Announcements: July 2018
- Update to Notice of Nondiscrimination
- Land Management helps researchers attain 30 percent more access permits
- New access to Straw Island expands Edna Bay timber harvest activities
- Schedule rooms more efficiently with Google resource calendars
- Ethics Act compliance and annual disclosure of employment or services outside the University of Alaska
- UAF parking decals available Aug. 1
- Parking fees no longer deducted from pre-tax pay
- UA College Savings Plan ranked in the top 5 for 529 plan performance
- UA College Savings Plan Stickers
- New library catalog is up and running
- July Human Resources updates
- FY19 Wellness Program Is Live!
- SAA June Retreat
Update to Notice of Nondiscrimination
3890 University Lake Drive, Suite 108
Land Management helps researchers attain 30 percent more access permits
UA’s Land Management Office is supporting UA's world-class faculty and researchers by obtaining 30 percent more research permits than in prior years. The required permitting enables faculty and researchers to access sites located on private, state and federal lands worldwide. In FY18, the office permitted and gained access for 138 areas with a majority of these benefitting faculty and researchers at UAF.
New access to Straw Island expands Edna Bay timber harvest activities
The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued a temporary bridge permit over navigable water from Kosciusko Island to Straw island in SE Alaska. The bridge is part of a UA’s Lands Management Office (LMO) project on UA's Trust parcels at Kosciusko Island, approximately 89 air miles from Ketchikan. A first of its kind for the LMO, the engineered bridge design and successful permitting provided an innovative solution to access a 115 acre remote Trust parcel. Through collaboration with numerous parties, LMO ensured minimal impacts to island tidal, water, and shore areas while extending UA’s portion of timber harvest activities in the Edna Bay area.
This temporary access to Straw Island will generate an additional $600,000 in timber receipts to the Trust Endowment, which equates to funding approximately 50 more UA scholarships. The bridge timbers and decking were manufactured from the locally milled logs. The steel bridge beams were recycled from a Ketchikan scrap yard. The bridge is an example of efficiency, cost-effective stewardship, and environmentally sound recycling efforts occurring on a project with economic benefit to the local community, university and region. The Edna Bay timber sale has provided more than $2,561,070 to date for UA’s Trust Endowment, funding approximately 213 four-year scholarships for Alaskan students to any campus of the University of Alaska.
Schedule rooms more efficiently with Google resource calendars
Have you ever had trouble finding a room for a meeting or event? Maybe you have scheduled a meeting only to find out another user had it reserved? Avoid the conflicts by bookmarking the Google resource calendars page: https://www.alaska.edu/google/calendar-instructions/resources/.
The page has a full list of Google Apps @ UA resources, along with contact information for the custodians of controlled use resources. You can view the calendars by clicking on the Resource Calendar links. You may also add them to your listing of calendars by clicking the subscribe button from the bottom right of the calendar.
UA College Savings Plan Stickers
The UA College Savings Plan just received a massive shipment of stickers. If you would like to decorate a water bottle, laptop cover, or other item stop by suite 207 of the Butrovich Building.
The sticker can be viewed at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/2DqabFZ71mKwKUoV7
Contact the UA College Savings Plan office to find out how to set up a UA College Savings Plan Account by using payroll deduction.
Ethics Act compliance and annual disclosure of employment or services outside the University of Alaska
All university employees (including regular, term, temporary, student, and full- and part-time faculty and staff) are responsible for complying with the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (Alaska Statute 39.52). The act sets standards for how we do our university jobs, and to a lesser extent, may limit our non-university activities. For example, the act regulates: benefitting our own personal or financial interests through official action; misuse of official position; solicitation or receipt of gifts; improper influence in university grants, contracts, leases or loans; improper representation; outside activities; and restrictions on employment after leaving the university. See the “Quick reference” (PDF) or the websites listed below for more information.
Outside employment is to be disclosed within 30 days of starting (or resuming) university employment. Thereafter, any additional outside employment is to be reported prior to beginning that outside employment (bearing in mind that if your supervisor finds that an adverse effect from your outside employment is possible, you may not start that outside employment unless and until your supervisor or the designated ethics supervisor gives approval). Updated outside employment forms are required as changes in that outside employment occur. In addition to these time frames, outside employment is also to be reported every July 1, even if a form was previously submitted. The supervisor makes an initial determination about possible adverse effect on employment, and forwards the form to the designated campus ethics representative for review.
Remember that there are different forms for making other disclosures. For example, there is a separate form for disclosing employee and employee family member interests in contracts with the university; these must be disclosed and pre-approved using the “Interest in Contracts, Grants, Leases, or Loans” form, available at www.alaska.edu/hr/forms/hr_ethicsforms/. Other disclosure forms are available at the same site (Notification of Receipt of Gift in Excess of $150, Disclosure of Employment of Immediate Family Members, etc.).
Additional information regarding the Ethics Act is also available at www.law.state.ak.us/doclibrary/ethics.html .
SAA June Retreat
The Statewide Administration Assembly held its annual meeting on Friday, June 29. Below are highlights from the meeting.
June 2018 SAA Annual Meeting Highlights
- SAA representatives received an annual orientation presentation and heard updates on Strategic Pathways, FY19 budget, the UA Gateway, compensation, and benefits. Representatives discussed these issues with President Jim Johnsen, VP Michelle Rizk, VP Paul Layer, CHRO Keli McGee, Compensation Director Tara Ferguson, and Benefits Director Erika Van Flein.
- SAA said farewell to outgoing representatives Sheri Billiot, Eric Johnson, Buffy Kuiper, Tom Langdon, and Danielle Nelson.
- SAA welcomed new representatives JP Landry, Jennifer Ostrom, Monica Terrones, Caitlin Lipka, and Tabitha Hutchings. Arthur Hussey, Laycie Schnekenburger and Josh Watts were elected as full representatives after serving as alternates in FY18. A full list of members is available HERE.
- The group elected new officers at the annual meeting. The 2018-2019 officers are Arthur Hussey - President, Josh Watts - Vice President, and Monique Musick- Secretary.
- Representatives also volunteered to serve on SAA's standing committees. Elaine Main will chair the awards committee again, Jennifer Ostrom will lead the nominations committee, and Shiva Hullavarad will head up the morale committee. SW staff interested in helping out with one or more of these committees (or other SAA events) can volunteer using this FORM.
- Representatives also agreed on a new meeting time: monthly on the first Thursday from 10am to 12pm. Meetings are held by video in Fairbanks and Anchorage, with an audio call-in for remote participants.
- Representatives also discussed goals for FY19, which include increased constituent engagement/staff outreach, continued efforts to positively impact staff morale (breakroom, book club, lunch'n'learns), safety training for SW employees, and continued interaction with SW executives.
- A full year-end report for SAA can be viewed HERE.
SAA will meet next on Thursday, August 2 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.
UAF parking decals available Aug. 1
The 2018-19 UAF parking decals will be available for purchase on August 1, 2018 . Please visit http://uaf.edu/bursar/parkingservices/ for detailed parking information, instructions for purchasing a decal and pricing information. The new permit is effective September 1, 2018 .
Faculty and staff who have a current sustainable permit will receive an email on August 1, 2018 stating that their payroll deduction will be reinstated for the new plan year. NO OTHER ACTION IS REQUIRED. The sustainable permit is available for purchase by full-time staff and faculty. The sustainable permit will be renewed automatically each year. Interested individuals can purchase the permit by payroll deduction for a $50 per pay period option. The payroll deduction will be resubmitted annually until the employee initiates a termination request.
Additional information is available at the parking website under "What's New in Parking" http://uaf.edu/files/bursar/forms/parking%20forms/Pre-Tax-Deduction-Program-update.pdf
Parking fees no longer deducted from pre-tax pay
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in December 2017 ushered in changes to tax rates, deductions and benefits for employees and employers across the country. Earlier in calendar year 2018, most University of Alaska employees noticed more take home pay in their paychecks as a result of tax rate changes.
The new law also has specific impacts to employer-provided transportation benefits, including how employee parking deductions are treated. As a result, employees' parking deduction will become an after-tax deduction on their paycheck rather than a pre-tax deduction. Biweekly paid employees will first see this on their August 3 paycheck.
NOTE: 2018-19 permits will be available for purchase using after-tax or post-tax payroll deductions. For any parking permit purchased using this method, prorated refunds will be available to employees who return their permit to Bursar's office. There will be no restriction on the maximum that can be deducted from each pay period. That was a limit required by the IRS to qualify for the pre-tax deduction. Minimum deduction will continue as before with a $25 minimum per pay period for regular parking permits and $50 minimum per pay period for sustainable and gold permits.
UA College Savings Plan ranked in the top 5 for 529 plan performance
The University of Alaska (UA) College Savings Plan fared well in the May 2018 Savingforcollege.com 529 Plan Performance Rankings. The UA College Savings Plan and the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan, also managed by T. Rowe Price, were the only plans to rank in the top five for the one-, three-, five-, and 10-year periods, demonstrating strong investment returns relative to other direct-sold 529 savings plans across the country.
Savingforcollege.com conducts quarterly evaluations of the investment performance of thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the plans based on the results. According to Savingforcollege.com, the rankings are “…a helpful tool for families and financial professionals looking to compare college savings options.” The UA College Savings Plan can be used nationwide at any accredited college, university, graduate school, or vocational school.
Savingforcollege.com has been the leading independent authority on 529 savings plans since 1999. The site compiles and analyzes data, and creates content and tools to provide parents, financial professionals, and state policymakers with resources to help them understand how to meet the challenge of ever-increasing education cost.
New library catalog is up and running
The Rasmuson Library and the Geophysical Institute’s Mather Library recently joined the Alaska Library Catalog consortium, a statewide borrowing and lending network. Users can now browse the holdings of 87 Alaska libraries in a single catalog, and selections can then be sent to any library within the system for pickup.
With the ALC catalog, you can:
- Search within all libraries, one library or a special collection.
- Get near-matches on hard-to-spell words, search with ISBN and ISSN numbers, and limit searches to currently available items.
- Place a hold on a title whether it’s checked out or on the shelf.
- Pick up and return holds at any library within the system.
- Review and renew checkouts from all ALC libraries, keep lists of titles to read or watch, or change default pickup locations.
- If you don’t know your PIN, go to the Rasmuson circulation counter or call 474-6762. Each UA user may have one additional account with an Alaska public library; staff can look up your PIN with a valid ID, but they cannot make changes to your public library account.
- Checkout periods are set by the owning library, not Rasmuson, and users are subject to those libraries’ limitations. Most other ALC libraries are public, not academic, and are unlikely to allow longer checkouts to graduate students or faculty.
- Many other libraries impose late fees that will have to be paid, even though this is not the policy of Rasmuson or Fairbanks North Star Borough public libraries.
- Each user is limited to 10 simultaneous holds on items from other libraries.
- Many libraries impose a six-month freeze on the cross-library borrowing of new materials so that local patrons have a chance to check out new titles first.
- Interlibrary Loan is still an option. If you need a title already held by an ALC library, but you’re in a hurry, you can submit an ILL request specifying the date it’s needed by. The ILL office will try to borrow from a library that will use faster shipping.
July Human Resources updates
Each month Human Resources provides an update on systemwide projects 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 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 June edition:DOWNLOAD PDF
- Learning management system
- Wellness program rebate payout changing
- Annual leave cap
- Changes to parking deductions
- Leadership positions - updated 7/16/18
- Termination of agency fees
Required projects and tasks:
- Banner 9 upgrade
- Removal of transition steps from temporary salary schedule
- Faculty and staff compensation equity study
- RFPs for healthcare, pharmacy, vision and wellness
- Local 6070 collective bargaining negotiation
Process improvement projects and tasks
- Accelerated collection and processing of new hire paperwork
- Standardization of FML processing
- Leadership development
FY19 Wellness Program Is Live!
The FY19 Wellness Program is now viewable on the Healthyroads website. Now, when you log-in to your Healthyroads account you will see the updated program year and any completed items that may have pulled-in already. Same as with previous years, the program dates for all activities is 5/1/18—4/30/19. Also, the plan design will remain the same as last year. Last years, FY18 (5/1/17—4/30/18), biometric results will determine your requirements for this year and you will fall within 1 of 3 scenarios:
- You completed biometrics during FY18 and meet at least 3/5 of the biometric metrics
- Requirements: Complete a Personal Health Assessment (PHA)
- You completed biometrics during FY18 but did not meet at least 3/5 of the biometric metrics
- Requirements: Complete a PHA, Biometric Screening, Earn 5 points
- You did not complete biometrics during FY18
- Requirements: Complete a PHA, Biometric Screening, Earn 5 points
Completing all required items by the program deadline will mean that you will earn next year’s $600 wellness rebate, FY20. Much more communication will come throughout the program year but if you have any questions in the meantime please contact UA’s onsite Healthyroads Wellness Manager, Sara Rodewald at: 907-450-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New to the UA Choice Plan?
If you are new to the UA Choice Plan, whether an employee or spouse/FIP, you are eligible to participate in the wellness program and receive the wellness rebate! Eligibility for the program is based on your plan start date (not hire date) and your Healthyroads account will become active once your benefits are. The ‘New Hire’ document will provide all other details to get you started and Sara or your local HR is available for any follow-up questions.