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Stretch your legs! If you walk around campus, you might just find some quiet places to enjoy an outdoor break.  Try the tables on the patio in front of O'Dowd Hall.
Benefits Corner
How to protect your home while you're on vacation... 

Burglars Don't Take Vacations

While you're away on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is burglars invading your home and stealing your personal belongings. So before you leave, take these precautions. They'll help protect your property and give you peace of mind.

  • Lock all windows and use dead-bolts on exterior doors. Install security bars on sliding doors to prevent them from being lifted off their tracks.
  • Leave a few shades or curtains open to maintain a "lived-in" appearance.
  • Set light timers in a few rooms so that it appears people are at home when it's dark.
  • Stop newspaper delivery so that papers don't pile up at your door.
  • Store cash, jewelry and other valuables in a bank safe-deposit box.
  • Don't leave an outgoing message on your answering machine announcing you are on vacation. Lower the volume on the machine and your telephone ringer.
  • Install outside lights, preferably with motion detectors.
  • If you can afford one, install and activate a security system. Or at the very least, put security system warning decals on doors and windows to deter intruders.

Finally, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your property and to notify you if they suspect a problem. Even better, ask a friend or relative either to house sit or to stop by daily to collect your mail, put out your garbage, and check that everything's okay. Don't forget to exchange the favor yourself.                                                                       

Staff Member News
Please welcome all of the new employees that have joined us in July, 2010! 

Rebecca Lewis - Assistant Director, Programs for the Campus Recreation Department
Adam Panchenko - Admissions Adviser for the Admissions & Orientation Department
Elizabeth Forester - Executive Office Assistant for the Office of the President

Monica Milczarski, Office Assistant III, School of Business Administration has been with Oakland University for 8 years.

Read about Monica'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 Evaluations

The deadline for completing the performance evaluation process for the 2009/10 year was June
30th. At this time many evaluations remain incomplete. "Evaluations may have been started but
never processed through to UHR. Until they reach this point, we can't consider them complete," states Gail Ryckman, Manager of Employment Services. Each division has received a list of employees with incomplete evaluations and have been asked to remind their staff to finish the process. Any questions regarding the process may be directed to the Employment Services Office.

Skillcheck Skills Assessment Tool

Skills assessments using the SkillCheck Skills Assessment tool are going well.  Over 120 assessments have been taken since changes to the clerical postings were implemented in March.   Usage is divided evenly between Access, Word, and Excel programs.  Most candidates have taken the standard 2007 assessment. 

Feedback from the users of the system has been positive.   We hear applicants say that they like knowing where their skill level stands with a particular software which gives them a gauge to direct their future training efforts.    

Supervisors have found the assessment results helpful when selecting a candidate.   "I found the skills assessment tool to be very useful.  Use of and comfort with technology is important for the position we hired and I found the scores helpful in identifying which candidates were most comfortable.  The skills tool was not the deciding factor but gave us framework," said Christina Grabowski, School of Medicine.

The skills assessment is used to assess proficiency in specialized applications such as those noted above.  There is never a pass/fail margin and candidates won't be denied an interview based on their scores.  Rather, the supervisors use the results along with information gathered from the applications, resumes and interviews to select the candidates they feel best meet the qualifications for the positions. 

UHR has a testing room available.  We are able to accommodate your requests to take the assessments.  You don't need to wait until you apply for a job to complete an assessment. 

Call x3480 for an appointment.

Training Update
Monthly Training Reminder!

Don't forget that every month we offer training on business systems that you use every day in your office! 

Google Overview shows you how to manage your OU mail and calendar more efficiently.  We address how to: change settings, create appointments, add/view other calendars, reply and forward parts of bundled conversations, organize using labels, create filters, and much more. 
Introduction to Microsoft Office 2007 is a general overview of the new interface, and we will discuss and demonstrate many of the new features and capabilities of the Office 2007 suite.
Careworks Content Management System is only for those employees that are working on their departmental websites. This training is required before access to the website is granted.  We also offer a one hour Careworks Workshop each month so that current users can work on their websites in the lab with technical and creative support on hand.

If you have any questions, please contact the training department at x4579.  You can click here to enroll in these and many other courses.
Online Learning
LISTEN UP!!  Listening Essentials on SkillSoft

Do you feel the need to better understand the basic meaning of a conversation, or a presentation given at the workplace? What about the need to identify what is being said to you in a more effective manner? Although relatively straightforward in theory, the process that transforms effective listening into successful communication requires great skill, awareness, and practice.
This course will review the various types of listeners and the benefits of being able to listen effectively when communicating. The course also reviews some popular misconceptions about listening. Active listening techniques for improving your listening and maximizing your understanding are also covered.

Go to Business Skills Curricula>Communication>Listening Essentials to take the SkillSoft courses!

Please click here to enroll in SkillSoft.
Around OU
Jazz in the Gardens
Take a nightly stroll through Meadow Brook Hall's gardens while listening to cool summer jazz. 
Last chance to take advantage of the annual event held on August 19th starting at 7:00pm.
Enjoy a tour of the main floor, a walk along the gardens, light hor d'oeuvres, cash bar, and of course local jazz favorites. To make a reservation or for more information click here.
For constructions updates that may interfere with commuting on and off campus please refer to this website for further information.

Please visit the UHR website to schedule an on line appointment to visit either with a Fidelity or TIAA-CREFF account manager assigned to Oakland University.
Thank you to Vita Pace for her assistance with the August UHR Connection Newsletter.
Please send an email to with your feedback on how we can improve your UHR newsletter!
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Employee of the Month

OUPSA Members:
Your 2008 - 2011 contract has been finalized, is now available online, and is currently in the print shop being printed. 

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