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A Publication of UHD Public Affairs
Aug. 25, 2010
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TopComing up at UHD.....

The Sports & Fitness Center fall fitness classes begin Aug. 30 with opportunities ranging from dance and yoga to aerobics and martial arts.

The University Theatre will present, 'Oleanna' in the O'Kane Theatre at 8 p.m., Aug. 26, 27 and 28 and at 3 p.m. Aug. 29. 

Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, faculty, staff and students will be required to use stronger password characteristics when changing their network passwords.

The Institute for Financial Literacy is seeking staff volunteers for a one-hour focus group, "Tell Your Money Where to Go," at noon Aug. 26.

Renew your parking permits. See story below.
Password characteristics change Aug. 30

Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, faculty, staff and students will be required to use stronger password characteristics when changing their network passwords. This change is necessary to comply with UH System audit requirements and meet industry best practices.

System policies require all new or changed passwords to meet the following standards:

  • include a minimum of eight (8) characters; and
  • contain a character from at least three (3) out of the following four (4) character sets:

1)     capital letter (A - Z)

2)     lower case letter (a - z)

3)     digit (0 - 9)

4)     special character (such as !, $, #, %)

Most of you will not be affected by this change immediately, since your current password will remain valid until you elect to change your password or are systematically required to do so based on the age of your current password. Also, please note that as part of the new password requirements,users will be required to change their passwords at least once every 90 days rather than the 120 days previously required.

 If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact Said Fattouh, director of User Support Services, Information Technology, at 713-221-8059, or via email at

'Oleanna' opens in the O'Kane Thursday

The University Theatre will present, 'Oleanna' in the O'Kane Theatre at 8 p.m., Aug. 26, 27 and 28 and at 3 p.m. Aug. 29.  Admission is free and seats are available on a first-come, first-seated basis.  The play, by David Mamet, revolves around a student and a professor caught in a compelling drama of power and betrayal.
Americorps' Students in Service program receives grant; open for new proposals

UHD faculty and staff members interested in collaborating in preparing a Students in Service proposal, contact Jean DeWitt, director of Community Engagement, at

The Texas Campus Compact has received a grant to support the Students in Service program (

Students in Service is an AmeriCorps program that encourages and supports college and university students to enroll as part-time AmeriCorps members who provide service in their communities. SIS members make a difference in their communities, gain civic and workforce skills, and upon completion of their term of service, earn an education award.

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Soldier-Poet will read at UHD on Oct. 7

Soldier-Poet Brian Turner will read his poetry from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium, third floor, Academic Building.

Tuner is regularly referenced in the New York Times as a veteran/poet spokesperson for his generation. His debut book of poems, Here, Bullet, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times "Editor's Choice" selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others.

His second poetry book, Phantom Noise, was released by Alice James in the spring of 2010. Turner has recently been selected as one of 50 United States Artists Fellows for 2009. 


For information contact Jane Creighton, associate professor of English and Cultural Enrichment Center director, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at 713-221-8295 or

Astros host last College Night Sept. 17

The Houston Astros will host the final College Night of the season on Sept. 17.

Discounted tickets can be purchased online at  Arrive early for $3.75 drink specials and stay after the game for a postgame concert with Robert Ellis and the Boys!  Please see the attached flyer for more information.


Sign up now for Fall Fitness Classes

The Sports & Fitness Center fall classes begin Aug. 30 with opportunities ranging from dance and yoga to aerobics and martial arts.

Contact Rhonda Scherer at or sports& for more information. A schedule of activities is available here.

Register for 'MyPyramid Tracker' workshop

The Sports and Fitness Center is sponsoring a workshop called "MyPyramid Tracker" to help people analyze their nutritional and physical activity from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 8 in Room 998-South in the One Main Building.

Studies show that people who write down or log what they eat and their physical activity are more successful at losing weight and maintaining their weight than people who don't keep such records. "MyPyramid Tracker" is an online activity log and at the workshop participants will learn how to create their own MyPyramid account and more about the benefits the service offers.

Snacks and appreciation gifts will be provided. For more information and a link to reserve a spot is available on the attached flyer.

Stories from previous Skylines
Board confirms Dressman appointment
The UH System Board of Regents confirmed Michael R. Dressman as UHD's Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost at its quarterly meeting Tuesday.

Michael Dressman came to the University of Houston-Downtown in 1982 as chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities, a position he held until 1989 when he became the first dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 


He served for 14 years as dean and helped create the department of urban education. Dressman also oversaw planning efforts to split the college and create the new College of Public Service. Before coming to UHD, he worked at the University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, where he served for two years as the chair of the English department. He also served as an instructor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and as an English teacher in Detroit. He has also worked at the Detroit Free Press and as a VISTA volunteer.


Dressman holds a bachelor's degree in Latin and a master's degree in English from the University of Detroit. He earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research and publications are in the area of American Literature specializing in Walt Whitman and the history of the English language.

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Wolfe appointment confirmed
Johanna Wolfe photo The UH System Board of Regents Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Johanna Wolfe as UHD's Vice President for Advancement and External Relations. 

She comes here from the University of Houston where she served as assistant Vice President for Advancement and External Relations, and brings more than 20 years of experience in non-profit management and development to the University.

She is the UHD's first vice president for advancement and external relations.

Wolfe's accomplishments at UH have created many new opportunities for UH students. She secured a $20 million gift to establish the Cynthia Wood Mitchell Center for the Arts, a premier venue and educational center featuring visiting faculty, post-doctoral fellowships, dedicated courses, scholarships, performances and community outreach. She staffed the $2.8 million campaign for the Jack L. Valenti School of Communication and the $20 million campaign for expanding and renovating the M.D. Anderson Library and Honors College.

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Institute for Financial Literacy seeks volunteers for focus group

The Institute for Financial Literacy is seeking staff volunteers for a one-hour focus group, "Tell Your Money Where to Go," at noon Thursday, Aug. 26, in Room 602-North, to discuss topics for the institute's website and seminars.


Bring your own lunch and drinks will be provided. Questions and discussion topics are welcome. For information, contact Jim Kane, institute director, at

System Board of Regents approves FY holiday schedule

The UH System Board of Regents approved the University System's FY2011 holiday schedule, as outlined below, at their meeting of Aug. 17, 2010.                           
  • Monday, Sept.6, 2010
    Labor Day                                      
  • Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26, 2010
  • Friday, Dec. 24, 2010 through Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
    Winter Holiday                                  
  • Monday, Jan.17, 2011
    Martin Luther King Day                    
  • Monday, May 30, 2011
    Memorial Day                                    
  • Monday, July 4, 2011
    Independence Day                              
Exhibit crowd

Reception celebrates Mexican heritage

The Consulate General of Mexico and UHD's Cultural Enrichment Center hosted an opening reception Wednesday in the Special Events Center in commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Independence and Centennial of the Revolution in Mexico.


The "Pabellon del Bicentenario y Centenario" exhibit will be on display from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 27, in the Special Events Center. The event drew a large crowd to meet Mexican consular officials and to view the panels depicting great moments in Mexican history.

Fall Hispanic Film Series begins Sept. 9

The Fall 2010 Hispanic Film Series begins Thursday, Sept. 9, with a screening of "Cronicas:Ecuador" at 6:30 p.m. in Room 405-A in the Academic Building.


The 2004 film is directed by Sebastian Cordero and follows a television journalist as he investigates crimes against children in rural Ecuador. The series is sponsored by the Department of Arts and Humanities in UHD's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. For information contact Ana-Maria Medina, visiting assistant professor, at A flyer is available here.


Other films are:

Rosario Tijeras: Columdia - Sept. 23

Virgen de los Sicarios: Columbia - Oct. 7

Bombon: El Perro: Argentina - Oct. 14

Intacto: Spain - Nov. 4

Fall Convocation set for Sept. 1

President Bill Flores invites faculty and staff to attend the President's Fall Convocation at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, in the Academic Building, Cullen Robertson Auditorium.


Cake and coffee will be available following the Convocation in the

Special Events Center.

State offers tobacco cessation program for employees, retirees and dependents

Texas Department of State Health Services Tobacco Prevention and Control Program is pleased to announce state employees, retirees and their dependents are now eligible for a new tobacco cessation program that offers free nicotine replacement therapy and free telephonic counseling.


These services are being made available through a partnership of the DSHS Tobacco Prevention Program, the Statewide Wellness Coordinator and the Employee Retirement System of Texas utilizing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.


Employees can call the Quitline at 1-877-YES-QUIT for access to over-the-phone counseling as well as up to eight weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (such as the patch, gum or lozenges). The free nicotine replacement therapy will be available through December 2011. The Quitline counseling services will continue to be available past this date.


Currently an estimated 45,000 state employees use tobacco products, and nearly seven of every 10 of these employees want to quit. Quitline users will double their chance of quitting by utilizing the free counseling and nicotine replacement therapy. According to the American Cancer Society, within 12 hours of quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Within nine months of quitting, shortness of breath and coughing decrease, and the lungs have repaired their ability to

function. After just one year of not smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease decreases by half, compared to a smoker's risk according to a study in 2006 by the Center for Health Research at Keiser Permanente. Additionally, a smoker who quits will personally save at least $2,100 per year.


This program offers a unique opportunity for state employees, retirees and their beneficiaries to take advantage of expanded tobacco cessation services. Make the call today - 1-877-YES-QUIT. A flyer is available here.

Fall Blood Drive set for Sept. 21 and 22

The Fall Blood Drive will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 21 and 22, in the third floor Coffee House area (next to Smoothie King).


How can you sign up to donate blood?

Enter your Log-In ID or create an ID if you are a new user
Follow the instructions to schedule an appointment (Enter Sponsor Code 3731)
What do you do if you don't know what time you will have available until the day of the Blood Drive?
Go to the donation center at the Coffee House to sign-up.

Visit the website for information about donating blood. If you have any questions or problems scheduling an appointment, contact Liza Alonzo at 

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Vendors, exhibitors needed for Fall Family Festival Arts and Craft Show

The Fall Family Festival Arts and Craft Show sponsors are seeking exhibitors and vendors for the event which is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, on the UHD Portico,
(the covered area between the North and South Decks. Note the date is incorrect in yesterday's edition).


The rental fee is $20 and vendors/exhibitors also have the use of a 6-foot table and two chairs for the day. Deadline to register is Sept. 3.

Event sponsors are seeking vendors selling candles, jewelry, Tupperware, handmade crafts, home designs, and holiday items.

For registration information contact

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Peak flu season is around the corner, protect yourself and your family

Universal flu shots will be available at the UHD Student Health Services, Room 320N, for $20 starting in September.


The vaccination will be given for the 2010-2011 Flu Season and will be the H1N1 and the Seasonal Flu Vaccine in one shot. Separate vaccine will not be needed nor given.


NO APPOINTMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED. Shots will be given on a walk-in basis. Specific times and dates will be provided at a later date.


Flu vaccines are currently NOT available at this time. We will update everyone when they become available.

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Renew parking permits online by Sept. 7

Renewal of Faculty/Staff parking permits for FY10-11 will begin Wednesday, August 4, 2010.


All current permit holders, full or part-time, are eligible to renew their permit online. Those choosing to use the on-line option will be asked to verify mailing address information via PeopleSoft Advantage Self Service (PASS). Permits will be mailed, via US postal services within 3-5-business days, to the address specified. 


To avoid deactivation of proximity cards, employees must purchase their permit by Tuesday, Sept. 7.


To register for parking using the on-line option, go to

  Select   (Register & Pay here)

  Select Faculty/staff eServices

  Go to My Online Transactions

  Select My Payment

  Select Parking


The payment options offered are payroll deduction (three monthly deductions), credit card (AMEX, Visa, MasterCard, Discover), and eCheck.  Customers are encouraged to purchase permits online, as only cash and check transactions can be accepted in the Parking and Transportation Service office.


An added benefit of the monthly payroll deduction plan is that when full-time faculty or staff members purchase their permit in this manner, the deductions are made on a pre-tax basis. For monthly employees, deductions will be taken equally for three months starting on October 1st, which is actually the September paycheck.  Employees paid on a bi-weekly basis will see the deduction on the first paycheck of each month. Permits ordered online between Aug. 4th and Sept. 10th will have deductions of three installments beginning with the first paycheck in October. After Sept. 10th, payroll deductions will be taken out in two equal installments only.


The breakdown by permit type is shown below.


Permit Type




Tier I (formerly 'Gold') - $190




Tier II (Reserved - Commerce Bldg Only) - $135




Regular Faculty/Staff - $85




Buddy Parking - $85




Disabled Parking - $50





 Adjunct professors and part-time employees will be able to request parking online and pay in full with credit card or eCheck.  Employee classification is obtained through PeopleSoft HR, which is maintained by Employment Services and Operations (ESO).  If an employee has questions about their employee classification, please contact your unit business administrator or ESO.


Disabled parking privileges are for the benefit of the registered permit holder only.  UHD requires that a UHD disabled parking permit be displayed along with a valid state issued disabled parking placard or state license plate whenever a vehicle is parked in a disabled parking space in any faculty/staff or student lot.


Motorcycle permits must be purchased in the Parking and Transportation Services Office. Motorcycle permits allow parking only in designated motorcycle areas and the permit holder is subject to the same parking regulations as motor vehicles.


As always, employees are asked to report lost, stolen, or damaged hang-tags/permits or proximity cards immediately to Parking and Transportation Services. The owner may obtain a replacement permit or proximity card for a fee of $10.00. 


The mission of Parking and Transportation Services is to provide the highest possible level of service and convenience to the campus community - students, faculty and staff.  Please feel free to contact Parking and Transportation Services with any questions or comments by e-mailing us at or by calling ext. 8127.


Click here to register now!  


For more information, contact Vanessa Turner, Manager, Parking and transportation Services, at 713-221-8947 or

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Eastbound San Jacinto Entrance on I-10 Closed through Oct. 20

The Eastbound Entrance Ramp from San Jacinto Street will be closed continuously for construction until 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct.  20. The detour route is to turn right on Rothwell and follow the curve, turn left on Nance, right on Jensen and left to Interstate-10 eastbound.

The San Jacinto exit ramp from  I-10 westbound will be closed continuously for construction until 5 a.m. Oct. 20. The detour route is to take U.S. 59 south to the Jackson Street exit and go west on Commerce Street to San Jacinto. Note this is a change from earlier editions. Franklin Street is one-way eastbound in that area.

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IT Training for Faculty/Staff/Alumni

Register for IT training opportunities at the links below.  To schedule

a one-on-one appointment or other assistance, please call 713-221-8200. 


Blackboard Vista


10-11a.m. -Blackboard Vista: Gradebook Setup

Tuesday, Aug. 31

1-2 p.m. -Turnitin


See all current IT training available

The Skyline eNews is produced Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the school year by the Office of Public Affairs, and you will receive the Skyline eNews via email while you are a UHD employee. We update our email list weekly. The eNews is a University faculty and staff newsletter and is designed to keep employees informed of university activities, policy changes, human resources issues, business office information and security information.

The deadline for submitting items is 9 a.m. the day before publication. Past issues are archived on UHD's website. The archive link is in the lower right column.   

We are always interested in your activities. Let us know at least 24 hours in advance so we can include your event in the Skyline eNews. We also try to photograph University activities, but we need to know when and where your event is taking place. Email or call Public Affairs at 713-221-8010.
In this issue
Coming up at UHD
Network password requirements change
'Oleanna' opens Thursday
Students in Service program receives funding
Soldier-Poet will read Oct. 7
Astros host last College Night
Sign up for Fall Fitness Classes
Register for 'MyPyramid Tracker' workshop
Board confirms Dressman
Wolfe appointment confirmed
Institute for Financial Literacy seeks volunteers.
Regents approve holiday schedule.
Reception celebrates Mexican heritage.
Hispanic Film Series begins Sept. 9
Fall Convocation Sept. 1
State offers free stop smoking program
Fall blood drive Sept. 21 and 22
Vendors, exhibitors sought for Fall Family Festival Oct. 23
Flu shots available in September
Renew parking permits by Sept. 7
Eastbound San Jacinto entrance to I-10 closed
Register for IT training.
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