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Oakland University is overflowing with talented faculty and staff!  Musicians, dancers, actors, poets, origami folders, etc. please sign up to show off your talent on December 19 at 7:00 p.m. in Varner Recital Hall, or plan on coming to watch your colleagues strut their stuff!  Performers, please fill out THIS FORM to register.
Benefits Corner
No Healthcare Deductions in December
Deductions for health insurance, voluntary life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment insurance will not be taken from your December 2013 paycheck. Deductions will resume in your January 2014 paycheck.

Flexible Spending Account Year End Claims Processing
Due to the Christmas holiday, Flex Spending claims process will follow the schedule below:
Claims Submission Cut Off 
Processing date
Checks Issued
 Friday, December 13  Thursday, December 19  Thursday, December 26
 Friday, December 27  Thursday, January 2  Tuesday, January 8
Please keep this schedule in mind when submitting claims in December.

Flexible Spending Account Reminder
If you are enrolled in the Health Care or Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Accounts, you have until December 31, 2013 to use your funds. Claims for 2013 expenses for Dependent Day Care must be filed with Meritain no later than January 31, 2014. Claims for the Health Care Account must be filed with Meritain no later than March 31, 2014. Claims forms are available on the UHR website. 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.

Retirement Plan Limits for 2014
The IRS has announced that limits for the amount of money you can set aside for retirement in our 403(b) and 457(b) plans in 2014 will not change. The annual maximum that you can contribute to your 403(b) or 457(b) plan remains at $17,500 for each plan. If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $5,500. If you wish to make a change to your retirement contributions, complete the Retirement Salary Reduction Agreement found on the UHR website. The completed form should be turned in to UHR in room 401 Wilson Hall. If you have any questions, please stop by to see us or give us a call at extension 4207.

Fidelity and TIAA-CREF On Campus
Representatives from TIAA-CREF will be available for one-on-one sessions on the following days:

Monday, December 9, Lk St Clair, Oakland Ctr
Wednesday, December 11, 129 Oakland Center
Thursday, December 12, 129 Oakland Center
Tuesday, January 28, 127 Oakland Center
Wednesday, January 29, Lke Superior A, OC

Call (800) 732-8353 to schedule an appointment or go to the TIAA-CREF website.
The Fidelity representative will be on campus the following dates:

Monday, December 02, 126 Oakland Center
Monday, December 16, 126 Oakland Center
Monday, January 13, Lk St. Clair, OC
Monday, January 27, Lake St. Clair, OC

Call (800) 642-7131 to schedule an appointment with Bethany Pagnani or go to Reservations.
Auto and Home Insurance with Liberty Mutual
As an Oakland University employee, you could save money on car and home insurance with Liberty Mutual. Your local Liberty Mutual representative, Michael Meyer, will be onsite providing coverage evaluations on the following dates:

Tuesday, December 17, 125 Oakland Center

To make an appointment, please call (800) 230-9302, ext. 56727.

Employee Discount Program
Many of Oakland University's business partners offer OU employees a discount on their products and services.  Please see our Employee Discount page for more information!
Staff Member News

All Employees Should Verify Social Security Number on W-2 Form
The Oakland University Payroll Office is requesting all employees verify their Social Security Number on the W-2 Form when they receive it at the end of January, 2014. Please make sure the Social Security Number on the form matches the number on your Social Security Card. If you discover an error, contact the Payroll Office immediately at x3034 or

2014 W-4 Form – Federal Withholding Allowances
Employees should review their Federal Withholding Allowances to determine if they may need to make changes for 2014. If filing status (married or single), exempt status, or exemption allowance qualifications have changed at some point during the past calendar year, a new Form W-4 may need to be submitted to Payroll. The new 2014 W -4 Form will be accessible on the Payroll Website and the IRS Website as soon as it becomes available.

NOTE: Any employee claiming "EXEMPT" in 2013 must submit a 2014 W-4 Form by February 15, 2014, in order for the exempt status to remain active.

The Payroll Office continuously audits all Federal and State W – 4 Forms. You may be requested to supply updated forms. If you receive this request, please provide updated forms as soon as possible. If the Payroll Office does not have the W-4 Forms on file to match what is currently in the payroll system, then your entry will need to be changed to a filing status of Single, with zero withholdings. This is the default entry required by IRS, if the Payroll Office does not have a form on file. Please contact the Payroll Office at 248-370-3472 or  if you have any questions.

Please welcome all of the new employees that have joined us in November, 2013!
Meaghan Bartz-Germana - Coordinator of Outreach Student Support and Success - Outreach
Lisa Bogus - Clerk III - University Services/Property Management
Ashley Cerku - Writing Center Operations Coordinator - Office of the Senior Associate Provost
Michael Grzech - Custodian I/Facilities - Campus Cleaning
Michelle Love - Office Assistant II - Admissions Department
Carrie Miller - Office Assistant III - Pre-College Programs
Bradford Parks - SEHS Coordinator School & Field Services - SEHS Student Teacher Placement
Jermaine Russell - Custodian I/Facilities - Campus Cleaning Department
Donna Rich - Administrative Project Coordinator - SEHS Continuing Education
Robin Young - Office Assistant I - University Housing

Siraj is the Director of Engineering in Facilities Management , and has been with Oakland University for 4 and a half years.

Read about Siraj's contribution to the University on his Employee of the Month page.
Nominate a shining star for Employee of the Month! 

Click on the Nominate link to complete the online form.
Training Update
UHR Training Courses Offered for December, 2013
Google Overview
12/4/2013 2:00 PM - 4:00 P
Banner New User Training
Ongoing - by appointment
If you have any questions, please contact the training department at x4579.  You can click here to enroll in these and many other courses.  Course schedule is subject to change, please check the training website for updates.
Banner Training for New Users
One-on-one training is available to help orient new users to the Banner interface.  Please fill out the Banner Training Request form with as much detail as possible, and one of our trainers will contact you soon to set up a training session.
Online Learning
Success Over Stress
"Stress is the psychological, physiological and behavioral response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health." Stephen Palmer, "Occupational Stress". Contrary to popular belief, stress itself is never a good thing--it is always harmful. This course will show you the difference between pressure, which spurs you into action and helps you to perform at your peak, and stress, which impedes your performance, and has long-term health implications. Stress is produced by your own feelings and reactions to certain external events, rather than by the events themselves. This means that once you recognize how you respond to certain situations, you can change your response to one that is more helpful and productive.

Learn to recognize and eliminate stress in your business and personal lives.

Business Skills > Personal Development > Living a Balanced Life

If you are unsure which courses to take, contact the UHR Training Dept at x4579, or email

Please click here to request an account on SkillSoft, if you do not already have one.

**Having trouble accessing SkillSoft or not sure what to take?  Contact Dana ( or Vicki ( for help.**

Building a Better yOU

Congratulations to the winners of the 30 Day Financial IQ Challenge! All three of our winners took all 15 financial IQ quizzes, bettering their odds of being able to walk away with a new Apple iPad!

Congratulations to:
  • Adam Gordon (Classroom Support / Tech Services)
  • Jennifer Janes (FYAC) 
  • Jim Hargett (Asst. VP and Controller) 
Thank you to all that participated in this new wellness program and TIAA-CREF for providing such wonderful prizes for our employees!

Holiday Wellness Program – Maintain, Don't Gain: Did you miss the drop in times to sign up for Maintain, Don't Gain? There is still time!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, and taking into consideration the feedback we have received from many wellness participants on campus, we are happy to announce we will be doing a Holiday Season Maintain, Don't Gain program for OU Staff and Faculty!

Maintain Don't Gain for the Holidays is a program designed to assist you in your efforts to stay physically active and eating healthy throughout the holiday season. Those that participate will receive a mini pre-health assessment, post-health assessment, motivating emails that contain educational materials and links to resources to help you along the way. Those that return in the New Year for their post-health assessment will receive a prize! No prescribed diets, no exercise routines, simply good, motivating information to help you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle.

Program Duration: Monday, November 25, 2013 through Monday, January 6, 2014.
Email Stephanie at to schedule a time for your mini pre-health assessment!

There is only one Lunch and Learn left in 2013! Sign up through the Campus Rec website under Employee Wellness 'Lunch and Learns' to reserve your spot today! All are welcome to attend!
Stress Management: Beyond the Basics: Stress is an inevitable part of life, but if left unmanaged, it can have a major impact on your overall health and wellness. In this class, we will take a closer look at how stress impacts our body and learn effective stress reduction strategies and coping techniques to help you live a happy and healthy life.
  • Tuesday, December 3
  • 12 – 1 p.m.
  • Rec Center Wellness Classroom

Do you want to earn incentives for participating in wellness programs?
OU Employees are now eligible to earn points throughout the entire academic year by participating in an array of wellness programs, including your own personal workouts! Pictures of incentives and their point value are posted on the Campus Rec website under Employee Wellness 'Be Well Points+.' Once you earn enough points, you are able to cash your points in and redeem and item of your choice! Sign up today, enrollment is open year round. Simply turn in the Registration and Interest forms via Campus Mail to Stephanie Willis, 155 RAC. Forms are also available on the Campus Rec website under Employee Wellness 'Be Well Points+.'

Have you seen the new Wellness website?
Check out

Please send an email to with your feedback on how we can improve your UHR newsletter!
December 2013
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Get the guidance you need at our retirement Plans Education Websites

Cyber Monday and Online Shopping Season: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself
Online holiday shopping continues to grow in popularity.  Whether you'll be conducting transactions from your desktop, laptop or mobile device, keep these tips in mind to help protect yourself from identity theft and other malicious activity on Cyber Monday, and throughout the year:
 * Secure your computer and mobile devices.
 * Use mobile applications with caution.
 * Know your online merchants.
 * Consider using an online payment system or credit card.
 * Look for "https" before you click "Purchase."
 * Do not use public computers or public wireless access for your online shopping.
 * Be alert for potential charity donation scams.

Please  read the full article for detail and links. 

Pets @ OU

OU Pets Got Talent!
Barb Kooiman from the Office of Research Administration has a romantic little 5-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Sparky, who loves to serenade her on the piano. He's also a town hero, helping herd runaway dogs back into safe arms.

Submit your pet photo and story to

Stay tuned for a Pets@OU Pet of the Year contest!

University Human Resources
4th Floor Wilson Hall
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309