October 2020
Message from the Chief Human Resources Officer

I am excited to share the fall edition of our quarterly newsletter. With an unprecedented fall semester underway, the Department of Human Resources is dedicated to continuing our commitment to serving as business partners for the University community by communicating essential and relevant information to our campus partners. Below you will find important information and dates for the fall semester in addition to new and revised policies that were recently published. 

Go Tigers! 
Maria Alam
Voting Leave Policy
With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, we want to remind all faculty and staff that the University of Memphis (UofM) encourages employees to exercise their right to vote. For voting information such as early voting, voter registration and polling locations, visit
View UofM Voting Policy >
Drug-Free Campus and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy

Based on the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the UofM has developed the following document: Annual Alcohol and Other Drug Notification of Standards, Sanctions, Health Information, Programs and Services. This document was created to assist the campus community in understanding the standards of conduct for faculty, staff and students concerning alcohol and drugs.

We strongly encourage each faculty, staff and student to read the policy and become familiar with the Annual Notification of Alcohol and Other Drugs Standards, Sanctions, Health Information, Programs and Services document.

Annual Enrollment Information

2021 Employee Benefits Open Enrollment is Oct. 1-16

  • Elect or update your benefits for 2021. (If you want to keep your current coverage for 2021 and change nothing, your current coverage will rollover to 2021 except for flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA). Re-enrollment is required for FSA and HSA each year.)
  • Health plans, health network options, health insurance copays, coinsurance and deductibles are the same as last year. Health insurance premiums will increase, as will premiums in the Cigna Prepaid Dental Plan.
  • HSA/FSA vendor will change to Optum Bank beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Current members will receive more information later this month.
  • Employees needing to make changes to their benefit selections will need to have their Edison, the state’s enrollment system, password reset here. Watch this video guide for additional assistance.
Visit Partners for Health >

Virtual Open Enrollment Benefit Meetings

Human Resources will continue to host virtual meetings during the open enrollment period ending Oct. 16. Visit Learning Curve for available dates and times and to register to attend. 
Visit Learning Curve >
Learn more information about the UofM's Open Enrollment >
University Holiday Schedule
The following dates will be observed as University holidays.

2020 Calendar Year Remaining Holidays
Nov. 26-27: Thanksgiving Day & One Administrative Closing Day
Dec. 24-31: Christmas Day & Five Administrative Closing Days
2021 Calendar Year Holidays
Jan. 1: New Year's Day
Jan. 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
May 31: Memorial Day
July 5: Independence Day (observed)
Sept. 6: Labor Day
Nov. 25-26: Thanksgiving Day & One Administrative Closing Day
Dec. 23-30: Christmas Day & Five Administrative Closing Days
Dec. 31: New Year's Day 2022 (Observed)
Employee Work Location Reminder
Don’t forget to report and/or update your work location status. Please visit the myMemphis portal and go to the Employee tab. Look in the center column at the top to find the new Employee Work Location portlet. Please indicate whether you are currently working on campus, remotely or a combination of the two (hybrid). Your responses should be based on your current work location status and should be updated whenever there is a change to this status. If you have any questions, please contact

Faculty Administrative Services
Joins HR

Sophia Dorsey
Academic Services Specialist
Sheila Mathis
Academic Services Specialist
Effective July 1, Faculty Administrative Services (FAS) joined Human Resources. Please join us in welcoming Sophia Dorsey and Sheila Mathis to the HR team! They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise working with faculty recruitment, faculty changes and academic affairs. Having FAS join HR will improve the service we provide to academic departments and faculty.
Employee Assistance Program Recap
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, through our partnership with our employee assistance program (EAP) provider, Optum, we were able to provide the session on Managing Remote Workers. As our workforce is working remotely, we wanted to provide managers with the tools to be successful and effective leaders.Some takeaways from the session included:
  • Increase feelings of psychological safety among your team. Be vulnerable. Help them feel accepted and respected. Free to openly share ideas and opinions.
  • Communication is vital in keeping the team abreast of what’s going on in the department. Be transparent with information and how it is relayed.
  • Have regular staff meetings whether that is weekly or bi-weekly.
  • Provide teams with the opportunity to talk. Research has shown that one of the factors missed during remote work is co-worker interaction. This time will allow for teambuilding and personal connections.
  • Seek assistance or training if you feel you need to work on your managerial style and skills.

Upcoming Sessions*

Wednesday, Nov. 4 | 10-11 AM
EAP: Mindfulness (preparing for the upcoming holiday season)

*For these sessions, participants must register 24 hours before the start of the session. 

Sign up for Upcoming Sessions via Learning Curve >
Policy Updates
Over the last few months, the University has created several new policies and updated existing ones. Please review the policies listed below. If you have any questions please direct those to the responsible office listed in each policy.

HR 5017 – Furloughs and Reductions in Compensation  
GE2040 – Interim COVID-19 Health and Safety
BF4035 – Travel Cards
BF4001 – University Travel
GE2039 – Interim Sexual Harassment & Sexual/Gender-Based Misconduct
GE2005 – Use of University Seal and Logos
BOT Policy – Reorganization and Reduction in Force

The University of Memphis | Division of Business and Finance
Memphis, TN 38152  |  901.678.3573

The University of Memphis is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities. Full Non-Discrimination Policy.