President Johnsen answers questions from Stataewide staff moderated by Chief Human Resources Officer Keli Hite McGee during Conversations with the President June 6. Photo by Monique Musick

Announcements: June 2018

  • Conversations with the President June 6
  • IT transition update
  • Community and university members tour C-SPAN bus
  • See a doctor for preventive care—at no cost to you!
  • Tuition reduced for occupational endorsement programs
  • Cybersecurity Tip of the Month
  • Wellness program updates
  • Premera updates opioid policy
  • Announcing new preferred brand of diabetes testing products
  • SAA June Retreat

Conversations with the President June 6

The spring Conversations with the President took place Wednesday, June 6 from 4-5 p.m. in Butrovich 109 and Bragaw 205. Moderator Keli Hite McGee, chief human resources officer, presented staff-submitted questions to President Johnsen during the event. 
Johnsen first recapped a variety of recent events including: the conclusion of the legislative session and approval of a $327 million operating budget appropriation, the first increase in four years; a proposed Haines timber lease; recent Board of Regents decisions; his trip to Washington D.C.; the Board of Regents strategic planning retreat; and, Strategic Pathways updates.
Topics addressed in staff questions included partnering with businesses on tuition benefits for employees; IT transition planning; the 10-year and 20-year strategic vision for the university; the new student access gateway and systems improvement project; and, the employee compensation equity study.

IT transition update

The IT Transition planning team continues to conduct background research, hold weekly meetings and consult the directors and managers of all OIT units to prepare recommendations and options for the consideration of new IT leadership as the university prepares for the separation of UAF and SW IT services. Recruitment for the Chief Information Technology Officer for the UA system closed Friday June 22 and the first review of applications has begun. Information on the CIO recruitment will be shared once the position is posted.

Many of the comments and questions received so far by the IT Transition Team relate to specific outcomes and timelines. Defining the scope, timeline and process for the transition will be the responsibility of the new IT leaders once they come on board. While the initial project definition is anticipated this fall, the actual transition will take longer.

Individual feedback, suggestions, questions and concerns are a valuable part of this process. You may contribute your thoughts using this form: FEEDBACK.

Please visit www.alaska.edu/hr/it-transition/ for additional information on the transition and other resources.

Community and university members tour C-SPAN bus

A C-SPAN bus traveling around Alaska as part of the network’s Cities Tour visited University of Alaska locations in Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage. The cable television network C-SPAN broadcasts congressional proceedings and public affairs programs.
The bus contains a television studio, touchscreen tablets and a station for people to take self-portraits. Visitors can take quizzes to test their knowledge of the political process. The station is also recording public affairs programs and conducting interviews, including one with UA President Jim Johnsen, during its visit. The programming, which showcases a variety of Alaska venues and the interviews with public officials, non-fiction authors and local historians, will be featured on all three C-SPAN networks during the July 21-22 weekend.
The C-SPAN Bus, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, embarked on the 50 Capitals Tour in September 2017 to engage students, community members and elected officials in every state and to talk with residents about issues important to them for C-SPAN's social media campaign, Voices from the States. Its visit to the state capital in Juneau was the 38th capital city stop along the bus tour.

See a doctor for preventive care—at no cost to you!

When you receive routine preventive care, your UA Choice health plan pays for the services—you don’t!

By getting preventive care, you:

  • Help avoid serious health problems—and additional healthcare costs—before they start
  • Stay healthy for the people at home and at work who count on you

Preventive services may include screenings, vaccinations, and medications. You can get the full preventive care list and guide to using your benefits at http://www.premera.com/ak/stayhealthy. Call your doctor’s office to find out which preventive care services are right for you.

Which services aren’t considered preventive?

During your visit, your doctor may find a problem that needs more screening or tests to pinpoint the issue. If you manage an ongoing health issue, your doctor may run further tests. Screenings and tests that diagnose or monitor your condition are not preventive services and may require you to pay out-of-pocket costs.

June human resources updates

Each month the office of human resources provides an update on system wide 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
  • 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
  • Wellness Rebate Payout Changing
  • Leadership Development
  • Student Wages Meeting Minimum Wage
  • Removal of Transition Steps from Temporary Salary Schedule
  • Changes to Staff Benefit Charges
  • Fiscal Year End Processing (April through July)
  • Annual Leave Cap
  • Recruitments of Leadership Positions

SAA June Retreat

SAA members, both those elected to new terms and those finishing their current term, will meet for their annual orientation and planning retreat Friday, June 29 at the University House. The retreat will run 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The agenda includes governance orientation, discussions with senior university leadership, calendar development and goal setting.

Tuition reduced for occupational endorsement programs

The University of Alaska is discounting tuition for workforce training opportunities offered at all 13 campuses beginning fall 2018. UA will reduce tuition by 25 percent on selected occupational endorsement programs and career and technical education (CTE) courses. The tuition reduction will apply to more than 300 courses in 50 programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast. The reduced tuition is part of the university’s plan to meet Alaska’s workforce needs by growing enrollment and increasing degree completion. View the list of eligible courses at: http://www.alaska.edu/starthere/cte/.

Further information on Occupational Endorsement programs at the University of Alaska and this discount opportunity can be viewed HERE.

Cybersecurity Tip of the Month

Secure Remote Access—Easy as A, B, C

It is well publicized that today's attackers are ever vigilant in their attempts to uncover weak points in networks, computers, and mobile devices to establish a foothold and leverage vulnerabilities, thus resulting in the compromise of critical assets or personal information. Areas of concern that can lead to a breach include the lack of physical security controls available at remote locations, the use of unsecured networks, and the connection of infected devices to internal networks. The challenge is especially daunting when:

  1. Staff, faculty, and students are accustomed to using use free public Wi-Fi hot spots, and some will use them to access institutional e-mails and documents.
  2. Some campus employees will e-mail work documents to and from their personal account, despite numerous security problems this creates.  
  3. Some campus employees will use free USB charging ports available at airports and other public places. These ports pose the risk of transferring viruses and malware to unsuspecting users.

Planning for Secure Remote Access  MORE....

Review UA IT Policies & Security Standards HERE

OIT's new and improved status page

We all work hard to keep service interruptions to a minimum and have a good record of uptime across our core services.

But like anyone, we occasionally have interruptions in service. Typically it’s just a small, scheduled maintenance window, which we often try to do during non-working hours. If we do have an unplanned outage, we aim to get things back up and running as soon as possible.

In either case, over the last year, we've had opportunities to improve the communication side of planned and unplanned outages. Our team at OIT has worked tirelessly towards this objective: communicate with clarity and transparency so you are never left in the dark if things aren’t running as expected. Most prominently, this involved having a single public-facing source of information to make it quicker to update, and easier for you to find the system status that you’re looking for.

Since January OIT has been posting updates here: status.alaska.edu. Our new and improved status page allows you to see if we have an ongoing outage, and historical information on past outages. This third-party tool will allow us to continue to communicate and send updates even if there is a major outage across all of our systems.

As always, if you have questions please do not hesitate to contact the OIT Service Desk for further information!

Wellness program updates

FY19 Goes Live!

The FY19 Wellness Program will go live on the Healthyroads website with the start of the fiscal year in July! Starting then, 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 previous years, the program dates for all activities is 5/1/18—4/30/19. The plan design will remain the same as last year. Last year's, 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:

  1. You completed biometrics during FY18 and meet at least 3/5 of the biometric metrics
    1. Requirements: Complete a Personal Health Assessment (PHA)
  2. You completed biometrics during FY18 but did not meet at least 3/5 of the biometric metrics
    1. Requirements: Complete a PHA, Biometric Screening, Earn 5 points
  3. You did not complete biometrics during FY18
    1. 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 for 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 sararo@ashn.com.

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.

Premera updates opioid policy

Over 90 Americans die each day as a result of opioid abuse and addiction. About half of these deaths are caused by misuse of opioid prescriptions.

Premera Blue Cross is helping prevent opioid addiction at the time of prescription. You can be sure that if your doctor prescribes opioids to control pain, the prescription you receive minimizes the risk for misuse or addiction.

Premera's opioid prescription policies align with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and were developed with input from healthcare providers. The policies help reduce the likelihood of addiction at the time of prescription. They also provide treatment options to members with opioid use disorder.

Tip: Have leftover opioids or other prescription medicine? Here’s how to safely dispose of it.

Announcing new preferred brand of diabetes testing products

Effective July 2, 2018, OneTouch® is now the exclusive preferred* brand of diabetes testing products for UA Choice health plans, meaning it is covered at the lowest co-pay or coinsurance.

To get a OneTouch®  system at no charge visit www.OneTouch.orderpoints.com and input order code 753PRM001 or call 1-855-351-5635 and provide order code 753PRM001.

More information can be found HERE.

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