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Trying to be Spring!!
In the frigid walk between the parking lots and the buildings, there ARE signs of spring... look for buds on tree branches and sprouts in flowerbeds.  Warmer days ahead for April, rest assured! Other signs of spring at OU: outdoor sports! Baseball, softball, golf, track and field... Check out the OU Grizzlies site for more information!



GO TIGERS!!
The Detroit Tigers have partnered with Oakland to offer special pricing for select games in April and May.  Go to tigers.com/ougrizzlies for more information.
Benefits Corner
Flexible Spending Account Processing
From time to time, we get questions about how flexible spending account claims are processed. Here is an outline of the process:
  • Claim forms can be found on the UHR website at: http://www.oakland.edu/upload/docs/UHR/MeritainReimbursement.pdf. Completed claims can be mailed or faxed to Meritain for processing. Claims received by Meritain by 5:00 pm on Monday will normally be included in the weekly processing.
  • Oakland is notified of the total claims processed on Thursday afternoon each week.
  • Funds are wired to Meritain on Friday
  • Meritain verifies receipt of the funds with their bank on Monday.
  • Checks and direct deposits are released on Tuesday. Checks can take two or three days to be delivered. Direct deposits take 24 to 48 hours to post to your account.
To sum up, if your claim is received at Meritain on a Monday before 5:00 pm, you should receive your reimbursement by Thursday or Friday of the following week.

You can check your claim status on line at www.myMERITAIN.com. To log in, you will need your Member ID and Group ID. These numbers are assigned by Meritain. To get your Member ID and Group ID, call the Meritain Customer Service number at 800-748-0003. Once you have the ID numbers, you can register at myMERITAIN.com and check claim status and account balances.


New Discount Program for Oakland Employees
Announcing a new discount program for Oakland University staff and faculty. Laura's Card offers valuable discounts at over 200 locations throughout Metro Detroit. Save 15%-50% at dozens of restaurants, entertainment venues, cultural venues and stores. New discounts are added daily for members of the program. You can use each discount over and over again through the expiration date of the coupon.

Stop by University Human Resources in 401 Wilson Hall to pick up your free Laura's Card. Then go to www.laurascard.com to register your card.

For a full list of discounts offered to OU faculty and staff visit the UHR website at: http://www.oakland.edu/uhr/discounts/.
 
Staff Member News
Please welcome all of the new employees that have joined us in March, 2011! 
Shannon Alfonsi - Medical Biller (part-time) - Counseling Center
Karis Battle - OA III - University Relations
Shelley Bryant - Administrative Coordinator - School of Nursing - Riverview Institute
Jennifer Fuller - OA II - School of Nursing
Karlene Kilburn - M2 Coordinator - School of Medicine
Christy Lee - Program Coordinator - School of Education & Human Services
Nechole Miller - Financial Aid Adviser - Financial Aid Department
Caryn Reed-Hendon - Director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs - School of Medicine
Christine Schwartz - Longitudinal Course Coordinator - School of Medicine
James Smith - Program Coordinator/Systems Integrator - Database Applications
Eric Stevens - Computer Network Administrator - School of Engineering & Computer Science
Judy Vamossy - OA III - School of Business Administration

CONGRATS TO MARCH 2011 EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH PATTI BOWMAN!

Patti Bowman, Clerk Receptionist II, International Students and Scholars, has been with Oakland University for 8 years.

Read about Patti'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 Management for Non-Bargained Employee Groups
Thursday, March 31, marks the end of the current performance cycle for non-bargained employee groups. As such, employees in these groups should start preparing end-of-cycle comments highlighting their work performance and indentifying the goals they've attained in 2010-11.
As Friday, April 1, marks the beginning of the 2011-12 performance cycle, employees should also outline goals for the coming year in a new performance evaluation form.

The Performance Management section of the UHR website has been updated to reflect the new timeline. For employees who are new to this process or who would like a refresher course, training has been scheduled for April and May. Those interested should check the UHR Training site for details.
 
Training Update
Training Courses Offered for April, 2011
Google Overview
4/7/2011 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
CareWorks CMS - Web Content Management System
4/8/2011 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Purchasing for New Employees
4/13/2011 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Careworks CMS - Form Builder/Media Gallery
4/14/2011 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
CareWorks CMS - News and Events
4/21/2011
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
CareWorks CMS - WORKSHOP
4/22/2011
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Introduction to Microsoft Office 2007
4/28/2011 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

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

New Training Labs
Starting in May, the UHR Technical Training Department will be conducting smaller training sessions in 143 NFH, the Career Services Tech lab.  Larger classes will still be held in School of Business' labs in Elliott Hall as needed.
 
Online Learning

SkillSoft Review - Using E-mail and Instant Messaging Effectively and Essentials of Electronic Communication
by UHR Intern Raynard Goodson

In order to survive in this ever growing and competitive workforce, I have to know the pros as well as the cons of being an eligible yet possible prospect. This past week I engaged in some very important skills that will enhance and develop my professional career for what I hope to be many years to come.

Texting is one of the most common communication between young adults. Unfortunately, we can get conditioned on using slang or abbreviated words and it can affect the way we write a professional e-mail. I am personally guilty of this. Although it may not be intentional, if we consistently do it it becomes a habit and can show up when we send out a professional e-mail.

The SkillSoft courses on E-mail help us to understand the credibility of our e-mail and what it means to your employer when trying to communicate with them. An e-mail can say a lot about us professionally. When sending e-mails to our employer, even for small matters, there is always a way to maintain professional bearing in the work place.  We are living in a very tough competitive work market and the simplest things such as bad e-mail etiquette can eliminate you from establishing yourself in the job/career of your dreams.

Email communication courses can be found in the SkillSoft catalog by navigating to:
Business Skills>Communication>Email Essentials

Please click here to enroll in SkillSoft.
 
Building a Better U
NEW! Celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day with Campus Recreation and the AP Assembly!
Join us on Wednesday, May 18 any time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a one mile Poker Walk! It's FREE and open to all benefits-eligible OU employees. Individual and team opportunities to win prizes, learn about your health, have fun, and more! Mark your calendars! Additional information coming soon. Registration will begin mid-April!

Looking to join the Rec Center?
Membership promotions coming in May! Contact Marie VanBuskirk, Membership Coordinator at 248-370-2663 or email taylor4@oakland.edu for more information!

 
Feedback
Please send an email to dpierce@oakland.edu with your feedback on how we can improve your UHR newsletter!
 
APRIL 2011
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Rochester, MI 48309