Department, and the 2012 mentors of the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project (ASMP). The money distributed through the State Farm Educational Institutions grant program will be used to enhance the curriculum and classroom materials available to the 322 first and second year teachers served by ASMP in rural Alaska. ASMP has been fortunate to partner with State Farm for several years and is very grateful for their support.

Annual Statewide Service Awards Celebration April 24

On April 24 UA Statewide staff members in Anchorage and Fairbanks gathered together to recognize their coworkers' years of service and to honor the recipients of the Outstanding Employee awards for 2011. There was a great turn-out in both locations and plenty of ice cream, sundae toppings, yogurt, fruit, veggies and beverages to go around.

SAA President Monique Musick welcomed attendees, thanked all staff for their service to the university, and thanked everyone who helped make the celebration possible. Following opening comments, President Gamble addressed the assembled crowd. He emphasized the value of experienced staff at an institution and how important staff will be in moving the university forward during the Strategic Direction Initiative.

President Gamble assisted in handing out gifts of appreciation and congratulating 5-year, 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, 25-year, 30-year and 35-year employees. A list of those employees and biographical information can be read in the program booklet downloadable HERE.

Concluding the ceremony was recognition of the peer nominated and selected Outstanding Employees and Department for 2011. The winners were:

  • Travis Payton, Outstanding Student Employee
  • Douglas Maynes, Outstanding Non-Exempt Employee
  • Rick Forkel, Outstanding Exempt Employee
  • Risk Services, Outstanding Statewide Department

Congratulations to these outstanding employees, and thank you to all employees for your dedicated service to the University of Alaska.

Wes Schaefer, student assistant for Public Affairs, took great photos of the event. VIEW GALLERY.

Open Enrollment April 16–May 15

Open Enrollment is the employee's annual opportunity to make changes to certain benefits for the new plan year, effective July 1, 2012. This period of Open Enrollment is April 16–May 15 this year. During open enrollment, you can:

  • Add or opt out of health plan coverage
  • Choose your new plan option
  • Enroll eligible family members in your health plan
  • Add, drop or change the level of your life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment (AD & D) coverage
  • Enroll or re-enroll in a flexible spending account to pay for childcare or health expenses with pre-tax dollars

Employees should have received a packet with information regarding Open Enrollment at their home address, but all necessary forms and information are also on the UA Benefits site.

The 2012 Open Enrollment Guide, mailed to your home address, had some errors. There are corrections to the form that can be reviewed HERE. A correction also was mailed to home addresses.

Administrative Professionals Recognition Day is April 26 - Save the Date!

Don't forget! This week on Thursday, April 26, 2012, in recognition of the dedicated and hardworking administrative professionals at the University of Alaska, various educational sessions have been scheduled.  ALL EMPLOYEES WELCOME!

If you’re interested in a session that takes place during your working hours, please obtain supervisory approval prior to attending to ensure adequate office coverage. 

Advance registration is not required except for WIN Alaska chair massages. * A WIN Alaska chair massage requires registration at the following link: Register Now! Available to UA Health Plan eligible employees only. Spaces fill up fast.  Questions? Contact WIN Alaska toll-free at 866-248-0797 There are still slots available, so log in and sign up!

For the complete schedule of training opportunities and WIN wellnes breaks please view the 2012 SCHEDULE.

Risk Services Provides Mandatory OSHA Training to SW Employees

Remember to register monthly

The System Office of Risk Services has been conducting Required Safety Training for Statewide Employees. The department is providing a single safety topic per month in the months of April, May, July, and August. All Statewide Employees are required to attend the provided Safety Training. April is almost over and there are limited spaces available, so if you have not registered please be sure to register immediately to ensure a seat in the session. Registration information is available at http://www.alaska.edu/risksafety/c_ehs/safety-training-1/registration-information/

SAA Elections running April 23 to May 7

Statewide Administration Assembly (SAA) elections began April 23 and will conclude May 7. These are two-year terms.

Outgoing SAA members are Erica Kurowski, Betty Dupee, Michael Scott, Jeff Holloway, Izzy Martinez, Lisa Sporleder, and alternates Dana Platta and Rita Murphy. Members who still have one year of their term to go, and thus are ineligible for nomination this year, are Monique Musick, Dory Straight, Daniel Hostetler, Linda Hall, Alex Taylor and Briana Walters.

Please take a moment to select the new representatives to the Statewide Administration Assembly for 2012-2014. The SAA election page contains biographical information on the candidates and a link to an anonymous online ballot. We need to select four candidates from Fairbanks and one from Anchorage. We also need two alternates to serve one-year terms.   VOTE HERE

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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