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photo by Eric Merrill
Welcome Winter!
It's getting a little cooler around campus, but there is still a lot to see and do.   The OU Men's and Women's Basketball teams are in full swing, along with a little bit of Track & Field, and some Swimming and Diving competitions.  Fall Commencement is revealing our next batch of aspiring leaders.  There are several holiday gatherings planned on campus for faculty and staff, and we're looking at a little break to enjoy time with our families. 

Also, notice the Online Learning section has changed to include Technology tips and help. Please send feedback to to make suggestions to include in future editions.

Benefits Corner
Are You Enrolled in an HMO for 2011?
Are you enrolled in one of the following HMOs for 2011?
  • HAP Health Engagement (Non-faculty)
  • Blue Care Network Healthy Blue Living
  • Priority Health HealthbyChoice Incentives
If you and your spouse are enrolled in one of the HMOs listed above, remember that each year you must both complete the on-line health risk appraisal and visit your primary care physician to complete the Qualification Form before the end of March 2011 to qualify for the higher level of benefits.  This is true even if you were in the same plan in 2010.

If you have any questions about your benefits, please contact the Staff Benefits office at extension 4207 or stop in to see us at 401 Wilson Hall.

Flexible Spending Account Reminder
If you are enrolled in the Health Care or Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Accounts, you have until December 31, 2010 to use your funds.  Claims for 2010 expenses for Dependent Day Care must be filed with Meritain no later than January 30, 2011.  Claims for the Health Care Account must be filed with Meritain no later than March 31, 2011.  Claims forms are available on the UHR website at:  Be sure to keep a copy of all claims sent to Meritain for processing.  Remember, money that is not used by the end of the year will be forfeited.
Staff Member News
Please welcome all of the new employees that have joined us in November, 2010! 
Nina Beaulieu - Office Assistant II - Center for Multicultural Initiatives
Michael McClain - Custodian - Campus Cleaning
Laura Musachio - Development Writer - University Relations
Carly Pichini Uhrig - Publicist - Music, Theatre & Dance
Emily Sorroche - Coordinator - Pre-College Programs


Marsha Packer, Office Assistant II, Department of Writing and Rhetoric has been with Oakland University for 1 year.

Read about Marsha's contribution to the University on her Employee of the Month page.

Nominate a shining star for Employee of the Month! 

Click on the Nominate link to complete the online form.

Performance Review Process Reminder!
UHR will host informational sessions in December on the new performance review process for employees and supervisors. The sessions will include an introduction of the new web site and a live demonstration of the process using the actual tool. Be sure to register for a session at:
Training Update
Training Courses Offered for December 2010
Introduction to Microsoft Office 2007
12/1/2010 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Performance Review Process

12/1/2010 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
12/2/2010 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Careworks CMS - Content Managemt
12/2/2010 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Performance Review Process
12/7/2010 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
12/8/2010 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Putting the "Learning" into Service-Learning
12/8/2010 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
New Employee Orientation
12/9/2010 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Performance Review Process
12/9/2010 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Google Overview
12/9/2010 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
CareWorks CMS - News and Events
12/15/2010 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Careworks CMS - Form Builder Module
12/16/2010 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Oakshare Overview
12/22/2010 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

If you have any questions, please contact the training department at x4579.  You can click here to enroll in these and many other courses.

NOTE: Lab space for the Winter semester is limited, so trainings starting in January will be on Thursdays at 1:00 pm or Fridays at 9:00 am.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

OakShare File Management
Did you know that you have access to a centralized storage system called OakShare? OakShare allows for easy storing, sharing and collaborating of files. The system requires a NetID in order to log into the service, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Check out UHR's training document for an overview, visit the OakShare help pages for more in depth information, or contact the Helpdesk at for specific assistance. Also, there will be a hands-on lab session on Dec 22 for new users.  Please click here to enroll.

Oakland University PowerPoint Templates
If you are creating an internal or external presentation about OU or representing OU, University Communications and Marketing has created a resource with templates, photos and instructions.  Check it out!

Professional Development Materials
Please check out our library of books, videos, and courses designed to improve communication, efficiency, and skills.  Look at our catalog here, and then call or email Dana Pierce at x4579,, to check it out.

Spotlight on Professional Development

BOOK: Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high
This book is a New York Times Best-Seller, and recommended by the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is a well written book. It flows smoothly, and attracts readers eager to find out what's the next step to take care of situations that arise at work. The book gives realistic examples, from why conflicts start to how to handle them with sentence skills examples. It's quite useful to me knowing how to respond with specific words and techniques. I recommend it to everyone.  Reviewed by Jean Miao

VIDEOS: Dealing With Conflict & Confrontation
How to keep your cool, stand your ground and reach a positive solution

I enjoyed watching Dr. Helga Rhode's presentation. She is an internationally respected speaker in the areas of conflict, negotiation, assertiveness and communication skills. Dr. Rhode has trained thousands of professionals worldwide. It would be great to see her speak at OU someday.

The videos are formatted VHS. Volume One includes topics about causes, kinds and effects of conflict and Volume Three includes problem solving in action. Dr. Rhode's talk opens my mind into different dimensions; she said that sometimes conflict is not a bad thing, it takes compromising with each other to reach the goal.  But you can't say certain things or a constructive conflict can turn to a bad one. The three-hour combined presentation did not bore me; I learned useful techniques and that things really can be worked out.   Reviewed by Jean Miao
Online Learning and Technology
The last time I was asked this question, the answer was "NO."  In September 2010, however, Google made the feature "Conversation View" optional.  So if you liked having all of your conversations with the same subject line bundled together, do nothing.  If you don't like that feature, click on Settings> Conversation View> Turn Conversation View Off.

Remember that Google help online is very comprehensive, and is updated as new information and features are developed.  This feature was changed because enough people asked Google for it. 

Google Mail/Calendar Tip: TASKS
Many former Outlook users have been asking about creating task lists in OU's Webmail Powered by Google.  It is here, and it works great!  Here is a link to the Google Tip that shows you how to use this great tool!
Building a Better U
Let Campus Recreation Be Part of The SOLUTION to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions!
We make great plans for the new year. We list wonderful resolutions. We start the year with great enthusiasm and determination. We get distracted. We quit. What we are missing isn't the desire to make our resolutions come to fruition, but solutions for making them happen. As you look ahead to 2011, consider some of the programs and services provided by Campus Recreation to help you keep those resolutions. 
  1. Get a membership. Memberships start at $30/month and are available in 1 month, 4 month, and annual increments. Payroll deduction options are also available. The Rec Center opens at 5:30 a.m. Monday-Friday…giving you plenty of time to get a workout in before the workday starts! Membership not in your budget? Ask for a gift certificate for the holidays. Or give a gift certificate to someone important in your life. All increments available and gift certificates can be used for any Rec Center program or service.
  2. Mark your calendar for FREE Preview Day on January 13! Bring your family and friends and use the Rec Center for free between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Try classes, workout in the Fitness Center, take a dip in the pool, run/walk on the track, shoot hoops, and more. Look for membership specials available for Preview Day participants to be unveiled in mid-December! Visit us online at for a complete list of Preview Day events.
  3. Join Shape Up OU. Registration for this employee program begins January 3 and continues through January 14. Those enrolled for fall can continue without re-enrolling. New participants can register online through the Building A Better U website. Shape Up OU is a low cost program (membership to Rec Center required) that provides you with a wellness mentor and incentives to help you get started, stay focused, or get on track with your personal health and wellness. 
  4. Take part in a Wellness Wednesday session. For Winter, 2011 Campus Recreation will provide eight Wednesday sessions focusing on all of the dimensions of wellness. Look for details and dates of sessions to roll out in mid-December!
  5. Reduce your stress levels with REVIVE, a 4-week stress management program led by a professional from HAP. This is a FREE program offered to OU employees to help you better manage your stressful moments and educate you on tools and techniques to implement into everyday life. Sessions will meet on Tuesdays during the noon hour beginning January 18.
  6. Participate in one of the following special fitness programs: BLAST (Building Lean Athletic Toned Bodies) or the annual Triathlon. BLAST offers 2 or 3 weekly circuit workouts with a trainer, a fitness assessment, and prizes for making health and fitness changes. The Triathlon includes a 10 minute swim/water walk, 20 minute bike ride, and a 15 minute run/walk and can be done individually or as a team. Grab a friend or two and TRY the TRI together! It makes exercise more fun and helps keep you motivated.
Please send an email to with your feedback on how we can improve your UHR newsletter!
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Dates to Remember

Dec 22 - last day of work before December Recess begins! Have a great break!
Ten Pet Peeves about Workplace Email lists ten things that really drive us nuts.  Here are a few of them:

Unclear subject headings
Instead of "Question," write "Question about adding forms to webpages."
Incessant Babbling
Get to the point immediately. I have a lot of mail to read!
Vague Requests
The more specific you are with what you need, the sooner I can get you the information you actually want.

Read the full article.
University Human Resources
4th Floor Wilson Hall
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309