April 2014

April 30, 2014 -- Duckering courtyard


When I was a student, I took classes in Duckering and there were classrooms with windows looking into an interior courtyard. Now I work up here and when I walk through the building, the windows are gone. Is the courtyard still there? Is it being used for anything? Why were the windows removed?


From Cameron Wohlford, Design and Construction

In the 2000 Duckering Deferred Maintenance Project, the courtyard area was converted to a mechanical room for air handling units (ventilation and air conditioning). The building was previously served by more than 20 small air handlers that were broken down, woefully undersized and did not meet codes for adequate ventilation rates. The volume of the courtyard was roofed over and large air handlers were placed inside during the renovation work. The curtain wall that used to look into the empty space was removed and infilled with a solid wall.

At the time, and even today, we strive to place larger and fewer air handlers in our facilities to reduce maintenance and provide redundancy, especially in our lab facilities.

April 29, 2014 -- Changes to the Wood Center food services


Will there be changes to the food services when the new Wood Center facilities are completed? It seems like it would be a shame to have a fancy new building and still have some of the same issues that seem to be ongoing. Some items are delicious and priced appropriately (pizza). Some, however are not: over $5 for 3 chicken strips, almost $4 for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sad presentation, long wait times, etc.


From Pamm Zierfuss-Hubbard, Contracts Manager

There will be a Mongolian grill, homestyle entrees and side dishes, a traditional American grill, pizza and pasta, a salad bar and built-to-order deli sandwiches. The various stations are also flexible enough to offer additional specialized options, as the need arises. This new model of food service will offer fresher food, more variety and, we believe, an overall better dining experience for students and employees. We also plan to re-examine the costs, pricing and delivery model after we have a year of experience and will solicit feedback from the campus community.

Please continue to provide your feedback. Comment cards will be available for individuals to provide additional feedback or an email can be sent to Dining Services at uaf-dining@alaska.edu at any time.

April 28, 2014 -- Anthropology Department location


The Anthropology Department is NOT located on 3rd floor Eielson any longer. The campus tour guides should really check their information for accuracy and stop confusing prospective students.


From Mary Kreta, Director of Recruitment

Thanks for letting us know about the error. The tour information is updated each fall and includes the accurate location of the Anthropology Department. It may have been that the tour guide misspoke. We'll send a reminder to our student ambassadors for future tours.

April 25, 2014 -- Spring breakup road conditions


When is the back unpaved road that leads from behind Murie over to Hess Village going to be improved? With break up, it's a sloppy mess by the end of the day.


The proposed north road is not on schedule become a permanent road in the near future. During breakup, the road is driven by Facilities at least once a day to determine its condition. At this time, the road is in good driving condition except for the area of road behind the Reichardt building (at parking lot 9N) to the north. That section of road has now been closed.

Facilities will continue to drive the road this spring and it will be closed if conditions worsen.

April 25, 2014 -- Parking at Chapman and Haida


Yesterday, the upper Chapman/Haida lot was almost entirely full at 7:45 a.m. Are the workers for the Wood Center expansion parking there? Could it be restricted for no overnight parking?


From Debbie-Hansen-Hill, Parking Services Manager

It's hard to say for sure who is parking there, but we do know the student parking attendants check both lots and check for proper parking permits. Construction crews have purchased parking passes which allow them to park in the Haida lot, but these passes do not give them access to the Chapman lot. Any of the general parking areas are available to anyone who has purchased a parking pass. At this point there are no plans to close the lot to general parking overnight.

If you have more questions, please feel free to call UAF Parking Services at 474-PARK (7275).

April 23, 2014 -- Campus clock chimes


I've noticed that the clock chimes on campus are 2 minutes slow. Is it possible to have them corrected?


A work order has been submitted to ensure the Carrillon system is in sync with the satellite time used.

April 23, 2014 -- Employee benefit rate


When our department is charged the benefit rate for each staff member, what does that cover? What is that "benefit"?


From Erika Van Flein, SW Human Resources

Basically, the staff benefit rate includes the following benefits: retirement, pension, medicare, social security, health care, life insurance, long term disability, unemployment, workers' compensation, tuition waivers, and labor relations. It's set by employee class (exempt, non exempt, faculty, etc) and is how the university pays for the various benefit programs.

April 15, 2014 -- Express Scripts


Is Express Scripts the continued mail order RX provider? It is clunky and inefficient from my and my doctor's point of view. 


Yes, Express Scripts is our current mail order prescription provider. If you are having an issue, you might want to review the information available on our website

To find more information on mail order, go to Premera.com, log in, and select Pharmacy Services under the Member Services tab. Then find the link to go to ESI's site, My Pharmacy Plus. You must fill out the form and mail it, OR there is a form you can print off and take to your doctor who can fax in a prescription directly to them. They don't have online order capability for new prescriptions and they won't accept faxed prescriptions from members (only doctors).

If your issue is still not resolved, please feel free to contact Timothy Armbruster, at 450-8212 for help.

April 4, 2014 -- Cost of living adjustment for staff


Will there be a cost of living adjustment this year?


From Tara Ferguson, UA compensation director

Yes!  A two percent salary adjustment for regular staff will be effective July 13, 2014. Employees will see a change in their salary in the Aug. 8, 2014 paycheck.

April 4, 2014 -- SRC women's room water leakage


There has been a broken toilet in the SRC women's room since before Christmas, maybe even before Thanksgiving. There's a yellow safety cone placed there, and water leaking all over the floor. For months. Is UAF really so short of funds that we can't fix a broken toilet even after many months? Shower users have to step over the water to get to the shower room.


From Marianne Freelong, Customer Service Manager, Facilities Services

Facilities Services is aware of the leak, which is actually coming through the shower wall and not from the toilet.
We have placed a sign near the toilet to let users know that it is water from the shower that is leaking near the wall.

We are awaiting parts to replace a divertor valve in the wall which will repair the leak.

When you come across an issue with a building or water leak, please call Facilities Services at 474-7000 to expedite the request.

April 4, 2014 -- Open Enrollment dates


When will the Open Enrollment forms and FY15 rates be released? With Open Enrollment typically running mid-April to mid-May, I'd like to have time to review my options and ask questions before it opens. Thanks!


From  Erika Van Flein, Director of Benefits, Statewide Office of Human Resources

Open Enrollment will be April 15 to May 16. We'll be mailing a letter to employees' homes before April 15 with information about plan changes and how to enroll. We're not mailing packets home this year; all information and forms will be available on the benefits website. More information about open enrollment is available here

April 3, 2014 -- Staff Council calendar style


Whose decision was it to design the Staff Council calendar poster using a Mon-Sun week instead of the conventional Sun-San week? It's great to have the calendar for at-a-glance date reference, but that at-a-glance reference doesn't work so well when most people will mentally attach the wrong days to the dates.Is there a movement for UAF to switch to European calendar styles that I haven't heard of yet? 


From Brad Krick, Staff Council President 2013-14

Each fall, the UAF Staff Council designs and prints a calendar for the following year. We try to change different aspects every year, including the picture subject, format, poster size, and so on. This year, one of the obvious changes was the Monday - Sunday format for the calendar days. We've definitely heard the feedback on this change! Next year's calendar will return to the Sunday - Saturday format.

Staff Council will form a committee in the fall to design the 2015 calendar. If any staff are interested, please contact your representatives. In addition, the Calendar Committee is always looking for photos for future calendars. Watch for a Photo Contest during the 2014 Staff Appreciation Day for an opportunity to submit photos!

More information about Staff Council, including how to contact your representative(s), can be found on our website: http://www.uaf.edu/uafgov/staff-council/

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