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March 25, 2011
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TopToday and coming up at UHD.....


UHD's fourth annual Gender Studies Conference, "Framing Gender," will be from 2  to 9 p.m. Monday, March 28, in the Special Events Room, A-300, Academic Building, featuring the research of students working in a variety of disciplines.

The International Business Association will host Abdulaziz Al-Atta of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in room B-117, Shea Street Building.

The University of Houston-Downtown Department of Arts and Humanities' annual Fine Arts Festival April 4 to 10 will include theater productions, visual art, concerts, a film screening, UHD alumni presentations and a bilingual community story hour.
Hale awarded second Navy fellowship
Trevor Hale

Trevor S. Hale, an associate professor of management science in the Management, Marketing, and Business Administration Department in UHD's College of Business will return in May to Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, Calif., to continue research he started there two years ago.


Hale is assisting the Navy in finding ways to reduce its carbon footprint and its overall energy expenditures.


"I am looking forward to returning, and I think it will benefit the country and my future students," Hale said. "Some of my most interesting research looks at how we can harvest and store energy from ocean waves."


His prestigious Senior Faculty Fellowship provides Hale with valuable classroom examples of how government agencies apply business principles.

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IBA hosts Kuwait Petroleum Corp. representative March 29

The International Business Association will host Abdulaziz Al-Atta of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in room B-117, Shea Street Building.


Al-Atta will discuss the Kuwait Petroleum Corp. and the international oil market. The presentation is free and open to the University community. Al-Atta has worked in international oil sales and market research. He has conducted economic studies and he worked for OPEC on behalf of Kuwait as a fiscal policies analyst. He now heads Kuwait Petroleum's Houston office.


For more information, contact Anisul Islam, professor and IBA advisor, at or IBA President Gebran Charbim at

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Reception set for Willie Mae Dawson

A reception honoring Willie Mae Dawson, accounts payable technician II,  who is retiring after 32 years of service will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 31, in room N-420, One Main Building.


Refreshments will be served. A flier is available here. Her last day is also March 31. 

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Gender Studies Conference features student research March 28


UHD's fourth annual Gender Studies Conference, "Framing Gender," will be from 2  to 9 p.m. Monday, March 28, in the Special Events Room, A-300, Academic Building, featuring the research of students working in a variety of disciplines.  


A complete schedule and additional information is available here.  


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Annual Fine Arts Festival features visual and performing arts April 4 to 10

The University of Houston-Downtown Department of Arts and Humanities' annual Fine Arts Festival April 4 to 10 will include theater productions, visual art, concerts, UHD alumni presentations, a film screening and a bilingual community story hour. (A flier is available here.) 


The UHD student production of "You Can't Take It with You" has a nominal admission fee. All other events are free and open to the public. Event dates, times, and locations on UHD's campus, One Main St., follow. The Festival is sponsored by UHD's O'Kane Gallery, O'Kane Theatre, the Cultural Enrichment Center, and the Office of the President. To read more... 

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Place orders now for graduation regalia

Spring Graduation will be held Saturday, May 21, and faculty who plan to participate and do not own their own regalia can rent items from the bookstore.


Orders placed before May 2 should arrive the week of May 9, and bookstore staff members will notify faculty by phone and email to pick up regalia at the bookstore. Orders placed after May 2 will be subject to a $10 late fee for rush shipping. The bookstore cannot guarantee delivery of orders placed after May 16.


The UHD Bookstore requires prepayment for all orders and accepts cash and all major credit cards with valid identification. Orders can also be charged to a University department PCard or purchase voucher with prior departmental approval.


Any items left with the bookstore on Friday, May 20, will be available at the ceremony on Saturday, May 21, in the faculty reception area.  


Contact bookstore staff members Bill Schaub or Britney Ikner at 713-221-8145 for more information. 


The regalia rental fees are as follows:


Master's Unit Complete - $60.98

(Includes cap, gown, tassel and hood)

Doctorate - $109.98

(Includes tam, gown, tassel and hood)  


Individual Piece Prices:


Master's Cap, Gown, and Tassel - $30.98

Master's Hood only - $29.98

Master's Gown only - $25.98

Doctorate Cap, Gown, Tassel, and Hood - $68.98

Doctorate Hood only - $33.98

Doctorate Gown only - $29.98

8-sided Tam - $40.98

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Career Services and the Library hosted presentation on researching employers

Students sign in as Jovanni Williams, instruction reference librarian, assists. The UHD W. I. Dykes Library and Career Services hosted a presentation, "Researching Your Future Employer: How to Prepare for Career Fairs and Interviews," Wednesday, March 23, in room N-412, One Main Building.


Job seekers often don't realize they should thoroughly research a company or organization before attending a job fair or an interview. The Library and Career Services teamed up to provide students with an informative, hands-on presentation on how to most effectively research a company's history, current events, who's who, products/services, challenges and opportunities. For more information, call Career Services at 713-221-8980.

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Moldova delegation discusses human trafficking with social work students


Jo Bailey, left, Bachelor of Social Work Program Director, introduces a delegation from the Republic of Moldova to students Thursday, March 24, for a discussion on human trafficking. The delegation visit was sponsored by YMCA International Services. The delegation included individuals who deal with human trafficking including a Moldovan judge, attorneys and a United Nations representative. The group was in Houston to see how Houstonians deal with the problem and crime of human trafficking.   

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Stories from previous Skylines
Strategic Planning Group Update

March 23, 2011


To:           The UHD Community


From:      Michael Dressman, Chair, Strategic Planning Group


As promised in late February, the Strategic Planning Group is publishing a set of proposed goals and metrically stated University objectives for the next ten years.


These goals were derived from last year's "Good to Great" meetings and recent conversations between President William Flores and the Strategic Planning Group. The metrics are based on various published and proposed targets that UHD vice presidents, deans, department chairs, Faculty Senate leadership, staff and students have brought forward.


We share these goals and objectives now with the larger University community for comment, proposed modification, and shaping, leading to eventual adoption of these or similar ones as our strategic-planning statement.


In addition, as you read these proposed goals and objectives, the President and the Strategic Planning Group challenge each area of the University to start imagining strategies and steps that could be taken in your part of the University that could lead to achieving these institutional goals.


For now, please send your comments directly to me at I will share them with the Strategic Planning Group, and we will compile and distribute the suggestions back to the campus. I draw your special attention to the sixth goal where the metrics are the least well developed. We need some measurable statements there. I will also look into using the Blackboard Vista site for campus discussions so there can be additional give and take on these issues.


Here are the Proposed Strategic Planning Goals and Metric Objectives:


I.              Increase enrollment.


From 13,000 head count in Fall Term 2010 to 15,400 by Fall Term 2015

From 15,000 head count in Fall Term 2015 to 18,000 by Fall Term 2020

From 125,800 semester credit hours in Fall Term 2010 to 150,000 by Fall Term 2015

From 150,000 semester credit hours in Fall Term 2015 to 175,000 by Fall Term 2020


II.             Improve retention and student success.


Improve retention from year one to year two for FTIC students (First Time In College) by 3% a year. To do so would move our retention rate for first-year students from 60% to 73% by 2020.


III.            Increase our graduation rates.


Six-year graduation rate (FTIC) from 11.4% in 2010 to 35% in 2020

Four-year graduation rate (for students entering with 30 semester credit hours) from 29.8% in 2010 to 45% by 2020

Two-year graduation rate (for students entering with 60 semester credit hours) from 52.5% in 2010 to 75% by 2020


IV.            Increase the number of community-relevant programs.


During the next ten years, UHD colleges and departments will develop and bring forward 30 degree proposals for consideration on campus: 15 bachelor's degrees and 15 master's degrees.

By 2020, UHD, having fully developed degree proposals and worked them through the UH System, will have introduced 10 new degree programs: four bachelor's degrees and six master's degrees.


V.             Expand financial resources.


The grants through the Office of Sponsored Programs, which now total just less than $3 million a year, will increase to $10 million a year by 2015 and to $22 million a year by 2020.

UHD will undertake a comprehensive capital campaign that will begin in a silent phase in 2013, will be announced in 2016 (or so), and will culminate with a total of $50 million to $75 million in 2020.

UHD will increase alumni giving, which is now less than 1%, to 5% by 2020.

UHD will increase its endowment, which is now at about $14 million, to $35 million by 2020.


VI.            Ensure an infrastructure that will support these goals.


Every year for the next ten years send ten new faculty or staff members (that is, people who have never attended such a meeting before) to a national meeting on assessment, recruitment, or retention.


Cut costs and improve productivity by 1% each year for the next 10 years.


Improve the UHD classroom use (SUE) score from 58% to 75% by 2015 and to 80% by 2020.


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Custodial service will change April 1
UHD's Facilities Management office has revised the University's contracted custodial service effective Friday, April 1, to save the University $58,543 per year.

After April 1, the frequency for some office custodial tasks will move from 250 times per year (five times per week) to 100 times per year (twice a week). Cleaning and other work for breakrooms, restrooms, corridors, classrooms and other areas on campus will continue on the five-times-a-week schedule.

What this means to you:
  1. An "office" is basically a work station (a receptionist's desk, an individual's office, a cubicle, Etc.). If you are not sure if your area is affected, please contact Facilities Management.
  2. Sunday and Wednesday nights will be trash nights and recycling collection nights for all the "offices" on campus. On these nights, the custodians will pull the trash and recycling materials as well as performing other "office" tasks - vacuuming, cleaning phones/handsets, wiping doors/doorknobs/door windows and replacing light bulbs as needed. 
  3. Custodians will place an extra empty trash bag in the bottom of each "office" trash receptacle to provide added capacity.
  4. You can always place food waste (or any other type of waste) in the nearest breakroom, restroom or corridor receptacle, because the cleaning frequency for those areas will remain five days per week (Sundays through Thursdays). 
  5. The frequency for "office" cleaning tasks - quarterly carpet shampooing for example - will not be affected. 
  6. Any spill or issue requiring immediate custodial attention will continue to be addressed on an as-needed basis. Please call Facilities Management at extension 8026 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for items of this nature.

Please work with Facilities Management during the transition, and contact Pat Gutierrez , Supervisor of Custodial Services, at ext. 8077 if you have any questions, comments or issues.   
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Scholars Academy students tour nuclear power plant


A group of eight UHD students, along with two university professors, visited Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (CPNPP) in February.


The group started with lunch in the executive conference room followed by a tour of the simulator. After that, the group explored the visitor's center and viewed a historical/informational video in the auditorium, followed by a question and answer session.  


The group got a surprise visit from Site Vice President Mitch Lucas who discussed a range of topics from the financial state of the nuclear industry to the internship program offered at Coman­che Peak. The UHD group was excited at the potential for starting a relationship with CPNPP in terms of the intern­ship program.

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UHD's Veterans Services Manager featured on local radio show

Michael Records, Veterans Services Manager for UHD, appeared on "Sunday Night with Melinda" on Houston radio station KSBJ Sunday night, March 20, to promote UHD's veterans services.  


The radio station is focusing on veterans and their families with various programming and promotions in March. Records discussed educational services and benefits UHD offers, and the show's Facebook page promoted the UHD's Veterans Services Office.

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ERS is conducting dependent audit

The Employees Retirement System (ERS) staff works hard to ensure only people who are eligible for benefits receive them. As part of their ongoing effort, ERS will conduct a 100 percent dependent verification audit through August 2011.


ERS is working with an independent company, Aon Hewitt, to conduct the audit. The audit will require each employee and retiree who covers a dependent in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) to provide copies of documents to prove the dependent is eligible. Aon Hewitt will conduct the audit in three phases. Higher education employees will be audited in the first phase, which starts this month.


Employees who cover a dependent in the insurance program will receive a letter from Aon Hewitt asking them to provide the appropriate documents. Employees who have an email address on file with ERS will also receive a reminder email. The email will come from Please do not email or respond to the reminder emails from

When responding to the Aon Hewitt request for documentation, please send copies of documents, not originals, because the documents will not be returned. Employees with audit questions can call the phone number provided in the letter, not the UHD benefits coordinator. Employees who do not respond to the audit request will have their dependents dropped from coverage. To prepare for the audit, ERS reminded employees and retirees to drop ineligible dependents during last summer's Annual Enrollment.

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Age 26 dependents and the Affordable Care Act

If you have a dependent who turns 25 this year, UHD's Employment Services and Operations (ESO) staff members know you are eager to learn how your dependent will be affected by the Affordable Care Act.


Dependents who turn 25 before Sept. 1, 2011 will be dropped from health coverage. In order to stay insured, they can elect to have COBRA coverage. 

The future of the Affordable Care Act is still uncertain, so we cannot provide final information at this point. However, our initial policy, unless something changes with federal or state legislation, is that health plan participants will be able to enroll dependents under age 26 in coverage without evidence of insurability (proof of good health), regardless of COBRA coverage. The enrollment period may coincide with the Annual Enrollment period, or it may be a special enrollment period. The re-enrollment would be effective Sept. 1, 2011


Please keep in mind that federal health care reform is subject to several state and federal law revisions, which may affect how the health plan complies with this provision. For additional information, please visit the ERS website at or contact them at 877-275-4377.

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UHD provides additional parking at San Jacinto Parking Lot  

In response to student requests, UHD has arranged for additional downtown parking for UHD students, faculty and staff.


Additional parking is now available for students, faculty and staff at North San Jacinto Street and Allen Street. There are 84 parking spaces in the far northeast corner of the AMPCO Parking Lot set aside for UHD. Spaces reserved for UHD have the word "RESERVED" painted in each space. Parking Enforcement and the UHD Police patrol the lot to provide safety and security.


The shuttle bus service also picks-up and drops-off from this location. Shuttles run from the Daly Street Lot, to the One Main Building, to the Commerce Street Building, corner of Franklin Street and Fannin Street, to the San Jacinto Lot, to the Shea Street Building and back to the Daly Street Lot.


The UHD Police patrol streets and parking lots near the University 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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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


9 - 11 a.m. - Brunch & Learn: StudyMate













Tuesday, March 29

1 - 2 p.m. - Wimba Classroom

Wednesday, March 30

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

Thursday, March 31

10 - 11:30 a.m. - SoftChalk Lesson Builder


Monday, March 28

2 - 3:30 p.m. - TaskStream: e-Portfolio


See all current IT training available

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The Offiice of Public Affairs produces the Skyline eNews Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the school year, 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
Hale receives second Navy fellowship
IBA hosts Kuwait Petroleum representative
Dawson retirement reception March 31
Gender Studies Conference is Monday
Fine Arts Festival is April 4 to 10
Order commencement regalia now
Career Services, Library hold job research workshop
Moldova delegation discusses human trafficking
Strategic Planning Group update
Custodial service will change April 1
Scholars Academy students visit nuclear plant
Veterans Services manager featured on radio show
ERS conducts dependent audit
Age 26 depedents and Affordable Care Act
UHD provides additional parking
IT offers training classes
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