Skip to main content

HR News

HR, in partnership with ITSS, launched several upgrades to the ePAR system in October. This new functionality will improve the job reclassification process and enhance several other existing processes:

  • New reclassification functionality – HR Compensation will review the requested job title and salary, and provide confirmation to the request or make recommendations for changes; department heads will then select a final recommended salary to move the request forward in the approval process
  • Vacant position changes for faculty – Initiators will now be able to make vacant position changes (faculty only) beyond the current fiscal year
  • Worklist – The approval worklist has been cleaned up and, going forward, it will clear once transactions are completed
  • Ability to see canceled ePARs – Initiators will now be able to view ePARs that may have been canceled by payroll processing
  • Payroll HOLD process for vacant positions -- Vacant position ePAR transactions will no longer be placed on hold while Payroll is processing
  • Termination Warnings – A new warning message will be displayed and recorded when the Last Physical Date is later than the termination effective date

Note: Make sure all Time & Labor data is entered and approved, and exceptions are cleared so as to not cause any delays if a lump sum vacation payout is needed

The stress of financial issues can take a serious toll on anyone's well-being. That's particularly true right now as all of us are trying to manage increasingly stressful times that, for many, have faced the impact of added financial burden. We can help. Here are a few helpful insights and tips for handling financial stress.

It’s important to know you are not alone and that there are resources available to help. As a UNT World employee, you can seek financial advice from your EAP and our retirement savings plan vendors for free. 

  • Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) includes free financial advice and counseling on a range of financial topics or issues from financial experts.
  • Our retirement savings plan vendors (AIG/Fidelity/TIAA/Voya) offer all employees one free financial advisement session if you need help assessing where to save, how to save, investing, as well as strategies for handling financial emergencies.

Your In the Green financial well-being program is also here to help you cope with stress through virtual meditation, stress management webinars and other resources. You’ll also find financial education webinars and videos there to help you enhance your financial wellness.

Community resources are available if you are struggling financially.  Find help through your local resources at

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.

Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

There are many forms of diabetes including prediabetes.

According to the CDC – approximately 88 million American adults — more than 1 in 3 — have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, more than 84% don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, the cells in your body don’t respond normally to insulin causing the pancreas to make more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually, your pancreas can’t keep up and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes that can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Know the Signs & Symptoms

Prediabetes puts you at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. You can have prediabetes for years with no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. A simple blood test can determine if you have prediabetes, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are 45 years or older and have any of the following risk factors:

  • Overweight
  • A parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active less than three times a week
  • Have gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome

Your employee benefits can help you with diabetes self-management, education and support, as well as provide resources through our well-being program In the Green. There are ways to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, such as staying active and reducing your body weight. Sign up for sessions to learn more about the two free weight-management programs being offered -- Real Appeal on Nov. 4; and Naturally Slim on Nov. 12. Maintaining regular physical activity requires at least 150 minutes a week -- just 30 minutes a day, five days a week -- of brisk walking or a similar activity. It's easy to fit in a home workout with virtual classes offered through the UNT Rec CenterThe good news is if you have prediabetes, it can be reversed. Check out this video.

Did you know?: The diabetic drug supply changed as of Sept. 1

Learn more about how to get the OneTouch glucometer and OneTouch test strips at no cost to participants

HealthSelect of Texas or HealthSelect Out-of-State participants now pay nothing for diabetic supplies such as certain brands of test stripes, lancets and lancing devices under the HealthSelect Prescription Drug Program (PDP) administered by OptumRX when they use an in-network pharmacy and present their prescription drug ID card.  

Consumer Directed HealthSelect participants can get lancets, lancing devices, syringes, pen needles and OneTouch test strips at no cost after they meet their annual deductible.

Join the Free Glucose Meter Program

The Free Glucose Meter Program lets HealthSelect of Texas and HealthSelect Out-of State participants get a certain OneTouch Verio glucometer at no cost when they order it through LifeScan (the manufacturer of One Touch products). Once their provider determines which glucometer they should use, participants can then:

  • Contact the LifeScan Service Center at (866) 355-9962 or visit the website at
  • Enter the Brochure Code: 594PRX100
  • LifeScan will deliver the glucometer to their address.

To get the OneTouch glucometer at no cost, participants must order through LifeScan. If they prefer to get their glucometer at a retail pharmacy, they will need a valid prescription from their doctor. They will be responsible for the applicable copay/coinsurance.

Items covered at in-network pharmacies with a copay/coinsurance

The HealthSelect PDP benefit may cover other diabetic supplies at in-network pharmacies with a copay or coinsurance. After meeting their annual deductible, participants will pay the applicable copay/coinsurance depending on the tier status of the item they are purchasing. They can call OptumRx Customer Care at (855) 828-9834 (TTY: 711) or visit to find out more about the cost of a particular item.

The pharmacy benefit covers the following items with a copay/coinsurance: Insulin, diabetic oral agents, certain glucometers, certain test strips, alcohol wipes and swabs, glucagon emergency kits and syringes and pen needles.

Coverage of diabetic supplies and equipment under the HealthSelect medical plans administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) remains unchanged, so participants can continue to receive covered diabetic supplies and equipment through their medical benefits if they prefer.

To learn more about the HealthSelect PDP’s diabetic supply coverage change, encourage your employees to read these "Frequently Asked Questions" or call OptumRx Customer Care toll-free at (855) 828-9834 (TTY: 711).

Getting your eyes examined is especially important for those living with diabetes as it could increase your risk of eye complication over time. Get a clear view of your benefits by using your Superior Vision plan for an annual exam of $15 for each covered member.

Caring for your feet while living with diabetes can be challenging so check out these tips and resources from your Employee Assistance Program on foot protection and self-care. 

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how to begin making a lifestyle change, contact a BCBSTX representative to help manage your care with a dedicated team wait for you at (800) 252-8039 (TTY:711) between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. CT Monday - Friday, and ask to speak with a clinician about the Care Management Program. Check out these tips and resources available both in English or Spanish from the National Diabetes Prevention Program.  

Dr. Iftekhar Amin

Over his 10 years at UNT Dallas, Dr. Iftekhar Amin has seen the university's rapid growth while teaching Applied Gerontology and Human Services Management and Leadership (HSML) courses. He works closely with organizations that serve the Greater Dallas geriatric population. When he's not teaching and working in the community, the husband of UNT Dallas Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Syeda Jesmin, and the father of one daughter, enjoys gardening and growing vegetables.


What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
At UNT Dallas, I have the privilege to positively influence students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is highly rewarding to see our minority and first-generation college students with their families on graduation day, and see them grow professionally.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
More opportunity to learn and more professional training. 
What is your proudest work moment? 
In 2008, I got my first job as assistant professor at University of Louisiana at Monroe. I was awarded the Endowed Professorship of Gerontology for three years and later was appointed as a member of the Louisiana Governor’s Encore Commission. This afforded me opportunities to engage in research, while gaining exposure to the major aging-related agencies in the region. I am proud that I have ties with most aging-related agencies in the DFW area as well, and routinely receive invitations to serve on their boards.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
Limited in-person social interaction has created the opportunity for me to connect with friends and family members from different parts of the world.

Movie?: The Godfather and Forrest Gump

Places to visit?:Guadalajara, Mexico; Turrialba, Costa Rica; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Bern, Switzerland

Hobbies?: Gardening, traveling, cooking and watching movies

Dr. Clint Purtell

Dr. Clinton Purtell joined UNT World last year as an adjunct professor in the Department of Marketing, Logistics & Operations Management. He is now an associate clinical professor of management and entrepreneurship. He also serves as a coordinator for outreach, external relationships and strategic corporate partnerships for UNT at Frisco/New College.


What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
I'm excited about every opportunity I have to be in a classroom or to work directly with students. I'm also passionate about research. I'm involved in UNT’s Center for Integrated Intelligent Mobility Systems (CIIMS) initiatives, particularly as it relates to autonomous drones and air taxi technologies, such as Uber Elevate. My other areas of interest -- both in the classroom and research -- are in the entrepreneurial process, particularly related to fundraising pitches, interactions between entrepreneurs and stakeholders, and new venture start-up strategies. 
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
New employees, such as me, are peppered with bits and snippets about what is available in various presentations, such as new-hire orientation, individual department meet-and-greets, email news blasts, etc. It would be great if we had an indexed/organized tool that summarizes everything available to employees, with easy ways to directly access the various pages where more information exists across UNT, such as through hyperlinks. 
What is your proudest work moment? 
My personal mission is to “make a positive impact in at least one student every day.” My proudest work moment is each class, day or week I have a student approach me to tell me, unsolicited, that I have made a positive impact on them, inspired them, helped them think in new ways or considered a new perspective on a topic.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
This year, each of my three children set high goals and accomplished each of them. All three achieved straight A’s in school, and all three were selected to a join top select athletic organization (two in baseball and one in softball). My two daughters made the junior varsity and varsity softball teams at Allen High School, and my oldest daughter received an offer as a junior in high school to play collegiate softball at one of her top choices where she can also study in a pre-med program. 

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues? 
I am an Oklahoma Choctaw, the son of two United Methodist ministers and a true “Okie from Muskogee.”

Movie?: Top Gun

TV Show?: Yellowstone

Hobby?: Hunting and shooting sports

With many of us spending more time at home, engaging in one of the programs offered through HealthSelect can help you improve your overall health and wellness.

Getting to a healthy weight can be a great way to improve your energy, mood and health. Your HealthSelect medical benefits include access to two online weight management programs. If you meet eligibility requirements, you can apply for enrollment in Naturally Slim® and/or Real Appeal® at no cost to you. Eligible participants may choose either program, but can only participate in one program at a time. Both programs offer courses, coaching and other virtual activities so you can use them when it’s most convenient for you. We encourage you to sign up if you’re looking for help managing your weight and changing your lifestyle.

HealthSelect participants also have access to self-directed health and wellness courses through Well onTarget®, your online wellness portal. These courses can help you get started on healthy habits such as quitting tobacco, managing stress and improving your sleep. Well onTarget also offers additional weight management resources, including coaching and trackers. You can even earn Blue PointsSM for participating in Well onTarget activities, which you can redeem for home workout equipment and more.

We encourage you to sign up and also share these resources and programs with your covered dependents. The additional support from your family members can make a difference in your success.

If you have any questions regarding weight management or Well onTarget, call a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Personal Health Assistant toll-free at 800-252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday — Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Your EAP is here to help!  
We know it's not always easy juggling a work-life balance during this time with remote working and/or virtual learning with kids at home, so check out these tips and resources that might provide a different approach to working solutions.

Check out what’s happening at UNT Rec Center
Throughout October, attend Group Exercise classes and complete social media challenges for chances to win Rec Sports swag. 

National Retirement Security Week (NRSW), a national event focused on the importance of financial security, begins Oct. 18. The event raises awareness about the importance of planning toward retirement to ensure a secure financial future.

Planning for retirement is important at all ages and stages. Haven’t started yet? Now’s a great time. It’s never too late, and every dollar counts. Here are some ideas for starting, or progressing, on this important financial journey:

  • Get a savings checkup – you can consult with a financial advisor from one of our vendors for free – all employees are eligible for one free financial advisement session from the vendor of their choice. Each vendor’s contact information can be found here, including links to schedule meetings
  • Work on building emergency savings
  • Evaluate your anticipated retirement income vs. projected expenses and consider participating in voluntary retirement savings plans

Why? You can save toward retirement to supplement your retirement plan income (and other benefits) by contributing to investments of your choice -- via paycheck deduction monthly. It’s easy, and it adds up. 

You can start now by setting aside just $25 a month. It can grow significantly on your journey to retirement. Here’s a helpful calculator to check out how much you could stash away to retire on later by saving just a little bit monthly now. 

Watch a helpful video or join a webinar: You can find excellent virtual offerings to choose from all week on the In the Green Well-being Calendar.

To build whole-self wellness, include your finances in your personal well-being plan. Even when things are outside of your control, you can continue to set and work toward goals, no matter how small, that will help you achieve financial health and overall well-being for yourself.

Read more about planning for lifetime retirement income. And, learn more about your UNT World retirement plan benefits here.

Nakia Douglas has dedicated his career to mentoring youth and shaping future leaders in his hometown of Dallas. At UNT Dallas, Nakia designs and implements "holistic, nontraditional educational experiences for first-generation and historically disenfranchised students." Before starting at the southern Dallas campus three years ago, Nakia was the founding principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, which opened in southern Dallas in 2011. He has received many professional honors including the 2015 Dallas Independent


School District Magnet Principal of the Year, KERA American Graduate Champion and DISD Exemplary Principal. In June, Nakia delivered this impassioned interview for WFAA's moving video series, "While I have your attention."
How long have you worked in UNT World and what do you do? 
October officially marks my third year as a member of UNT World. In my role as executive director of TRIO and Pre-Collegiate Programs, I have the privilege of working with a diverse, innovative team. Our departmental mission is the “development of students’ academic, emotional, ethical, physical and social skills for transformational impact in life, school and leadership” – this is the North Star of our efforts with our participants.

What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
The strategic process of design, creation and implementation of programs for students, families and communities is exciting. The greatest joy is witnessing our participants' enjoyment of a new educational experience and/or students reflecting on the impact of their learning within our programs. These moments are the ultimate evaluation of the effectiveness of our work.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
Employee academic scholarships.
What is your proudest work moment? 
Building and developing our TRIO & Pre-Collegiate professional team, then witnessing their impact with the students within their individual programs at the university and our local community.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
The strengthening of my relationship with my family during the pandemic. While the reasons for our time together are not enjoyable, the conversations, walks, meals and newly created family memories have been most enjoyable and heartwarming.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues? 
I own a PS4 and play Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA and The Incredibles with my kids, I have opened two new schools for Dallas ISD (Maynard H. Jackson Middle School and Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy) and I began my educational career as a kindergarten teacher.

Book?: Uncommon by Tony Dungy

Movie?: Black Panther, Love Jones, Invictus, Remember the Titans and Waiting for Superman

Place to Visit?: West Africa, North Carolina and/or Caribbean Islands

Song?: "Love and Happiness" by Al Green

Charitable cause?: Friends of Barack Obama Men's Leadership Academy, Mayor's Star Council, City Square, For Oak Cliff, 826 Literary Project

Suicide prevention is important all year round, and together we all play a role in saving lives. 

What is Suicide?

  • Suicide is a death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior.
  • Suicide attempt is defined as a non-fatal self-directed and potentially injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injury.

Nationally, the suicide rate increased 25.4% from 1999 to 2016, with increases occurring in almost every state. Suicide claimed the lives of 48,000 people in the US resulting one death every 11 minutes by 2018. It is the second leading cause of death by age group from 10 to 34, according to the CDC

There is a multitude of approaches when it comes to preventing suicide and you play an important role because prevention is a comprehensive approach when it comes to decreasing the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 

Suicide is preventable and a large growing health problem with lasting effects on individuals, families and communities. Usually family and friends that are the first ones to see the warning signs and these changes in behavior may or may not include health issues related to mental illness. These behavior changes could stem from a death of a loved one, been bullied or from abuse over time or as a child that comes out years later. 

The associated risk factors like depression, anxiety, relationships or financial problems affect everyone regardless of age, gender or background with no single determining causes and have some common warning signs:

  • Has trouble eating or sleeping
  • Talks about committing suicide
  • Exhibits drastic changes in behavior
  • Withdraws from friends or social activities
  • Loses interest in school, work or hobbies
  • Prepares for death by writing a will and making final arrangements
  • Gives away prized possessions
  • Has attempted suicide before
  • Takes unnecessary risks
  • Has recently experienced serious losses
  • Seems preoccupied with death and dying
  • Loses interest in his or her personal appearance
  • Increases alcohol or drug use.

Knowing the signs and taking action with five steps to help someone who is emotionally distressed could save a life.

1.       ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.

  1. KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
  2. BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
  3. HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
  4. STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

We care about your well-being and it is our hope that you take advantage of all the free resources available in managing your family’s health.

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas will begin managing your mental health and substance use benefits for HealthSelect participants, replacing Magellan Healthcare. With this transition, your benefit deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance will not change. If you have any questions about these services or need assistance finding a provider, reach out to your BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant at 800-252-8039, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., CT.

Too sick to drive? Get quick medical and mental health services on the web or download the app

With DrOnDemand, you have 24/7 access to a health care provider for non-emergency care with no cost for HealthSelect participants.

Visit MDLive for a virtual visit with a Mental Health professional for a low cost of $25 copay for HealthSelect members.

Employees enrolled in the Consumer Directed Health plan, you are subjected to deductible and coinsurance cost. 

Need help managing a work life balance, which may affect your personal well-being? Contact your Employee Assistance Program for help services related to: Stress Management or Grief and Bereavement counseling and Managing Depression and Anxiety.

Check out what is happening In the Green for the latest webinar or information session for your physical, interpersonal and financial wellbeing needs. Want to learn more about Suicide Prevention join the October 20, webinar led by UNT Assistant Director and Counselor Arlene Rivero-Carr, to learn how to recognize the signs and learn what to do or say to someone who might be at risk for suicide.  


To learn more about the strategies of Suicide Prevention check out these English or Spanish videos and the CDC’s Comprehensive Public Health video approach including how to stay safe and find treatment

The Warm Place – provides year round grief support for children ages 3 ½ to 18 and their families, as well as young adults who have experienced the death of a loved one FREE of charge in the FW area.

UNT Denton



Denton County MHMR /Psychiatric Triage Center

(800) 762-0157             (940) 381-9965


MetroCare Services (Dallas County)
  (214) 743-1200


North Texas Behavioral Health Authority:

Crisis Text Line:  Please text HOME to 741741 from your mobile device

Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas:  214-828-1000

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

24/7/365 Crisis Hotline: Call 775-784-8090 or Text ANSWER to 839863

Child and Family Guidance support: Call 214-351-3490 or visit Child and Family Guidance Center  (resources available in Spanish)

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line call (833) 251-7544 or visit

Texas Health and Human Services:

COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line   call (833) 986-1919

Domestic Violence Resource

call 1-800-799-7233 

text LOVEIS to 22522

National Resources: (Identity Based)


Call: 1-800-273-8255 then Press 1

VA Hotline 855-948-2311 


Text: any message to 838-255



Trans Lifeline  (877) 565-8860 (24/7)



The Trevor Project Phone Lifeline (866)488-7386 (24/7)

Text “Trevor” to 202-304-1200 (Thurs & Fri 3pm-7pm) 

Trevor Chat  (2pm-8pm)

Many employees are receiving emails from companies with names like “,” “” and “” These emails indicate that it is time to set up an appointment to discuss your retirement benefits, or that they are available to help “public” employees understand their retirement plans or benefits. IT Compliance has blocked several of these sending companies, yet the emails keep coming with “new” company names (same content).

Beware of attempts to gain financial information via unsolicited emails, texts and phone calls from outside “companies” who offer to meet with you to advise on your retirement plans, accounts or benefits.

Your HR Benefits team is here to help you with your employee benefits, including your retirement plan. Legitimate email regarding your benefits will come from or an HR professional with an email address (that you can verify in Outlook). We are your trustworthy support for help with insurance, retirement and anything employee-benefit related, including voluntary retirement savings plans that are part of your benefit options.

More information can be found here:

If you are in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) and/or participating in a voluntary retirement savings plan, you will often receive email communications from the vendor with whom you have an account and business relationship due to that account. These include AIG, Fidelity, TIAA, Voya and, for the Texa$aver 457 plan, Texa$

If you are in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for your retirement, you may receive emails from TRS ( if you have opted in to receive their news emails.

The recent phishing emails indicate that employees can schedule “one free meeting a year” to discuss:

  • What your expected income will be from TRS when you retire.
  • How much longer you will have to work.
  • How you can save more money for retirement, without affecting your take home pay.
  • Which 401(a) options have guaranteed income when you retire.

Please know that:

  • An outside company unaffiliated with the UNT System’s campuses will only be able to help you with such information if you provide them your personal details, including information about your salary. They don’t have this information, nor do they have access to your job record or your TRS account, unless you give it to them.
  • Your HR Benefits team has access to your employment information and can advise on:
    • What your expected income will be from TRS
    • When you are eligible to retire, and what other benefits you’ll be eligible for (like health insurance)
    • Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans you can participate in as an employee. These are employee benefits available to you that can help you save for retirement and reduce taxes on your pay.
  • Scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated about getting your personal information. Familiarize yourself with these tactics and learn what to watch out for – and please report anything suspicious to Always check the sender’s email address. Communications from legitimate UNT System parties will be from emails with,,, and addresses.

To learn more about your retirement benefits, please email And you can find information on our web page

Ready to retire, or wanting to meet to plan for a future retirement? We’ll be glad to setup a video meeting with you. We are here to help you with all of your employee benefits, including health insurance, optional insurances like dental and vision; your retirement plan, and your voluntary savings plans. Reach out to us for help, and we’ll be glad to meet with you, answer questions, and provide assistance so that you can enjoy your employee benefits. And, we won’t try to sell you anything! We’re your trusted resource – let us help you plan for your future and make the most of your benefits today.