The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - October 2021

The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - October 2021

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The Half-Time Livestream has been going strong since Jan. 8, 2020, bringing everyone in Dx together for the chance to:

  • Ask questions directly and get them answered
  • Hear up-to-date news about projects, changes, events, and more
  • Recognize team members for their great accomplishments
  • Ponder the quote of the week
  • Learn the stat of the week
  • Laugh at the plentiful dad jokes

To participate, tune in every Wednesday at 11:45 AM on the Half-Time Channel on the OIT - Public team in Teams. It's 15 minutes you won't get back, but hopefully, you won't want them back!



The Dx Team Recognition Award is a way to recognize our colleagues in Dx for their hard work and accomplishments. Recognized during our Half-Time live-stream each Wednesday at 11:45 AM, a deserving nominee will also receive an award certificate and two movie vouchers. 

To nominate someone, fill out this form or navigate to the OIT - Public team in Teams, enter the Half-Time channel, and select the Team Recognition tab from the top menu. Remember, nominations must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Tuesday to be eligible for the following Wednesday's Half-Time.



The Presidential Awards of Excellence highlight faculty and staff for their efforts in key areas related to UVU's mission, values, and action commitments. There are four award categories: the Presidential Exceptional Care Award; the Presidential Exceptional Accountability Award; the Presidential Exceptional Results Award; and the Presidential Excellence in Mission Award. To submit a nomination, follow this link.

The 2021 nomination deadlines are:
  • November 12, 2021, to supervisor or dean
  • November 17, 2021, to vice president
  • December 3, 2021, to president's office



Have you seen a UVU staff member offering exceptional service or giving an exemplary performance? Remember to nominate them for the Wolverine Sighting Employee Recognition Award! The Wolverine Sighting Award is an employee recognition award sponsored by PACE. Nominees must be full- or part-time UVU staff employees, but there is no minimum requirement for years of employment and nominations are accepted year-round.



The UVU Goodwill Association sends get-well wishes to UVU employees with the primary goal of enhancing employee relations by maintaining a caring atmosphere at Utah Valley University. Membership dues are used for the following:
  • Sending get-well floral baskets for hospital stays greater than 3 days (typically for life-threatening illnesses). 
  • Sending bereavement floral baskets to employees who have lost a mother, father, child, in-law, or spouse. 

Do you know any employees needing goodwill? Please refer them by following this link. For more information about joining UVU's Goodwill Association, check out their page.

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Lunch atop a skyscraper.


Monday, October 11, is Columbus Day in the United States. This federal holiday commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492, in the "New World." 

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A student holding books.
10/12/2021 - 10/13/2021

First Block Classes will end after finals on Tuesday, October 12.
Second Block Classes will begin on Wednesday, October 13.

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An empty classroom.

10/14/2021 - 10/16/2021

Thursday, October 14, through Saturday, October 16, is UVU's Fall Break Holiday for students. 

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Jack-o-lanterns at Halloween.

Sunday, October 31 is Halloween. If you're curious about how this modern holiday came to be celebrated, try this article about the history of Halloween.
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Brett McKeachnie, Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management

"There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world—one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time. That one thing is trust." [1] 

I've been thinking a lot lately about trust, especially as it relates to our colleagues. Trust affects our work within and across Dx departmental boundaries as well as our work with university-wide partners and customers. Beyond work, trust influences all our interactions with families and friends. It can even guide our actions when we are alone. 

A brief study on the topic of trust has led me to two realizations: 

  1. Prevailing sources on the concept of trust claim that leaders bear the brunt of responsibility for creating it. I partially disagree with this point; in my opinion, employees also play a significant role in building trust.
  2. While some sources give specific and practical advice about building trust, most sources gloss over the foundational principles undergirding trust in all our relationships. 

In this article, I want to share practical ideas to kickstart trust between coworkers and leaders as well as foundational principles of life-long trust-building. 

Practical Ideas

I watched a recent training video on Linked-In Learning [2], which gave the following tips for bosses and employees. 

Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Boss 

  1. Initiate consistent meetings 
  2. Identify the best communication style 
  3. Get a clear picture of success 
  4. Share what you need 
  5. Be honest about development and goals 

Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Reports 

  1. Find out what drives them 
  2. Ask what support they need 
  3. Identify the best communication style 
  4. Share what you expect 

Another Linked-In Learning training video [3] shared some foundational concepts and practical advice for supervisors and employees alike. 

  1. Positive always beats negative. Because people are sensitive to negative feedback, offer positive feedback first before giving a piece of negative feedback. This allows a person to hear negative feedback without feeling overwhelmed.  
  2. Recognize individuals for good, productive behavior. Recognition is a powerful motivator, often more so than titles or money. 
  3. Respect is a high-yield investment. Everybody wants to be a respected member of a winning team doing something meaningful. When we feel respected, we are more likely to perform better. Respecting someone isn't the same as just being nice. We experience respect when our ideas are taken seriously, and people listen to us without an agenda. 
  4. Having difficult conversations is crucial for building trust. Give direct, clear, specific feedback. When we overly sugarcoat information, the message can get lost. When we tell people the truth, we're actually being kind. 
  5. Tolerating disrespect allows it to spread. When employees hear disrespectful comments about others that go unchallenged, they assume that people also speak poorly of them when they're not there. When disrespect is allowed, it tends to multiply and sow seeds of low trust. As a leader, don't allow disrespectful comments. If you hear a disrespectful comment, don't handle it publicly or make the offender feel bad about it; instead, handle a disrespectful comment as immediately as you can, but 1-on-1. Make the offender aware of how the comment may have affected the people who heard it. 

Foundational Principles: The Trust Tree

In 2008, Steven Covey and Rebecca Merrill published a book called "The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything"[1]. Their book focuses on the foundational principles of trust, comparing trust to a tree grown from character and competence. 

  1. Integrity is the root of the Trust Tree. It's not visible, but integrity nourishes and strengthens the tree, adding stability and growth. Integrity is about being honest, congruent, humble, and courageous. To increase our integrity, we have to make and keep commitments to ourselves, stand for something, and be open. 
  2. Intent is the trunk of the Trust Tree. It gives direction to what we are trying to accomplish. Intent encompasses our motives (why), our agendas (what), and our behaviors (how). We can improve our intent by examining and redefining our motives, declaring our intent, and choosing an abundance mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset (i.e., believe there is enough for everyone). 
  3. Capabilities are the branches of the Trust Tree. Think of capabilities using the TASKS acronym. Talents are our natural gifts and strengths. Attitudes are our ways of seeing things and of being. Skills are the things we do well. Knowledge is our learning, insight, understanding, and awareness. Style is our unique approach and personality. To improve our capabilities, we need to run with our strengths, keep ourselves relevant, and know where we are going. 
  4. Results are the fruits that grow on the branches of the Trust Tree. Key indicators by which people evaluate our results include past performance, present performance, and anticipated future performance. To improve our results, we must take responsibility for our results, expect to win, and finish strong. 

Whether you are a coworker or a leader, if you're concerned about the condition of the Trust Tree within your teams, remember that it's never too late to grow trust. As Covey says, "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today." [1]

Becoming a High-Trust Individual

"The process of building trust is an interesting one, but it begins with yourself, with what I call self trust, and with your own credibility, your own trustworthiness. If you think about it, it's hard to establish trust with others if you can't trust yourself." [1] So how do we do that? By cultivating high-trust traits in ourselves. Covey and Merrill [1] provide a list of thirteen behaviors that high-trust individuals exhibit. All are based on our character and our competence to varying degrees. 

  1. Talk Straight: Be honest and call things what they are. 
  2. Demonstrate Respect: Be fair, kind, and civil. 
  3. Create Transparency: Be open and authentic, disclose your agenda. 
  4. Right Wrongs: Apologize quickly, make restitution, and demonstrate humility. 
  5. Show Loyalty: Give credit freely, don't badmouth people or disclose private info. 
  6. Deliver Results: Define results upfront and make the right things happen. 
  7. Get Better: Continuously learn, grow, and renew yourself; make the most of feedback. 
  8. Confront Reality: Take tough issues head-on and lead courageously. 
  9. Clarify Expectations: Create shared vision and agreement up front. 
  10. Practice Accountability: Hold yourself and others accountable; don't shirk responsibility. 
  11. Listen First: Genuinely understand another person's thoughts and feelings. 
  12. Keep Commitments: Make keeping all commitments the symbol of your honor. 
  13. Extend Trust: Shift trust from a noun to a verb. 


"A humble person is more concerned about what is right than about being right, about acting on good ideas than having the ideas, about embracing new truth than defending outdated position, about building the team than exalting self, about recognizing contribution than being recognized for making it." [1]

I invite all of us to humbly do our part to build trust with each other by taking these principles to heart and implementing at least one. As we do, we will all become beneficiaries of the trust that we build together. 


  1. Stephen M.R. Covey and Rebecca R. Merrill, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything 



Travis Tasker, Director of AVSE 

We in the AVSE department have had an extremely high workload over the last couple of years due to new construction, COVID-19, and other factors. Currently, classroom streaming and recording fixes are our number one priority, followed by the implementation of the technology in the entire new Keller Building. At this very moment, ten large LED walls are being shipped from China to UVU for the Keller Building.

AVSE Top 10 Priorities

  1. Classroom streaming/capture fixes
  2. Keller Building Tech (30 plus classrooms, 250 flat panels, 10 LED walls)
  3. Campus conference room streaming
  4. 9 CARES II funded projects
  5. 3 Broadcast Studios (Kellerman model)
  6. 5+ construction projects/building/space remodels. (EX, Lehi, LRC, H6, etc.)
  7. IPTV platform change
  8. DSS approval process upgrades
  9. Yearly classroom refresh (70 rooms)
  10. 60 plus other projects that have been requested
We are working eagerly and diligently to complete the priorities listed above. However, due to the high volume of requests at this time, AVSE is backlogged for up to six months. We are doing our best to get things done quickly, but we currently have a heavy workload and extreme time constraints.
At this time, we recommend contacting outside contractors. While hiring contractors will add installation costs to your project, it will speed up the installation timeframe and implementation process. If you would like to get a quote for contracted installation services, please email us at We can recommend installers that have Utah state contracts to speed up the onboarding process.



Joe Belnap, Senior Director of Special Projects for IT 

I had several quick thoughts come to mind this past month and rather than taking the time to decide which one to submit, I decided to go with all four:

  • Don’t be average, for average is only the worst of the best and the best of the worst.
  • A good leader inspires others with confidence in leadership; a great leader inspires others to have confidence in themselves.
  • They who know the truth are not so great as they who love it; and they who love the truth are not so great as those who live it. – Chinese Proverb
  • When the moment for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past. –  Thomas S. Monson


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The following positions are available in Dx. Be sure to watch for upcoming opportunities in Dx. 

Is there an opening in your division or department that needs to be filled? Be sure to get it approved according to the Temporary Human Resources Guidelines. Once the position is open, get the word out by submitting it to Caitlin Tobler for next month’s newsletter. 


No new employees were reported as being hired this month.

Additionally, no individuals were reported as being retired, promoted, or switching departments. But there is no telling what will happen in the future, so be sure to check back next month!