System News

President Gamble joins regents, directors, architects and other dignitaries for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new student housing center and new Career and Technical Education Center on the Kenai River Campus. Photo by Monique Musick

UAF Announces Three Finalists for CTC Dean

Fred Villa, associate vice president of academic affairs, a finalist

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has selected three finalists for the position of dean at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College. The finalists include Robert Holden, director of auxiliary, recharge and contract operations, UAF; Fred Villa, associate vice president of academic affairs, University of Alaska; Jim Whitaker, vice president of development, Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center Trust.  MORE....

UAF hopes to have a new dean in place by early June.

University Enjoys FY13 Budget Support

Ninety days after it began, the Second Session of the 27th Alaska State Legislature adjourned April 15. UA fared very well under the spending plans adopted by the Legislature this year; we now await action by Gov. Sean Parnell.

UA's success was in large part due to the advocacy efforts of UA supporters throughout the state. UA advocates came out strong at all public hearings on the operating and capital budgets. Over 20 percent of those who testified at the three statewide public hearings on the budgets were supporting UA initiatives. If you testified or sent messages in favor of the university, thank you.

A summary of legislative actions, contact information for legislative representatives responsible for our budget request (so thank you's can be sent) and information on requesting Gov. Parnell's support for the operating and capital budgets all can be found in the end of session CAPITOL REPORT.

UA’s Enterprise Directory Revamped--Result is People.alaska.edu

May 2012 marks phase one in a process that began 10 months ago to use current infrastucture and resources to provide a more complete online UA directory. The SW offices of Public Affairs and Identity and Access Management Services, in cooperation with individuals from  UAA, UAF and UAS, worked on a solution to provide the UA community and public with useful and current contact information in one online database. This is an ongoing process and more updates to People will be released in the coming months.
The new interface, https://People.alaska.edu, searches students, faculty, staff and UA departments by name, username, department name, phone or email address. Users can quickly expand or refine their searches or restrict results to a single MAU. The information is organized in a simple readable format with more specific information available by clicking on the magnifying glass icon next to each search result. Initial testers helped refine the presentation to be clean, stylish and uncluttered as compared with the aging EDIR interface.   MORE...

Statewide Web Sites to Transfer to Responsive Design Templates

Scalable sites will work on all forms of mobile devices

Responsive web design is the term that best fits the direction web delivery is shifting toward - as it is apparent that web design and traffic is rapidly moving beyond viewing from only the desktop computer. Responsive design is a widely adopted technical approach to accommodate any size browser window. UA mobile traffic has exploded over the last few years as devices like iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, Blackberries and Smart Phones are becoming the web browsing tool of choice. UA students are leading this mobile device surge. 
OIT Web Services Group has been working on new “responsive design” templates that will better deliver UA web pages on all the assorted desktop platforms as well as the varied mobile devices each with a different sized screen. These new templates are ready and UA Public Affairs will begin transferring UA Statewide web sites to them starting within the next few months.  MORE....

Strategic Directions Listening Sessions Conclude with Kenai

Data from all 80 sessions being compiled and sorted

The first phase of the University of Alaska Strategic Direction Initiative has been completed.  Eighty listening sessions were conducted over the last six months.  These sessions were directed toward Alaska’s community and business leaders, as well as students, alumni, staff, and faculty throughout the University of Alaska system. If you haven’t had a chance to tell us what you would like to see in your University of Alaska, there is still time to take part. The questionnaires that the team used in these sessions are on www.alsaka.edu/shapingalaskasfuture/. Click here, and fill out your survey today.

Recently, the joint Statewide Academic Council (SAC) and President’s Cabinet met to discuss the next phases of the Strategic Direction Initiative. Both SAC and the President’s Cabinet will now begin an overview of the information collected from the Listening Sessions.

The next step will be a meeting scheduled for July 23. Members of the SAC, Chancellors, provosts, the President’s Cabinet and Terry MacTaggart will begin the process of identifying the inputs and ideas that came from the listening sessions conducted. They will also provide their input into the Strategic Direction Initiative plan.

Throughout the strategic direction process the team has been providing updates that include comments from listening session attendees. These updates will continue throughout the next phase of the project, which includes a content analysis of all of the listening sessions, and online surveys. 

The UA Strategic Direction process is a part of “Shaping Alaska’s Future 2017”. Please take a few minutes, log on, look around the site, and then and take part in the dialogue.


Regents Gathered at KPC for Annual Spring Meeting

Regents Approve New Academic Programs at UAS, UAA

The University of Alaska Board of Regents wrapped up a two-day meeting April 13 in Soldotna by approving two new special education degrees and an associate degree in sonography.

The April board meeting has become a favorite of the 11-member board, as it’s traditionally held at one of the community and rural campuses. Board members see first hand the tremendous impact the UA System has throughout the state, especially in smaller communities.

Board members attended a ceremonial groundbreaking for not only the student housing project at KPC, but also for the new Career and Technical Education Center. Both projects were approved by voters in a 2010 general obligation bond, and will add tremendously to the size of the campus and service to students.  Regents also attended the unveiling of a plaque honoring the campus’ founding director, Clayton Brockel, who was in attendance along with his wife Jean.  MORE....

President Gamble Delays Tuition Proposal to September

President Gamble will announce Academic Year 2014 (fall 2013, spring 2014) tuition rates no later than September 2012. Similarly, for AY15 (fall 2014, spring 2015) he will present a rate of tuition for Board of Regents' consideration no later than September 2013.

In the past, tuition rates were forecast two years in advance. During these challenging times with uncertain  economic indicators, President Gamble has chosen to shorten the forecast period so that students can benefit from the most up-to-date, accurate and relevant data possible.

Publicly announcing the president’s tuition rate proposal in September still provides plenty of advance notice for the 2014 school year, and adequate time for the board to review the plan and for students to have input. The same reasoning applies for AY15.

For more information, read President Gamble's tuition MEMO.

Ripley to take leave of absence; Wattum named Interim Public Affairs Director

The Office of Public Affairs will shift employee duties in the weeks and months ahead to accommodate a one-year leave of absence by director Kate Ripley.

Ripley's husband, University of Alaska Fairbanks Journalism Professor Brian O’Donoghue, has been named a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar for Teaching and Research at the Symbiosis Institute for Media and Communications in Pune, India, for the upcoming academic year. The entire family, including the couple's three children--Rory, Robin and Rachel--will relocate to India, perhaps as early as mid-June. Ripley's last day before the leave is April 27 to allow time for packing and relocation.

Vice President Carla Beam has named Kathleen Wattum, longtime web information coordinator in Public Affairs, as interim director for the department. Wattum has 22 years of experience at the University of Alaska in public relations, communications and marketing. She also has served as adjunct faculty teaching Photoshop and web design. The transition is expected to be a smooth one.

Wattum will oversee all functions of Public Affairs during this interim period, including media relations for the System Office, president and board; internal and external communications for System issues; print, web and multi-media collateral; collaboration with campuses on systemwide public relations issues; and other advertising and communications needs that arise. 
Isabel Martinez will take over the web coordinator responsibilities and oversee the statewide office's moving to the “responsive design” templates this coming year. Monique Musick will take the lead in artistic design for both web and print projects. Wattum intends to hire a writer/editor term position for the coming year to assist the department.

Kathleen Wattum, left, will serve as Interim Director of Public Affairs while Kate Ripley, right, takes a leave of absence to join her husband, UAF Journalism Professor Brian O'Donoghue, in India for the 2012-2013 academic year. O'Donoghue was named a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar for Teaching and Research at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications in Pune, India.

SAA Highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly met Apr. 11, 2012. Follow the link to review an overview of the meeting. All meetings are open to the public, and statewide workers are encouraged to contact their governance group to address workplace concerns, policies and other matters affecting statewide staff. If you have any questions please contact SAA president Monique Musick at mmusick@alaska.edu.

The next SAA meeting will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 9.

April Meeting Overview Includes:

  • Annual Service Awards
  • Staff Make Students Count
  • Legislative update
  • Mandatory safety training
  • SAA elections
  • Code of Conduct
  • Employee tuition waivers
  • Tobacco policy
  • Health plan costs and changes
  • Performance evaluations
  • Building signs
  • Custodial concerns
  • Building issues
  • ASEA update

For information please read the overview HERE.

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