University Convocation to Welcome Next Class of Students

Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Staff and faculty are invited to attend University Convocation at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 20, in the Activity Center Main Gym.

The convocation is the first step in a student’s academic journey at UT Dallas and the official welcome for all incoming students. The continued theme this year is “Create Your Future.”

Roslyn Dawson Thompson, president and CEO of Dallas Women’s Foundation, will be the keynote speaker.

To participate in the processional, gather outside the racquetball courts by 3:45 p.m. Faculty should dress in seasonally appropriate business casual attire or formal regalia. Staff should dress in business casual attire. To RSVP, please use this form.

UT Dallas Ranks Among Safest Campuses in State, Nation

Top 100

The National Council for Home Safety and Security named UT Dallas to the Safest Colleges in America 2017 report, ranking the University 23rd out of 2,167 institutions.

UT Dallas is the first Texas school listed in the top 100 of the report, meaning it has the state‚Äôs highest ranking in campus safety and security. Rankings were based on the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics.

The report evaluated four-year higher education institutions with student populations greater than 15,000. Top-ranking colleges had low overall crime rates and maintained safe campuses with little or no crime. More information about the report can be viewed online.

Library Staffers Receive McLemore Award for Steady Service

Una Scott and Travis Goode

Una Scott and Travis Goode received the 2017 Ethel Ward-McLemore Awards for Library Excellence, an honor that rewards library staff members for their service to the UT Dallas community.

A copy cataloging coordinator, Scott volunteered to document nearly 3,600 items donated to the Eugene McDermott Library by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History: a collection of art auction catalogues from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Scott, a graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, joined the McDermott Library in 2012.

A senior librarian, Goode joined the library in 2014 and manages the Interlibrary Loan program. Goode was recognized for his pursuit of efficiency, excellence in customer service and enthusiasm in his new supervisory role.

The $1,000 awards — funded since 1989 by the late Ethel Ward-McLemore and her husband, Robert — were presented by Dr. Ellen Safley, dean of libraries.

Comets to the Core Project Requirement Introduced

Comets to the Core is a new group-project requirement for all incoming freshmen taking effect for the fall 2017 semester.

New arrivals who have not completed the UT Dallas core curriculum must complete a group project within the first six weeks of enrollment and again in the fall semester of each student's junior year. Each student will be placed in a group with seven other incoming students from different majors.

The groups must propose a multifaceted solution to a problem selected by UT Dallas students, faculty and staff. The problem selected for the 2017-18 academic year is the global water crisis.

Comets to the Core is designed to encourage incoming students to meet peers from other disciplines, cultivate critical thinking and communication skills, and exhibit problem-solving and teamwork abilities. For more information, go to the Comets to the Core website or email [email protected].

Recycling Program Expands Services

UT Dallas Eco Reps

The UT Dallas recycling program has expanded to include plastic film materials, Styrofoam packing peanuts and rechargeable batteries.

Plastic film, such as bubble wrap, shrink wrap, air-pack bags and plastic grocery bags, can be recycled into extruded plastic decking material. To find a collection bin for these materials, view the campus recycling locations directory on the Office of Sustainability website. If your department generates plastic film waste on a regular basis and would like to host a collection bin, please contact Evan Paret at [email protected].

Styrofoam packing peanuts are also accepted for reuse. If you receive a package with packing peanuts, please secure the peanuts in the empty box with tape, and send it via interoffice mail to Evan Paret at mailstop FM11.

Rechargeable battery recycling is available through the Office of Research Hazardous Waste program. Batteries must be taped on the ends and placed in designated battery recycling bins. More information is available on the battery recycling FAQ page.

Comet Cab GPS: Track Your Transportation

Comet Cab GPS System

Comet Cabs, the University’s shuttle service vehicles, are now fitted with GPS technology that allows you to track their location online. The goal of this new service is to help the campus community access the shuttles more easily to reach their destinations in a timely manner.

Access the service here, or visit the Parking & Transportation page and click the “Find Your Cab” link. You can also find Comet Cab routes and service times on that site.

Reminders

Volunteers Needed to Welcome Students on Aug. 21-22
The Office of Administration is seeking staff and faculty to volunteer at the annual Student Welcome on the first days of the fall semester — Aug. 21-22. Volunteers will be stationed around campus to interact with students, hand out giveaways and answer questions. To volunteer, email [email protected] or call 972-883-2213 by Tuesday, Aug. 15.

Parking Permit Payroll Deduction Deadline Is Aug. 23
The deadline to use payroll deduction to purchase your parking permits for Fiscal Year 2018 is Wednesday, Aug. 23. This option is only available online to UT Dallas employees who do not have a student classification (e.g. RAs, TAs, and temporary employees are not eligible). Deductions are pre-tax and are paid over a nine-month period, starting with your Oct. 1, 2017, paycheck. For more information or assistance with permit purchases, call Parking and Transportation at 972-883-2344, or email [email protected].

Learn about Employee Resource Groups at Signing Day
The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement created a process this year for faculty and staff members to form employee resource groups, or ERGs, to network with employees with similar interests and needs. Join one of these groups at a signing day event from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, in the Visitor Center and University Bookstore Atrium. Register here to attend. For more information, contact Rosie Peterson at 972-883-4560 or [email protected].

Register for Corporate Challenge
Registration for the 2017 Richardson Corporate Challenge is open. This annual, Olympic-style competition brings local companies and organizations together to raise money for Special Olympics Texas and engage in friendly competition. The challenge runs from Friday, Aug. 11, to Thursday, Oct. 12, with a wide range of events, including tennis, kickball, bowling and darts.

Download the event schedule and UT Dallas team sign-up sheet, and email the completed form to [email protected]. Also, this year’s Opening Ceremony and Great Walk will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at Galatyn Plaza (2351 Performance Drive, Richardson). For updates and more information, visit the UT Dallas Corporate Challenge webpage.

About This Newsletter

Intercom is the official University-wide newsletter for UT Dallas faculty and staff members. This periodic publication is designed to provide University employees with important information necessary for the workplace, as well as community news that supports the University's mission. Guidelines about content and submissions can be found here or contact Stephen Fontenot at [email protected] or ext. 4405.