A time to give thanks for the Gator Good

By on November 1, 2017

While the University of Florida worked to ensure the safety and well-being of our community in the weeks leading up to the National Policy Institute’s event held on the UF campus on Oct. 19, no one could have predicted how events would unfold that day. But as President Fuchs wrote in an Alligator column just hours after the event concluded, “The whole world was watching, and the whole world saw how we responded to a hateful and despicable bully.”

The world was indeed watching, as media coverage later that day and in the days that followed demonstrated. President Fuchs’ commitment to the values of “love and good deeds” in the face of hate was at the forefront of the national conversation, illustrated in this Chronicle of Higher Education article and many others like it.

Fuchs’ Alligator column, which can be found online here, went on to discuss the complexities of navigating the challenges of balancing free speech protections, security concerns and sensitivity to those who felt particularly vulnerable. What remains clear is that while the anxieties of that particular day’s events may behind us, the conversations they prompted continue to evolve.

The “Together UF” movement organized by student leaders, whose virtual assembly held on Oct. 19 may still be viewed online, is continuing the dialogue through a series dubbed “Together Tuesdays,” held each week on Turlington Plaza. To learn more, visit the Together UF Facebook page.

Faculty and staff are reminded of the community of care and concern that surrounds them and the many resources available to them and to their students. During this season of gratitude, we can all continue to find ways to express support for one another.

More reasons to be grateful…

Launched Sept. 18, the newly established Aid-a-Gator program was established to provide faculty and staff impacted by Hurricane Irma with emergency funding. To date, 345 employees have received awards totaling nearly $120,000. The program was made possible through initial seed money of $100,000 from the SEC, with the remaining funding made possible through the donations from fellow faculty and staff as well as members of the Gator community. Through the Foundation, UF is still accepting donations and hopes you will consider making a gift.

Field and Fork Food Drive
A university-wide food drive competition benefiting the UF Field & Fork’s Alan & Cathy Hitchcock Food Pantry kicked off in October and runs through Nov. 7. Departments throughout campus were encouraged to compete by collecting the most food and funds. If your department is interested in participating and has not registered, there’s still time! Email Anna Prizzia at aprizzia@ufl.edu for details.

Posted in: Campus Climate, UF Focus

Strategic Communications Academy prepares leaders to be more effective advocates

By on November 1, 2017

Designed for faculty and staff in leadership positions or for thought leaders in their fields of study, the eight-month program helps participants improve their professional performance by using evidence-based communications strategies rooted in psychology, sociology, neuroscience, political science and communications science.

Debra Anderson: Ensuring international students feel at home

By on November 1, 2017

While the safety, well-being and status of international students are some of the UF International Center’s top priorities, Debra Anderson wants them to feel that the University of Florida is their true home. During her 17 years as the director of International Student Services, Anderson has made it her personal mission to befriend students as soon as she meets them.

Expanded Benefits & Wellness Fair, ALEX enhance Open Enrollment experience

By on November 1, 2017

The 2017 UF Benefits & Wellness Fair was bigger than better than ever, with 61 vendors representing UF’s many benefits and financial planning vendors as well as a range of organizations dedicated to providing an enhanced quality of life for UF’s faculty and staff.

Benefits Open Enrollment extended to Nov. 10

By on November 1, 2017

Faculty and staff now have until Friday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m. EST to make enroll in or make changes to their benefits plans.

Faculty and staff merit, minimum wage increases take effect Jan. 1

By on November 1, 2017

As UF President Kent Fuchs announced in July, a 3 percent salary increase pool has been established to provide merit increases to faculty and staff this academic year.  Individual increases determined by criteria established by colleges and units will take effect on Jan. 1.

How the Equifax breach affects you

By on November 1, 2017

In September, Equifax revealed a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 140 million Americans.  Because of this breach, your social security number, driver’s license number, credit card numbers, date of birth and address could now be on the Dark Web.

Do you have dependents covered by a state insurance plan? Be on the lookout for verification requests to ensure continued coverage

By on November 1, 2017

Last May, the Division of State Group Insurance (DSGI) began requesting a random sample of employees’ documents as part of a quality assurance review to confirm employees’ dependents, both newly added and existing, are eligible for insurance coverage. Effective Dec. 1, this audit will include all employees with dependents enrolled in state plans.

COO announces incentive for UF’s Electric Vehicle Challenge

By on November 1, 2017

UF Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President Charlie Lane has announced an incentive to encourage departments to purchase electric vehicles over gas-powered vehicles to support the goal of having 10 percent of UF’s vehicle fleet be composed of electric vehicles within the next 10 years.

Maintain, don’t gain, this holiday season

By on November 1, 2017

Many Americans gain between one and five pounds each holiday season. While it might not sound like much, most people never manage to lose those extra pounds. To resist the added weight gain, you are invited to join the 11th annual Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge.

December Leave Cash-out Period is Nov. 6-14

By on November 1, 2017

If you are a TEAMS employee, you may be eligible to cash out up to 16 hours of vacation leave during the pay period of Nov. 3 to 16 if you have at least 40 hours of vacation leave remaining on balance after the end of that pay period. Eligible participants will receive the cash-out payment on their Nov. 22 paycheck.

University of Florida Works to Reach its Goal of Zero Waste by 2020 with the Addition of Bigbelly’s Smart Waste and Recycling System

By on November 1, 2017

To help reach its goal of zero waste by 2020, the University of Florida is on its way to replacing nearly 300 traditional open top waste bins located in high volume and high profile locations with Bigbelly’s Smart Waste and Recycling System.

Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment

By on November 1, 2017

New Harn exhibit will be on display through Dec. 31

Construction begins at 800 Second at Innovation Square with groundbreaking ceremony

By on November 1, 2017

University of Florida leaders, alongside developers, investors and community members, gathered Oct. 13 for the groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of 800 Second at Innovation Square. The building, at the corner of SW 2nd Ave. and SW 8th St., across the street from UF’s Innovation Hub technology incubator, is slated to offer 55,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office, collaboration, and retail space, and will serve as a place for technology and innovation ventures to grow and flourish.

Higher Education Opportunity deadline extended to Nov. 15

By on November 1, 2017

The University of Florida’s Higher Education Opportunity (HEO) provides children of full-time TEAMS employees with the opportunity of tuition assistance for an undergraduate education at the University of Florida. In spring 2018, Human Resource Services will select, at random from a pool of eligible HEO applicants, 50 TEAMS employees to participate in this program. Each eligible employee may submit one child’s name into the drawing. To be considered for this benefit, the TEAMS employee must apply for the HEO by November 15.

Prudential Productivity Award nominations due Nov. 10

By on November 1, 2017

In addition to honoring innovative and cost-saving accomplishments, the awards program recognizes the measurable contributions, increased productivity and added value of individuals and teams. Eligible for nomination are individuals and teams.

UF launches new Sexual Violence and Harassment Awareness and Prevention course

By on November 1, 2017

The University of Florida has launched a new course aimed at educating employees on recognizing and preventing sexual harassment, misconduct and discrimination on campus. The course, GET803: Maintaining a Safe and Respectful Campus: Sexual Violence, Harassment and Discrimination Awareness and Prevention.

Are your life insurance beneficiaries up to date?

By on November 1, 2017

Beneficiary information for your life insurance plans may be updated at any time throughout the year. Keeping your designations up to date ensures that your life benefits are paid to the person or people that you intended. With various life plans offered at UF, beneficiaries are collected and maintained differently based upon the plan in which you are enrolled.

Miss Betty, UF’s “most venerable worker,” featured in Senior Times

By on November 1, 2017

Elizabeth Jones, a receptionist for UF Information Technology and UF’s longest-serving employee, has worked at the university for 65 years.

Do you know someone who needs support in recovering from an addiction?

By on November 1, 2017

Often individuals who experience a mental and/or substance use disorder feel isolated and alone. Yet every year millions of Americans experience these conditions. Individuals facing mental and/or substance use disorders need support from their friends and families, who can create environments and relationships that promote acceptance.

University Press holiday book sale runs through Dec. 15

By on November 1, 2017

 Find the perfect gift for all the important people in your life this holiday season with the University Press of Florida's holiday book sale! From cooking to photography, art, travel, gardening, fishing, sports, literature, history and more, the press has books for every reader.

Have you provided consent to receive your W-2 electronically?

By on November 1, 2017

You can provide consent now to retrieve your W-2 for 2017 electronically in myUFL when it becomes available in January 2018.

Social Security taxable wage base announced for 2018

By on November 1, 2017

The 2018 Social Security wage base increases to $128,700 (up $1,500 from the 2017 wage base).  The maximum Social Security tax employees and employers will each pay in 2018 is $7,979.40 ($128,700 x 6.2%). 

UF All Access Textbook Program provides first-day access to course materials

By on November 1, 2017

UF’s All Access textbook program continues to expand for Spring 2018, with nearly 100 courses participating across the university. The program has saved students $5 million since it was created in 2013.