Human Resources

March 2009 > HR Forum > HR Pro > HRS Home

HR Forum - March, 2009

Also available as a downloadable PDF file: Presentation [PDF: 461 KB; 49 pages]

Payroll Services, Krista Hadavi, Tax Administrator

Changes to Income Tax Withholding

  • As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the IRS has issued new withholding tables to reflect the Making Work Pay credit.
  • The new tables will reduce the amount of income tax withheld from employees’ wages and increase net (take home) pay.
  • The change is effective for salary payments made on or after April 1, 2009.
  • Employees are not required to submit a new Form W-4 to receive the credit.
  • If employees do not want to have their withholding reduced, they may update their withholding on My Paycheck Profile in UT Direct or submit a new Form W-4 to Payroll Services.
  • Employees are encouraged to review their personal withholding tax situation to determine whether changes are needed.
  • For additional help, employees can review IRS Publication 919 on the IRS website:

Federal Minimum Wage Increase, JoAnn Haley, Sr. HR Representative, Staffing & Career Management Services, Human Resources

Federal Minimum Wage Increase


  • Phase 1 July 24, 2007 $5.85/hour
  • Phase 2 July 24, 2008 $6.55/hour
  • Phase 3 July 24, 2009 $7.25/hour
  • Affected Non-Academic Student Titles
    • Student Assistant (0074)
    • High School Student Worker (0078)
    • Non-Affiliated Student Worker (0079)
  • Effective July 16, 2009, the minimum rate at UT Austin will be $7.26 per hour for these titles
  • Minimums for other non-academic student titles will remain the same

Appointment Begin Dates & Position Origination Dates, Kirsha Del Pino, Interim Assistant Director, Staffing & Career Management Services, Human Resources

Appointment Begin Dates

  • According to Texas State Comptroller guidelines, when the first calendar day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or is preceded by a holiday, then the appointment begin date must correspond with that date rather than the first actual workday.
  • Months where this will occur throughout the remainder of 2009 are:
    • Sunday, March 1, 2009
    • Saturday, August 1, 2009
    • Sunday, November 1, 2009

Position Origination Dates

  • As HRMS positions are created near these dates, document creators will want to keep this in mind as they establish the position's origination date.
  • For example, if a position origination date had been established for the first workday, Monday February 2, then the appointment begin date could not occur February 1 as required by the comptroller’s guidelines.
  • For more information about HRMS, please see the HRMS FAQs.
  • Please contact your Staffing and Career Management Representative for additional information.
  • The origination date is on the first screen—”details” screen—when  creating a new position.
  • The default is today’s date.
  • It is the first date that the position can be active in HRMS.
    • Users cannot place an employee in the position earlier than the origination date.
    • Users can change the origination date to an earlier date if the position has never been filled. To change the origination date, select Modify from Position Details in HRMS.

Flexible Hiring Freeze , Kirsha Del Pino, Interim Assistant Director, Staffing & Career Management Services, Human Resources

Follow-up and Action Items

Follow-up Items
Develop Flexible Hiring Freeze Guidelines Dean/VP office communicates portfolio hiring freeze guidelines to all sub-units
Dean/VP HRMS Document Routing Deave/VP office changes document routing as necessary
Submit Designee Info to HR Dean/VP office sends HR memorandum or e-mail if delegating authority
Vacant Position Currently Posted Dean/VP office reviews current postings and notifies HR of any cancellations
Positions Authorized to be Filled Dean/VP office adds exemption criteria to "Funding Statement" text box authorizing the position and/or recruitment effort

Funding Statement

  • Position documents require Funding Statement (even when exempt from the hiring freeze)
  • Document creators should first work with Dean/VP Office to obtain authorization to fill existing positions and create new positions
  • Authorization is necessary prior to approval of Recruiting Summary for existing documents

Verbiage for Funding Statement

[Name], [Title] in [Dean, VP, or Designated Officer Name]’s office confirmed this requests meets the [Portfolio Name] guidelines for exemption to the hiring freeze based on [Reason].












Exemptions to Hiring Freeze

  • Essential to operations (per Dean/VP)
  • Funded fully by sponsored projects
  • Funded by a sponsored account
  • Temporary, not eligible for benefits
  • Hourly positions, not eligible for benefits
  • Employee Management Services, Human Resources


  • Non-benefits eligible and temporary positions are not subject to the flexible hiring freeze
  • UTemps is an option
  • Added benefits when using UTemps:
    • pre-employment screening
    • compliance training
    • timekeeping
    • payroll
    • employment documents

HRSC Records - Robin Jarman, HR Manager, Human Resource Service Center, Human Resources

New Work Schedule

  • HRMS/appointments/electronic timesheet
  • Work Monday through Friday, on-call or off Saturday and Sunday
  • Exempt, weekend work from home
(on call)
(on call)

Work Schedule Resource

  • Timekeeper FAQ/Resource in the works
    • Transitioning electronic timesheet to flexible work schedule
  • Suggestions wanted
    • What works?
    • What are the challenges?

Performance Appraisals - Lisa Milne, Interim Assistant Director, Employee Management Services, Human Resources

Changes to the University's Form

  • The new form will have a three-tiered rating scale to be consistent with state statutes
    • Meets expectations: Overall performance is good and solid
    • Exceeds Expectations: Performance overall exceeds expectations
    • Does not meet expectations: Performance has not met key responsibilities

The Following are New Additions to the Form

  • An area to describe the overall purpose of the position
  • A note on requiring a performance action plan if deficiencies are noted
  • A designation if this is a position of special trust
  • An employee comment box

Changes to Probationary Form

  • A designation if this is a position of special trust has been added
  • The time periods for reviews have been updated to show even progression: 45, 90, 135 days

Certification Process

  • All systems not complying with the new form will require certification or recertification through EMS
  • The certification process should address:
    • A high level description of the performance appraisal approach
    • A sample of the proposed instrument with instructions
    • Expected outcomes for use of the proposed approach that are not addressed by a currently certified approach
  • The overview should also indicate if a cross-section of the organization was used to either develop or select the proposed approach.
  • Once the memo requesting approval has been submitted, the next steps are:
    • Introduce the system to your employees.
    • Train supervisors to use the overall approach and form.
    • The system becomes a part of the university’s performance management options.
  • Other criteria are detailed in the Certification Process on our Web site.

Web Site

HR Forum SharePoint Site - Cindy Posey, Communication Coordinator, Human Resources

HR Forum SharePoint Site

  • Will provide a place to share resources
  • Will provide an avenue for communication on HR issues (team discussions)
  • Please send us your feedback on any ideas you might have for the site
  • E-mail: 

Staff Service Award Certificates - Kelly Lomasney, Interim Assistant Director, Human Resource Service Center, Human Resources


  • Please pick-up your department’s 10-25 year award certificates
  • 30 year and above will be presented at the President’s Awards for Outstanding Staff and Supervisors and Staff Service
    • Thursday, May 7, 2009
    • 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    • Texas Union Ballroom

Work/Life Services & EAP Update - Christopher Solis, Office Manager, Work/Life Service & Employee Assistance Program, Human Resources

Sandwiched Between Children & Aging Parents: Balancing Demands on Dual Caregivers

Facilitator: Marion Trapolino, Intern, Work/Life Services & EAP
A Six-Week Support Group
Tuesdays, March 24 - April 28, 2009
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
North Office Building A
Texas Union, UNB 4.108
Registration required

Are You Prepared? Organizing Your Personal Records for Peace of Mind

Presenter: Amy Praskac, Founder of “On the Record”
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Noon to 1 p.m.
Texas Union, Chicano Culture Room
UNB 4.206
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Noon to 1 p.m.
The Commons, PRC 1.162

Workplace Rudeness & Incivility

Presenter: Rita Handrich, Ph.D., Psychologist
For Supervisors, Managers & HR Reps
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
8:30 a.m. to Noon
North Office Building A
NOA 4.106A
Thursday, April 9, 2009
8:30 a.m. to Noon
North Office Building A
NOA 4.106A
Registration required

Pre-Tenure Faculty Discussion Group

Facilitators: Mary K. Bade, Ph.D., and Susan Harnden, LCSW
A Six-Week Support Group
Wednesdays, April 1 - May 6, 2009
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Location TBD
Registration required

Tools for Responding to Distress & Disruption in the Workplace

Presenter: Rita Handrich, Ph.D., Psychologist
For Managers & Supervisors
Thursday, April 2, 2009
9:00 a.m. to Noon
North Office Building A
NOA 4.106A
Registration required

Working with Challenging Adolescents

Presenter: Kristi Cannon, Ph.D., Psychologist
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Texas Union, Eastwood Room
UNB 2.102

CareerSmart - Tom Rapp, Senior Program Coordinator, Organization Development Services, Human Resources

CareerSmart Supervisor/Manager Series

  • We are implementing a multi-faceted marketing strategy
  • We are going to market to people who have completed Managing@UT
  • We are working with the Professional Development Center (PDC) to determine who is working on CareerSmart series certificate

Spotlight on Upcoming Classes

  • Coaching and Counseling for Peak Performance (PDC), March 12*
  • Supervisory Leave Policy Overview (PN604), March 17*
  • Electronic Timesheets and Define ETM (PN163)
  • The Inclusive Workplace (PN611), March 24*
  • Managing Projects (PDC), March 25 and 26*
  • PMP-Overview for Supervisors (PN566),  March 26
  • Behavioral Interviewing (PDC), March 26*
  • Manager Tools for Responding to Distress & Disruption in the Workplace (PN610), April 2*
  • Crucial Communication Strategies (PDC),   April 7*

* Indicates classes that are part of the CareerSmart Series

For More Information

Telecommuting Agreement - Luther Johnson, Assistant Director, Employee Management Services, Human Resources

Telecommuting Agreement

  • A revised telecommuting policy is being reviewed and vetted by campus constituencies
  • Until policy is passed, telecommuting agreements will continue to be submitted to HR for review and approval
  • Revised policy will authorize departmental review and approval
  • HR will serve as a consultant and will be available for any questions

Next HR Forum

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 10 a.m.