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Sept. 3, 2010
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TopComing up at UHD.....

Deadline for FY10-11 Faculty/Staff parking permit renewal is Tuesday, Sept. 7. See story below.

The National Family Strengths Symposium is free for UHD faculty and students Sept. 7-9 in the UHD Coffee House, third floor Academic Building.

Auditions for fall theater productions will be Sept. 7 and 8 in the O'Kane Theatre. See story below.

Sports and Fitness workshop  from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 8 in Room 726-A in the Academic Building called MyPyramid Tracker helps people analyze their nutritional and physical activity.

BSW Program will sell art and note cards made by children of UHD students, staff, and faculty to raise funds Sept. 7 - 9.

Due to the Labor Day Holiday there will not be a Skyline News on Monday, Sept. 6.

Temporary parking arrangements at 800 N. San Jacinto end at 5 p.m. Sept. 10

As of 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, UHD faculty, staff and students will not have access to the parking lot at 800 N. San Jacinto.  UHD temporarily leased the lot at the beginning of fall semester in anticipation of parking shortages that have not materialized.

UHD Police Chief Richard Boyle says that construction is not moving as fast as expected on Metro's north line expansion, construction on UHD's Visitors Parking Lot has been delayed and UHD's fall enrollment grew less than expected.

"We have monitored the occupancy of the lot and have decided to close it in order to save money in this time of budget constraints.  We will place notices on all vehicles parked in the lot next week to help inform drivers of the change."

UHD President Bill Flores speaks during fall convocation.
Convocation includes first university-wide look at UHD's BHAG
UHD President Bill Flores addressed the UHD community Sept. 2 and included the first university-wide look at the Big Hairy Audacious Goal that the university community has compiled.

The goal: UHD will be a premier city university engaging students in high-impact educational experiences.

Flores said that high-impact experiences such as undergraduate research, internships, community service, capstone programs, service learning and a vibrant freshman experience will create experiences students will value and remember.

"These high-impact experiences are dynamic and engage students in their own learning," he said.  "They are high quality, high touch, high impact and high achievement experiences that will shape student success."

Benefits, he predicted, will include higher grade-point averages, improved retention rates, improved graduation rates, and more successful students whose stories will help build UHD's image and brand.
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Writing Proficiency Examination is no longer a General Education requirement

Michael R. Dressman, interim vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, has suspended the UHD General Education Program's Writing Proficiency Examination as a requirement, effective immediately.


 "After consulting with the academic administrative and faculty leadership, as well as the faculty members most involved in the teaching and assessment of writing, I have determined that the WPE does not add to the credibility of our graduates' credentials," Dressman said. "The intentions of the WPE and original design of the exam and the follow-up process were noble, but the implementation has not resulted in a fair and constructive contribution to the educational program for our students."


The provision in the General Education Program that requires that students pass two upper-level writing-intensive courses designated by their major program remains in effect.  Dressman said he will work with the departments and the colleges to strengthen that requirement and explore other ways to develop and enrich UHD students' language abilities and writing performance.


Students who have already paid a fee for an administration of the WPE for later this semester will receive a refund through Testing Services.


"I am certain that there will be unforeseen consequences of this action in any number of students' degree programs, and I ask that advisors, department chairs, and deans exercise creativity and student-centered responsiveness in dealing with those cases," he said.

UHD hosts National Family Strengths Symposium Tuesday and Wednesday

The National Family Strengths Symposium is free for UHD faculty and students, so be sure to register soon at and attend any or all workshops and keynote sessions Tuesday and Wednesday,Sept. 7-9, in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium, third floor Academic Building.
Families often have complications such as substance abuse, disabilities, mental illness, violence, crime, and bullying. The National UHD Symposium on "Family Strengths and Diversity: Power, Promise, Practice" will address these topics and many more. Lead by nationally known experts, 50 presentations will provide hands-on solutions for current and future human service workers, educators, corrections staff and other helping professionals and for families.  
Scholarships are available for all UHD faculty and students to attend for free; go to to register. For questions contact or call 713-221-2737.
UHD employees can buy discounted Texas Renaissance Festival tickets

UHD employees can purchase  tickets to the Texas Renaissance Festival at the 'Group Ticket" discounted rate of $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 12.

The festival will be from 9 a.m. to dusk Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 9 - Nov. 28, and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

To receive the 'Group Ticket' rate, you must use the discount code UHS-1488 and must purchase tickets in advance via credit card by phone or fax. The ticket handling fee of $1 per ticket will be waived. To place an order by phone, call 1-800-458-3435. To place an order by fax, use the attached form and fax to 1-936-894-2391. Orders are accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Visit for festival information.


If you have any questions, please contact Bobbie Horack, Work/Life Coordinator, at or 713-222-5318.

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 A-726 in the Academic 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. To register, click here.
Deadline for parking permit renewal is Sept. 7

Deadline for renewal of Faculty/Staff parking permits for FY10-11 is Tuesday, Sept. 7.


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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Auditions for fall productions will be Sept. 7 and 8 in the O'Kane Theatre

Auditions for this fall's production of The Laramie Project, based on the real-life kidnapping and murder of university student Matthew Shepherd, plus 15 student-directed One-Act plays will be from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. and from 6 - 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept 7 and 8, in the O'Kane Theatre, Room N-364, One Main Building.


All UHD students, faculty and staff are welcome to audition. The auditions are cold readings; no preparation is necessary. For information, please call Thomas Lyttle, professor of Arts and Humanities, at 713-221-8118.

Free practice tests available at UHD

The Scholars Academy office has made arrangements with Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions to have free practice tests for the GRE, LSAT, NCLEX, MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT* available on-campus Friday, Sept. 17. 


Students need to register online with Kaplan for the free practice tests. Kaplan will also provide a detailed score analysis and strategies to help students prepare for test day. The MCAT, GRE, and LSAT tests begin at 10 a.m. while the NCLEX, DAT/OAT, and PCAT tests begin at 10:30 a.m.


To sign up call 1-800-KAP-TEST or visit A flyer is available here.

*Test names are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Employees, retirees are eligible for new discount purchase program

UHD employees can now safe with the new State of Texas Discount Purchase Program at


UHD employees, retirees and their families are eligible for discounts on a variety of products and services from cars to theme parks to sporting events. The Discount Purchase Program is provided at no cost. Just go to the website, click on the category or company that appeals to you, and start saving. Discounts will change and new products and services will be added, so check back often. Contact the customer service line at 1-800-683-2886 if you have questions.

UHD's MS-150 Cycling Team hosts information meeting Sept. 9

The UHD's MS-150 Cycling Team is hosting an information meeting from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, in the Library Special Events Room N-420, to discuss the annual fundraising ride from Houston to Austin.


The meeting is open to students, faculty and staff. This year's BP MS150 ride is scheduled for April 16-17 and participants raise money for multiple sclerosis research. More information about the ride is available here.


For more information about the UHD MS-150 Cycling Team, contact Jose Cantu at 713-222-5337.

Bachelor of Social Work Program sponsors Kidsart Project to raise funds

The Bachelor of Social Work Program will sell art and note cards made by children of UHD students, staff, and faculty to raise funds during the Center for Strengthening Families Symposium, Sept. 7 - 9. 


Titled the Kidsart Project, the items will be displayed near the Special Events rooms and the Coffeehouse on the third floor, Academic Building. Staff will be available to assist with purchases which can be made with cash or check and which must be finalized by 10 a.m. Thursday. The BSW fundraiser is to support BSW student scholarships and BSW program and student activities and projects.

O'Kane Gallery Director and Associate Professor Mark Cervenka, left, talkes with exhibit artist Melanie Crader and her husband, Mick Johnson, who also is an artist and a UHD adjunct art instructor.

O'Kane Gallery's Melanie Crader exhibit will be on display through Oct. 7

The O'Kane Gallery begins the fall season with Houston artist Melanie Crader's solo exhibition, The Eula Project, which will be on display through Oct. 7.


Crader's installation physically transforms the gallery into a facsimile of a domestic residence that begins the intersection of the present and a life lived decades ago. Upon the discovery of a box containing mundane objects found over 20 years after her grandmother's death, Crader began exploring the similarities between their two lives. Utilizing the contents of the box as source material, The Eula Project explores the formation of an identity as it relates to space, aesthetics, gender, social class and memory.


A native of southern Louisiana, Crader's exhibit history includes Gallery Sonja Roesch in Houston, Women and their Work in Austin, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY.  Her work has addressed the complex issues of identity and the feminine as it is packaged through predominantly consumer channels. Her clean, crisp, at times minimalist stylistic leanings bring focus to specific detail divorcing it from its original context. The Eula Project provides an examination of one identity revealed through such details.


Since 1970, the O'Kane Gallery has provided cultural arts for the diverse university and downtown communities. The gallery is located on the third floor of the One Main Building. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Guests may park in Visitor Parking, Travis and Girard, or take Metro's Light Rail to its final north-bound stop at the UHD front door. Normal summer gallery hours are Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5 pm, closed university holidays.

Melanie Crader is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

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

Wednesday, September 8th

1-2:30pm -Blackboard Vista: Using Photoshop to Enhance Your Course

Thursday, September 9th

10-12pm -Open Lab: Shea Building

Tuesday, September 14th

10-11am -Blackboard Vista: Managing Course Content

Thursday, September 16th

2-3pm -Blackboard Vista: Assignments

Friday, September 17th

10-11:30am -Softchalk Lesson Builder



Tuesday, September 7th  
10-11:30am - TaskStream e-Portfolio

Internet Applications

Monday, September 13th  
2-3pm - SurveyMonkey

Wednesday, September 15th
10-11am -Photostory


Microsoft Office

Thursday, September 9th

10-12pm -Open Lab: Shea Building


See all current IT training available

Stories from previous Skylines
Sports and Fitness announces CPR/AED/First Aid Certification class schedule

UHD Sports and Fitness announces the American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid Fall 2010 Certification Class schedule.


Individuals who take the training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use are more likely to use the training on someone they know versus a complete stranger. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn what to do in case of an emergency situation.


CPR/AED Certification        

Sept. 10, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Oct. 14-15, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Nov. 11-12, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.


First Aid Certification

Oct. 29, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Dec. 3, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.                                           


The class fee is $5 for UHD students, faculty and staff members and $10 for others. The sessions are limited to the first 15 people who prepay for the class. The certification is valid for one year.


To reserve a spot for this training, stop by the Student Life Center. For more information call 713-221-8225. A flyer is available here.


Jesus Sanchez, left, Coach John Hudson and Linda Okoro
Lifters 9110
Two UHD Powerlifters set world records at WABDL tournament in Kingwood

Two members of UHD Powerlifting, Jesus Sanchez and Linda Okoro, competed Aug. 28 at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) Southwest Bench Press and Deadlift Championships in Kingwood and set new World Records.


Sanchez, who usually lifts in the 114 weight class, went up to 123 to take a shot at the Teen 18-19 World Bench Press Record of 253.5 set by Anthony Ramos of Georgia in 2005.  After getting his opening attempt of 225.7, Sanchez easily broke the record and won first place with a perfect 254.6 on his second attempt. Sanchez, who was recovering from a cold, missed two subsequent attempts of 264.5.


Okoro was aiming to break her own World Record of 458.3 in the Junior and Open Divisions in the 165 weight class which she set on July 31 in Dallas. Weighing in at only 151, Okoro made successful attempts of 363.7 and 424.2 before easily breaking her own record with 459.4. She pushed the record up further with an incredible 468.2 on her fourth attempt. Okoro won first place for the Junior and Open Divisions at 165, and also won Best Lifter for Women's Deadlift.


UHD Powerlifting will compete next at the WABDL World Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. in November.

Opportunities available to collaborate on community service grant for students

UHD will submit a grant for the Segal AmericCorps Education Award for one to 10 openings in the Americorps' Students in Service (SIS) program through the Texas Campus Compact.


Each award is for $1,132 and each student selected will complete 300 hours of service. Students must be juniors or seniors. The Texas Campus Compact is looking for SIS Campus Partners who can have the greatest impact in their community on "Closing the Gaps"/College Access. The compact has received a sub-grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. As a selected program provider, the compact will receive 80 300-hour part-time AmeriCorps slots.

For more information or to collaborate on this funding opportunity, contact Jean DeWitt, UHD director of Community Engagement.

Contribute online to the Molly Woods Scholarship Endowment fund

The University of Houston-Downtown has established the Molly Woods Scholarship Endowment to honor Molly Woods, UHD's Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, and is seeking gifts to help build the endowment fund.

UHD has seen tremendous growth in the number of undergraduate and graduate degrees offered to the community in the last 17 years. Much of this growth can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of Dr. Woods.  
Now after 17 years of service as Provost, and 30 years of employment within the UH System, Dr. Woods is stepping down from her position to return to teaching.  As the longest serving provost in our state, Dr. Woods has provided leadership and vision to the academic community of Texas and UHD.

To honor Dr. Woods's years of service at UHD and her contributions to higher education, the scholarship has been established in her name. This award will serve as a tribute to a warm and caring individual who has served the UHD community with passion and commitment.  Please join us in honoring Dr. Woods with a gift towards the Molly Woods Scholarship Endowment.  All gifts, no matter the size, will add up to create an award that contributes to the success of our students - a fitting tribute to Dr. Woods.
Please make your gift online at, designating your gift to the Molly Woods Scholarship Endowment.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Johanna Wolfe, vice president for Advancement and External Relations, at 713-221-8509 or email her at
ACP-MAT information sessions set for Sept. 13, 22 in Commerce Street Building

The Department of Urban Education in the College of Public Service is sponsoring Alternative Certification Program-Master of Arts in Teaching with Certification (ACT-MAT) Information Sessions from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 and Sept. 22, in Room C-100 in the Commerce Street Building.

This program is designed for individuals who would like to earn a teaching certificate or a master's degree. This program would be of particular interest to substitute teachers or paraprofessionals who already have undergraduate degrees. A flyer and directions to the information session are available here.

For more information call 713-221-8194 or visit the website
'Houston City University' tops list
in Name Change Straw Poll results

UHD will take the results of the spring semester Name Change Straw Poll and move forward with further developing "Houston City University" recognizing that the final decision on the name and the name change lies with the UH System Board of Regents.

As part of the process, Public Affairs will put together a group of individuals from across the university to work with Stamats to refine logo, logo type and nameplate treatments for "Houston City University."  The process will involve faculty staff and students, and will build on previous work completed by Stamats.  Stamats, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, specializes in higher education marketing and branding.

At the end of the spring semester, UHD conducted a Name Change Straw Poll that was open to students, alumni, staff and faculty.  Participants were asked to choose "City University" or "Houston City University" and a free-form comment block followed the two names The non-binding vote totals were 1,702 for "Houston City University," 401 for "City University," and 404 for neither option for a total number of respondents of 2,507.

The university has approximately 13,000 students, 1,100 staff and faculty members and 28,000 alumni. The poll was promoted with email, electronic newsletters, printed newsletters, direct mail, flyers on campus, roundtable discussions and references on the university's website home page.
As part of the poll, people could indicate pros and cons and suggest alternatives.

Here is the summary of pros, cons and alternative names that were suggested.
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
Temporary parking ends
University gets first look at BHAG
WPE dropped from General Ed requirement
National Family Strengths Symposium Sept. 7-9
Discount tickets available for Texas Renaissance Festival
MyPyramid Tracker workshop location changes
Renew parking permits by Sept. 7
Fall theater production auditions Sept. 7 and 8
Free practice tests available
Employees eligible for discount purchase program
UHD MS-150 bike team plans information session
BSW sponsors Kidsart fundraiser
O'Kane Gallery opens fall season
Register for IT training classes
CPR/AED/First Aid training schedule
Powerlifters set world records
Community service grants available
Contribute online to Molly Woods Scholarship Endowment
ACP-MAT information session Aug. 30
Straw Poll results favor 'Houston City University'
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