Welcome to the Grapevine

The Grapevine is administered by the UAF University Relations 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.

University Relations does our very best to get timely answers to your questions. Ideally, we try to post an answer within 48 hours of receiving the question. Occasionally, it can take up to several weeks to get an answer depending on the availability of the individuals who have the answers and the number of people who may be involved. If you feel your question has not been answered in a timely manner, please resubmit the original question or leave your name and contact information so we can update you on our progress.

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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Question

Thank you for the beautiful crack-free steps on the west side of the library. I am hoping there will also be handrails installed. These can help the handicapped to ascend with less fear of slipping on the ice. Thanks!

Response

These handrails are currently being fabricated in our sheet metal shop and will be installed soon.

— Karrah Hearns, customer service manager, Facilities Services

- Late-start rec classes

Question

Why are all of the rec classes starting a week later than the regular classes?

Response

We are trying a new strategy this year. In an effort to prevent prematurely cancelling recreation classes due to low enrollment, we are giving students time to get in the swing of things and round out their schedules with recreation classes.

— Martha Westphal, program manager, academic/general and recreation programs, Community and Technical College

Question

If a student is removed from a class to protect her safety due to continued sexual harassment by the class instructor is the University required to make accommodations so the student can complete her course work?

Response

The university will take immediate steps to remedy safety concerns. The student would then be provided with options for completing the class to continue their education. These adjustments may consist of additional time to complete work, taking the class in a different semester, ability to transfer class section or other academic assistance specific to the circumstance. If you have specific concerns or needs, please contact the Title IX coordinator, Margo Griffith, at 907-474-7300 or uaf-TIX@alaska.edu. Also, to speak with a confidential resource, the Resource and Advocacy Center offers guidance at 130 Wood Center, or 24 hours at 907-474-6360.

— Margo Griffith, Title IX coordinator, and director, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Question

I just attended the Shankar Vedantam talk at Hering Auditorium which was great! However, the graphic used at the presentation declared it was part of the “University of Alaska, Fairbanks” Centennial.

Response

I am so glad you enjoyed the presentation. We have received a lot of positive feedback about it and are pleased we were able to bring someone of his caliber to Fairbanks as part of UAF’s centennial celebration.
We noticed the comma as well. We did not see his presentation in advance or we would have tried to correct it.
— Michelle Renfrew, director, University Relations

- Power plant smokestack

Question

The smokestack on the new power plant should be painted with UAF colors, logos and/or say UAF….also, unless we are huge fans of irony, I do not recommend including Naturally Inspiring.

Response

Thank you for your suggestion. The stack now has its permanent color, but it could be branded with words or a logo in the future. Any markings placed on the stack will need to be carefully reviewed by and coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration because the stack rises more than 200 feet above the ground level. 

— Michelle Renfrew, director of University Relations

Question

Why are we hiring upper administration in a time of deep budget cuts that include letting cutting programs and letting faculty go?  It would be great if we faculty could know what exactly all these VPs do.  Maybe they could develop annual workloads and then be evaluated annually on whether or not they perform well on three distinct, although related, areas of performance! Maybe we could understand better why they are paid at higher rates than faculty even though they rely on faculty to do a whole variety of work tasks that then get kicked up to upper administration to crow about?  Hey, maybe there could be some sort of process by which those people hired into VPs (and upper administration) could explain their jobs to all the rest of us who function on a day to day basis to work with the UAF student population in the most fundamental of ways so that over time we could know how our upper administration serves as a resource for us.

Response

Thank you for your questions. The vice chancellor for student affairs position manages many very important functions for the university, including the offices of Admissions and the Registrar, Financial Aid, International Programs and Initiatives, Residence Life, Dean of Students, and Disability Services; Wood Center; and the Student Recreation Center and Department of Recreation, Adventure, and Wellness. These areas have direct impact on UAF’s ability to recruit and retain students. (A description of the the duties and responsibilities of the vice chancellor for student affairs was advertised here.)

Similar to the situation for faculty positions, administrator salaries are set with reference to national averages for similar institutions. For administrators, the target salary is 0.9 times the peer institution median. Vice chancellor positions are at-will, and the incumbents receive only 90 days’ notice in the case of nonretention.

Administrators who supervise faculty are subject to a regular, Faculty Senate-supervised process of review. Also, all administrators are evaluated annually by their supervisor.

There is one fewer vice chancellor-level position now than there was in 2011, when there was both a vice chancellor for students and a vice chancellor for advancement. At that time, there was also a separate chancellor’s executive officer position, which has since been combined with the vice chancellor for administrative services position.

— Daniel M. White, chancellor

Question

I am a student at the Community and Technical College and my spouse is a student through the Interior Alaska Campus. It seems like there are different rules and deadlines for our classes, but I thought they were all part of the rural college. How does this work?

Response

IAC follows the general UAF deadline for all statewide cross-regional course offerings. When it differs is when we offer “local” or late-start courses. These courses are offered throughout the semester and are usually considered intensives. These courses follow the deadlines for payment and registration set by the Bursar’s Office and the Office of Admissions and the Registrar, where it is required on or before the first day of class. For these courses that might mean if it starts on Oct. 1, a student has until that date to pay or be registered without penalty.

— Bryan Uher, interim director, Interior Alaska Campus

Question

How do you remove and/or change the picture posted on your UAF UA online account in the campus post office section? Specifically, how do you change/remove the picture when you log on to the “Campus Housing, Dining and Post Office” link of UA online and click “Personal Information”?

Response

The image used in your UAOnline “Campus Housing, Dining and Post Office” page (found under “Student Services and Account Information” when you log on) is linked to the PolardExpress card system. To get a new photo you will need to get a new card. If you do not currently have a PolarExpress card with two mag stripes on the back, your card is more than four years old and there is no charge for a new card. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the Bursar’s Office at uaf-bursar@alaska.edu or 907-474-7384. 

— Amanda Wall, bursar

Question

The trail system used to be maintained each year during the summer. Nice birch chips were added each spring, making the campus trails a popular place for Fairbanks runners and hikers. The last few years, the trails have not been maintained during the summer, leading to very wet areas. Is this due to budget cuts? Is there a way to donate to trail maintenance? As a frequent user, I would be willing to donate, but not sure how. This summer, the trails are so bad, I’ve had to move off my running group off campus.

Response

The trails are maintained during the summer months, but the position responsible for maintenance is off contract from the end of ski season until the first of July. Typically the trails need time to dry out after the snow melts before maintenance can be started, so the contract reduction is not due to budget cuts, just to the nature of the work required. The natural water table in North Campus does appear to be greater than normal this year, which likely is what you are noticing. The trails manager has been placing chips on sections of the Skarland Trail and will continue to do so for the remainder of the summer, in addition to clearing any downed trees and mowing the trails. The trails budget has been cut for the past three years, and if you are a skier you most likely noticed a reduced level of service over the past winter. If you would like to donate to the trails, you can do so by visiting the UA Foundation at https://www.alaska.edu/foundation/ways_to_give/give-now/ and donate to #21256 Ski Trail Maintenance. Thanks.

Kara Axx, North Campus manager

Question

Now that the Hulbert Terrain Park has been dismantled, what will happen with the yurt sitting at the top of the hill?

Response

The yurt will be put up for auction for a second time in the coming days. If anyone is interested, it will be posted on https://www.govsales.gov soon.
— Mark Oldmixon, director, Department of Recreation, Adventure and Wellness

 

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