Message of Condolence from President Benson

Please follow this link to read Dr. Richard Benson’s statement on the deaths of UT Dallas alumnus and employee Rion Morgan and UT Dallas graduates Anthony Cross, Olivia Duffner, James Dunlop and Meredith Hight.

Longtime IT Employee Nelda Magnuson Passes Away

Nelda Magnuson

Nelda Magnuson, a beloved employee in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) for 12 years, died on Sept. 11 at the age of 56.

Magnuson’s UT Dallas career path started in 2005 as an administrative assistant and ran until earlier this year, when she retired from her business manager role. Her dedication and support was felt throughout the department.

Debbie Greszler, a manager in Information Technology who worked with Magnuson throughout her time at UT Dallas, called her work ethic “extraordinary” and praised her go-getter approach.

“Nelda was a part of the UT Dallas family in a unique way, as her mother, aunt, niece, son and brother were also employees of the University,” Greszler said. “Those of us that worked with her fondly remember how she took care of us in a way that truly reflected her love for her fellow staff members and the university. She treated us like we were part of her family.”

Greszler also emphasized the devotion Magnuson displayed towards the department and the University, even while dealing with severe health issues that spanned much of her tenure at UT Dallas, ultimately leading her to retire in April 2017.

“She left in place a legacy of business processes and methods that continue to evolve and grow with us,” Greszler said.

She is survived by her husband, George Edward Magnuson; mother, Iris Decker; three children, two grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.

Review Your Oct. 2 Paycheck for Correct Benefits Selections

Human Resources urges employees to review the benefits selections on their Oct. 2 paychecks with the benefits confirmation statement previously emailed by the UT System Office of Employee Benefits. Employees can also view a summary of their benefits online through My UT Benefits.

If you find any discrepancies, please report them to the Human Resources Benefits team by Tuesday, Oct. 31. Discrepancies due to clerical errors that are reported by Oct. 31 will be changed in accordance with the UT System administrative policy and requirements. Discrepancies reported after Oct. 31 will require a review and approval from the UT System Office of Employee Benefits.

Please note that there are no changes to the benefits rates for Plan Year 2017-2018. Higher individual life insurance rates may apply due to salary increases or if your age on Sept. 1 corresponds to a higher age bracket.

Comet Cakes On-Campus Bakery Opens

Comet Cakes On-Campus Bakery

Dining Services has launched Comet Cakes, an on-campus bakery service that is now open in Dining Hall West. Custom-tiered, round or sheet cakes are offered for order and pickup, as well as cupcakes, cake pops and mini-cakes.

Shawna Bass, director of dining services, said that Comet Cakes pricing is similar to nearby grocery store rates, and that options are not limited to what’s immediately available on-site.

“We want to be able to offer reasonable pricing for the University community so they don’t have to go off-campus for their celebrations,” Bass said. “Even if it’s not on our offer sheet, people can call for a quote.”

For more information or to place an order, call Bass at 972-310-0850.

UT FLEX Deadlines Approaching

Don’t miss important deadlines on your UT FLEX accounts. The last day to spend your funds this year is Nov. 15, and the last day to submit claims for reimbursement is Nov. 30. Learn more about your accounts, deadlines and resources available to you on the UT System website’s UT Flex Accounts page.

Police Department Offers Self-Defense Classes

UT Dallas Police Badge

The University Police will offer free Rape Aggression Defense classes for women and the Resisting Aggression with Defense program for men throughout the year. Receive instruction from UTD officers who are certified RAD instructors on awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance before learning the basics of hands-on defense.

Classes are open to all students, faculty and staff, and are held at the Police Department building at the northeast corner of Parking Lot A. Class size is limited, so registration is required. This semester’s RAD classes for women are scheduled for Sept. 23-25, Oct. 4-6, Oct. 20-21, Nov. 12-13, and Dec. 8-9. Men’s classes are to be announced.

For additional information, email Cpl. Somer Fernandez.

Gift Bag and Wrapping Paper Drive

The Office of Student Volunteerism is collecting wrapping paper and gift bags throughout the month of September for the Birthday Party Project, an organization that hosts birthday parties for homeless children.

Collection bins will be in the OSV office (SSA 14.431T), the ECSS Student Services Office (ECSS 2.502), the Student Union first-floor lobby and the Administration Building's second-floor lobby near the elevators.

University Travel Authorization

If you’re traveling outside the country on behalf of the University, please obtain employee or student travel authorization before departure, and register your trip in International SOS. This will allow you to set up your institutional safety net and meet UT System requirements. For questions, email the International Center.


Bike-Sharing Program Expanded
UT Dallas has partnered with VBikes to bring an expanded bike-sharing program to campus. While VBikes can be rented and returned to any bike rack on campus, there are five main bike-sharing stations marked on the VBike map. VBike rentals are $1 per hour. Get started by downloading the free VBikes app for Apple or Android.

Freedom from Smoking Class
The next Freedom from Smoking Class will begin Oct. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m., in the Lone Star Conference Room (AD 3.104) in eight sessions across seven weeks. The class is open to all faculty, staff and students. To attend, register online or call 972-883-2213. To learn about the University’s tobacco-free campus policy, visit

Environmental Health and Safety Hosts Preparedness Fair
In recognition of National Preparedness Month, UT Dallas Environmental Health and Safety will host its 11th Annual Preparedness Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Plinth outside the Student Union. Students, faculty and staff are invited to experience safety, emergency and health information booths and demonstrations. Light refreshments and giveaways will be available.

Green Zone Classes Seek Friendly Campus for Veterans
The Green Zone program, presented by the Military and Veteran Center, is designed to establish a network of University staff and faculty to encourage a military-friendly campus culture. The next class is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 11. Training topics include military terminology and culture, transition challenges, classroom considerations, and campus and community resources. Training is currently limited to staff and faculty. Email Archie Nettles or call the Military and Veteran Center at 972-883-4916 to register or for more information.

Corporate Challenge Raising Funds for Special Olympics
The UT Dallas team for the Richardson Corporate Challenge is raising funds for Special Olympics Texas, partnering on fundraiser events with restaurants such as MOOYAH and iFratelli. Additionally, raffle tickets are available for $5, offering a chance to win one of three pairs of round-trip airline tickets with hotel stays. Buy five or more raffle tickets to enter a UT Dallas bonus prize drawing for restaurant gift cards and other prizes. Purchase tickets at the Office of Administration (AD 2.410), or call 972-883-2213 for more information. The challenge runs through Oct. 12 with a wide range of events. For 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.