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Our Beautiful Campus! 

Fall has definitely arrived at Oakland University!  Take advantage of the milder days in November and go for a walk around campus.  Check out the new courtyard between North and South Foundation Halls, marvel at the awesome color displays of our campus trees, and maybe see some of our deer friends peeking from the brush around the outside of Pioneer Drive.

Staff Member News

Please welcome all of the new employees that have joined us in October, 2009! 

Wendy Mosella, Office Assistant III; University Relations

Atefeh Jenrow, Research Compliance Manager; Grants, Contracts, and Sponsored Research

Maria DeVoogd, Coordinator of Field and Student Support; Sociology & Anthropology


John Coughlin is a Senior Systems Analyst with E-Learning & Instructional Support and has been with Oakland University for 14 years. 

Read about John's contribution to the University on his Employee of the Month page.

Nominate a shining star for Employee of the Month!

The OU staff Employee of the Month sets the standard at above and beyond. Their cheerful, upbeat attitude stands out among their peers and positively impacts working relationships. They consistently strive to work more efficiently and increase productivity. This person is invaluable to the OU team.

Staff members who are selected for Employee of the Month receive much earned recognition as well as a designated parking space for 30 days, their name in lights on the sign at Adams/Walton and in the OC plus an invitation to a year end dinner with Dr. Russi and other VP's.

Anyone can nominate a staff employee who is past probation and has not received Employee of the Month recognition during the last 5 years. Click on the Nominate link to complete the online form.

To Those Effected by Performance Management

During the month of November, employees and supervisors should meet to discuss progress that has been made toward goal attainment from the goals you and your supervisor set for the performance cycle that began April 1, 2009. Employees should record comments regarding mid-cycle goals in the Total Employee and Management Source (TEAMS) System.

It is important to remember that performance management has a solid, positive impact on both individual and university success. It does this by fostering open communication between employees and their supervisors, as well as by establishing a mutual understanding of what is acceptable job performance. This is essential for all work relationships to thrive.

Along these lines, the following are ideas to keep in mind while participating in the goal review process.

· Incorporate university and departmental values into your overall work performance. Creating specific goals provides a sense of purpose and guides how your work should be accomplished.

· Key ingredients of an effective performance management process are the conversations that take place between you and your supervisor. Plan to engage in continuous dialogue and partnership around issues that matter most to your department and the university as a whole.

· People respond favorably to positive feedback and coaching. While it is important to document performance within the performance management system, it is also important to communicate on a day-to-day basis. Look for opportunities to provide positive feedback, and then follow up with coaching on behaviors or performance issues that require improvement.

· If your work performance could be improved with additional training, consider that University Human Resources offers a variety of educational opportunities on Skillsoft, an online learning environment. You can take advantage of these services at SkillSoft. Or contact Vicki Larabell, Training Manager for other guidance suggestions.

A comprehensive website containing the link to the TEAMS system and other helpful tools are available at Link to TEAMS.

Training sessions for new hires or for those who would like a refresher course on Performance Management or the TEAMS system are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12 and Tuesday, Nov. 17. Those interested in attending either session should visit Staff & Faculty Training to sign up.

Those who are unable to attend a scheduled training session or who have questions about them should contact Gail Ryckman at ext. 3480 or, or Tracey Zang at ext. 3480 or

Benefits Corner

Open Enrollment Deadlines

Please submit your 2010 Open Enrollment changes by Friday, November 13. 

If you have questions about the new 2010 medical plan offerings stop into the Benefits Office in 142 NFH or contact us at

Trends in Healthcare - Wellness Initiatives

Click this link to read a MarketWatch article on wellness incentives in employer health benefits.

Sneak Peek at Priority Health

Take a look at some of the additional benefits members of Priority Health can reap, such as free classes on stress management, online health management, and member discounts.

Training Update

There are a lot of things underway in the Technical Training and Professional Development department. Look for upcoming trainings on preventing identity theft, using the new OU event calendar, and adding forms and blogs to your university websites. Please visit our website it enroll in training.

Custom Training Options

Did you know that individualized training is on hand for you?  Technical training is available on a one-on-one basis as availability permits.  Please contact us at 248-370-4579 or to discuss your training needs and how they can be met.

Please visit our website it enroll in training.

University Human Resources Training Manager Overview class is now available.

Training Manager is a resourceful tool that allows users to schedule staff training classes and events. It also has the ability to manage enrollment and run participant activity reports on a department and/or individual basis.

If you seldom or never use the Training Manager, would like to create your own events, learn how to update attendance or just think you could benefit from a refresher, then don't miss this class.

Contact HR Training at 248-370-4579 or email for more information.

Online Learning

SkillSoft™ - So many choices! What do I need??

With more than 1500 SkillSoft courses to choose from, you might feel a little daunted by the task of creating a learning plan for yourself.  The Professional Development and Technical Training department would be happy to help you with that! Let us help you design a learning curriculum that best meets your personal and professional goals and needs. Contact Dana at to schedule a one-on-one consultation, and we'll map out a plan, talk about strategies, and help you on your way to being a more efficient and knowledgeable individual!

Are you a new SkillSoft user?  Just click on the Request an Account link to get started.

Already have an account?  Get reacquainted today with all the tools SkillSoft has to offer!

Meet SkillSoft™ Power User Linda Kreger!

Linda Kreger (Business Manager/Financial Analyst, Education & Human Services) completes online SkillSoft™ courses almost weekly.  As a result, her employee training history is VERY impressive.  Wondering how & why she takes so many SkillSoft classes, UHR decided to go to the source to find out!

UHR:  Linda, your training record is impressive.  What do you like about training online with SkillSoft™?

Linda: The convenience of SkillSoft™. I can do my online training any time of the day and if I get interrupted, I can always go back and continue where I left off.

UHR: We all have busy work days.  How do you fit e-learning into your schedule?

Linda: When I first started at OU (which was only 5 months ago) I was unfamiliar with Microsoft Office 2007. I took the 2 hour courses the school [OUHR] offered but I wanted more extensive training. So I made time each week to tackle the courses that were most relevant to my job.

UHR:  You've completed a wide variety of courses.  How relevant is the training offered by SkillSoft™ to the work you do at Oakland, or for that matter anywhere?

Linda: The Microsoft Office 2007 is very relevant to my job, especially excel and access. The more knowledge you have the better you are to serve Oakland or anywhere that you may work for that matter.
It is really wonderful that Oakland has this kind of service for their employees. When I do get some more free time, I am definitely going to be taking more courses through SkillSoft™.

Featured SkillSoft course: Delegation

Kudos to Oakland's UTS Department!

CIO Terrie Rowe and her staff completed 22 SkillSoft™ modules on Delegation during the last quarter.  That just may be record participation for a single department!

According to Terrie, the challenges of delegation became a topic of discussion at one of her regularly scheduled management council meetings.  She discovered that SkillSoft™ had three course offerings on the subject, promoted it to her entire team, and following her own advice took the courses herself.   Terrie then recognized her team by hanging their SkillSoft™ completion certificates on one of her walls.  To reinforce the importance of delegation training, practical uses for the course content were discussed at the team's next meeting. Very likely someone may have to do your job - consider a possible flu pandemic or a winter weather emergency.  How will you delegate your responsibilities?

Learning delegation skills is a great training goal for any university department. 

Great job Terrie Rowe and team!


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November 2009
UHR Home
Academic HR

Open Enrollment Materials


Available Training
Important Dates to Remember!!

October 28 - November 13

November 13
All enrollment forms must be submitted to Benefits Department

January 1, 2010
2010 Benefits Effective Date
University Human Resources
138 North Foundation Hall
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309