Page title

November 2017

Main page content




Fuller Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to Jerry Fuller, director of contracts and procurement, on receiving the UT System Supply Chain Alliance’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize UT System supply chain and procurement leaders who have made a significant impact on the profession both internally and externally. Noting that Jerry’s contributions and qualifications “far exceed” the minimum award qualifications, the award is being renamed in his honor as the Jerry A. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award. Jerry is pictured (second from right) receiving his award at the Alliance’s recent annual conference with John Joshua, director of the UT System Supply Chain Alliance; Frank Reighard, AVP of Supply Chain Management, UTMB; and Diane DeHoyas, AVP, Purchasing and General Services, UTEP.


Event Demonstrates How to Avoid Getting Caught by Phishing

To kick off National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Office of Information Security (ISO) held its First Annual Phishing Tournament on October 4. More than 100 System Administration employees gathered in The Commons over the lunch hour to learn about phishing scams, talk with ISO analysts, play phishing education games and eat pizza.

The event also coincided with the launch of the UT System Phishing Awareness Program, which aims to reduce the number of successful phishing attacks by improving employees’ awareness. As part of the program, a simulated phishing email was sent to all System Administration employees on October 6. Those who opened the email and clicked the link were immediately informed they had been successfully phished, and provided with explanations of how to detect the email was not legitimate.

While only six percent of all System Administration email users clicked the phishing link, it’s important to keep in mind that even one person clicking on a malicious link could spell disaster for the availability, integrity and confidentiality of system information resources. Additional information is available to help all of us avoid becoming a phishing victim.


Changes Are A-Comin’ for UT4U

Now that the dust has settled on the website content management system migration, it’s time to update the UT4U site to better utilize the platform. Analytics confirm the value of the site as a resource to System Administration staff. The popular links and features will remain, with some added elements and a new design. The updated site is scheduled to be unveiled in January.

After several years of managing the site as one of those “other duties as assigned,” Sarah Pekar now needs more time to concentrate on her “real” job as project coordinator in the Office of Employee Benefits. Many thanks to Sarah for taking on the UT4U responsibility and managing it so well!

Cathy Brandewie, director of internal communications, will assume coordination of the site. Please send all updates, suggestions and announcements to


New Clinics Benefit UT Med Students, System Employees and the Community

UT Health Austin, a new medical group practice designed and managed by the faculty and staff of the Dell Medical School is now open, offering UT System employees additional options for accessing health care while also providing students with opportunities to put into practice what they have learned in class. The focus is on providing patient-centered care delivered by personalized, inter-professional teams.

The WorkLife walk-in clinic offers treatment for less serious illnesses and injuries, along with routine procedures and health education. UT SELECT members are charged a $10 co-pay and can see a health care provider without appointment. UT Health Austin also offers specialty care that include women’s health, musculoskeletal, and neurosciences. Appointments can be made online at or by calling 1-833-UTCARES. The co-pay for UT SELECT members is $25.

The opening of the clinics was featured on KXAN news in October. Both clinics are located in the Health Transformation Building on the Dell Medical School campus (1601 Trinity Street) and are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Summit Kicks Off Partnership to Make Texas Healthier

The University of Texas System has partnered with It’s Time Texas to rapidly reduce the burden of preventable chronic disease in Texas. Healthier Texas, the new public-private collaborative, will kick off on November 6-7 with the inaugural Healthier Texas Summit at the Hilton Austin. UT System has a limited number of complimentary spots available for the two-day event.

The only health event of its kind in the state, the Healthier Texas Summit will bring together Texas’ thought leaders and health champions to share best practices, discuss current trends and innovations in population and community health, and make connections that will catalyze their work. The format will include information sessions, town hall conversations and interactive workshops, with education credits available for numerous professions.

For more information on the event, including a full list of sessions and speakers, visit If interested in attending, please contact Daniel Oppenheimer, senior communications lead for Population Health, at


Let’s Talk: Staff Council Promotes System Administration Community

Many of us know Staff Council as the coordinators of UT System Administration events, but that’s just one part of their charge “to foster a sense of community among staff members and improve communication between UT System Administration and its staff members.”

About 20 Staff Council members are led by an Executive Committee currently made up of Paige Buechley, chair; Donna Hargis, vice chair; Kim Sanders, parliamentarian; and Sue Fischer, secretary. Staff Council members represent each floor of the UT System Building and each off-site office, but you can contact any member for assistance or information.

Executive Committee members meet regularly with the Chancellor and Deputy Chancellor and serve on the Employee Advisory Council and the Benefits Advisory Council. All Staff Council members serve on the Fostering a Sense of Community committee, underscoring the importance of their charge. Staff Council also coordinates events and projects that bring employees together, such as the annual Spooktacular and Veterans Day celebrations.

“I believe very strongly that fostering a sense of community is and must always be our primary goal,” stated Sue. “We need to be present and accessible to the UT System Administration community and they need to know they can bring issues and concerns to us as well.”

“We give staff a voice—we listen to what people say and work with them and leadership to resolve issues,” added Donna.

The Staff Council is expanding its communication role this year, helping with Idea Central and planning initiatives that include a speakers’ series featuring System Administration executives; department open houses; a System Administration band; and a family picnic.

“We want System Administration employees to feel valued for what they bring—that everyone has a place and is cared about—and what we do through the Staff Council cultivates that feeling,” Kim said.

Anyone who wants to get more involved without committing to serve on the Staff Council is invited to join the new “Friends of Staff Council” group. For more information or to volunteer for a specific event, contact

“We serve on Staff Council because we want this to be a great place to work,” said Paige. “We want to involve anyone who shares that desire.”


Email Transition Has (Mostly) Positive Outlook

Email at System Administration recently was migrated to Exchange Online, which means the messaging is hosted in the “cloud” rather than on local servers. Moving to Exchange Online dramatically increased email mailbox storage (from 2GB to 100GB!). You can now send and receive attachments up to 25MB. Outlook integrates more easily with Office 365 devices across multiple devices (PCs, tablets, phones) and platforms (Windows, Mac, mobile) and downtime to update email servers has been eliminated.

The transition was sped up to improve security in response to recent phishing attempts. But along with the benefits, the transition has provided some challenges. The Office of Technology Information Services (OTIS) offers the following tips to maximize the usefulness and minimize the inconveniences associated with the email migration.

Distribution lists—email distribution lists created in Exchange 2010 don’t automatically transfer to Exchange Online. Once the email mailbox of the list’s owner is switched to Exchange Online, the owner no longer has authority to manage the lists. Microsoft’s proposed solution requires manually recreating and repopulating the distribution lists in Office 365, but with almost 500 distribution lists at System Administration, that just won’t work. OTIS currently is testing tools that should help automate the process. In the meantime, if you need to update membership in a distribution list, please contact the Help Desk.

Slow Outlook performance - large mailboxes can cause Outlook 2016 to frequently (in some cases, constantly) synchronize, slowing down or even stopping Outlook functionality. Enabling “Cached Exchange Mode” speeds up Outlook by storing a local copy of the emails within a certain date range (default is 12 months) so it synchronizes less frequently. Add-ins can also cause Outlook 2016 to run slower. Some add-ins are installed and enabled by other software without our knowledge, so it’s a good idea to see which add-ins are running in Outlook. Instructions for enabling the Cached Exchange Mode and for reviewing Outlook add-ins are available on the OTIS blog.


Flipping Out for SECC Pancake Breakfast

Staff Council kicked off the annual State Employee Charitable Campaign on October 6 with a Pancake Breakfast featuring some special chefs. Pictured: Chancellor McRaven takes a break from flipping pancakes to chat with staff at the event, while Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations Barry McBee, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Steve Leslie, and Executive Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Scott Kelley keep the griddles going.


UT System Confidential

With all the sensitive and confidential information handled and stored within the UT System, it’s critical that safeguards are in place to keep out those who shouldn’t have access. That’s the job of Cristina Blanton, UT System’s new Privacy Officer in the Office of Systemwide Compliance. Cristina specializes in privacy protection laws, including HIPAA and FERPA, and serves as the designated HIPAA Privacy Officer for UT System. Cristina offers training and guidance on privacy related issues, and is happy to provide guidance regarding if or how sensitive data can be used by vendors and third-party providers. Stop by her office on the 13th floor or send an email to if you have any questions.


Wellness Center Changes Planned

Now that we have settled into our new space, we are making a few changes in the Wellness Center based on feedback and use. First, when you visit the Wellness Center, you no longer need to sign-in. An electronic system will be installed eventually that will capture user counts of the space. Secondly, November 30 is the last day for our Wellness Monitors as we transition to a self-service space. We’ll continue to adjust Wellness Center operations to respond to your suggestions and questions.

Also, if you didn’t get a flu shot or donate blood last month, you have another opportunity. The second flu shot clinic is scheduled for November 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Wellness Center (be sure to bring your ID and insurance card). The next blood drive will be held on December 14, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Schedule your donation as part of the season for giving!

More information and the latest updates can be found on the Wellness site.

Past Issues Available Online

Due to technical difficulties, the October issue of System@Work didn’t make it into most System Administration inboxes. Look for the articles you missed (and all the past issues) online.