August 2005
  • Quote of the Month
    • "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." --Winston Churchill


2005-2006 Holiday Schedule Is In!


The Texas A&M International University holiday schedule for fiscal year 2005-2006 is in! This year, employees will have a total of 13 days off.

Texas A&M International University will be observing the following holiday schedule for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. (The holiday schedule can also be accessed at http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/ohr/holiday.shtml.)

November 24-25, 2005

Christmas & New Year's Day
December 26-30, 2005

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 16, 2006

Spring Break
March 15-17, 2006

Memorial Day
May 29, 2006

Independence Day
July 4, 2006

NOTE: Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Independence Day are observed as required by policy of The Texas A&M University System


Construction Update

The Kinesiology expansion project has been bid out, and bid proposals are to be submitted. The Competitive Sealed Proposals are to be submitted to the Office of Facilities, Planning and Construction by July 28. Dr. Ray Keck and Mr. Jose Garcia will be in College Station on July 29 to review the proposal submissions. A complete ranking of the general contractors that submit proposals is to be done by August 19. Then, negotiation with the top contractor will begin.

More construction information is to come!


Did You Miss the July 31st Deadline for Annual Enrollment?

The Annual Enrollment period for the 2005-2006 fiscal year concluded on July 31, 2005. All benefits changes submitted during the Annual Enrollment period will take effect on September 1, 2005 and continue through August 31, 2006.

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

As a reminder, be sure to review your first paycheck of the 2005-2006 fiscal year to verify that all deductions are correct. New premiums will be deducted starting with the paycheck to be received on September 16th (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, 2005 must complete and submit an election form by August 31, 2005. Election forms are available in the HR Office.

If you are currently enrolled in EPP, you will automatically be enrolled for FY 2005-2006 at your current percentage, unless you notify the HR Office otherwise.

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


Tax Saver Spending Accounts

Fiscal year 2004-2005 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, 2005. 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, 2005 to submit claims to Tax Saver for this plan year.

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


Welcome, New Employees!!
  Sandra M. Jimenez, Staff Assistant
Department of Special Populations (ACP)
KL 427 ext. 2691
  Margarita R. Guzman, CDC Educator
Department of Special Populations (CDC)
BCH 102 ext. 2926
  Jaime J. Castro, Police Officer
University Police Department
KL 005 ext. 2100
  Edna A. Hinojosa, Police Officer
University Police Department
KL 005

ext. 2100

  Anna M. Girdwood, Coach (Women's Soccer)
Athletics Department
KCB 107F ext. 2901
  Cesar G. Hernandez, Associate Director
Career Services
SC 114E ext. 2262

Jorge Aviles KL 203 ext. 2130
FROM: Lab Assistant, PASE (Testing/Computer Services)    
TO: Senior Lab Assistant, PASE (Testing/Computer Services)    
Aquiles Barrera KL 254 ext. 2291
FROM: Media Services Asssitant, OIT    
TO: Services Specialist I, OIT    

  Norma A. Liendo, Staff Assistant
Athletics Department
  Ruth E. Carvajal, Staff Assistant
International Programs (ISS)
  Norma R. Unruh, Degree Audit Assistant
University Registrar
  Michael J. Rigal, User Services Specialist
  Michael S. Soto, New Student Information Specialist
Recruitment & School Relations
  Maria Del Rosario Ibanez, Data and Information Specialist
  Heather Corti, Project Rio Coordinator (Recruiter)
College of Education (Project Rio)
  Lilia P. Cantu, Associate Director of Writing Center
PASE (Writing Center)
  Juanita R. Lira, Instructor
Department of Special Populations
  Jose L. Velasquez, Instructor
Department of Special Populations
  Myung-chul Kim, Instructor
Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  Phoebe Godfrey, Assistant Professor
Department of Behavioral, Applied Sciences and Criminal Justice
  John P. Kohl, Professor
Department of Management, Marketing and International Business

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)458-7100, 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 under FORMS. These forms can be accessed by using the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in which can be downloaded from the HR 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

• Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
• Personnel/Budget Action Form
• Budget/Fund Transfer Form
• External Employment and Consulting Application and Approval Form
• Criminal Background Check - Authorization to Release Information

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

• First Report of Injury or Illness

• Employee Educational Assistance Program Forms
• Foreign National History of Presence Certification Form
• Exit Processing Form
• Formal Complaint Form


Separations of Employment
Upon first knowledge of employment separation by an employee, the employing department must take the following steps. The forms mentioned below are available at the HR website under FORMS.
  • 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 requisition to the HR Office via TAMIUWorks!
  • 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.
  • 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.


Conducting Interview 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).


  • Ask only for information that you intend to use to make hiring decisions.
  • Know how you will use the information to make that decision.
  • 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 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

HRConnect: Personal Benefits and Employment Info At Your Fingertips!

Securely access information about your personal benefits, employment data, plus much more, from HRConnect…anytime from work or home (except 8:00 a.m. to noon on Sundays)! To access your information, log on to Single Sign On by entering your Universal Identification Number (UIN) and password, then selecting HRConnect. If you need assistance, you may contact Jessica Palacios (ext. 2362) or Nora Guereca (ext. 2363).


Getting to Know U!


Gina Gonzalez has worked with TAMIU since 4/29/96 and has served as a student worker, Associate Director (Admissions Freshmen Advisor), and currently, Director of Recruitment & School Relations. Gina loves her job and enjoys meeting with high school students to tell them about TAMIU and the benefits of higher education. Gina was born in Mexico City but has lived in Laredo for 25 years. She enjoys traveling, learning about different cultures, and reading all types of books. When not working, Gina spends time with family which includes her 1-year old daughter.

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
Marta Laura Medina is an Accounting Assistant (Accounts Payable) in the Business Office. She joined TAMIU in December 2003.

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.

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 Yezmin Salazar, Office Coordinator in OIT. 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.
Has the University considered timeclocks or electronic sign-in sheets for the employees?  Something electronic that would tie into an electronic timecard would be nice.

The System HR Office is currently working on “TimeTraq” which will automate the time card and consolidate it into LeaveTraq. The System is still in the testing phase for TimeTraq and will keep component HR offices informed about when the implementation date is expected.


If a director “verbally assigns” you as one of his or her supervisors and years later you no longer wish to be his or her “supervisor,” can that affect your pay scale if you were not listed as such in the employment file?


The duties and responsibilities of a position are documented on a PDQ, and the position is assigned to a pay grade based on those on duties and responsibilities. If the position needs to be reclassified because the duties and responsibilities changed, the supervisor must submit the proposal in writing accompanied by a revised PDQ. The HR Office will review the revised PDQ, re-evaluate the position, and determine if the position needs to be placed on another pay grade. The TAMIU Pay Plan (which includes the current Pay Scale) is available online from the HR website. For assistance with compensation and classification issues, please contact the HR Office at ext. 2365.

That Extra (S)Mile!
This section describes the deeds of TAMIU employees who have been observed going the "extra mile" for our University.
This year’s CSAC officers make a great team, and Elizabeth Valdez, CSAC President, has been a wonderful role model to all of us. Even though she has served as President for only a few months, she has been a motivation to all CSAC members. The CSAC officers are saddened by Ms. Valdez’ resignation from her position as Student Employment Program Coordinator in Career Services. We will do our best to follow in her footsteps and uphold the mission of CSAC.
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.

Phone: 956.326.2365
Fax: 956.326.2359
Location: Killam Library 320