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The Internal Revenue Service has confirmed the 2021 tax year limits that impact retirement plans and pertain to voluntary retirement savings plans:

  • $19,500 maximum contribution allowed to a 403b voluntary savings plan TSA (Tax Sheltered Annuity), available to all employees
  • $19,500 maximum contribution allowed to a 457 voluntary savings plan (Texa$aver), available to benefit-eligible employees
  • $6,500 additional catchup for participants who are over 50 years of age (for both the 403b TSA AND the 457 Texa$aver plan, for a combined limit of $26,000 to the 403b and $26,000 to the 457 in tax year 2021)
  • $58,000 annual limit for all contributions to 403b plans (your Optional Retirement Plan/ORP and your 403b voluntary savings plan combined)
  • $290,000 annual salary cap.  Earnings over $290,000 will not be included in retirement account for non-grandfathered ORP participants and TRS participants

Not participating in the voluntary retirement savings plans? Learn more about these great ways to tax-shelter retirement income via easy monthly payroll deduction here. Questions? Please contact us at, and we’ll be glad to help. And, we can help calculate your maximum contribution upon request.

Travis Hicks

Travis Hicks, HR Generalist, UNT System talks about leading through change in the "Leaders on Leading" audio clip series. This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people. Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.

Joanna Hussey



Joanna Hussey, Executive Assistant to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, UNT, talks about leadership perspectives on diversity, equity and inclusion in the "Leaders on Leading" audio clip series. This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people. Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.

Dr. La'cresha Moore

Dr. La'Cresha Moore, Assistant Vice Provost, Student & Academic Success, UNTHSC, talks about leadership authenticity in the "Leaders on Leading" audio clip series. This series features quick, entertaining, and motivating Q&As with organizational leaders on having an impact and developing people. Listeners will get real-world advice, learn practical tips, and hear inspirational stories to help improve their own leadership skills.

Dr. Janice Knebl

One of the most respected members at HSC, Dr. Knebl received national recognition in October when she was named the American Osteopathic Foundation Physician of the Year. A 32-year member of the HSC, Dr. Knebl is a leader in treatment, research and education related to Alzheimer’s and dementia. She is an active member of the Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Corsortium that is working to improve early diagnosis, treatment and prevention. When she isn't working, you might find her around the corner from the HSC at one of her favorite haunts, Piola Italian Restaurant, or at home cozying up with reruns of, that’s right, "The Golden Girls."


Where does winning the 2020 Physican of the Year award rank in your career?
The AOF Physician of the Year Award 2020 was truly a huge surprise and honor. This award is very special to me since I was nominated by many of my fellow osteopathic physicians and colleagues nationally, and also from my patients. Receiving national recognition is very humbling when I think about all of the other deserving osteopathic physicians across the country. The award is also so very special since it recognizes my contributions as an osteopathic physician and clinician. I have been so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity by the osteopathic profession to attend an osteopathic medical school and become an osteopathic physician. I have been very blessed by God to have an energy level and ability to learn and serve patients. It has been my true joy and passion to care for older adults as a physician. This award recognizes what I have truly loved doing since my graduation from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1982.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I love caring for older adults. It is a true privilege to be the physician partner with older adults who have such wisdom and life experiences to share. I truly have received more from my older patients than I have been able to provide. Being an osteopathic physician, my focus is on function, maintenance of highest level of independence and quality of life. I also enjoy going anywhere that older adults may be residing as I am portable. I also enjoy working with the interprofessional team of health care practitioners that are involved in all of these sites of care. My other love is being involved in the education of future health care professionals and assisting them in the development of the knowledge and skills to be able to take care of the older populations. Maybe for selfish reasons, by training them to be ready to care for an aging Texas (and America), I will be a beneficiary as I am now in my pre-Medicare year.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
Caregiver support materials and education for those employees caring for an aging parent or family member. We have developed a dementia caregiver education program for persons with dementia that we could add to a menu of options to support our UNT System team members, including faculty, staff and students.

What is your proudest work moment?
I actually have two: Receiving the Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Clinical Geriatrics, which was the first endowed Chair in Geriatrics in the Osteopathic Profession; and the UNT System Regent’s Professor designation which recognized academic achievement and service.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues?
I have an alter ego -- Roseanne Rossannadanna (played by Gilda Radner) from Saturday Night Live

Book?: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Movie?: The Spanish Maine (old movie with pirates and a dashing young actor at the time, Paul Henreid)
Inspirational Hero?: Mother Theresa
Place to visit?: County Mayo, Ireland
Song?: My Way, by Frank Sinatra
Celebrity?: Lucille Ball
Hobby?: Golf
Charitable cause?: Meals On Wheels and Catholic Charities

UNT database administrator Luis Angulo and his family

Luis Angulo has proudly served the UNT System for 13 years. He works for Budget and Planning, supporting all UNT System financial systems. Chief among his responsibilities is assuring the accuracy and consistency of all UNT System financial reporting data.


What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
I love UNT because people care about me personally and professionally. Everybody at UNT has always been more than welcoming and they go out of their way to always help each other. We work in an awesome collaborative environment, and there is a genuine spirit of cooperation. Professionally, I love that UNT has always empowered me to do my job. I can confidently say that I have made long-lasting friendships here at UNT.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
I would love for UNT to provide free access to the UNT Rec Center for all employees and their families.
What is your proudest work moment? 
There are many. If I must pick one, it is to work alongside a great group of professionals who care about their jobs and always do their best. I am proud to be part of such a great group of people that really go above and beyond, and really care about their work.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
Seeing my family adjust and grow here in North Texas. There have been challenges along the way, but we always come together as a family and push through no matter the challenge.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues? 
I do not think this is a surprise to anybody, but I am a big Star Wars fan. I even have a very cool lightsaber right next to my desk.


Movie?: Inception/The Prestige
TV show?: Breaking Bad
Restaurant?: Babe's Chicken
Celebrity?: Dirk Nowitzki and Dan Marino
Charitable cause: United Through Hope -- It's a local nonprofit that helps children with disabilities, and provides different opportunities for kids to develop social skills.

November kicks off the fall and holiday season, which means it’s time to turn our minds toward gratitude and also having some fun. We encourage you to take a peek at our new Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Calendar of Holidays & Observances to learn more about various holidays celebrated by our many cultures, heritages and belief systems. We are a richly diverse nation with so much to celebrate together, and especially during difficult times like these. 

Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving on Nov. 26 with turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing/stuffing, green beans, pecan pie and the like. How do you celebrate this national holiday? We’d love to hear about your traditions and inspirations for Thanksgiving. Email us to share:

Did you know a Thanksgiving holiday is also celebrated in Canada, Liberia, Brazil and Santa Lucia (to name a few)? Different holiday traditions abound across the country, but also the globe.

Here in the U.S., we enjoy a smorgasbord of favorite and celebratory holiday dishes as diverse as our backgrounds, from Eastern European fried latkes and braised purple cabbage, to Italian antipasto and manicotti, to Persian basmati stuffing and labneh salad – the list goes on.

The holiday season is a great time to begin your Equity, Diversity & Inclusion journey by learning more about other cultures and celebrations. Also, remember that the In the Green Well-being program is also a good place to start your wellness journey (something we all might especially need as we begin our holiday feasting). We’ve provide plentiful wellness tips and resources, plus virtual workouts you can do at home.

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Patrick Pluscht

Patrick Pluscht joined UNT World from the University of Alabama System in 1997 to help Dr. Philip Turner (retired) start distance education at UNT. Since then, Pluscht has served in various leadership positions at the university, on the boards of professional organizations and on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board advisory committee related to learning technology. At UNT, he currently serves on a small, but mighty, team known as DSI Growth that identifies and promotes programs ready to grow online.


What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
I’ve always enjoyed opportunities to connect people and ideas across an organization to accomplish outcomes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. My current supervisor in DSI Growth is convinced that I’m friends with most people on the UNT campus, which can be partially attributed to my longevity at UNT and my native extroversion. But it’s also a reflection of my passion for being a connector. I’m a strong believer in “We’re better together” and that makes my current role promoting online enrollment growth a really good fit.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
I’d like to see more mentoring opportunities for staff across UNT World. I’m amplifying this idea from Dr. Adam Fein, UNT Vice President for Digital Strategy & Innovation, who is exploring mentoring possibilities for our division with the recognition that we have robust mentoring programs for faculty and students at UNT, but not for our staff.
What is your proudest work moment? 
Awards and recognition are really nice, but my proudest moments have been related to creating experiences where individuals can share their stories with community members – whether to challenge them, enlighten them or inspire them.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
My proudest non-work moments are related to my three children. Lydia, Caroline and Julian each have academic, athletic and creative accomplishments they’ve worked hard to achieve, but what makes me most proud is when I witness them being kind and generous and standing up for social justice and for those without a voice. It gives me hope for the future.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues? 
I’m kind of an open book, but maybe not everyone knows I am an amateur magician, I shot coaches’ film for the Alabama Crimson Tide Football program under Gene Stallings in the early 1990s, and I have fond memories of skydiving and scuba diving while at the University of Alabama.


Place to visit?: San Francisco Bay Area or most anywhere in Europe

Hobbies?: Collecting vinyl records (since high school) and taking sunset photos

Thing to do?: Attend live music shows or festivals with friends

 University of North Texas System Chancellor Lesa Roe on Friday named Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes as the UNT System’s new Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness & Chief Human Capital Officer.

 Gilliam-Holmes will begin her new position on Jan. 2, 2021.

 An accomplished human resources leader with more than 15 years of experience, Gilliam-Holmes spent the last two years at Austin Peay State University as Executive Director & Chief Human Resources Officer, and   previously served in HR leadership positions for the City University of New York (CUNY) System from 2012 to 2018.

Following a national search, Gilliam-Holmes was offered this senior leadership position based on her rich higher education experience in human resources, as well as her strong track record for fostering faculty and staff development, and modernizing HR processes. UNT System Vice Chancellor & Chief Financial Officer Dan Tenney will continue to serve as Interim Chief Human Capital Officer through Jan. 1, 2021.

“We are excited for Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes to bring her expertise in human resources strategy to North Texas and, through her leadership, enrich employee relations, talent management, learning and development, benefits administration and human resources technology,” Chancellor Roe said. “Sheraine is a proven human resources leader with relevant higher education experience working for one of the nation’s largest university systems, as well as on a campus with more than 10,000 students. She understands what we need in a ‘people culture,’ and is very customer-focused, proactive and innovative – making her a perfect fit for leading our centralized UNT System HR team. I would also like to thank Dan Tenney for serving as Interim Chief Human Capital Officer during our search.”

In her role at the UNT System, Gilliam-Holmes will oversee human resources for more than 10,000 faculty and staff at the UNT System’s three campuses, as well as with UNT System Administration. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a member of the National Board of Directors for the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

HR has launched a new Compensation eForm, the Staff Job Classification/Reclassification Request Form. This form is a tool to ensure an efficient and consistent staff classification/reclassification process.  

This will replace the Position Information Questionnaire (PIQ, UNT), the Position Summary Form (HSC) and current classification/reclassification documents at UNT Dallas and UNT System. New position and reclassification guidelines and timelines may vary by institution, particularly for filled positions. Please contact your campus or System HR team and review applicable institutional policies to determine eligibility for the classification/reclassification process.

The form will be completed when requesting a new staff position or when requesting the reclassification of an existing staff position. You can access the form and process information: The form will capture components of the position necessary for determining the appropriate job title and salary grade.