Distribution of Paychecks (1/2/15)

facstaff5HRChecks will be available for pick-up in the Administration Building, 5th floor on January 2, 2015 from 10 AM – 11 AM.

Employees choosing to pick up their paychecks must present an official picture ID such as a valid driver license, UMBC employee ID or passport. If an employee wishes for another person to pick up their paycheck, then the following must be done:

1.The person must have an official memorandum from the employee giving authorization for a specific individual to pick up his/her 1/2/2015 paycheck.

2.The memorandum must contain the name, last (4) digits of the social security number, printed and signed full name of the employee as well as the printed and signed name of the receiver.The receiver must know the employee’s department name and present an official/valid picture identification when picking up the paycheck.

The Department of Human Resources wishes to all UMBC faculty, staff and students a safe and happy holiday.

Renetta Tull: Equity in STEM

Renetta Tull, Associate Vice Provost of Graduate Student Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, is seeking equity in STEM for all.

RenettaTull was recently the lead author on an article for peerReview titled, “The Jessica Effect: Valuing Cultural and Familial Connections to Broaden Success in Academe.” The article begins:

Jessica Soto-Pérez, daughter of Antonio Israel Soto and Luz N. Pérez, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez. She was a promising chemical engineering graduate student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and peer mentor for its National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program—PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP.

Jessica’s future plans included returning to her native Puerto Rico to pursue a career as an engineering professor. Unfortunately, she didn’t reach that goal because in 2004, she was tragically killed by her husband.

Tull makes the argument that institutions need to “definitively invite and actively include the family members and friends of graduate students in informative and celebratory events and programs.” She writes:

This practice of “family and friend” inclusion is the legacy of Jessica. It ultimately achieves several purposes including, but not limited to (1) serving as an advising model that faculty and administrators can utilize to both recognize and value the cultural and familial connections of their graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and colleagues in the STEM disciplines, (2) promoting an understanding of the university experience among those who may not be familiar with academic processes and timelines, (3) reducing feelings of isolation on the part of students and family members, and (4) expanding the opportunities for family members to offer their students the support necessary for degree completion.

Tull is now heading to the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. to participate in “A New America: Empowering Hispanic Millennials for Tech Leadership,” organized by the National Journal and The Atlantic.

Tull will discuss how we can reverse the trend of Hispanic underrepresentation in STEM professions and better prepare Hispanic students for high tech careers. Other event participants include U.S. Representative Tony Cárdenas; Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council for the White House; Rafael Bras, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology; Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics; and Deborah Santiago, Co-Founder, COO and Vice President for Policy of Excelencia in Education.

Presidential Teaching and Research Professor Nominations (Due 12/1)

The 2014-15 Presidential Teaching and Research Professor nominations materials were recently distributed across campus. Nominations should be forward to the Office of the Provost no later than December 1, 2014.

Click here for a copy of Dr. Hrabowski’s letter and nomination guidelines. If you have any questions concerning these awards, please contact Jerilyn Johnson in the Provost’s Office at 410-455-2333.

Open Enrollment Health Fair (9/25)

The Department of Human Resources (HR) will be sponsoring an Open Enrollment Health and Wellness Fair on Thursday, September 25, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. This year’s open enrollment period is scheduled from October 15 through November 14, 2014. There will NOT be a correction period this year. Therefore, it is important to review your plan coverage and submit the open enrollment form (with supporting documentation, if applicable) by the November 14, 2014 deadline.

Vendors from all the State Benefit Plans will be on-site to provide information regarding updates and changes to the various benefit plans. In addition, HR has partnered with many on and off-campus experts to provide key information on health and wellness. Some key benefits plan and process changes include:

  • Paper Process, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) no longer available! Employees who need to enroll for coverage, make changes to existing coverage, or cancel coverage must complete the 2014 Open Enrollment Form.
  • Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate: allows subsidized medical and prescription benefits for temporary/hourly employees who work a minimum of 30 hours a week, or average of 130 hours a month. Eligible employees may include: adjunct faculty; Contingent I or Contingent II staff, graduate assistants or resident assistants.
  • Point of Service (POS) Plan Options Eliminated. The three (3) POS plans (Carefirst POS, United Healthcare POS) have been eliminated. Employees in these plans MUST select a new plan to continue medical coverage.
  • Aetna EPO Plan Eliminated. The Aetna EPO will not be available in the 2015 plan year. Employees in this plan must select new plan to continue medical coverage.
  • APS Provider Eliminated. Behavioral health benefits have been added back in to the medical plans. Each medical plan will use their own behavioral health network and will provide transition of services.
  • New Wellness Program Requirements for all medical plans require physician certification of participation, monitoring of chronic conditions and possible surcharges for non-compliance.
  • Kaiser Permanente is back as an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan. Kaiser offers an exclusive regional network of physicians, urgent care facilities and hospitals.
  • New Dental HMO Provider. Delta Dental Plan will be the new dental HMO provider effective January 1, 2015. Employees enrolled in United Concordia DHMO must elect new dental plan to continue coverage into the new plan year.

Do not miss this important opportunity to meet the plan providers and enjoy other wellness activities. There will be refreshments and free giveaways! We encourage you to attend the Fair!

Diane Lee, Dean of Undergraduate Education, Discusses How UMBC Supports Transfer Students in The Baltimore Sun

A recent article in The Baltimore Sun examines the increased number of students transferring into Maryland colleges and universities.

Diane Lee, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, spoke to the Sun about how UMBC supports transfer students, including new efforts enabled by a major grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eliminate some of the major challenges these students face, such as with transferring credits necessary to fulfill degree requirements.

Lee explained how UMBC’s close partnership with community colleges plays a major role in this work. For example, UMBC officials have interviewed local community college faculty to learn what types of support to offer transfer students, including an early warning system for struggling students to quickly connect them with support.

“When we talk about the importance of welcoming transfer students, it’s real on this campus,” said Lee.

Click here to read “More students transferring in to Maryland universities.”

Annual Open Enrollment

Benefits Open Enrollment Period – October, 2014

The benefits open enrollment period will be from October 15 through November 14, 2014. Any updates made during the open enrollment period will be effective January 1, 2015. During the open enrollment period eligible faculty and staff can change existing benefit coverage, enroll for benefit coverage, or cancel current coverage. The Human Resources (HR) Department will send campus-wide announcements as we receive further information from the State of Maryland about open enrollment. Please review the announcements carefully since there will be changes related to:

• Paper enrollment process
• Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate
• New Wellness requirements for medical plans
• New Dental HMO provider
• Return of Kaiser Permanente
• Aetna EPO no longer offered;
• Point-of-Service plans eliminated;
• End of coverage for domestic partners; and
• Other related changes

Rates for the new plan year have not been finalized. Open enrollment packets will be delivered to the HR Department. We will notify departmental payroll representatives when open enrollment materials are available for pick up. In the meantime, the HR Department will be sending out notices regarding open enrollment changes and planned events.

Lynne Schaefer, VP for Finance and Administration, in College Planning and Management

Lynne Schaefer, vice president for finance and administration, spoke to College Planning and Management about best practices for contracting housekeeping, dining, grounds maintenance and other services in higher education. College Planning and Management is a monthly journal focusing on campus safety, facilities, technology and more.

Schaefer discussed the lessons she has learned from her time at UMBC working with campus vendors and ensuring student satisfaction. She recommended establishing contracts that are descriptive and performance-based rather than prescriptive, saying, “If you are going to use outside experts then rely on their expertise.”

Click here to read the article titled “Let It Go.”