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Anchorage-based staff who received longevity recognition gathered after the April 18 ceremony for a group photo. From left to right: Laura Carmack (15 yr), Tina Schimschat (5 yr), Elaine Main (5 yr), Megan Riebe (5 yr), & Patrick Kelly (5 yr). Not pictured: Jerry Kilanowski (15 yr) and Erica Pierce (5yr).

Announcements: April 2018

  • Staff recognized for longevity and outstanding service
  • Open Enrollment
  • Wellness deadline
  • Changes to Employee Tuition Waiver Benefit Regulation
  • April human resources updates
  • Use Strong Passwords and Passphrases to Lock Down Your Login!
  • Data hygiene on social media
  • SAA April meeting highlights

Staff recognized for longevity and outstanding service

The 2017 Statewide service awards celebration on April 18 recognized the dedicated service of 26 employees and awarded three employees and one department for outstanding service.

Earning 5-year service recognition were: Toni Abby, Matthew Chandler, Patrick Kelly, Caitlin Kaber Lipka, Elaine Ramos Main, Travis Peyton, Erika Pierce, Megan Riebe, Tina Schimschat, and Artem Zhdanov.

The following individuals were recognized for 10 years of service: Morgan Dufseth, Jerry Farnam, Tara Ferguson, Kelly Gitter, Kyle Gronewold, Jenell Merrifield, Rita Murphy, and Laycie Schnekenburger.

Five employees were recognized for their 15-year service anniversary: Brandi Berg, Kathleen Boyle, Laura Carmack, Jerry Kilanowski, and Dana Platta.

Two employees were recognized for 20 years of service: Michael Hostina and Steve Meckel.

Lastly, Josiah (Jo) Knox was recognized for 30 years of service to the university.

Each year Statewide staff have the opportunity to nominate outstanding employees and departments to recognize efforts that go above and beyond a person's duties. The awardees for the 2017 awards were Colin Murray, Outstanding Non-Exempt; Daisy Saffir, Outstanding Exempt; Ross Boling, Outstanding Student; and OIT Video Conferencing Services, Outstanding Department.

The rooms in the Butrovich and Bragaw buildings were full as these outstanding, dedicated employees were recognized for their contributions to the university. Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support, to those who brought food to share, and to everyone who helped organize another successful awards event. See photos from the event HERE.

Open Enrollment continues through May 11, 2018

Open Enrollment is going on now through May 11! This is your annual opportunity to change your health plan, add or drop dependents, elect a Flexible Spending Account, supplemental life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D).

We're doing it all online through UAOnline this year, so there's nothing to hand in or fax to HR. You can find all the details on our open enrollment web page, found directly from the benefits web site. Check the open enrollment page for the Enrollment Guide, plan comparisons, rate sheets and links to other important information.

The #1 question we get is "If I don't want to make any changes do I need to do open enrollment?" and the answer is no: if you don't want to change your health plan, covered dependents, life insurance, or AD&D, you don't need to complete open enrollment. BUT if you want a medical or dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you do need to complete that part of the enrollment because the FSAs do not roll over into the new year.

If you elected a Health Savings Account (HSA) at the beginning of 2018, you don't need to do it again. The HSA will continue for the full calendar year and keep going into the future until you change it.

Questions? Check the web page because it's probably there, but if you still have questions you can call DirectPath, your health care advocate, at (866) 253-2273, or your HR office.

Wellness program deadline April 30

FY18 Wellness Program Deadline Reminder

The wellness program deadline is 4/30/18! All program requirements must be completed by this date in order to receive the FY19 wellness rebate. Verify that you are all set by logging-in to your Healthyroads account and going to the ‘Incentives’, ‘Plan Summary’ page. 100% on both progress bars means you are all set!

Still need to complete items to reach your 100%?

  • Your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) may be completed by clicking directly on it from your ‘Plan Summary’ page.
  • All biometric options are the on the UA benefits/wellness page—scroll down until you see ‘Biometrics Screening Information’.
  • If you are needing points to reach your 5, take a look at your ‘Plan Summary’ page to view all options and the ‘Wellness Calendar’ to view any upcoming opportunities to earn points from on-site events.

Contact UA's On-Site Wellness Program Manager, Sara Rodewald if you have any questions or need additional clarification on the program and requirements:
Phone: (907)450-8203
Email: sararo@ashn.com

SAA April meeting highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly held a regular business meeting on Thursday, April 12. Below are highlights from the meeting.
  1. Michelle Rizk, Vice President for University Relations, shared legislative updates.  
    • The Board of Regents FY19 University of Alaska budget request was for $341M. The Governor's FY19 budget request was $317M. The House passed a budget that added $19M to the Governor’s request; the Senate passed a budget with $5.5M more than the Governor’s request. The budget will now go to conference committee where the House and Senate will negotiate the final version.   
    • A pool of $1M has been set aside for automation projects. The Business Council will make decisions on how the funding is to be allocated.   
    • It appears that the Economic Recovery Act isn't going to pass, which would have awarded UA close to $70M.   
    • The Education Tax Credit is set to sunset on December 31, 2018, however, there has been work to extend the credit to 2023. That bill has was passed by the Senate, and is now being reviewed by the House. 
  2. SAA representatives heard updates from the Staff Alliance meeting. The Alliance passed a resolution on staff governance involvement in executive recruitments, and continues to review such issues as non-exempt employee layoff notices and a process for staff emeritus recognition. 
  3. The SAA Recreation Room Committee continues to work towards establishing a break room for Butrovich. Butrovich staff are invited to take part in a survey to determine best use of the room: https://goo.gl/forms/tf617zamLcQA7Xzl1
  4. The SAA Safety Committee will be scheduling AED/CPR training for employees in the Butrovich building. The training dates will be communicated once they are finalized.
  5. The SAA Morale Committee is continuing work on the Lunch'n'Learn series, and is forming a book club. Sign up for the book club here: https://goo.gl/forms/kVc7Nh9zlNc5VvXC2
  6. SAA hosted a food drive in March that resulted in 90 pounds of food being donated to the Food Bank. Thank you for donating and helping make a difference in the community!
  7. On April 18, 2018, SAA and the President's Office hosted the Statewide Staff Longevity and Outstanding Awards. The ceremony recognized employees who completed 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years of service during 2017 as well as employees who were selected for the 2017 Outstanding Department and Employee Peer awards. 

SAA will meet next on Thursday, May 10​ ​in Butrovich 204 in Fairbanks and Bragaw 210 in Anchorage. All staff are encouraged and welcome to attend. Reach out to​ ​SAA representatives to share your ideas and/or concerns. Additional information about SAA meetings is available on its website.

Changes to Employee Tuition Waiver Benefit Regulation

In February, President Johnsen approved changes to R04.06.010 Employee Education Benefits, commonly called the tuition waiver. The changes removed the six-month probationary period requirement before a new employee could access the benefit. This requirement generated many appeals which were almost always approved, adding complexity and delays without adding value. Also removed was the cumulative GPA requirements which involved time-consuming manual lookups. Tuition waiver recipients still need to maintain good academic standing and are subject to academic probation for failing grades.

Updated tuition waiver forms are posted for employees (including adjuncts), spouses and dependents, and senior citizens. In addition, the university bursar offices have updated their online forms to incorporate the changes. More information and the tuition waiver forms can be found at http://www.alaska.edu/benefits/tuition-waivers/.

April human resources updates

As announced last month, Statewide Human Resources is striving to make improvements to the HR System, benefits and procedures to better help employees. Each month they will provide an update on system wide projects that are currently in process. The details of these projects are still being worked on and communication will also be sent to those directly impacted prior to the effective date of the change.

To see previous versions of this communication please go to the Statewide Human Resources web page at the following link: http://alaska.edu/hr/whats-new-at-statewide/index.xml.

Updates in the April edition: DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Learning Management System
  • Statewide HR Project Survey for FY19
  • Banner 9 Upgrade
  • Accelerated Collection and Processing of New Hire Paperwork
  • Standardization of FML processing
  • Faculty and Staff Compensation Equity Study
  • UAFT Faculty transitioning to UNAC Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • FY19 Open Enrollment
  • Wellness Rebate Payout Changing
  • Bona Fide Termination Regulations for PERS/TRS Retirees
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Annual Notice Collaboration
  • Leadership Development
  • Faculty Time Off Cash-In
  • Student Wages Meeting Minimum Wage
  • Employee Tuition Waiver Changes
  • Campus Housing Portal
  • Removal of Transition Steps from Temporary Salary Schedule
  • Changes to Staff Benefit Charges
  • Tax Deductions for Employees in Canada
  • HSA Calendar Limits - 2018
  • ACA Compliance
  • Fiscal Year End Processing (April through July)
  • Recruitments of Leadership Positions

Use Strong Passwords and Passphrases to Lock Down Your Login!

Your passwords are the key to a host of information about you, and potentially those close to you. If someone can access your personal information, it can have serious long-term effects—and not just online! Follow these recommendations from the World Password Day website to protect your identity while making the Internet more secure for everyone:

  • Use a passphrase instead of a password. Passphrases are usually 16 characters or more and include a combination of words or short sentence that is easy to remember (e.g., MaryHadALittleLamb!)
  • Use a fingerprint or biometric requirement to sign in when available. This provides an extra layer of protection for devices and apps.
  • Request single-use authentication codes that can be sent to your phone or delivered by an app.
  • Take advantage of whatever multifactor authentication methods are available for your service. Learn more about adding MFA to any account.
  • Use a password manager or password vault software to help keep track of all your passwords and avoid password reuse.

Data hygiene on social media

Data hygiene, like personal hygiene, is a set of good practices to keep personal data from being misused. Personal information like date of birth, names of family members and the place we live in is used in the profile settings of many social media platforms. This personal data can be tracked for various purposes and can be used against you if it falls into the wrong hands. Here are some tips to help protect your personal data.

1. Check what personal data Facebook is collecting
Go to Facebook Settings/General Account Settings - All the way down that menu - click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data." On the next page click on "Start My Account Archival link." You will get a notification when the report is ready and will be sent to your email used to set up an account as an attachment. Review what personal data is being used and how. 
 
2. Refrain from taking Facebook quizzes 
These quizzes appear to be fun time killers, but reveal a lot of personal information about you and your friends on Facebook
 
3. Restrict privacy settings
Minimize access to who can contact you, who can see your profile and contact information, who can send you a friend request, and who can see your friends list. 
 
4. Avoid accepting friend requests from strangers
Follow a minimum of 5 mutual friends rule when you receive a friend request.
 
5. Turn on additional security settings
Enable settings in order to be notified of unauthorized login attempts from unknown computers and devices. Enable 2-factor authentication to log in.
 
6. Restrict personal data used by third party apps
Many apps use Facebook logins and thereby use your personal information from your profile. Minimize what information is used in your profile. 
 
7. Turn off face recognition
Facebook can tag you using face recognition in photos and videos. Turning off this feature protects you from facial recognition software and businesses that depend on them.
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