Sunset above the Alaska Range. Photo by Monique Musick

UA’s Wellness Program… What’s Next?

The Joint Health Care Committee met earlier this month and finalized the next phase of the UA wellness program. The plan is to build on the first year and add additional elements that members need to complete to qualify for a rebate on their FY16 health plan contributions. The next phase will start Nov. 1 and run through April 30, 2015.

In addition to the Personal Health Assessment (PHA) and biometric screening, members will get credits for managing their health or taking advantage of coaching or online courses at Healthyroads. Members can get credit for an annual wellness exam, a dental exam, adult immunizations, a vision exam and being a non-user of tobacco products. Credits also can be earned by taking the online classes or participating in telephonic coaching or a system-wide challenge. We’ll even have a month dedicated to fitness where members can get a credit for physical activity.

JHCC wanted to be sensitive to the fact that wellness is a personal journey, and not everyone wants to work on their health goals the same way. That’s why you can get all the credits you need without participating in the coaching or courses if those options don’t work for you. JHCC also wanted to reward members for doing what they should be doing in the ongoing management of their health. Everyone should get an annual dental exam because dental health is so important to your overall state of health. That’s why we changed the dental benefit on the HDHP and CDHP to pay at 100 percent of allowable charges starting July 1. Vision exams can detect many chronic conditions early, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes. Don’t want a flu shot? Maybe you’re looking at getting the shingles vaccine instead. That works!

Like last year, employees and spouses or FIPs on the UA Choice health plan are eligible to participate. More communications will come out next month.

OnBase presentation well received

Dr. Shiva Hullavarad co-presented a talk on “Best Practices for Expanding OnBase Campus-wide” during the Higher Education session at the 2014 OnBase Training and Technical Conference in Orlando, Florida.

His talk covered focused topics on how to implement a specific Enterprise Content Management solution through OnBase and OnBase system governance. Dr. Hullavarad covered the considerations and stages of an ECM implementation guided by his matrix depicting the road-map for the four levels of implementation of strategy, solution, design, development and support. His talk elicited numerous questions, a lively discussion, and was very well received.

Photo Contest Encourages Students to Stay on TRACK

Please encourage students to enter the third annual myTRACK photo contest through the UA System Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/uasystem?v=app_448952861833126&rest=1

The contest will run through Oct. 31. By participating in the myTRACK photo contest, UA students are entered into a drawing for two tickets on Alaska Airlines.

In the contest, students post a “selfie,” or self-portrait, to UA’s Facebook contest site indicating with their fingers how many years it will take to earn their degrees. The contest is part of UA’s annual Stay on TRACK campaign, now in its fourth year, which encourages students to take steps to graduate quicker and with less debt.

UA’s efforts to encourage full-time students to take 30 credit hours a year have made a difference. Students who attempted 15 or more credit hours a semester had a higher credit hour completion rate than those who attempted less than 15 credit hours. In the long term, students who attempt and earn at least 15 credit hours a semester perform significantly better than full-time students who take less than 15 credit hours a semester. First-year retention to the second year of college is 23 percentage points greater for students taking 15 credits per semester compared to students taking lighter course loads. And graduation rates among full-time students with heavier loads are impressive--39 percentage points higher (over a
10-year period).

Possible Security Threat to Google Accounts; Consider Changing Password

The following is a message from UA Chief Information Technology Officer Karl Kowalski, regarding the possible leak of Google account information:

You’ve probably heard a lot in the news about the publishing of approximately five million Gmail usernames and passwords to a Russian hacker’s forum this past week. As this story unfolds, it appears that this collection of usernames and passwords is not the result of a breach of Google’s systems, but that user accounts were compromised through individual phishing, insecure interaction with a web service or small hacks of other systems in which the user used their Gmail account as the contact or login.

Google responded by quickly checking the posted account information and found that only 1 to 2 percent of those actually worked. They immediately secured those accounts prompting owners to change their passwords.

If you have a personal @gmail.com address, you may want to consider changing your password. While there is no reported compromise of @alaska.edu addresses, you may also consider changing your password there as well.

You can now manage your UA Google-side password for your @alaska.edu email by using ELMO (elmo.alaska.edu). Note that in the past you had to set a separate Google-side password for use with your mobile devices or external mail programs. That is no longer the case. Once you reset using ELMO, however, remember you will need to reset your password on your mobile devices or mail clients as well.
For more information about the account compromises, check out this story from Slate.

Always consider using a complex password using a combination of numbers, letters, upper and lower case and characters. This makes passwords harder to guess. Using family, pet and friend names, while easy to remember, are also easy to guess and are not recommended.

Do not follow links in emails unless they are coming from a trusted source. For more information on known phishing attempts and tips on safe computing, visit www.alaska.edu/oit and choose Safety & Security from the Services menu on the right-hand side.

Summit Team Wants Your Input

The UA Summit Team, comprising the three chancellors and three provosts from UAA, UAF and UAS, President Gamble and Vice President Dana Thomas, is charged to take up issues that cross university boundaries. They will make necessary decisions or recommend changes to the board when new policy is needed. The role of shared governance in this endeavor is extremely important.

This leadership team is focused on systemwide change and not on specific issues at individual universities. They’ll help select the best people to address the topic, be it a faculty or staff group, a particular field of service or academics, or a technology working group.

The Summit Team has released a proposal form for use by UA governance groups, students, staff and faculty, when an issue, or an idea, they would like to address arises concerning the entire University of Alaska System.

To access both a downloadable Word document or online form for proposals, go to:


Feel free to fill out the downloadable form and email it to: shaping.alaskasfuture@alaska.edu. Or if using the online form, simply fill it out and click "submit" at the bottom.

2015 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence Call for Nominations

Nominations are now open for the Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence. The prize, which was established in 1989 with funds provided by Mrs. Bullock, is the University of Alaska Foundation’s most prestigious award. The honor, along with the $15,000 that goes directly to each year’s recipient, provides meaningful acknowledgement to its recipient and inspiration to others. Each year the UA Foundation Board of Trustees selects an individual whose work has demonstrated excellence in support of the University of Alaskato be the winner of the Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence.

Any UA student, faculty, staff member or volunteer who has made a significant contribution to further the university’s mission of “inspiring learning, and advancing and disseminating knowledge through teaching, research, and public service…” is eligible to be nominated for the prize.

The deadline for receipt of complete nomination packets, including application, resume or CV, and letters of reference, is Dec. 1, 2014. Any material postmarked after midnight on the deadline date will be considered for the following year’s prize. Nominations may be mailed or electronically submitted.

For more information, please visit our website, http://www.alaska.edu/foundation/donor_relations/grants-and-awards/

SAA Highlights

Update from the Statewide Administration Assembly

UA Values
Staff Alliance is reviewing the draft University Values that SAA presented in August. We are now awaiting input from our colleagues at the universities. As these values move forward, we are hearing more positive reactions that this document is coming from the people that are to implement it. This truly is a grassroots effort. Thank you all who provided feedback on the draft that SAA forwarded to Staff Alliance.

Wellness Program

Keep an eye on your email inbox come early November. Healthyroads is to roll-out the next phase for the health care discount incentive. In addition to your biometrics and sign up with Healthyroads, they will introduce a five point system to entice more positive lifestyle changes.

Conversation with the President scheduled for Oct. 16

On Oct. 16, President Pat Gamble will hold a face-to-face conversation with Chief Human Resources Officer Erik Seastedt for the bi-annual SW staff 'Conversations With the President' event. The forum will feature questions submitted by staff, questions from Seastedt and an opportunity to ask questions from the audience.

The event will be held 10 a.m. in Butrovich 109. It will be broadcast over video-conferencing to Bragaw 205. There will be snacks and coffee provided in both locations. 

Back to Top