August 2004
  • Quote of the Month
    • "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Reminder About Bringing Children to the Workplace

It is the responsibility of University supervisors to ensure that work is accomplished in an environment in which employee health/safety is respected and there is minimal disruption to the workflow and work activities. System Policy 24.01 Risk Management, Section 2, states that “it is the objective of The Texas A&M University System to manage, control, and where appropriate reduce or eliminate risk, to the end that its employees, students and visitors are protected from hazards, its financial condition is not seriously jeopardized, and its material and natural resources conserved to the maximum extent possible and practicable.”

The workplace is not an appropriate place for children on a regular, ongoing basis for the following primary reasons:

  • Children in the workplace create a potential liability for the department and the University.
  • Children in the workplace disrupt the workplace both for the employee with the child and for others in the work unit.
  • Children in the workplace create an atmosphere that many feel is unprofessional both to employees and visitors.

A plan for managing emergency child care services is recommended for parents/guardians in order to avoid bringing dependents into the workplace. If there are no other alternatives, the employee should get approval from their supervisor prior to bringing the child to the workplace. However, the child should not be in the workplace longer than 1-2 hours.

Special occasions that are employer-sanctioned (i.e., "Take Your Kids to Work Day”) should be coordinated with and approved by the employee's supervisor. The employee's schedule for that day should take into consideration the child's presence in order to eliminate unnecessary hazards.

When considering such requests, the supervisor should contact the HR Office at ext. 2365 with any questions or concerns.


Online Training Available for Employees

The TAMUS Human Resources Office has developed web-based training programs for employees. The training programs currently available are:

  • Conducting Effective Interviews
  • Creating A Discrimination-Free Workplace (also available in Spanish)
  • Ethics (also available in Spanish)
  • Managing Employee Performance
  • Sexual Harrassment: What Supervisors Need To Know
  • Time Off Issues for Employees
  • Time Off Issues for Supervisors

You can access the training from HRConnect at http://hrc.tamu.edu. Simply login to HRConnect, click on the TRAINING tab, and follow the directions.

If you need assistance with this online training, please call HR Office at ext. 2365.


Construction Update
Summer will soon be over, but construction of the student housing facility is moving at a quick pace so that students can start moving in by the Fall Semester. Fiber optics and other utilities have been installed, and painting is being done throughout the complex. Our Physical Plant Department and the Texas A&M University System Facilities project manager have conducted a review of the facilities.

Another project in the works is the remodeling of the old game room. The old game room area will become the new dining facility for the new “meal plan.” This dining facility should be ready when students begin moving into the student housing facility.

The pyramid and the dome for the planetarium of the Science Building are in plain view now. The building is projected to be complete by January 2005, and furniture is scheduled for delivery in February.

A meeting was held with F & S Partners from Dallas to review the final building concepts for the Kinesiology building. Once approved, they will move forward to the detail design phase of the project.

The architects for the master plan update gathered data on campus and have reported their findings. They will now begin to develop the master plan which will outline the current campus facility situation, the projected student and program growth, the buildings required to sustain this growth, the amount of parking required, and actual building site recommendations.

To get the latest information about campus construction, keep reading your HR News & Views.

Did You Miss the July 31st Deadline for Annual Enrollment?
  The Annual Enrollment period for the 2004-2005 fiscal year concluded on July 31, 2004. All benefits changes submitted during the Annual Enrollment period will take effect on September 1, 2004 and continue through August 31, 2005.

If you missed the July 31st deadline, yet want to make changes to your benefits, you must IMMEDIATELY contact Jessica Palacios, HR Benefits Manager, at ext. 2362.

As a reminder, be sure to review your first paycheck of the 2004-2005 fiscal year to verify that all deductions are correct. New premiums will be deducted starting with the paycheck to be received on September 10th (if you are paid bi-weekly) and on October 1st (if you are paid monthly).

Extended Pay Plan (EPP)
  If you are a full-time employee who works less than 12 months each year and would like to extend your pay over 12 months, you may participate in the Extended Pay Plan (EPP). Those who have never participated in EPP and wish to enroll effective September 1, 2004 must complete and submit an election form by August 31, 2004. Election forms are available in the HR Office.

If you are currently enrolled in EPP, you will automatically be enrolled for FY 2004-2005 at your current percentage, unless you notify the HR Office otherwise.

Please contact Jessica Palacios, HR Benefits Manager, at ext. 2362 should you have questions about the EPP.

Tax Saver Spending Accounts
  Fiscal year 2003-2004 is coming to a close. For those in the Tax Saver Health Plan or Dependent Day Care Plan, please keep in mind that the deadline for eligible expenses is August 31, 2004. The date the service was received determines whether or not that service was incurred during the plan year, not the date the bill was issued. You have through November 30, 2004 to submit claims to Tax Saver for this plan year.

For more information, visit www.taxsaverplan.com or contact Jessica Palacios, HR Benefits Manager, at ext. 2362.

Welcome, New Employees!!
  Violeta Garza, Staff Assistant
Student Center
SC 127 ext. 2877
  Roberto P. Hernandez, Staff Assistant
University Registrar
KL 168 ext. 2256
  Oscar E. Reyna, University Registrar
University Registrar
KL 168F ext. 2468
  Jacky Yuk-Chow So, Dean
College of Business Administration
WHTC 203F ext. 2480
  Michael Vital, Instructor (Military Science)
College of Arts and Sciences
SC 128 ext. 2387
  Ibrahim Mescioglu, Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of MIS and Decision Science
WHTC 217B ext. 2515
  Andre L. Araujo, Assistant Professor
Department of MIS and Decision Science
WHTC 217C ext. 2503
  Timothy H. Van Beke, Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Fine and Performing Arts
CFPA 233C ext. 2591
  Mazias De Oliveria, Assistant Professor
Department of Fine and Performing Arts
CFPA 233A ext. 2664
  Joshua Stevenson, Assistant Professor
Department of Biology and Chemistry
CH 313E ext. 2590
  Eric Albrecht, Assistant Professor
Department of Biology and Chemistry
CH 302C ext. 2643

Martha E. Fraire KL 168E ext. 2223
FROM: Degree Audit Assistant, University Registrar    
TO: Associate Registrar, University Registrar    
Maria Isabel Gaona-Woods KL 158B ext. 2161
FROM: Intermediate Staff Accountant
           Business Office (Comptroller's Office)
TO: Associate Director, Office of Financial Aid    
Cassandra L. Wheeler SC 114F ext. 2260
FROM: HR Benefits Specialist, Office of Human Resources    
TO: Director of Career Services, Career Services    
William W. Riggs KL 432 ext. 2540
FROM: Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences    
TO: Assistant Professor/Interim Chair, Department of Social Sciences    
Tagi Sagafi-nejad WHTC 219C ext. 2512
FROM: Professor/Interim Chair/Director of Ph.D. Program
           Department of Management, Marketing and IB
TO: Distinguished Professor/Director of Ph.D. Program
       Department of Management, Marketing and IB
Nereu F. Kock WHTC 217B ext. 2521
FROM: Associate Professor
            Department of MIS and Decision Science
TO: Associate Professor/Interim Chair
      Department of MIS and Decision Science
Stephen E. Lunce WHTC 217A ext. 2502
FROM: Professor/Chair
           Department of MIS and Decision Science
TO: Professor
      Department of MIS and Decision Science
Frances C. Waters KL 431B ext. 2616
FROM: Associate Professor/Chair/Associate Dean
           Department of Social Sciences
TO: Associate Professor/Interim Chair /Associate Dean
      Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work

  Sylvia Garcia De Nichols
Staff Assistant, University Registrar
  Melinda G. Elizondo
Switchboard Operator, Purchasing & Support Services
  Alexandra Solis
Programmer, Office of Financial Aid
  Gonzalo Castillo
Staff Assistant, University Registrar
  Maria Del Rosario Resendez
Staff Assistant, Institutional Effectiveness
  Grace C. Maciel
Grant Resources Support Assistant, VPIA
  Rita R. Hernandez
New Student Information Specialist, EMSR
  Suddam S. Solis
Data & Information Specialist, TCBEED
  Susana Garcia
Associate Director, Office of Financial Aid
  Mary R. Chavez
Associate Director, Office of Career Services
  David R. Jones
Associate Director, Enrollment Services
  Veronica A. Gonzalez
Director of Enrollment Management& School Relations, EMSR
  Eric A. Elmore
Automated Services Librarian, Killam Library
  Belinda Garcia
Instructor, PASE (Developmental Studies)
  Rahul Kale
Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Marketing and International Business
  Francisco J. Guajardo
Instructor, Department of Biology and Chemistry
  Karen L. Hale
Instructor, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work
  William J. Nichols, II
Assistant Professor, Department of Language and Literature
  Daniel C. Bloomingdale
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Language and Literature

Separations of Employment

Upon first knowledge of employment separation by an employee, the employing department must take the following steps:

  • Notify the HR Office by calling ext. 2365.
  • Submit to the HR Office a Personnel/Budget Action Form accompanied by the employee's separation letter which must state the separation date.
  • To advertise the vacant position, submit a Personnel Requisition to the HR Office.
  • Review the Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) on file in the HR Office to determine if the position description has changed.
  • If the position description has changed, submit a revised PDQ with the Personnel Requisition.
  • Prior to the last day of work, the employee must report to the HR Office to complete the exiting and clearance process (insurance, leave, timecard, keys, ID, etc.).
NOTE: If separation is from student employment, please contact the Office of Career Services (ext. 2260) upon first knowledge of separation.

System Internal Audit Department Provides Investigative Services

It is the responsibility of every employee of TAMIU to help protect the assets and resources of the A&M System. To accomplish this, each employee is encouraged to report factual information suggestive of dishonest or illegal activities/practices that might impact TAMIU or any A&M System member. These activities/practices include, but are not limited to, theft, corruption, asset misappropriation, or misuse of state resources.

To report suspected fraud or abuse, contact the System Internal Audit Department at (888)501-3850, (979)458-7115, or visit their website at http://sago.tamu.edu/iaudit.


HR Forms Available Online

The HR Office reminds you of the availability of the following HR forms on the Internet! These automated forms can be accessed and completed from the HR website by selecting the FORMS button. The program Adobe Acrobat 4.0 will be needed in order to access the forms, and the program can be downloaded from our website. If you have questions or encounter problems using the automated HR forms, please call Gracy Buentello at ext. 2365 for assistance.

• Direct Deposit Authorization
• Employee Time Cards

• Application for Employment
• Referral for Interview
• Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
• Personnel Requisition
• Personnel/Budget Action Form
• Budget/Fund Transfer Form
• External Employment and Consulting Application and Approval Form

• Classified Staff Evaluation Form
• Professional/Administrative Employee Evaluation Form

• First Report of Injury or Illness

• Employee Educational Assistance Program Forms


Conducting Interviews and Checking References

As supervisor/interviewer for your department, you have the critical responsibility of selecting the best-qualified candidates for vacancies in your department, while adhering to all applicable laws and regulations. By implementing a proper pre-employment screening practice, you can increase the chances of selecting qualified, motivated, and dependable workers for your department. The following helpful tips for interviewing and checking references can guide you during your selection process. (You can also refer to the System online training called "Conducting Effective Interviews" which can be accessed via HRConnect under the TRAINING tab.)

When asking interview questions, consider three rules of thumb:
Ask only for information that you intend to use to make hiring decisions.
  2. Know how you will use the information to make that decision.
  3. Recognize that it is difficult to defend the practice of seeking information that you do not use.
Review the job description
  - Draft and agree upon the interview questions to be asked.
Review the candidate's resume/application.
  - Agree on the format of the interview.


Ensure that you know and can identify the indicators of the candidate's ability to perform the job.
  - Introduce committee members (if applicable).
  - Describe the format of the interview.
  - Ask open-ended informational, situational, and behavioral questions.
  - Let the applicant do most of the talking.
  - Keep the interview on track.
  - Observe non-verbal behavior.
  - Take notes.
  - Leave time for the candidate to ask questions.
  - Ask if you can check references and pursue references not listed on the resume.
  - Describe the remainder of the search process and the time it will take.
  - Thank the candidate for his or her time.
  - Evaluate the candidate.
  - Document the interview.
  - Check the same number of references for all candidates.
Ask if there is anyone you should not contact and why you should not contact this person.
  - Ask the candidate to notify individuals whom you will call for a reference.


Ensure that all references are individuals who have worked with the candidate in a professional
    capacity and who are not relatives or friends of the candidate.
  - Ensure that at least one reference is a former or current supervisor of the candidate.
  - Ask the candidate if he or she worked under any name other than the one given you.
Consult with the TAMIU HR Office if there is need to check credit reports, criminal records,
    and/or driving records.
  - Review (or seek) letters of recommendation.
  - Verify dates of employment, titles, and periods of time in each position.
  - Verify salary (if applicable).
  - Verify education and licenses.
  - Identify strengths and weaknesses.
  - Ask references how well the candidate works with others.
  - Obtain opinions about how the candidate would perform in your position.
  - Ask about the candidate's work ethic.
  - Ask why the candidate left the position in question.
  - Ask the candidate's former supervisor (if identified as a reference) or the HR office of the
    candidate's former employer if the candidate is eligible for rehire.
  - Document all reference-checking activities.

Getting to Know U!

Dr. Terence Hannigan


Dr. Terence Hannigan is the Director of Student Counseling Services. In June, he spent a week of his summer vacation cycling across the state of Ohio and into western Pennsylvania. Dr. Hannigan averaged about 55 miles of cycling daily and logged a total of 434 miles. In the past, Dr. Hannigan has cycled in Nebraska (2003), Illinois (2002), and Iowa (2001). Next summer, he is thinking of cycling in eastern Colorado because, as he quips, "it's nice and flat!" (Watch out Lance Armstrong!)

TAMIU, we want to get to know you! Tell us an interesting fact about yourself, and we will feature it along with a photo in this section of the newsletter. Submit your information to Xochitl Kladis via email or at ext. 2364.

Mug O' The Month
Maria Laura Elizondo is the Director of Financial Aid. She joined TAMIU in January 1993.

She received a prize for being the first to identify the TAMIU employee in the "Who is This?" section of the previous issue of the HR News & Views.

Laura Elizondo, Director in the Financial Aid Office

Who is This?  
Who Is This?

The first person to email the HR Office and correctly identify this TAMIU employee by name and title will win a prize!

The identity of the employee who appeared in the last issue of HR News & Views can be found in "The Answer Corner" section of this newsletter!

The Answer Corner
The following are frequently-asked questions received in the Office of Human Resources. To ask us questions, use the "Ask HR" button on this newsletter.


Who was the baby in the "Who is This?" section of the last issue of "HR News & Views"?



That was Fred Juarez, Director of Budget, Payroll, Grants and Contracts. TAMIU employees who wish to submit their picture for the "Who is This?" section may contact the HR Office via email or at ext. 2365.


I'd like to review a certain policy. Where do I go?



System Policies/Regulations and University Rules can be accessed from the HR Office webpage at http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/ohr by clicking on "System Policies & University Rules." The System Policies/Regulations website even offers a search tool that helps to quickly find a particular issue or subject.


My child will begin attending college this fall. Will I still be able to cover them as a dependent on my insurance benefits?


Under the A&M System benefit programs, college attendance isn't one of the criteria used to determine whether a person qualifies for dependent coverage. As long as an employee's/retiree's child is younger than 25 and unmarried, that child qualifies for coverage. The same criteria also applies to grandchildren. However, the grandchild must live in the employee's/retiree's home.

That Extra (S)Mile!
This section describes the deeds of TAMIU employees who have been observed going the "extra mile" for our University.
The Office of Student Activities would like to thank all the Orientation Leaders for their part in making Dusty Camp 2004 a success! Also, it should be noted that 2 of the Orientation Leaders played a superior role in Dusty Camp 2004. Both Felipe Pantoja and Prisma Lopez demonstrated a mature attitude, dedication towards the students and parents, and professionalism in their jobs. Thanks, everyone!
If you know of any employee performing in such a way that deserves mention in this column, send their name and details of their deeds to the HR Office via email.


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