Announcements and Recognition

Staff line up for a chance to view Venus transiting the sun on June 5. Photo by Monique Musick.

Staff Line Up for Opportunity to View Venus Transit

Statewide staff in Fairbanks had a wonderful opportunity to witness Venus transiting the sun through a high powered telescope brought in by Adam Watson on June 5. The telescope is an Orion Spaceprobe 130ST, which is a 5.1-inch Newtonian reflector on an equatorial mount. It was set up with a motor drive that tracks the Earth's rotation (otherwise objects would move out of the viewfinder in a few seconds), and a solar filter that blocks 99.999% of the light it receives.

The images most people saw through the eyepiece, and most of the pictures people took, were at a magnification of 65X. Even at such magnification Venus was little more than a tiny dot against the sun. What made the event so special is the historical nature of the event. The last transit was just eight years ago, but the next time people will witness the event will be in 2117.

Watson, a performance analyst in the Department of Institutional Research and Analysis, has been interested in astronomy since he got his first telescope when he was 12. His wife Bridget and him have been enjoying this hobby together for the past few years, and look forward to sharing it with their daughter when she's a little older.

Venus is seen crossing the sun in this iPhone photo taken through the telescope. Photo by Adam Watson.

“What does SDI stand for?”

SDI stands for the University of Alaska Strategic Direction Initiative. It’s part of Shaping Alaska’s Future 2017, a project recognizing the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, and to celebrate and accelerate its transformation into a 21st century statewide system for higher education and workforce development.

What are SDI’s guiding principles?

There is no timeline. The idea is to get it right, not get it fast.

SDI is about making our culture more focused on continuous improvement, especially with respect to student success and service to students.

We want to effect changes that will make UA the “University of Choice” in Alaska.

What is your role in SDI?

It is everyone’s role to be a part of “Shaping Alaska’s future” and support the change efforts that will make us a better and stronger University in the 21st century. Be proactive, ask questions of your department manager, your dean, or anyone in a leadership role and find out how you can get involved.� To find out more about SDI, please click here!

Announcing recent UA Publications

UA in Review
The UA Statewide Institutional Research and Analysis (SWIRA) department provides comprehensive planning and management information to the board of regents, president, and executive staff, and promotes data-driven planning and accountability throughout the UA System.

Their latest UA in Review 2012 is now available.

UA Foundation Annual Report 2011
The UA Foundation's annual report includes audited financial data from 2011, donor recognition, donor stories and more. Review an online version of the UA Foundation Annual Report here.

Seeds ordered in January and cultivated in the UAF greenhouse were healthy vibrant starts when delivered to the Butrovich building for planting. Photo by Monique Musick.

Butrovich Garden Planted!

The plants are in and they are looking great! Staff in the Butrovich building are encouraged to lend a hand with weeding and plant care. Strawberries should be ripening soon and it won't be long before dinner may be awaiting you in the parking lot!

A little consideration....

Both garden volunteers and staff parking along the gardens need to be mindful and courteous to each other. Leave room between your car or bike for volunteers to walk and tend to the beds. And gardeners, please be mindful to not throw weeds, dirt or dirty gloves on the the parked cars. With a little consideration on all sides, the Butrovich building gardens will be a beneficial and beautiful tradition everyone can look forward to.� PHOTOS....

SAA Highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly annual face-to-face meeting was held in Fairbanks June 13. This special day long meeting includes updates from leadership on various aspects of the UA System. The next meeting will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 18.

June Annual Meeting Overview Includes:

Human Resources Overview- Erica Van Flein and Donald Smith
UAF Grounds & Operations Report- Darrin "Bear" Edson
University Relations and UA Foundation- Carla Beam
UA Strategic Direction Initiative- Chas St. George
Governance report
Budget Brown Bag
Tuition waiver
WIN For Alaska Program
Health Care Task Force
Staff Compensation
Staff Health Care Committee
Joint Health Care Committee
Butrovich Indoor Signs
Custodial Service
Employee Garden
Building issues
Bylaw and Constitution review

For information please read the overview HERE.

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