- January 2004
Facility rentals; ground maintenance;
Outstanding Accomplishment Awards
Delphi Question #507 (received24 September):
I have a question about use of UCAR buildings by employees. I would like
to know why employees have to pay to rent the Tree Plaza or other rooms
available even if the cafeteria services are not used. UCAR has been trying
to keep costs of employee benefits down by reducing or changing the benefits.
Use of facilities by employees could be an addition to our benefits and
seen as a positive benefit for all UCAR employees. A damage deposit or
clean-up deposit to ensure that the facilities are taken care of could
be implemented. The benefit of allowing employees to use the facilities
would encourage employees to use the other services such as the cafeteria
catering and rental of chairs, tables, etc.
Thank you for considering my idea.
Response (7 October): Good question. As a starting
point, let us explain how UCAR facilities are funded. UCAR’s facilities
are primarily funded through agreements with the U.S. government, and
these agreements include operational facility costs. Since the U.S. government
funds our various facilities, UCAR is required to recover the costs of
the facilities from all users, including employees and outside groups.
Quite simply, UCAR is not allowed to let some use the facilities for free
while federally sponsored programs have to pay. Many costs might not be
readily apparent to employees but occur with virtually any onsite activity.
Extraevents incur security, custodial, and maintenance costs. Most events
also use electricity, water, heating, cooling, restrooms, tables, chairs,
and other “incidentals.” There are also administrative and
management costs associated with reserving, planning, and managing any
event. Legal documents have to be signed and liability release forms obtained.
All of these activities incur costs that must be recovered. Consequently,
we have to charge everyone, including our employees, to use the space.
So, while we have to charge employees our costs, remember that we all
have access to the incredible facilities we get to work in every day!
—Melissa Miller, director
Budget and Finance
Steve Sadler, director
Safety and Site Services
Delphi Question #508 (received20 October): I have worked
at the Foothills location for almost two years and can honestly say there
has never been a day when I thought the grounds around the Foothills facility
were well kept or their appearance attractive—at least not on the
west side. I find this unfortunate for an organization as well respected
I enter FL2 each day from the west side. There is a sidewalk that fronts
one of the parking areas. Both years I have been here, I don’t believe
the initial sand/gravel mixture poured on the sidewalk as a result of
each year’s first storm was swept off even once during the entire
snowy season even though there were several weeks (even months) between
storms. I twisted my ankle walking on the stuff one clear morning this
past winter, so decided after that not to take the sidewalk even though
it would probably be safer if I did so. Instead I walk on the asphalt,
which I would rather not have to do since I can’t always hear cars
coming up behind me.
The branches on the tree at the end of the same walkway closest to the
west entrance of FL2 hang down so low you can’t walk under them
without first pushing them out of your way. The grass seems perpetually
weedy and uncared for except for an occasional mowing, and the rock areas
have all kinds of debris in them on a daily basis. I find myself kicking
decorative rocks and pine cones out of my way on a regular basis so I
won’t step on them and risk tripping or another twisted ankle.
I realize we faced major water issues last summer, so can accept that
perhaps the grass can’t be as green as might be nice, but drought
conditions don’t have anything to do with whether or not sidewalks
can be swept, rock areas cleaned out, trees trimmed, and debris swept
from the parking lot on occasion.
Is there anything that can be done to improve the appearance of the grounds
around the Foothills facility?
Response (27 October): Thank you for your observations.
The maintenance staff is presently conducting our fall cleanup where these
issues and more will be addressed at the FL campus.
It is the goal to sweep up sand from sidewalks and parking lots when extended
periods of clear weather are anticipated. We apologize if the west side
of FL has been missed in the past and will continue to work hard to meet
the corporation’s expectations of campus appearance. If you have
any future concerns regarding facility maintenance or safety issues, please
contact us directly. You can reach maintenance at extension 1120 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
and health, environment, and safety coordinator Milenda Powers at extension
8625 or email@example.com.
Physical Plant Services
Delphi Question #512 (received8 December): What are
the criteria for selection of the final winners of the Outstanding Accomplishment
Awards? For example, say four groups get into the nomination level, who
and what determine the winner? Why would we give an award to a person
who is no longer an employee of UCAR? It seems at the very least one of
the criteria should be that the employee be here on the date the award
Response (9 December): Criteria for the Outstanding
Accomplishment Awards can be found in the Employee
Recognition Award Procedures, related to Policy #2-5-2. A jury of
21 UCAR staffers reviews the nominations. These jury members are chosen
because of their knowledge, experience, and expertise, and as a whole
they represent a broad institutional perspective. Jury members serve a
term of three years and one-third are replaced each year. The jury compares
the nominations against the criteria listed in the procedures and if appropriate,
selects a winner. If none of the nominations meet the criteria, then no
award is given in that award category.
Under “Criteria” and “Eligibility” respectively,
the award procedures state: “Outstanding Accomplishment Awards recognize
work completed during the past five-year period…. UCAR visitors
and former staff are also eligible as long as the work being recognized
was done at UCAR.”
executive assistant to the president
UCAR president’s office
Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted
in confidence to the Delphi Coordinators (Teresa Rivas, left, and Nancy
Wade). They should be submitted in written form, preferably via interoffice
mail in a sealed envelope marked confidential. They must be signed. Detailed
procedures for submitting questions are given in the UCAR Policies
and Procedures Manual, section 4-1-2, and on the Delphi Web site,
www.ucar.edu/delphi. Staff Notes Monthly publishes questions
and answers of general interest to staff, and the Delphi Web site has
a logof all questions submitted since 1995.
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hires GLOBE director