For Your Benefit Newsletter – Spring 2016

For Your Benefit is a newsletter addressing the benefits offered to you as a UT employee. This newsletter provides an opportunity to communicate information and issues that directly affect you.

The Spring 2016 newsletter contains information about changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act; Taking the RetireReady TN Challenge; Meet the Inaugural President’s Award Winners; new Hotline for reporting fraud, waste, abuse or non-compliance. Read MORE…

Read previous issues….

Workers’ Compensation Presentations

The Office of Human Resources will host three Workers Compensation campus wide information sessions in the University Center, Raccoon Mountain Room.  The State of Tennessee has implemented financial penalties that will be charged to the department for non-compliance. It is HIGHLY recommended that each department have a representative in attendance to understand reporting procedures and how to avoid penalties.

Thursday, May 12: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Tuesday, May 24: 10 AM – 11 AM
Wednesday, June 15: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Join the Sick Leave Bank through June 30th

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you had an unexpected illness or injury that caused you to be unable to work? You still need a paycheck, but you can’t work…then your sick leave and annual leave are used up? Are you in the Sick Leave Bank?

The UTC Sick Leave Bank is a common pool of hours to which staff and 12-month faculty donate some of their accumulated leave. The sick leave bank shall provide emergency sick leave to member employees who have suffered disability due to unplanned personal illness, injury, or quarantine and who have exhausted their compensatory time and personal, sick, and annual leave balances.

Employees may join the Sick Leave Bank during the enrollment period (April 1 – June 30). Read MORE…

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2016

Has a UTC employee gone the extra mile to help you?

You can show your appreciation by nominating that person for the Blue Ribbon Award. A committee appointed by the chancellor will select monthly an award winner who exhibits outstanding service to others. Nominations should be specific in identifying incidents or situations that show the nominee has served his/her customers with special distinction.

If you have a nominee to be considered at an upcoming meeting, please e-mail your nomination to Melanie Sadler (, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, or mail to Dept. 3603.

All non-faculty staff (full or part-time) with at least one year’s regular service are eligible for the award. Any UTC faculty, staff, student, alumnus, or member of the community are invited to submit nominations.

Blue Ribbon Winners, 2016


Faith Garner, Administrative Specialist, Safety and Risk Management, is a true team player. She not only handles her job duties with grace and a smile, but is there for her colleagues as well. She’s also commended for her take-charge attitude as she manages new, large projects. And all of this while she pursues her Bachelor’s.

“Faith is reliable, dedicated, and always upbeat. Her patience is unparalleled,” explained Kellie Karaky, Administrative Assistant, Department of Public Safety.

Karaky continued, “Anyone who has worked with her can see Faith’s team player mind-set and enthusiastic embrace of change.”


Chris Howard, Associate Director, Network Engineering, Information Technology, was a key asset when it came time for the library’s relocation to the new building. He was constantly available for support (even responding to emails while on his honeymoon) and is still a vital partner to the new library as they’ve settled in.

“Christopher has been of significant help and frankly, the move to the new library would not have gone smoothly without his assistance,” said Theresa Liedtka, Dean, Library.

Liedtka continued, “His round the-clock availability is indicative of a tremendous work ethic and care for his university colleagues.”


Ethan Hereth, Research Associate, SimCenter, has taken on an increasingly demanding workload with additional responsibilities with the high-performance computing clusters at the SimCenter. He’s faced these new jobs with grace as he solved difficult hardware/software challenges and worked as an effective communicator in times of need.

“In my opinion, Ethan is fully deserving of a Blue Ribbon Award for special, exemplary performance going the extra mile as interim computer systems administrator for the SimCenter, in addition to his normal duties as research associate” explained Dr. Reinhold Mann, Interim Director, SimCenter.

Mann continued, “Thanks to Ethan’s extraordinarily effective work and dedication to the SimCenter program and to UTC, our computer systems are running in a stable and highly productive manner.”


Rebekah Caldwell, Accounting Specialist II, Accounting Services, goes out of her way to help everyone around her, and her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Even her patience and kindness while helping others is unrivaled.

“Even through Rebekah’s busiest days, when I call, she still always gives me all the time that I need to help answer my questions,” said Joanna Stephanos, Administrative Specialist, Chancellor’s Office.

“I cannot thank Rebekah enough for all her help, and demonstrating the best and the most sincere customer service,” Stephanos added.


Dr. Jay Blackman, Associate Athletics Director for Communications and Marketing, is a rockstar when it comes to balancing busy sports seasons. This past Spring as men’s and women’s basketball, indoor track, and wrestling were still going strong, a new season of softball, tennis, golf, and outdoor track were just getting started, Jay ensured every game and event was covered. If there were overlaps in schedules, he had someone trained and ready to cover the next event.

“Since his arrival at UTC in 2008, Jay has overhauled the Athletics Communications office in both organization and efficiency. He works countless hours to ensure all home events are professionally covered and that the information makes its way to media, fans, and staff in a timely manner,” said Anne Wehunt, Assistant Sports Information Director.

Wehunt continued, “What would be a day off for most is just another workday for Jay. Besides covering events, Jay’s duties include the day-to-day operations and budget needs of the Athletics Communications office. He serves on multiple committees for the university and athletics department and devotes time to his family.”


Madison Dell, Research Associate, Academic Affairs began her career at UTC as a student assistant. Her skills and dedication caught the attention of those around her and she was quickly promoted to administrative support assistant, then research specialist in a matter of a few years. Her hard work is still impressing others as she goes out of her way to help those around her.

Cindy Williams, Administrative Specialist II, said, “Madison is very observant and tries to make sure University business is done in a professional and timely manner.”

“She is very professional, kind, and definitely a great model for all admins. She is such a positive influence for UTC,” Williams added.

New Tax Form for 2015 Tax Year

Between now and March 31, you will receive a new tax form, 1095-C, that contains important information about your 2015 health care coverage. You will receive the form if you were enrolled in health care coverage provided by the University at any point during 2015 or were considered eligible for coverage during 2015 under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

You should keep the form 1095-C for your records, although you do not need to have the form to file taxes.

If you and your family members participated in the University’s health insurance plan for the whole year, simply check a box on your tax return to indicate that you had qualifying health coverage and no further action will be required.

Contact the UT System Administration Payroll Office at (865) 974-5251 for questions about information on the 1095-C form. For information on how to report health care coverage on your tax return, visit or talk with your tax professional.

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