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.

 Subscribe to the Grapevine RSS feed (May require an RSS reader to display properly.)

Question

Question 1:
Why is the Christmas tree still up in Signers’ Hall?

Question 2:
Why was there a Christmas tree up for the first day of classes? It seems silly.

Response

Offices in Signers’ Hall (Admissions, Registrar and Bursar) re-opened Jan. 3, after the holiday break; however, many staff and most of our student workers were still on leave until the first day of classes. We prioritized doing the work that we know impacts students: processing forms received in the mail and online, answering emails and phone calls, and preparing to start the spring 2018 semester. Now that we have our staff and students back, we’ll have the tree down in short order.

— Mike Earnest, registrar

Question

Has the search for a new provost started?

Response

Yes, the search committee has met several times to discuss the position and the key qualities and attributes for UAF’s next provost. The position has been advertised since early December, and several potential candidates have reached out to discuss the position. Application review begins Feb. 1. We hope to bring three to four finalists for campus visits in early to mid-April. More information is available on the search website (www.uaf.edu/provost/search/); updates on the search will be posted on the website and distributed via Cornerstone.

— Doug Goering, search chair

Question

Hello, I was wondering how personal vehicles that are left by travelers over the holiday break are moved around the parking lots by facilities services during hard pack removal. I specifically checked prior to leaving for the break that hard pack was not scheduled. Now my colleague has informed me that my vehicle has been moved. Why was it moved and why was a hard pack schedule not made available well in advance or even a few weeks ago? Vehicles and components can be damaged when vehicles are moved by either dragging or when improperly chained down. Surely Facilities feels comfortable assuming the liability if damage is found? Granted it is UAF property that we park on but we do pay a lot of money for that privilege and the vehicles are still our private property and are protected as such. Please include contact information and office location for who I should directly speak with in the event I find any damage and for filing a claim.

Thanks.

Response

The safest, most effective way to clean a parking lot is with no obstacles to work around. Having the parking lot empty allows for the heavy equipment operators to do their job quickly without the risk of damaging parked vehicles.

Vehicles are only towed from posted lots, and not until the posted date and time. Vehicles remaining in the lots are towed at the owner’s expense if not removed by the posted time. Residential lots are posted at least 72 hours before clearing, and academic lots are posted 24 hours before. We are aware that many students leave Fairbanks during the winter break. Students living in the dorms are informed by email before winter break to park in the Taku lot or their vehicles may be towed due to scheduled snow removal, and the snow removal schedule is posted on the Facilities Services website in early December. However, next year we will also include this information in Cornerstone.

Parking Services works with Badger Towing to move vehicles. Badger Towing is committed to service and safety and relocates vehicles with their fully equipped rollback tow trucks. Neither Parking Services nor Badger Towing is liable for damages found on vehicles that have been relocated. More information regarding parking policy can be found on the Parking Services website. More information for snow removal can be found here.

Grapevine submissions are anonymous, but if you want to talk about your specific situation in more detail, please feel free to contact me at aiwall@alaska.edu or 474-7384.

— Amanda Wall, director, Office of the Bursar

Question

Why are there at least 50 cars in the Taku lot (8b) that have been parked and plugged in (and haven’t moved) since the start of the holiday break? When students are gone for a month, it doesn’t make sense that their cars are plugged in for the entire time. That’s a significant waste of electricity. There are cars there that have snow on the roof, but the hood is completely clear because of the heat generated over the month by their engine heaters. Any car that been winterized can be started after just an hour or two of being plugged in. It doesn’t need to be plugged in for a month before starting. I’ve asked this question for three years now. I’m hoping there will be an answer this time, as my question just seemed to disappear the other times.

Response

Thank you for your question! Winter break is prime time for snow removal, so we encourage anyone leaving a vehicle on campus to park it in the Taku lot. The Taku lot headbolts run on an hourly cycle when temperatures are between 20 degrees Fahrenheit and -25 degrees Fahrenheit, and they remain constantly on when the temperature is below -25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Students with annual parking passes pay for the use of head bolt heaters. It is the choice of the individual student to leave a car plugged in over break or to plug it in upon returning to campus. Thank you again for your inquiry. Please feel free to call the Bursar’s Office directly at 474-7384 if you have further questions.

— Amanda Wall, director, Office of the Bursar

- Damaged items in work areas

Question

If an item in a work area is damaged by the janitorial crew, is there a process for getting it replaced?

Response

While the custodial contractor compels its employees to observe and exercise all necessary caution to avoid injury or damage to property, sometimes mistakes happen. All communication regarding custodial issues, including property damage, should be sent to custodial@fs.uaf.edu. If personal property is damaged, the contractor and UAF inspectors will investigate the incident, and if the contractor is found to be at fault, the property will be repaired or replaced by the contractor.

— Kellie Fritze, executive officer, Facilities Services

Question

I understand that nonexempt employees cannot work physical hours on campus during the soft closures, so they are required to take annual leave on those days. Is this also true for exempt employees?

Response

Neither exempt nor nonexempt employees can be required to take leave during soft closures. Many units are using the soft closures as an opportunity to encourage employees to take leave, which can help keep budgets in line while allowing employees to rest and recharge. We strongly encourage supervisors and employees to work together to find a schedule that benefits everyone.

— Brad Lobland, director, Human Resources

Question

It’s always nice to get some positive feedback, so I think we should add a button to the Grapevine options that says “Positive feedback” to encourage and remind us to look for the things and people that are awesome.

Like the Christmas lights on campus.  I love them.

And the people in Graduation, who bust their butts this time of year.

And the chancellor himself, who takes the time to smile and say good morning, even though he probably has no idea who I am.

Response

That’s a great idea, and we will look into it. Constructive criticism is always useful, of course, but it’s also nice to know when something is simply done well, and that others see and appreciate it. Thank you!

— Tori Tragis, internal communications manager, University Relations

- Holiday lights

Question

I love the holiday lights in the campus core. They create such a warm, welcoming atmosphere and they are a great addition.

Response

Hello and thank you. I can tell you that our crews enjoy installing the lights and seeing the happiness it brings to our campus community. We are actively developing a winter lighting plan for next season and for many more to come, our goal will be to add additional light displays and improve each year.

— Bear Edson, superintendent of operations, Facilities Services

- Daytime mopping a problem

Question

Over the last two years, Grapevine has addressed several questions/comments about the shift to custodial services taking place during business hours vs. overnight. I’ve recently noticed that ABM staff at Bunnell are mopping hallways during the day, often at the same time that students are coming/going from classes. This seems counterproductive, as these are heavy-traffic hallways, and if people are walking on the wet floors, they actually end up dirtier as a result. Furthermore, this practice seems dangerous, because the floors are slippery when wet, and if you’re coming out of a classroom in the middle of the hallway, you don’t see the “wet floor” signs at either end of the hall. Is there a way to schedule mopping before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.?

Response

Thank you for your comments. The custodians start each morning in Bunnell at 5 a.m. They work diligently to clean certain common areas before 8 a.m. Once these areas are complete they auto-scrub the corridors and finish cleaning the rest of the building. The auto scrubbers should not be leaving any water trace within the corridor, and only rooms, entryways and stairs are mopped. The contractor will confirm that the auto scrubber equipment is working properly, and that the custodians are not leaving excess water on floors if they need to touch up the corridors. The custodians have also been directed to work around class changes.

If you see custodians doing a great job or see something that needs attention please let us know by calling 474-7000.

— Kellie Fritze, executive officer, Facilities Services

Question

I was napping after class up at the GI, and someone (staff? faculty?) deliberately woke me up, saying I couldn’t sleep in the couches. Something about “building codes.” Are students really forbidden by building codes from sleeping in any campus building other than a dorm? That seems batty for a university to prohibit.

Response

No specific building or fire codes prohibit individuals from napping in university buildings, provided it isn’t a nuisance or doesn’t create a hazardous situation such as blocking an exit. However, common spaces are used by multiple people, and it can be awkward to have a meeting or talk on the phone where someone is sleeping, so being awakened and asked to move should not be unexpected.

— Scott Bell, associate vice chancellor, Facilities Services

Posts navigation