The Resource

In This Issue

Holiday Tips
Career Development
You & Your Money
Home Loan Program

Published: December 14, 2011

Happy holidays from UW Human Resources! This issue of The Resource is full of seasonal tips related to the many programs offered to UW faculty and staff, as well as a final reminder for nominating colleagues for the Distinguished Staff Awards.

Holiday Tips  

Holiday Shopping and Budgeting
Caught up in holiday shopping? Visit the CareLink website (enter UW as the company code to access the site) for tips on using layaway plans and finding the best deals on what you’re looking for. And remember, a wonderful gift doesn’t have to be expensive. For instance, you might:

  • Make coupons for a favorite home-cooked dinner, babysitting, or house cleanings, etc.
  • Set up monthly lunch or dinner dates for a family or friend that you don’t see often enough.
  • Let your child set an agenda for a day.
  • Set up a special activity for your significant other—a candlelit dinner, massage, or outdoor activity.
  • Make a personalized cookbook of your favorite recipes.

While your immediate goal for December might be to find the perfect holiday gifts for all the loved ones on your list, this month is also a good time to start thinking about budgeting goals and strategies. You can set up a free 30-minute consultation with a CPA or certified financial professional by calling 1-866-598-3978 to discuss your financial goals. UW CareLink also puts fundamental budgeting tips at your fingertips to get you started on the path to fiscal responsibility (enter “UW” as the company code to access the site).


Holiday Travel
If you need to make some last-minute travel plans for the holidays or in the new year, consider taking UW CareLink's Be Your Own Travel Agent seminar (enter "UW" as the company code to access the site). The seminar is offered in a number of different formats for your convenience. In addition, there is a concierge service to help with travel planning that you access through the Live Connect button on the UW CareLink website.


Peace of Mind During Holiday Travel
Are you're planning to travel by plane, train, or automobile to see family this holiday season? Learn in advance how you can protect your health while you're away from home. Knowing your health care options at your destination can give you peace of mind, save you time, and avoid confusion when it comes to possible emergencies. Learn more about health care while traveling.


UW SafeCampus
The recent events at Penn State and Florida A&M University serve as a reminder of our individual responsibilities to report situations involving prohibited behavior, especially if someone's physical safety may be at risk due to violence. Call SafeCampus (206-685-SAFE [7233]) to report threats or concerns about violence. You can report anonymously. Preventing violence is everyone's responsibility.


Nominations Deadline Nearing for the Distinguished Staff Award
The deadline for nominations for the 2012 Distinguished Staff Award is December 16, 2011. The award recognizes excellent sustained service or the completion of a significant achievement. Nominate an individual or small team for the UW's highest staff honor today! Visit the new Distinguished Staff Awards website for more information, including how to nominate an individual or team.

Career Development  

Professional & Organizational Development (POD) courses are open to all UW employees, subject to supervisor/budgetary approval and UW's release time policy. Please view our policy page for additional information.


Winter Registration is Open
Registration is now open for dozens of Winter 2012 training classes! Make plans now so that you don't miss out on classes typically offered just once a year, including Customer Service Excellence, Facilities and Administrative Rate Calculation, Grammar Essentials, Master Process Planning, and Working Across Generations. Access registration and course information via POD's online course catalog.


Keys to Handling Change
Many of us have experienced an unprecedented amount of change over the past few years—and yet the changes keep coming! This half-day workshop can help you transform the way you react to change and develop a new approach to handling change. Access course information and registration.


Hourly Career Counseling
Thinking about your resolutions for the new year? Through one-on-one career counseling, you can learn how to make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or explore a new career path. Sessions are offered through Training and Organization Development Consultant Susan Templeton for $95 per one-hour session if paid with a UW budget number (with supervisor approval) or $109.82 if paid with cash, check, or credit card (due to a mandatory institutional overhead fee). Learn more about this service.


Annual PERS 3 Transfer Window Opens January 1
If you're a member of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Plan 2 and you were enrolled in the plan prior to March 1, 2002, you have an annual option to transfer to PERS 3 between January 1 and January 31, 2012. To be eligible for the transfer, you must earn service credit in January 2012. This one-time transfer is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change plans at a later date. Learn more about this option.

You & Your Money  

Seminar: Credit Reporting 101
Have you ever wondered how the information in your credit report is gathered and used? This free seminar, offered on December 28 at UW Tower, will help answer these questions and much more. We'll show you how to check your credit report, what a FICO score is, and give you some tips on maintaining or improving your credit. Access seminar information and registration.


Who Will Inherit Your Wealth?
Did you know that the named beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement accounts will generally supersede instructions in a will? That's why it is important to file and keep your beneficiary designations up to date. By periodically reviewing your beneficiary designations for your UW benefit plans, personal insurance plans, and other financial accounts, you can rest assured that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. Learn more about beneficiary designations.


Got a U-PASS? Get a Discount!
As a U-PASS holder, you're eligible to receive discounts on arts, entertainment, gifts, merchandise, restaurants, and more! All businesses listed at the Commuter Services Merchant Discounts website offer these discounts in appreciation of your participation in the U-PASS program. Take advantage of valuable discounts throughout the holidays and into the new year!

Home Loan Program  

Get Help from HARP
Are you struggling to stay in your home with a mortgage that's weighing you down? Then you'll be interested to know that the Federal Housing Finance Agency together with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced enhancements to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP II) to attract more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their mortgage. The HARP II program is designed to help responsible homeowners take advantage of historically low mortgage rates by removing many of the Loan-to-Value (loan amount as compared to market value of home) guidelines that have prevented many homeowners from refinancing due to low property values. Learn more about this program and other home buying and refinancing options.


Seminar: Refinancing and Home Equity
With Federal Reserve rates at their lowest in decades, why not compare your current mortgage rate with today's rates to see if this is a good time to refinance your home? Attend the seminar Refinancing and Home Equity on December 20 or January 17 to learn more. Access event and registration information for these seminars:

  • Refinancing and Home Equity: South Lake Union (12/20) and Seattle (1/17)
  • Budgeting for a Home: Seattle (12/21) and Harborview (1/18)
  • Buying a Vacation Home or Rental Property: Harborview (12/22)

The Hometown Home Loan Program helps educate UW employees about first-time home buying, refinancing an existing home, tapping into home equity, and more.


Homeownership Counseling Appointments
Schedule a personal homeownership counseling session with a HomeStreet Affinity Loan Officer who can walk you through the home buying and/or home refinancing process. These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are free, private, and informative. Your spouse, partner, or potential co-signer is welcome to attend with you. Access event information and registration.


Back-up Care for Little Ones During Sniffle Season
If your child is mildly ill and between one and 12 years old, the UW offers sick child care through the Tender Loving Care (TLC) program at Virginia Mason Medical Center. The University underwrites the entire daily fee for UW benefits-eligible employees working .50 FTE or more and academic student employees. Families pay only a one-time registration fee of $5 per child. Find out more about this program.

Combined Fund Drive  

Thank You for a Banner Year
The UW Combined Fund Drive is wrapping up and we are pleased to announce that the UW community has already raised nearly $2 million for non-profit organizations around the globe. Thank you for your generous gifts and for your participation in the many events and fundraisers held around the campus which highlighted the difference charities make in our lives. Final campaign numbers will be announced in early January. Visit the UW Combined Fund Drive website to make a donation or for more information about the campaign.


Merry Company—Pop-ups, Movables, and Toy Books
Ever need a pick-me-up on these cold, gray days of winter? December is the month for whimsy in the Allen Library's South Basement, where the UW Library's Book Arts and Rare Books Curator, Sandra Kroupa, has put together an extraordinary exhibit of three-dimensional pop-up and moveable books. Take a moment to venture over and be delighted.


Enjoy the Arts at UW
From impromptu student performances to touring shows by the world's foremost artists, you'll experience something fresh, unexpected, and exciting through Arts UW—the campus group that encompasses all art, drama, dance, music, and exhibitions on campus. Many tickets are available at a discount to UW faculty and staff, plus any processing fees will be dropped if you order directly from the UW Ticket Office window located at 1313 NE 41st Street. See the Arts UW website to see a schedule of upcoming performances. See more UW Discount offerings.


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