Members of the Board of Regents and university administration meet with members of the Kodiak community advisory board during a lunch meeting April 3 in Kodiak. Photo by Monique Musick

Board of Regents Approves Common Calendar for all UA Campuses

Shaping Alaska's Future Endorsed

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a common academic calendar for all campuses within the UA System and requested that faculty develop and adopt common general education requirements for math and English.

Both moves are aimed at better serving students. The soonest the common calendar could go into effect would be sometime in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.

The board also endorsed UA's Shaping Alaska's Future initiative, which contains a list of 23 effects, or outcomes, the university intends to achieve. 

Read more about board actions and see more images from the recent Kodiak meeting HERE.

Compensation Increase, Extra Personal Holiday Leave Included in FY15 Budget

The FY15 operating budget approved by the Alaska Legislature includes both a compensation increase and additional personal holiday leave for all employees not in a collective bargaining unit for use during FY15.

A 2 percent salary adjustment for regular staff will be effective July 13, 2014. Employees will see a change in their salary in the Aug. 8, 2014, paycheck.

In addition, non-exempt (hourly) and exempt (salary) regular staff who have completed their probationary period as of July 1, 2014, will receive personal holiday leave (PHL) effective July 13, 2014. Exempt employees will receive 8 hours of PHL and non-exempt employees will receive 16 hours of PHL for FY15.

Those employees who have not yet completed their probationary period will receive the PHL accrual the pay period after they complete their probationary period during FY15. There is no cash value for the PHL and it must be taken within FY15, or July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

The Final Capitol Report

The Legislature Finishes its Work on FY15 Capital and Operating Budgets

The Second Session of the 28th Alaska State Legislature ended April 25. Considering that the state is facing a $2.3 billion budget deficit caused by declining oil production and lower oil prices, the university's capital and operating budgets fared relatively well. UA had some significant disappointments in a difficult year, but we also had some major successes, thanks in large part to the advocacy efforts of UA supporters throughout the state. UA advocates came out in large numbers at all public hearings on the operating and capital budgets, as well as on certain other bills like SB 176 (guns on campus). If you testified or sent messages in favor of the university, thank you!

The following is a summary of legislative actions this year: HERE.

Donations to UA Double Through this Year's Pick. Click. Give.

Exxon Matches Donations to UA Foundation

The University of Alaska had its best year ever since the Pick. Click. Give. program was first started in 2010, the UA Foundation reported.

That first year, UA campuses received $5,900 through the Permanent Fund Dividend checkoff, which allows Alaskans to give directly to their favorite nonprofit or charity through the annual PFD application. The donations to UA via the PFD jumped to $16,100 in 2011 and then leaped again in 2012, to nearly $25,400. Donations to UA campuses climbed again in 2013, to $28,400, and then doubled this past year, to $56,425.

“It’s impressive,” Megan Riebe, UA’s associate vice president of development and executive director of the UA Foundation, said of the participation this year. “Another great aspect of this campaign is that ExxonMobil matches all gifts to the university through Pick. Click. Give., bringing the total impact to UA to more than 100,000.”   MORE....

New Shaping Alaska's Future Website Launched

Shaping Alaska's Future unveiled a new look and a new website in April featuring the final version of Issue and Effect statements. Also on the site you'll find leadership development information, videos and insight into the entire directional change process. As the initiative continues to develop, elements will be added to the website including the opportunity to submit ideas, engage in discussion on important topics, read updates on successful initiatives throughout the UA System and see progress through metrics (still under development, but coming soon). Public Affairs will use social media, announcements and other means to promote the website, especially once the engagement elements are added (questions, submitting ideas, etc.).

Visit the site at: www.alaska.edu/shapingalaskasfuture

Remote Sensing Symposium Promotes Technology for Timber Management

Associate Vice President of Facilities and Land Management Kit Duke recently hosted a symposium called "Remote Sensing Capabilities -  Alaska Timber Management in the 21st Century."

The April 18 symposium brought four UAF remote sensing researchers—Keith Cunningham, Matt Nolan, Anupma Prakash and Jordi Cristobal Rossello—together with representatives from U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Division of Forestry, Mental Health Trust Land Office, the Timber Industry and UA Facilities and Land Management. 

They presented the applicability of lidar, digital photography and hyperspectral imaging to timber management within the state, promoting the efficient and cost-effective opportunity that UAF's cutting-edge technology can provide for timber management and harvesting. 

UAF researchers led the symposium beginning with an overview of technology that could realize both immediate gains and long-term applications for management of the various forest types within Alaska. Eric Nichols, a representative from the timber industry stated, "I have seen more progress made today than in my entire 40 years in the timber industry."

Following the symposium, researchers are continuing to develop processes for estimating the timber volume of young and second-growth forests. They are planning deployment of UAF hyperspectral imaging for long-range forest management applications.

The symposium was a milestone toward forming a working group that supports sustainable timber development through the application of technology and research, Duke said.

Heartbleed Vulnerability Update

This month, the world was alerted to a new Internet vulnerability, called Heartbleed. The vulnerability is in open-source software called OpenSSL that is used to encrypt Web communications.

Heartbleed can allow someone to access the contents of a server’s memory and potentially get access to private data such as usernames and passwords. It also means that someone could get access to a server’s digital keys and then use that to impersonate servers or to decrypt communications past, present and future.

What does Heartbleed mean for me? 

IE Exploit and UA systems

Reports of an actively exploited vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6 through 11 surfaced this week. The vulnerability allows an attacker to run malicious code on affected computer systems. Internet Explorer is needed to run some of UA's information systems software. Below you will find OIT's recommendation for operating in the high risk state we find ourselves in until vendors can release patches and enterprise systems can support newer browser versions.

Microsoft does not currently have a fix for this vulnerability so to workaround the IE Vulnerability, OIT recommends is as follows:

  • Only use IE for Banner, Intelex or other UA managed services; do not use IE to search or browse any other websites.
  • Use other browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) if you need to search other websites.
  • Banner access will work with other browsers.  Check the Banner access System Requirements for a list of recommended browsers.
  • Microsoft will not be issuing a fix for this on Windows XP. If you are running Windows XP please contact the Support Center to be upgraded to a supported version of Windows.

If you have questions or concerns please contact the OIT Support Center at helpdesk@alaska.edu or450-8300.

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