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  What's New in HR Archives

What's New in HR

June 1, 2007
Classification Redesign
GEMS Update
Spotlight on FMLA

Spotlight on Sheltering Income:  Annuities and Deferred Compensation

HR Reception Area Temporarily Relocates
Personal Financial Planning Summer ’07 Workshops
Employee Discounts Outstanding Staff Awards

Financial Disclosure

Update Your Mailing
Address for FRS Pension Plan
New State Budget Includes $1,000 Bonus for University Employees
Retirement Options for Newly Appointed Administration Employees


Spotlight on Sheltering Income:  Annuities and Deferred Compensation

The University of South Florida and the State of Florida Deferred Compensation Program offer all employees (Faculty, Administration, Staff and OPS) the opportunity to save money for retirement while reducing current income tax liability.  Both allow employees to defer taxes on earnings and contributions until the money is taken as income in retirement. Contributing is voluntary. Contributions are made through payroll deduction and forwarded to a participating investment company. You’ll find information on tax sheltered annuities here, information on State Deferred Compensation here and a list of participating companies here.  You may contribute up to $15,500 per year (more if you are over 50 or have 15 years of service with USF).  For more information contact Sonya Techton, Retirement Coordinator, HR Services, at 813-974-5178 or stechton@admin.usf.edu.

Classification Redesign GEMS Update

The HR team is updating all the new titles from the Classification Redesign Project in GEMS.  Over 80% of the 3600 employee records with new titles have been updated and the rest should be finished within the next few weeks.  At that point, if your title has changed you’ll see your new title reflected in your GEMS record.  Be sure to check “What’s New in HR” and the Classification Redesign website for an announcement once the GEMS updating is completed.  For more information or if you have additional questions, please contact your Classification Analyst.

HR Reception Area Temporarily Relocates

HR is undergoing some much needed renovations.   During the construction, the main reception area for the Division of Human Resources has been relocated to SVC 2072 (the office of Organization Development & Training).  Construction is anticipated to take approximately two months.  The main lobby area will be primarily the area affected.  The remainder of the office will remain open.  However, during this period visitors and customers should report to the ODT office.  Upon arrival, they will be escorted by an HR representative back to the HR suite.  The ODT office will also be where employees without direct deposit should pick up their paychecks on paydays.  Signs are posted to guide visitors from the old reception area across the breezeway to the temporary site.

“With the RightStart Program, we needed to create additional space where new employees could feel comfortable completing the required paperwork,” said Sandy Lovins, Associate Vice President, Division of Human Resources.  “When the renovations are completed, we will end up with a more effective use of the limited space that we do have, including a more private space for employees filling out paperwork.  The renovations are long overdue, and we want to establish a positive first impression for this great University from day one when new employees arrive.”

For more information, please contact Nancy Ward at 974-5385 or nward@admin.usf.edu

Spotlight on FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is federal legislation enacted to provide job protection for up to 12 weeks per entitlement year to an employee who needs time off because of:

(1) A serious personal health condition (per FMLA definitions),

(2) The need to care for a parent, spouse or child with a serious health condition, or

(3) The birth or adoption of a child.

FMLA makes it possible for employees to meet personal and family medical care needs while still maintaining job and economic security.

Want to learn more about how FMLA can help you?  Click here.

Do you manage or supervise employees?  Check out What Managers and Supervisors need to Know about FMLA. 

Are you the Attendance and Leave Coordinator for your department?  Departmental Attendance & Leave Coordinators Information has helpful tips for you.

For other questions on FMLA, contact Rob Liddell, Compliance Officer in HR Employee Relations at (813) 974-5396 or at rliddell@admin.usf.edu.

Retirement Options for Newly Appointed Administration Employees

If you are an employee who recently moved from Staff (formerly USPS) to Administration (formerly A&P) as a result of the Classification Redesign Project, you are now also eligible to participate in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).  You may choose to remain in your current plan, or explore participation in ORP.  If you missed the informational sessions in May, you have another chance.  An ORP retirement information session will be held on Tuesday June 5, 2007 from 1:00 - 2:30 PM in SVC 2070.

To register, use GEMS self service and register for session number PRS 100, or contact Theresa Scott at 974-9116 or tmscott@admin.usf.edu .

Information about the ORP is available here.  For questions concerning your retirement choices or to set up an individual appointment, contact Sonya Techton, Retirement Coordinator, HR Services, at 813-974-5178 or stechton@admin.usf.edu.

New State Budget Includes $1,000 Bonus for University Employees

On Thursday May 24, 2007 Governor Crist signed the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2007-2008, which includes a one-time bonus for state and university employees.

Effective November 1, 2007, eligible employees (i.e., employees who are, at a minimum, meeting their required performance standards) will receive a non-recurring one-time lump sum bonus payment of $1,000, less applicable taxes and withholding.  To receive the one-time lump sum bonus, the employee must be an eligible employee on November 1, 2007, and must be continuously employed by the state for the period July 1, 2007, through November 1, 2007.  Each eligible part-time employee shall receive a bonus payment prorated based on the full-time equivalency of his or her position.

In a May 25, 2007 letter to all USF Faculty and Staff, President Judy Genshaft said, “It is unfortunate that a one-time ‘bonus’ will take the place of pay raises for our hard-working faculty and staff.  In this period of fiscal uncertainty, the legislature was reluctant to commit recurring dollars which might not be available next year.  While we understand the rationale, we remain disappointed.”

House Policy and Budget Council Chairman Ray Sansom, R-Destin, said the tight budget left lawmakers few options. "We hope next year the finances are better, the economy is better, that we can do a percentage increase," Sansom said.  [Sun-Herald.com, May 26, 2007]

In addition to the bonus, a very good piece of news for full time employees came with the budget signing:  health care benefits and employee premiums will stay the same.  As a result,

  • For the period July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008, all benefits as provided in the current State Employees’ PPO Plan Group Health Insurance Plan Booklet and Benefit Document, current Health Maintenance Organization contracts, and other such health insurance benefits as approved by the Legislature will remain in effect.

  • The employee’s share of health insurance premiums for the standard plans will continue to be just $50 per month for individual coverage and $180 per month for family coverage.

  • The employee’s share of the health insurance premiums for the high deductible plans will continue to be only $15 per month for individual coverage and $64.30 per month for family coverage.

“In an era of rising health care costs, to have no decrease in health care benefits and no increase in the employee’s share of the premium is tremendous,” said Sandy Lovins, Associate Vice President, Division of Human Resources.  “Many industries are facing cuts in health care and increased costs to employees.  We’re delighted that this is not the case this year at USF.”

For questions, contact JD Needham, Assistant Director, HR Services at 974-5719 or jneedham@admin.usf.edu.

Personal Financial Planning

Florida Retirement System will be offering two free workshops to all USF employees on Thursday July 19, 2007 in SVC 2070 (ODT Training Room):

  • “Using the FRS to Plan for Your Retirement” from 10:30 – 12:00 PM.  This workshop will help you plan so you don’t have to work forever and show you where to go for free advice in making your dreams a reality.

  • “Cash & Debt Management:  Smart Spending”  from 1:30 – 2:30 PM.  This workshop will assist you in creating a spending plan that will help you reach retirement. You’ll learn tips for reducing expenses, managing debt and understanding your credit score, and how to take advantage of additional, free independent resources provided by the FRS.

Register through GEMS Self Service or contact Sonya Techton, Retirement Coordinator, HR Services, at 813-974-5178 or stechton@admin.usf.edu.

Summer ’07 Workshops

Summertime is a great time for professional and personal development.  Upgrade your skills in GEMS and FAST.  Brush up on customer service, master USF procedures, learn how to “do less and accomplish more.”  From leadership workshops to brown bag lunches, from career development to delivering effective presentations, Organization Development & Training (ODT) has lots to offer.  For a complete listing of upcoming workshops, visit the ODT website or check out ODT’s summer newsletter

Employee Discounts

Your USF Employee ID card is your ticket to summer fun and great discounts year ‘round.  When you’re planning your summer vacation, don’t forget to click on HR’s Employee Perks page, where you’ll find various discounts including Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, Avis car rentals and Holiday Inn Express.  And be sure to visit Bulls Country for USF employee discounts from our local Bulls Country community partners, including restaurants, shops, movies and local attractions.

Outstanding Staff Awards

The 2006 Outstanding Staff Awards were presented on May 23, 2007.  In a ceremony hosted by President Judy Genshaft, 36 USF employees from the four campuses were honored.

The Outstanding Staff Awards recognize excellence and a high level of performance and standards that support the overall Values and Service Standards of the University, and are the highest honor accorded to Administration and Staff employees.  For 2006, 74 employees were nominated by their co-workers and managers and 36 were chosen by their VP area’s selection committee to receive the award.  It is an honor to be nominated for an Outstanding Staff Award. 

The ceremony opened with a spectacular light show designed by Visual & Performing Arts and Theatre 1.  President Genshaft welcomed the honorees and introduced guest speaker Lee Roy Selmon who congratulated the award recipients and shared memories of why he had chosen to make his home at USF and in Tampa, and what it means to the University to have such outstanding staff.  Each award recipient was recognized individually during the ceremony.

A highlight was the announcement of the “Employees Of The Year.”  The Gabor Award was established to honor our outstanding Employees of the Year by the Gabor Agency, a long time insurance and investment services provider to USF.   Each year, two recipients are selected from the Outstanding Staff Award recipients, and the names are kept a secret until the announcement at the ceremony.  This year’s Employees of the Year are Diane Striepling of the College of Business Administration (Academic Affairs) and Christine Bennett of the USF Police (Student Affairs).

Following the ceremony, attendees attended a reception to congratulate recipients on their accomplishments.

Pictures of this year’s OSA recipients and the ceremony are posted on the HR Event Calendar & Photo Gallery.


Academic Affairs
Michael Ashley
Walter Chason
Dena Chastain
Sherry Forkel
Sean Gilmore
Barbara Graham
Christopher Paulus
Malcolm Randolph
Thomas Rogers
Pamela Stobaugh
Diane Striepling
Violetta Urba

University Advancement
Joyce Bush
Marti Garratt
Scott Nolan

Executive Services
Kenneth Eriksen
Rhonda Ferrell-Pierce

Amanda Rockhill

Student Affairs
Christine Bennett
Alfred Gentilini
Daniel Moye

University Services
Steven Allen
Robert Jordan
Sylvia Pagan
Siva Prakash
Daniel Van Der Meulen
Nancy Wisgerhof

USF Health
Sheila Crowell
Xiaoyuan (Sonya) Kong
Ernest Leong
Wendy Morales
David Smith

Susan Hurley


St. Petersburg
John Husfield
Teresa Przetocki


Steve Lambropoulos



Financial Disclosure

Each year, employees filling certain designated positions are required to complete a Statement of Financial Interests Form and submit it to the Department of State in Tallahassee by July 1.  At the University of South Florida we have approximately 75 positions which are so designated. 

The forms are mailed directly from the State to the incumbents of the designated positions.  Most affected individuals should have received the form and the guide by now.  The forms must be completed, signed, and returned to Tallahassee, even if none of the items apply.

If this applies to you, we recommend you retain a copy of the completed form for your records.

Do not send the completed forms to Human Resources.  The mailing address is listed on the back of the form.

If you have any questions regarding the requirement to file or the form itself, please contact either Nancy Ward at 974-5385 or Sandy Lovins at 974-8063.

Update Your Mailing Address for FRS Pension Plan

Do you participate in the FRS Pension Plan?  The Division of Retirement is preparing the 2007 Annual Statements for FRS Pension Plan participants.  Please review and update your mailing address on file with USF in order to ensure that you receive your statement. Your mailing address maybe accessed through GEMS Self Service (click here for instructions).  For questions concerning GEMS Self Service, contact Human Resources at 974-2970.


Updated 07/17/2008

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