Faculty line up outside the Carlson Center to congratulate graduates at the 2016 commencement celebration in Fairbanks. UAF photo

Announcements April 2017

  • Commencement season is coming
  • Time change for Board of Regents public gatherings
  • Statewide Employee Awards Event
  • Step Up to Stronger Passwords
  • Open Enrollment 2017
  • Open Enrollment is a great time to update your college savings strategies
  • FY17 Wellness Program Deadline
  • SAA election
  • SAA April meeting highlights

Congratulations 2017 Graduates!

Commencement schedule

May 1, 2017
Military Ed@ FtWW
7 p.m.
                    May 7, 2017
1 p.m.
May 3, 2017
Chukchi (Kotzebue)
1 p.m.
 May 7, 2017
2 p.m.
May 4, 2017
Northwest (Nome)  
7 p.m.
 May 10, 2017
Kachemak (Homer)
7 p.m.
May 5, 2017
Kuskokwim (Bethel)  
1:30 p.m.
 May 10, 2017
PWSC (Valdez)
7 p.m.
May 5, 2017
Military @ JBER
2 p.m.
 May 11, 2017
7 p.m.
May 5, 2017
7 p.m.
 May 12, 2017
2 p.m.
May 6, 2017
1:20 p.m.
 May 12, 2017
7 p.m.
May 6, 2017
3 p.m.
 May 12, 2017
Mat-Su (Palmer)
7:30 p.m.
  May 13, 2017
Bristol Bay (Dillingham)
2 p.m.

Statewide Employee Awards Event

On April 25 Statewide staff gathered to recognize employees who have reached an employment milestone – 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- or 25-years of service – during 2016 and to present the Outstanding Employees and Department awards.

The event was coordinated by the Statewide Administration Assembly who provided snacks and treats for the event, with assistance and award funding from the Office of the President and Human Resources, and door prizes from the UA Foundation, Office of Public Affairs, UA College Savings Plan, UAA Athletics, UAA Planetarium, UAF Athletics, UAF DRAW and UAF Office of the Bursar.

Photos and recognition names HERE

Step Up to Stronger Passwords

A password is often all that stands between you and sensitive data. It’s also often all that stands between a cybercriminal and your account. Below are tips to help you create stronger passwords, manage them more easily, and take one further step to protect against account theft.

  • Always: Use a unique password for each account so one compromised password does not put all of your accounts at risk of takeover.
  • Good: A good password is 10 or more characters in length, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, plus numbers and/or symbols — such as pAMPh$3let. Complex passwords can be challenging to remember for even one site, let alone using multiple passwords for multiple sites; strong passwords are also difficult to type on a smartphone keyboard (for an easy password management option, see “best” below).
  • Better: A passphrase uses a combination of words to achieve a length of 20 or more characters. That additional length makes its exponentially harder for hackers to crack, yet a passphrase is easier for you to remember and more natural to type. To create a passphrase, generate four or more random words from a dictionary, mix in uppercase letters, and add a number or symbol to make it even stronger — such as rubbishconsiderGREENSwim$3. You’ll still find it challenging to remember multiple passphrases, though, so read on.
  • Best: The strongest passwords are created by password managers — software that generates and keeps track of complex and unique passwords for all of your accounts. All you need to remember is one complex password or passphrase to access your password manager. With a password manager, you can look up passwords when you need them, copy and paste from the vault, or use functionality within the software to log you in automatically. Best practice is to add two-step verification to your password manager account. Keep reading!
  • Step it up! When you use two-step verification (a.k.a., two-factor authentication or login approval), a stolen password doesn’t result in a stolen account. Anytime your account is logged into from a new device, you receive an authorization check on your smartphone or other registered device. Without that second piece, a password thief can’t get into your account. It’s the single best way to protect your account from cybercriminals.

Brought to you by OIT Security

SAA elections

The Statewide Administration Assembly spring elections will start on Wednesday, April 26 . The slate of candidates and ballot is available HERE.
There are four open seats in Fairbanks and one open seat in Anchorage, and two alternate seats (any location). 
Outgoing members not seeking re-election are: Dale Denny, Alesia Kruckenberg and Chrystal Warmoth 
Remaining members: Sheri Billiot, Alison Hayden, Eric Johnson, Buffy Kuiper, Tom Langdon and Danielle Nelson
The election will run until Wednesday, May 10. 

SAA April meeting highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly held a regular business meeting on Wednesday, April 19. Below are highlights from the meeting.

April SAA Highlights

  1. SAA will host the Outstanding Employee and Longevity awards on April 25 at 2pm in Butrovich 109 and Bragaw 205. Please join them in celebrating your co-workers. Refreshments will be provided. Door prizes in Fairbanks include a parking pass and L.I.F.E. SRC membership. Door prizes in Anchorage include athletics and planetarium tickets. You must be present to win. 
  2. Nominations for the upcoming SAA election closed on March 29. The 16 candidates will be announced and voting will begin on Wednesday, April 26. 
  3. SAA heard an update on the new performance evaluation tool from CHRO McGee.  
  4. SAA reviewed criteria for longevity awards. In order to receive a longevity award, an employee must have reached a longevity milestone the previous year, it must be five years from the last time they received a longevity award, and they must still be employed by the University. 
  5. SAA passed a resolution requesting the annual leave cash-in program be reinstated for all employees regardless of pay grade. The resolution can be read HERE
  6. SAA approved changes to its constitution and bylaws. The final version will be available shortly, following final approval by administration. 
  7. SAA reviewed a proposed resolution in response to the Faculty Alliance's request for an independent review of SW services and a severe reduction of the SW office. Representatives were unable to reach agreement on the resolution but agreed to take it up again in the future. 

SAA will meet next on Wednesday, May 17 in Butrovich 204 in Fairbanks and Bragaw 210 in Anchorage. All staff are encouraged and welcome to attend. Reach out to SAA members to share your ideas and/or concerns. Additional information about SAA meetings is available on their website.

Time change for Board of Regents public gatherings

The time frame for public gatherings, held on the first day of regular Board of Regent meetings, is changing from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

The change will go into effect with June's gathering which will be held Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in the Globe Room, 215 Elvey Building, on the UAF campus.
The board's website has been updated to reflect the change: http://www.alaska.edu/bor/public-testimony/

Open Enrollment 2017

Open Enrollment is on now and goes through May 15 . This is your annual opportunity to change health plans, add or drop dependents, start or increase supplemental life or Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. This is also when you can sign up for the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or the Health Savings Account (HSA, must be on the CDHP for this one). Everything can be found online, just follow the link from the benefits web site www.alaska.edu/benefits. Just click on the "Open Enrollment 2017" link at the top of the page, and you'll find all the information you need to help you make your decision.

This year we're making a step in the online enrollment direction with Google forms, so you complete and submit your forms online, no printing, faxing or dropping off at HR. The exception is if you're adding dependents, we've got a Dependent Documentation Transmittal form so you can provide their date of birth and SSN along with the required documentation like a birth or marriage certificate, etc. This transmittal and your documents (copies are fine, we don't return them unless you expressly request it) need to be sent directly to your HR office. Don't scan and e-mail this document as that's not a secure way to send sensitive information.

Also, if you are electing more than $200,000 of Supplemental Life, you will need to complete and fax the Evidence of Insurability form directly to Securian Life, our insurance company. We'll hold you at the guaranteed amount ($200,000, or whatever you currently have if higher), until Securian approves your application.

Need help deciding which plan is right for you? You can call DirectPath, your health care advocate (formerly Patient Care), at (866) 253-2273 for help.

Questions? Check the web site as we have everything you need there. If you still have questions, please contact your HR office. Go to www.alaska.edu/hr/contact-hr to find out how.

Open Enrollment is a great time to update your college savings strategies

The UA College Savings Plan would like to remind UA employees that NOW is a great time to start, review, or increase college savings for a loved one through employee payroll deduction or automatic monthly contributions from your bank account. As the nation’s only 529 plan located within the walls of a university, we have a unique perspective and ability to support students and employees in paying for post-secondary education.

Students requesting distributions to pay for their educational expenses are always grateful to have had money saved on their behalf. UA employees with college aged children, or with a desire to attain their own degree, are equally thankful that they are able to supplement the Employee Tuition Waiver with money saved in a tax advantaged college savings account. As the benefits of savings come to fruition for the beneficiary, we celebrate. We are happy to make saving for college easy for you.

Easy ways to get started:  

  • Grow your accounts through systematic monthly contributions. Payroll deduction is convenient way for UA employees to fund their college savings accounts. To participate in payroll deduction, first set up an account in the UA College Savings Plan. Register online or by calling 1-800-478-0003 . Then, fill out the Payroll Deduction Request form and return it to the UA College Savings Plan office . Alternatively, you can enroll in Automatic Monthly Contributions .
  • Follow the UA College Savings Plan on Facebook and watch for updates about upcoming events and tips.
  • Get to know the UA College Savings Plan staff. Drop into Suite 207 of the Butrovich Building (Fairbanks) or Suite 209 of the Bragaw Office Building (Anchorage); or reach us at 474-5671 and collegesavings@alaska.edu .  We’re here to answer your 529 questions.

Contact: Lael Oldmixon, collegesavings@alaska.edu , 907-474-5671

FY17 Wellness Program deadline April 30

The April 30th wellness deadline is this weekend.

Any employee, spouse/FIP currently on the UA Choice Plan is eligible to participate and earn the $600 wellness rebate. Each individual will have their own Healthyroads account to complete activities within. To log-in, simply use the links provided at the top of the UA benefits/wellness page. All incentive information is available within the ‘Incentives’ tab and then ‘Plan Summary’. Make sure both progress bars are at 100%--that means you are done!

Still aren’t at 100%? Use the information below to ensure that you get everything completed!

  1. Complete apersonal health assessment (PHA)
    • Once logged-in to your Healthyroads account go to the ‘Incentives’ tab and then ‘Plan Summary’. Click on the PHA from the top of the list to complete.
  2. Get abiometric screening
    • Schedule an appointment with your doctor and take the ‘healthcare provider form’  to be completed:
      • Be sure to read the form closely before returning to Healthyroads—all required sections must be completed in order for the form to be accepted.
      • Please allow 10-15 business days for these to be loaded into your Healthyroads account. If this occurs after 4/30, this is okay! The results just need to be within the dates of 5/1/16—4/30/17 and the form received by 5/15/17 .
    • If you are located in Fairbanks or Anchorage you have the option to get these completed at the local Quest Patient Service Center:
      • Instructions on how to make your appointment are provided on the UA benefits/wellness page under ‘Biometrics Screening Information’.
      • If you have any issues with the online scheduler, please call Quest directly for assistance: 855-623-9355
      • Please allow 10 business days for these to be loaded into your Healthyroads account (Quest will submit for you!). As long as your appointment itself was on or prior to 4/30, this is fine if they post to your account after the deadline.
  3. Earn 5 Points
    • Physical Activity
      • Information on how to upload and track activity is available HERE
      • There is 1 incentive point per month available, with 4 points max able to be earned through this option. Some devices will pull-over historical data from previous months, but if the device/app that you use does not, then at least 1 incentive point is still available through this option for the month of April.  
    • Tobacco Attestation
      • 1 point possible
      • Click on the ‘tobacco attestation’ from your ‘Plan Summary’ page to complete
    • Online Courses
      • 8 courses and their corresponding quizzes will give you 1 point
      • Up to 4 points may be earned through these (32 classes total)
      • Incentive points will update in sets of 8 completions!
    • On-Site Education Classes
      • Each on-site education session is worth 1 incentive point. A code is given-out with each presentation that you then enter into your account to earn the respective point.  Recordings for all education presentations presented this year can be viewed HERE.
    • Routine Wellness Opportunities
      • Annual Wellness Visit (1 point possible
      • Adult Immunization Attestation (1 point possible)
        • Input yourself! Click directly on this option to complete!
      • Annual Dental Exam (1 point possible)
      • Annual Vision Exam (1 point possible)

**Please note that we have data feeds set-up to capture all of the routine exams with Premera and VSP (with the exception of the ‘adult immunization’). Standard posting times of 30-60 days will still apply—as long as you have had these exams within the dates of 5/1/16— 4/30/17 , we have time built-in after the deadline to capture them. If you have any questions on when they should post, or regarding exams that have not yet posted, please contact Sara.

Have additional questions? Contact UAs on-site Healthyroads Program Manager:

Sara Rodewald

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