Welcome to the Grapevine

The Grapevine is administered by the UAF Marketing and Communications Department and was designed to dispel rumors, clarify misconceptions and clear up misunderstandings about UAF topics of a general nature to improve communication between the administration and the UAF community.

Many times departments are able to quickly resolve an issue and we post the solution to the problem here as well. Thank you for your suggestions.

Submit your question or suggestion here.

As always, building and facilities issues that need attention should be forwarded to dispatch@fs.uaf.edu or reported directly to 474-7000. Unsafe conditions should be reported to Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management here.

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July 21, 2014 -- Article about layoffs at UAF

QUESTION

What are the 40 positions referenced in this article?

Layoffs underway at Fairbanks university campus to fill budget gap

RESPONSE

From Pat Pitney, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

UAF has not issued 40 layoff notices nor are 40 layoffs expected. UAF does expects that there will be 40 to 50 fewer UAF employees in FY15 compared to FY14. This will be achieved through a combination of leaving positions unfilled after people retire or resign, term funded positions will not be renewed if unit funding is not available, and some layoffs. Supervisors and leaders are giving affected employees as much notice as possible. Additionally, UAF Human Resources is actively working to find alternative positions for employees who are on the layoff list and non-renewed term employees.

July 21, 2014 -- UAF fall concert

QUESTION

I heard Gallagher was this year's Starvation Gulch entertainment. Will he be smashing at Gulch? or before? And, will it be possible to get a meet and greet?

RESPONSE

From Cody Rogers, Associate Director of the Student Activities Office

UAF Concert Board will be announcing the Fall concert on August 1st. If Gallagher is coming to campus, it will be arranged by them.

July 21, 2014 -- Moving from off-campus to on-campus

QUESTION

As UAF will likely shrink over the next few years, could we:
1) move remaining units back on campus or into the main CTC facility?
2) where reasonable, relocate at least some departments into fewer buildings? Maybe a few buildings could be put into cold storage.

RESPONSE

From Susan Henrichs, UAF Provost

This is an excellent idea and UAF is already working on terminating as many off-campus leases as possible. One that has already ended was for space in the Wells Fargo building at the corner of University and Geist. Most of the units formerly housed there, including Marketing & Communications, have moved onto campus. One, the University of Alaska Press, moved to a small building owned by UA Statewide on College Road. Leases in the Denali Building have also ended; the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization has moved into the Library and the Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning has moved into the Akasofu Building. Plans are currently underway to move several units, including eLearning and Distance Education, out of the Bowers Office Building and onto campus when that lease is up. This is a somewhat gradual process because we need to make appropriate space available on campus, which sometimes requires renovations, and because usually it is not worth it financially to terminate leases early. There are some specialized leased or owed facilities off-campus that we can't give up, because we have no other space that could accommodate the needs of the program. Examples would be the space leased at the Hutchison High School building for Culinary Arts, Diesel, and Automotive programs.

Additionally, we are trying to find new tenants for buildings that UAF owns but no longer needs in other communities. For example, the Fireweed Building in Palmer has been leased to the MatSu Borough.

Once we have vacated all possible off-campus leases, we don't anticipate that there will be underutilized buildings in the core campus area. We are looking at closing some outlying buildings, which are more costly to keep open because they are not connected to the steam heat system and have fuel oil burning boilers.

July 17, 2014 -- Invasive plant on Fairbanks campus

QUESTION

The vetch infestation is out of control on campus and needs a good volunteer weed smackdown very soon before it goes to seed. The Office of Sustainability says they don't have staff to organize one this year. Can Facilities Services, School of Natural Resources, and Cooperative Extension provide some leadership on this issue? Seems like an area of mutual responsibility for all of them. Thanks.

RESPONSE

Facilities Services helps to limit the spread of this invasive plant down on the Fairbanks campus by mowing the areas prior to them going to seed. They are also exploring using steam to kill the plant. This type of weed control is growing in use across the country, as it eliminates pesticides, fire damage, cost of chemicals, and steaming can be done in any weather.

Cooperative Extension Service has developed a publication on bird vetch that addresses control.

July 7, 2014 -- Automated phone calls from HealthyRoads

QUESTION

How can I stop the automated phone calls from HealthyRoads? They call my home and my work number. I don't want to take these calls at home, and taking them at work is distracting and unprofessional (not to mention could violate privacy by having me share personal information at work). I want them to stop calling me. I updated my profile online, but this has not worked. I only created the profile for my $600 rebate, I don't want their pointless health information.

RESPONSE

From Erika Van Flein, Director of Benefits

You can opt out of the calls at any time. You do have to get to the end of the message to get to the option to opt out. You can also call Healthyroads customer service and ask that you not be called. The wellness program is part of the UA Choice health plan, and all employees enrolled in the plan will get the plan communications in both mailed and e-mailed formats.

July 2, 2014 -- Handicapped parking in front of Eielson

QUESTION

Why do you have handicap parking spots in the metered lot in front of the Eielson Building. There are stairs between that lot and the crosswalk. If someone unable to use stairs has to park there, they have to go around the entire parking lot, creating a difficult distance problem.

RESPONSE

From Martin Klein, Business Manager of Auxiliary & Contract Services

Due to construction projects this summer, several temporary Handicapped spaces were placed in the South Eielson lot (3C) to serve the buildings in the core area. Those spaces are fairly close to the Eielson entrance but the wheel chair path from those spaces to the Eielson building is fairly long. Once construction is complete, those spaces will no longer be needed.

As an alternative there are an additional four handicapped spaces in the Signers' Lot with a fairly short, convenient path to the ADA Signers'/Eielson entrance.


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