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May 2018

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Congratulations, Employee Service Award Honorees!

During the Employee Service Awards on March 29, more than 80 System Administration staff who had reached five-year milestones with the UT System were recognized. Three employees were honored for 25 years of service: Sonia Guevara, Erica Wagner and Alan Werchan; Tina Taub Montemayor was the lone honoree for 30 years of service (pictured above). More pictures from the awards ceremony are posted online.

Congratulations and thanks to all service award winners for their dedication and contributions!

5 Years

Wade AnthonyLissette EscamillaArmando Lujan
Amanda BabcockHilda EspinozaClaudia Molina
Veera BalusuAllene EvansCharlie Palafox
Monica BarriaMelissa GarciaRuben Puente
Jeannie BennettLindsay GunnBarry Salas
Timothy BoughalAllen HahAnoop Salver
James CoxClint HelmsMohammad-Haris Tareen
Ashlynn DickeyJanea IngramChristina Teczar
Chris DubayAngela JenkinsMelanie Thompson
Tamra J. EnglishJason KingJason Williams

10 Years

Terri AllenAshley GriffinDan Sharphorn
Christine AndersonStephanie HuieMatt Sorenson
Mary AvilaDonald JansenWendy Spencer
Frank BartleyTrisha MelonçonOmar A. Syed
Cynthia BookerBecki MendivilDavid Troutman
Cyanna CarsonAmy MitchellYolanda Vela
Tiffanie CarterStephanie ParkJeffrey White
Paula CastanonTara PolonskiShunliang Xiao
Carlos CeronDouglas PowellBobby Yanez
Paul CravensRolando RomanVincent Yauger
Lesley DucranJohn Santos 

15 Years

Philip AldridgeCathy DelgadoGeoffrey Merritt
Felicia BradleyStephen HarrisStephen R. Reynolds
Debra BuckinghamHugo IretaErwin Robins
Beverly CarterChris LyonsRey Treviño
Shaun DavenportMatthew Maldonado Jr. 

20 Years

Jeffrey ArnoldCindy HoffmanMark Salamasick
Kim DubnanskyDana HollingsworthAmy Shaw Thomas
Stephen EdwardsYan Yan Lok 
Xavier HerreraIrene Pickney 

25 Years

Sonia GuevaraErica WagnerAlan Werchan

30 Years

Tina Taub Montemayor


One and Done for Parking Payroll Deduction Authorization

Summer is a great time to simplify and thanks to the collaborative efforts of Accounting Services, Payroll, Shared Business Operations, HR, Office of General Counsel and the Office of Organizational Effectiveness, this summer will be the last time we need to reauthorize payroll deductions to pay for parking.

Last summer the Accounting Services and Payroll teams had to follow up with almost 200 staff members to complete this reauthorization process, but thanks to Ana Vieira Ayala and Kyle Zumberge’s revisions, this year’s authorization will remain in effect until you notify the Controller’s Office that you want to stop deductions.  In the event of a rate change or if you no longer need parking, you’ll have the opportunity to revoke that authorization.

This “opt-out” approach will begin immediately for new hires and for everyone else in July (during the normal reauthorization process). The change will result in significant time savings for the payroll and accounting services staff and will eliminate the annual paperwork hassle for all once the one-time authorization process is completed this summer.


Seeing a Doctor is Just an Elevator Ride Away

If the beautiful spring weather has also brought along allergies or illnesses resulting in respiratory, head, ear, eye, digestive, urinary, skin, hair or nail conditions, don’t forget you can see a healthcare provider any weekday morning just by going up to the telemedicine clinic on the 19th floor. The pilot launched by the Office of Employee Benefits with The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing allows System Administration staff to consult with UTMB healthcare providers remotely with the on-site assistance of UT Austin nursing staff.

Beginning May 1, clinic hours are 10 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free for now. Just make sure you are enrolled in MyChart with UTMB before your first visit. Contact the Office of Employee Benefits at 512.499.4616 for an application or more information.


Don’t Let Vendors Put Data at Risk

The UT System depends on using vendors and other third-party service providers as part of its regular business operations. To perform the work they’re contracted to do, these outside firms may need access to protected data such as employee, student and patient records. In those cases, it’s especially important to have technical and contractual controls in place in advance to protect UT System data.

Ask the Office of Information Security to perform a risk assessment for software or services that require access to System data:

  • Before purchasing or renewing a contract;
  • If significant changes to current software or services are planned, such as moving to cloud-based platforms;
  • If it’s been more than a year since the current software or service has been assessed.

Risk assessments for hardware purchases are only required if the hardware contains a software component that allows a login or authentication capability, such as a firewall or an intrusion protection system.

For more information about vendor risk assessments, refer to the Vendor Risk Assessment FAQs or email the System Administration Information Security Officer Lori McElroy at


Getting Comfortable in the Building

With everyone settled into the new building, there have been some issues identified with the temperature, noise levels and the glare or lighting. In response, Facilities Management asked its contractors to study whether systems are working properly and to make recommendations if corrections are needed.

Temperature Comfort: Some localized temperature issues reported by staff were the basis for an examination of our air conditioning system. FM staff are implementing the recommended solutions but in the process some temperatures may temporarily move out of comfort range. Please be patient while adjustments are made.

Noise Comfort: Some of the noise masking speakers were found to be located next to air handling units, which doubled the sound in those areas. FM is working to adjust these specific speakers.

Light/Glare Comfort: The glare created by light coming from the windows and the overhead lighting have created problems for some staff. The contractors have completed their study and a report with recommendations is expected any day.

Comfort and health outside the building are important as well. No smoking is allowed within the UT System Building property lines, including the garage and about a quarter of the alley behind the building that belongs to UT System. “No Smoking” signs will be going up soon as reminders.


Efforts Continue to Eliminate Tobacco Use

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was the site of the UT System’s 3rd Annual Eliminate Tobacco Use Summit on April 24 and 25. The Summit brought together university, government and nonprofit leaders to share ideas for creating and improving cessation and prevention services on campuses.

“We are committed to doing the long-term, hard work of reducing the harm that tobacco does to Texas and Texans,” said David Lakey, MD, vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer for The University of Texas System. “The Summit was an opportunity to recognize our successes, reflect on the remaining challenges, strengthen existing collaborations and forge new ones.”

Efforts from past summits helped facilitate the implementation of tobacco-free policies at all 14 UT institutions, making UT System the largest single employer in Texas to prohibit tobacco use in the workplace.

The Summit is part of the Eliminate Tobacco Use Initiative launched in 2015 to reduce the health toll of tobacco use in Texas. The initiative was created by Lakey and Ernest Hawk, MD, vice president and division head of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at MD Anderson, and includes MD Anderson’s EndTobacco Program and UT System’s Office of Health Affairs.


Staying Mentally and Physically Healthy

After completing “Keep UT System Active” to get our bodies in motion and make sure we have proper hydration and sleep, it’s time now to focus on our minds.  May is Mental Health Month and our focus will shift to mental and emotional health.

Meditation and mindfulness offer many benefits, including improved concentration and reduced stress, so join your friends and colleagues for meditation sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in May from 2:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. in the Wellness Center.  And yoga continues in the Wellness Center every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and now Friday from noon to 1 p.m. Check the Wellness calendar for complete details.