As summer comes to an end it is time to harvest goods. Photo by Monique Musick

Recognizing College Savings Month

September is College Savings Month, a national and state event designed to encourage families to reflect on and discuss post-secondary educational and savings goals. In recognition of College Savings Month, the UA College Savings Plan offers these tips about saving for college:

  • According to the College Savings Plans Network: "Saving even a little can go a long way: A family that begins setting aside $50 a month when their child is born can accumulate over $21,000 in an account that earns 7 percent interest per year, by the time the child turns 18."
  • Participate in payroll deduction. To participate in payroll deduction, employees should first set up an account in the UA College Savings Plan. Register online at www.uacollegesavings.com or by calling 1-800-478-0003. Then, fill out the Salary Reduction form (FORM) and return it to the UA College Savings Plan. Everyone who signs up for payroll deduction will receive a complementary canvas tote bag.
  • Start or increase systematic contributions whenever possible. Visit www.uacollegesavings.com for more information about saving for college, including a college cost calculator and the Personal PFD Planner. 
  • Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ak529) and watch for updates about upcoming events and tips during the month of September.
  • Save the date:  Wednesday, September 24 at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., College Savings Webinar with Stuart Ritter, CFA, of T.Rowe Price

Here (http://j.mp/1ebp51W) is an image you can make into your desktop background if you want a daily reminder that it is College Savings Month.

The UA College Savings Plan has been distributing "Going to College" t-shirts to Alaskan children.

University of Alaska System hires longtime Fairbanks attorney

The University of Alaska System is pleased to announce that longtime Fairbanks attorney Andy Harrington has joined its legal team as associate general counsel.

Harrington has practiced law in Fairbanks for 33 years, serving in a variety of different positions, including serving over 25 years with the Alaska Legal Services Corp., and most recently serving as senior assistant attorney general in the state Department of Law. He joined UA in late July and replaces former UA associate general counsel Larry Zervos, who retired in March.

"The quality, breadth and variety of Mr. Harrington's legal experience, his reputation for keen intellect, collegiality, public service and hard work, coupled with his agency and management experience, make him extraordinarily well-qualified for this position," said UA General Counsel Mike Hostina.

Harrington received his degree from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude. His first job out of college was clerking for the Alaska Supreme Court. During his career with Alaska Legal Services, he was a staff attorney, a supervising attorney and served eight years as the non-profit agency's statewide director. At the state attorney general's office, he worked in the Commercial and Fair Business Practices Section. Peers and the Alaska Judicial Council have recommended Harrington for seats on the Alaska Supreme Court on several occasions.

It's Back to School Time!

University of Alaska Anchorage

Aug. 23 – Freshman Convocation, Campus Kick-Off 2014
Aug. 25 – First day of clases

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Aug. 31-Sep. 3 – Orientation for new students
Sept. 4 – First day of instruction

University of Alaska Southeast

Aug. 19-20 – Fall Convocation
Aug. 28-29 – New student orientation
Sept. 2 – First day of instruction

Board of Regents meet in Juneau to approve budgets, policies and programs

The Board of Regents will meet Sept. 18-19 at the University of Alaska Southeast Student Recreation Center on the Juneau campus. Public testimony will be held at approximately 8:30 a.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday.

The regents will have an early look at the draft FY16 operating and capital budget requests. They also will review proposed changes to human resources policies, including  a new furlough policy and the addition of administrative leave that could be used in cases of weather or campus closures. The full board also will consider proposed tuition rates for the 2016 academic year.

A number of program changes are up for approval, including a medical assisting certificate at UAS; a post-graduate certificate in speech-language pathology at the University of Alaska Anchorage; and deletion of early childhood programs at UAS. The provosts will present a program review and accreditation report to the Academic and Student Affairs committee, as well as a credit transfer summary report.

The Facilities and Land Management Committee will receive updates on several major projects in the system, including Kenai Peninsula College student housing and career and tech center, Juneau campus modifications, the UAA and UAF engineering buildings, the UAF combined heat and power plant, deferred maintenance  and more.

The Audit Committee will review the 2014 Audit and Consulting Services annual report, consider the UA Foundation FY15 Operating budget, and hear an update on the UA identity theft prevention program.

The Lumina Foundation will make an informational presentation to the full board on Thursday morning. The focus will be on the state of higher education in Alaska within the national context.

On Thursday evening, the board will have an opportunity to view the new freshman housing complex at UAS.

You can find the board agenda in advance of the meeting at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas/.

Paper paychecks will again be mailed individually

The system's offices of Human Resources have reached a milestone! The total number of printed paper checks was reduced to below 300 on the Aug. 22 pay run! This means that the cost to mail them individually is less than bulk distribution.

On the Oct. 3, 2014 pay date Statewide will again begin mailing checks to employees. Checks will not be available for pick-up at any campus offices. Due to federal tax withholding payment requirements, checks will be mailed on the pay date. Employees are encouraged to keep up to date their Human Resource mailing address to ensure proper delivery of paychecks.

The best way to ensure you receive your pay as soon as possible is to sign up for direct deposit. You can send your money to up to six accounts each payroll!

Thanks goes out to all of the individuals in the campus Human Resource Departments that made this happen! The current estimated annual savings of $20,000 in postage may not seem like much, but taking into consideration the administrative burden of a paper paycheck’s life cycle the university will experience real savings this year from your efforts. Every little bit counts for our university!

Update your directory information

It's fall again and that means it is time to check your directory listing to make sure it is up to date. The UA Enterprise Directory EDIR is the only available directory for UA employees and departments. It provides the most current and accurate directory information for people and departments at UA. Help make sure new students, employees and guests find what and who they are looking for!

The Office of Information Technology has been working to make EDIR more user-friendly when searching and updating employee data. Classes on updating individual and department data are scheduled each semester through the OIT training calendar. The next class is Aug. 27.

To search for contact information for anyone within the UA System go here: https://people.alaska.edu/

Ensure that your own contact information is accurate by logging into the EDIR system:

  • Go to:  https://edir.alaska.edu/
  • Click or Tap [Log In] in the top right
  • Use Your UA Username and Password to log in
  • Click [Personal Updates] in the top right
  • In the top section ensure your email address is correct and that your “office” section including your location and phone number is listed. If not, update information and click “Post Updates”

EDIR Information:

EDIR Help:

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