In this January 2017 issue:

Construction Project Submittal Deadline Approaches

The deadline for submitting construction projects to Facilities Management and Planning is February 24, 2017, for projects to be completed prior to the Fall 2017 semester.  Projects included with this deadline range from larger renovation work (involving multiple subcontractors) to small room modifications (moving walls, power receptacles, etc.) to simple renewal projects (paint and carpet).

Projects will need to be submitted with funding source and Space Alteration form, refer to link here:


If there are additional questions or concerns, please contact Facilities at ext. 1700.

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

UNK will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

New Mileage Rates Announced Beginning on January 1, 2017

Following the recent IRS announcement and effective January 1, 2017, the University of Nebraska will decrease the standard mileage rate for reimbursable business mileage to 53.5¢ (down from 54¢ in 2016).  The allowance for moving/relocation expenses will decrease to 17¢ for mileage that occurs after January 1, 2017 (down from 19¢ in 2016). All forms in SAPPHIRE will be updated by January 3rd for your convenience. If you have any questions, please call Val at 865-8419 or Paula at 865-8866.

Submitting Mileage Logs for Employee Reimbursements

When submitting mileage logs to Accounts Payable for employee mileage-only reimbursement claims, please fax them to 865-8668 or attach them to the SAP Automated TRIP transaction as a .pdf document.  There is no need to send the originals through campus mail as well.  Also, due to the quick turnaround of these types of payments, it is preferred that you attach the log file to the SAP Automated TRIP transaction immediately following the submission of the expense claim.  If you have any questions, please call Val at 865-8419 or Paula at 865-8866.

New Processes Available to Request Payments Through Accounts Payable

Recently, Accounts Payable and Business Services has made available two new automated processes to request vendor payments for goods and services and employee reimbursements.  First, payments that are currently being “parked” in SAP can now be entered as a Direct Pay request through eSHOP.  This allows for a fully automated/electronic process complete with electronic approvals and does not require any paper be sent to the Accounts Payable offices.  Second, Office Associates (and others) that are currently acting as Travel Coordinators are now able to request employee reimbursements for Non-Travel related expenses through a fully automated/electronic process (ZNTEXPENSE)-very similar to the way employees get reimbursed for their travel expenses. If you are interested in either of these options or have any questions, please call Val at 865-8419 or Paula at 865-8866.

2016 W-2 Forms

As required by law, W-2’s will be made available or mailed by January 31, 2017.  If you opted to receive your W-2 online, you will receive a notice when they are available.  If you opted to receive a paper W-2, it will be mailed to your permanent address as listed in Firefly as soon as the forms are printed in Lincoln.  Please note that if you elected a paper version, you will not be able to view it via Firefly.  If you have questions, please call 865-8426.

Employee Tuition Remission

Allocation of tuition remission credits for the Spring Semester can be entered and final submission is Friday, February 3th, 2017. Allocate credits via Firefly/ESS, under Benefits, click “Employee & Dependent Scholarship”. For employees utilizing KSC forms, please visit the link below. For questions, please call 8516.


Large Passenger Van/Small Shuttle Bus Policy

This is a reminder of the large passenger-van or small shuttle bus policy:

In order to use a passenger van/bus on University business either through UNK Motor Pool, department owned, personally owned or from and outside vendor the following applies:  Only UNK faculty, staff, and students that are 21 years or older may operate a passenger van/bus while on University Business. 

In order to drive any 12 passenger van, all passenger van drivers must have taken and passed the van driver training program offered by UNK Nebraska Safety Center.  All passenger busses with a capacity greater than 15 passengers require a CDL with a passenger endorsement.  In order for passenger endorsed CDL holders to operate a 12 passenger van, they must pass the van driver training program and be a least 21 years of age.

No van/bus may be operated for more than four hours between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am for any continuous trip.  Continuous trip is defined as the point of origin to the final destination.

No roof racks or trailer hitches will be allowed on a passenger van/bus.

The maximum speed on a passenger van is 70-MPH or the posted limit (whichever is lower).  The maximum speed on a passenger bus will be 65MPH or the posted limit (whichever is lower).

All other University policies and rules for vehicle usage will apply in addition to the special provisions listed above for the passenger van/bus.

A reminder from UNK Emergency Management:  Wind Chills

Wind Chills

Extremely low wind chills, although dangerous are not an actual temperature reading at all. They are a measure of heat loss our body experiences when exposed to the wind. The colder the wind chills, the more dangerous it is.

Our body gives off a layer of heat that protects the skin from cold temperatures. A strong wind can blow this layer away from our skin, taking away our natural defense to the cold. Thus, the wind chill temperature is the temperature that our bodies will feel when our skin is exposed to the cold temperatures and the winds of winter.

Wind chill is a great predictor of such dangers as frostbite and hypothermia. Being exposed to below zero wind chills can induce frostbite within five minutes. While wind chills below minus 20 degrees can result in frostbite within a minute of exposure.

Remember when going outside in dangerous wind chills, covering exposed skin should be your main concern. But even with your skin covered, wind chills can still be dangerous when exposed to them for long periods of time. The best course of action is to stay inside when these conditions exist. If you need to go outside remember to dress in layers, and minimize skin exposure.

Snow and Ice Removal

Snow and ice are a reality in Nebraska.  Conditions vary greatly from one storm to another and from day to day. The overriding goal of Facilities Management and Planning in the removal of snow is to make University facilities, sidewalks and parking lots safe and accessible during the winter season. A key element in implementing an efficient snow and ice removal program is receiving timely and accurate weather information. At UNK, Facilities Management and Planning monitors local weather forecasts and also draws on information from the City of Kearney and State Patrol.

Facilities Management and Planning has designated two levels of response to snow removal:

  1. Up to four inches.  All Exterior Area Team members are called upon to address snow of up to four inches.
  1. Over four inches. For snow fall greater than four inches additional Facilities Management and Planning Team Members may be asked to assist with snow removal.
  2. Accessible Pedestrian areas
  3. Remaining Pedestrian areas
  4. Parking areas
  5. Campus roads

In practice many of these areas may have snow removed simultaneously to best utilize resources. In general, snow removal is prioritized in the following order:

Caution is advised when using University facilities during the winter season because of the daily potential for hazardous conditions caused by snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures.  However, there are several things you can do to stay safe during these times:

  1. Exercise additional caution in both driving and walking.
  2. Be aware of conditions
  3. Notify the Facilities Service Desk, extension 1800, of unsafe conditions.
  4. Be patient.
  5. Due to weather-related conditions such as piled snow, melting and re-freezing, bare pavement should NOT be an expectation in these areas and motorists and pedestrians should dress and act accordingly.
  6. Extra caution is advised at building entrances where hard surface floors come in contact with ice melt also resulting in slippery conditions

Employee Achievement/Recognition of Excellence Award Nomination Forms

The Employee Achievement and Recognition of Excellence award nomination forms have been updated and are now available as electronic forms, using the following links.  These forms are also available as links on the UNK Staff Senate webpage. 

As we gear up for another exciting academic year, please consider nominating a staff member or group who has demonstrated excellence.  It’s time to show our colleagues how much we appreciate what they do and why we’re so very proud to be Lopers!!



For further information, please go to:

Business & Finance – Policies & Procedures

Orientation for New Employees to B & F Procedures

Flashpoints Archive