UCAP, Fast Pass, Fitness: Our Top Stories of 2019
If we had to pick a few words that describe 2019, they would be "fresh start."
We welcomed several new leaders, including Liesl Folks, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Elizabeth R. "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation.
We also offered a comprehensive look at job classifications and compensation through the University Career Architecture Project.
And we took a moment to consider how the campus literally looks, and how it should look in the future, as members of the University community came together to propose updates to the Campus Master Plan.
Throughout it all, Lo Que Pasa endeavored to share the most important and interesting news each week.
As we head into 2020, here is one last look at the top stories of the past year.
UCAP was launched in 2017 to support employee career progression, provide market-informed data for pay decisions and create a more cohesive culture for all employees by replacing the current classified staff and appointed professional categories of employment with a single employment category. This past year, it reached a major milestone when employees in positions that fall under UCAP received their placement results letters.
As an exclusive benefit to University of Arizona employees, Banner – University Medicine in Tucson began offering expedited appointment scheduling to all employees, their family members and dependents in Tucson. The Fast Pass program allows employees to schedule clinic visits, physician consultations or follow-up appointments with Banner – University Medicine physicians and be seen within three business days of their call.
Through a program that began Aug. 1, UA employees can enroll in a payroll deduction program that provides interest-free financing for technology purchases up to $2,000 at UA BookStores locations, all of which are University-owned and -operated. Employees can use payroll deduction to spread the entire purchase amount over 12 pay periods or they can pay a portion of the cost up front and use payroll deduction to pay the balance.
The University experienced many changes over the summer, including new leaders, new buildings, new names, new eateries on and off campus, and some completed renovations. As the fall semester began, Lo Que Pasa provided a rundown of the most significant changes.
Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program and a consultant for Fitbit Inc., shared his expertise with LQP readers on sleep health, sleep trackers and the dangers of obsessing over the data provided by wearable technology.
No. 6: Be Fit Even if You Sit
Sunrise Fit, a Campus Recreation fitness program designed for employees, was launched in February. Its focus is to help participants get moving and offset the adverse effects that sitting at a desk can have on the body, which only get worse with age, according to Jake Minnis, fitness and wellness coordinator at Campus Recreation.
The Student Union Memorial Center saw two renovations. The first was in the Grand Ballroom, where the stage was rebuilt to provide more inclusive access, particularly for wheelchair users and others with physical challenges. The second project revamped the U-Mart, giving it a new name and new offerings.
Seven faculty members and a staff scientist were honored for their teaching, mentoring and research at the annual Awards of Distinction luncheon and ceremony.
The University's strategic plan calls for art to become a defining feature of the campus. Lo Que Pasa covered one of the first efforts: a mural on the southeast corner of Arizona Stadium titled "The Cactus Comet Rides Again." The mural depicts legendary Arizona football player Art Luppino, known as "The Cactus Comet," decked out as a Día de los Muertos calavera and racing through a hot pink desert.
Lo Que Pasa profiled an initiative in the Department of Psychology that aims to create a more welcoming and supportive environment for college employees. Particular attention has been paid to helping employees who are parents better balance their work and personal lives. One change: not scheduling meetings for early morning or late afternoon, when working parents are more likely to busy with drop-offs and pickups.