Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Benefits enrollment starts soon! No change to health insurance premiums; TRS contribution rates change effective Sept. 1

Annual enrollment is coming soon! We’re happy to share that there will be no changes to health insurance premiums for the 2021-22 benefit plan year. However, there is a Texas Legislative-approved change to the contribution rates for the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) plan. To improve the funding status of the plan, which considers longer retiree lifespans, the employee and employer contribution rates will increase effective Sept. 1:

For pay received on or after Employee contribution rate Employer contribution rate
9/1/2020 7.7% 7.5%
9/1/2021 8.0% 7.75%

Rates for the optional retirement plan will remain the same. We will continue to update employees on future legislative changes. If you have questions regarding your retirement plan, contact the Benefits Help Line at 214-648-9830 or email

PeopleSoft HCM application planned upgrades to cause downtimes

To allow for necessary updates, PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) will be down from 6 p.m Friday, June 11, through 6 p.m., Sunday, June 13. You will be able to access all other applications, including Taleo Talent Acquisition Management (TAM) and Oracle Cloud Goals and Performance. If you experience any issues following the downtime, contain the IR Service Desk at 214-648-7600, select option 4 for PeopleSoft or email the Service Desk.

Enjoy these local Pride Month activities

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which began on June 28, 1969, and recognizes the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history.

At UTSW, we recognize Pride Month to honor the many contributions that our LGBTQ+ and allied employees have made to our workplace and to our country. The Office of Institutional Equity & Access’ Division of Diversity & Inclusion encourages you to learn, appreciate, and celebrate Pride Month through a range of virtual or in-person events planned in the DFW community and across the nation. Check out our newsletter to see resources compiled for your convenience.

Pitch your startup idea and go for your share of $100,000 in funding

Need some cash to fund your innovation? Submit your ideas to the UT Southwestern Big Idea Pitch Competition. You’ll also get professional guidance to refine commercialization strategies, build exposure to the investor community, strengthen strategic connections, create pitch decks, and develop commercialization-focused milestones.

Business Development will award $100,000 in funding. We encourage all faculty, staff, and students interested in getting professional guidance on commercialization-focused strategies to participate. Inventions are due by June 30, and proposals are due by July 30. Check out the Technology Development page for instructions on how to submit your proposal. if you have any questions about the competition.

Updated forecasting model shows continued downward trend in COVID-19 cases

UT Southwestern has updated its forecasting model based on data as of June 1 to show how COVID-19 is spreading across Dallas-Fort Worth. The model projects that our case trajectory still depends on both our behavior and our collective success in vaccinating North Texans.

The total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in North Texas is expected to continue to trend downward over the next several weeks. Hospital volumes are very low, currently representing approximately 2 percent of patients in North Texas.

Below are total Clements University Hospital (CUH) cases as of this morning. For more information on COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Texas, visit the online trackers at Johns Hopkins University and the Texas Department of State Health Services.


Upcoming events

For more, see the UTSW Events Calendar.