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The University of Alabama

Dialog Extra for Dec. 17, 2012

Crimson Calendar

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HOLIDAY BREAK — UA will observe the following holiday period: Dec. 22, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013. For guidelines on how to compensate employees who are required to work on or during the holiday break, call Human Resources at 348-6690.

FERGUSON CENTER HOLIDAY HOURS — The Ferguson Center will operate under the following schedule during the holiday break: Dec. 17-21, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 22, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013, closed.

CAMPUS HOLIDAY MAIL SERVICE Campus Mail Service has adjusted its schedule for the upcoming holiday break. Mail clerks will run their afternoon routes on Dec. 21. Collections will also be made from Centralized Afternoon Pick-up Service drop boxes at 2 p.m. Items placed in CAPS drop boxes after 2 p.m. will be processed after the holiday break. Outgoing mail to be processed before the holiday break that is not collected on regular mail routes should be brought to the mail center by noon on Dec. 21. Campus Mail Services does not process outgoing mail during the break unless prior arrangements have been made. No mail delivery will occur during the break. Deans, directors and department heads may authorize no more than two personnel to collect mail for their areas if prior arrangements are made before the end of the day on Dec. 19 via a memorandum to Mike Butts at Box 870238. Authorized personnel who present a faculty-staff ID can collect mail on Dec. 24, Dec. 26-28 and Dec. 31 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Campus Mail customer-service counter is located in 124 Ancillary Services Building, 1115 14th St.

RELOCATION OF ACTION CARD OFFICE — The Action Card Office will be moving to the Campus Drive parking deck and will open at that location Jan. 2, 2013. The office’s current location at 104 Student Services Center will remain open until Dec. 21.

END OF E-LEARNING AVAILABILTY — The current e-learning system will not be accessible after Dec. 31. Blackboard Learn will be the only learning management system used after Dec. 31. Faculty and staff can learn more about the transition to Blackboard Learn, including how to save data out of e-learning, by visiting the Faculty Resource Center’s website at or by contacting

REQUESTS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION WORK — UA Facilities has announced that campus deans, directors and department heads have until Jan. 11, 2013, to submit project initiation request forms for construction or renovation work to be completed during the spring break. The deadline allows time for estimate preparation and workforce scheduling. Any requests submitted past the deadline will not be considered for scheduling and will be accommodated as soon as possible. Visit to access the request form.

SOCIAL SECURITY TAX RATE — The Social Security portion of FICA is expected to return to the normal rate of 6.2 percent on Jan. 1, 2013. Legislation temporarily reduced the rate to 4.2 percent for the 2011 and 2012 tax years. Visit the official Social Security website at for information on the final legislation. This tax appears on UA paycheck stubs as FICA OA. Also, the new Social Security wage base limit for 2013 is $113,700. Earnings in excess of this amount will not be subject to the Social Security portion of FICA.

ADDITIONAL MEDICARE TAX — An additional Medicare tax of 0.9 percent will become effective Jan. 1, 2013. The additional tax will apply to an individual’s wages and compensation paid in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. An employer is required to begin withholding additional Medicare tax in the pay period in which it pays wages and compensation in excess of $200,000 to an employee. There is no employer match for the additional Medicare tax. The tax will appear on UA paycheck stubs as FIMA.

REPORTING ANNUAL MEDICAL PREMIUMS ON W-2 FORMS — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers to begin reporting the cost of employer-sponsored medical coverage on the 2012 W-2 forms, which will be issued in January 2013. Employees who were enrolled in the University’s medical plan at any point during the 2012 calendar year should expect the total amount of their premiums to appear on their W-2s. The amount is not subject to taxation. The reporting requirement is intended to provide employees with useful and comparable consumer information on the cost of their medical coverage. The total reported will include both the employee and employer portions of the annual medical premiums. Click here to view an example. UA will mail W-2s to employees’ local addresses. Employees should make sure their addresses are current in myBama. Employees can contact the HR Service Center at 348-7732 with questions or concerns.

HOLIDAY RECYCLING OPTIONS — Campus community members looking for a place to drop off their pre- and post-Christmas recyclables have the option of using The University of Alabama recycling center during the UA holiday break. Located at 1115 14th St., UA’s Ancillary Services Building will accept recyclables from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays (Dec. 24-28, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1). On Saturdays (Dec. 22 and Dec. 29), the center will be open from 8 a.m. until noon. The building will be closed on Sundays (Dec. 23 and Dec. 30).

The facility accepts cardboard; all types of paper, including Christmas wrapping paper; all types of plastic; and various other recyclables, including aluminum cans. No glass will be accepted. For more information on UA recycling, click here.

TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR DISCOVER BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME — The Alabama Crimson Tide plays the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Jan. 7, 2013, in the Discover BCS National Championship. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN and will be held in Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. The Florida Department of Transportation encourages travelers heading to the game to use the 511 traveler-information system before hitting the road to stay up to date on crashes, congestion, construction and more. The 511 system provides information on all of Florida’s interstates, toll roads and other major metropolitan roadways, including those near the stadium such as Interstate 75, Interstate 95, Interstate 595 and the Florida Turnpike.

For traffic updates, travelers can call 511 toll free, visit, download the 511 application on iTunes or follow 511 on Twitter.

FREE FLU SHOTS — UA faculty and staff and their spouses who have not received flu shots can visit the Faculty-Staff Clinic for free vaccinations while supplies last. For more information about the importance of getting the flu vaccine, click here.

The following are basic prevention measures for the flu virus: 

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Clean and sterilize contaminated surfaces.

The Faculty-Staff Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and is located on campus in the University Medical Center building at 850 Fifth Ave. E. The telephone number is 348-4696.


“Identity Lessons” exhibition, Paul R. Jones Gallery of Art
VALIC individual retirement counseling, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment, location TBD
Women’s basketball vs. Wofford, 11 a.m., Foster Auditorium
SkillPort open lab, 1-4:30 p.m., G-54 Rose Administration Building
Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra and Chamber String concert, 7 p.m., Moody Music Building Concert Hall

Benefits orientation for new staff, 8:30 a.m.-noon, G-54 Rose Administration Building
Purchasing Card Travel 101: Best Practices for Paying Travel Expenses, 10-11 a.m., Suite 3000 South Lawn Office Building

Orientation for new management, 8:30-11 a.m., G-54 Rose Administration Building
Use of Social Media by College and University Students and Employees: Current Legal Issues, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 254 Rose Administration Building

VALIC individual retirement counseling, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment, location TBD
Women’s basketball vs. Virginia, 2 p.m., Foster Auditorium

Men’s basketball vs. Mercer, Dec. 22, 1 p.m., Coleman Coliseum
Men’s basketball vs. Tulane, Dec. 30, 5 p.m., Coleman Coliseum
VALIC individual retirement counseling, Jan. 4 and Jan. 7, 2013, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment, location TBD
Men’s basketball vs. Oakland, Jan. 5, 3 p.m., Coleman Coliseum
Orientation for new staff, Jan. 7, 2013, G-54 Rose Administration Building
Benefits orientation for new staff, Jan. 8, 2013, 8:30 a.m.-noon, G-54 Rose Administration Building
Travel 101: Best Practices for Paying Travel Expenses, Jan. 8, 2013, 10-11 a.m., 1093 Shelby Hall
How to Submit an IRB HSP, Jan. 8, 2013, 2-3 p.m., G-54 Rose Administration Building

WORTH QUOTING — “This is a relatively new system. There are some problems in putting the prosthesis into clinical use because the components of the prosthesis are still being developed. In our research, the long-term goal is to develop powered prostheses with comparable appearance and functionality as human limbs.” Dr. Xiangrong Shen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UA, as quoted in Med Gadget. Shen and researchers from Vanderbilt University and Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to develop a practical ankle prosthesis that is powered by rocket-like propellant.