The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - December 2022

The Digital Transformation Division Newsletter - December 2022

Awards header


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 Dx Community 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 Dx Community 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.


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 to send floral baskets for a number of situations (extended hospital stays, bereavement, and more). 
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.

Calendar header


Image Description

Get ready for the next in-person Dx All-Hands Meeting on Monday, December 5, from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM in the SC Ballroom. We are so excited to see you there! Remember, all Dx employees are expected to attend. If you cannot attend for any reason, please make arrangements with your supervisor, who will be accountable for your attendance to the appropriate AVP.

Lunch will be provided at the meeting and will include: honey-glazed ham (GF); roasted red potatoes; seasonal vegetables; a Tuscan baci roll; spinach salad (contains nuts and cheese); pita & spinach artichoke dip; bread (GF) and butter; panna cotta (GF) w/ choice of toppings; canned soda and water. If the menu doesn't meet your needs, feel free to bring your own meal. 

Image Credit




Don't miss out on the PACE Holiday Social! It will be held on Wednesday, December 14 from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM in the UCCU Center. 

Image Credit



Spring and butterfly.

This year, Hanukkah begins on Sunday, December 18 and lasts until Monday, December 26. If you are interested in learning more, read about the unique origins of Hanukkah.  

Image Credit



Image Description

The Winter Solstice on Wednesday, December 21 marks the beginning of winter and is the shortest day of the year. For those who are curious, read more about the science and history surrounding the winter solstice

Image Credit



Image description
As announced in HR Matters, campus will be closed from December 27 through December 30 in addition to the regular staff holidays of December 23, 26, and Jan. 2, 2023.
Image Credit



Image Description
Christmas Day falls on Sunday, December 25. If you are curious, you can read about the history of Christmas and common Christmas traditions
Image Credit



Image Description
Sunday, January 1 is New Year's Day, which is celebrated all around the world. Be sure to read up on the international traditions surrounding the New Year!
Image Credit


Articles header


Brett McKeachnie, Senior Director of Product Portfolio Management 


As I'm writing this, I'm looking forward to a nice break with family for Thanksgiving. I guess that's got me in a thankful mood because I want to express my gratitude for being able to work in Dx and at UVU. While it's true that our pay isn't quite on par with the market, have you ever thought about the other benefits UVU and Dx offer us? I'm sure I won't remember all of them, but I hope that this article gives you something to be grateful for as we close out 2022.

I'm cognizant that some (if not most) of the things I'm going to talk about apply only to full-time (FT) employees. Student employees and part-time (PT) hourly employees don't have the same benefits as FT employees, including paid time off and health insurance. While PT work is not without its own benefits, I hope that FT supervisors and coworkers will look for opportunities to recognize and support PT employees. There's a lot we can do to make their experience great while staying in line with their wishes, university policy, and state law. 

In a large organization like UVU, many of our benefits come from the institution, so I'll first share about UVU benefits before I get into specific benefits of working in Dx.

Leave Time

In a recent Half-Time, I shared a long list of paid non-workdays that FT employees receive from the university. Just in annual leave, we enjoy a minimum of 17 holiday and closure days. Adding in vacation, sick, personal, and service days, we have another 27-39 possible days per year in paid time off. And if you consider saving up through vacation and sick leave accruals, even more days are available to us when we need them. The average number of working days each month is 22. If we actually used all the paid time off that is offered to us, we could take around two months of paid time off each year. That estimate doesn't even count all the paid leave available to us in special circumstances; we have maternity, parental, funeral, jury/witness duty, military leave, and more.

Health Benefits

Another great UVU benefit for FT employees is our insurance. UVU pays all or most of our health insurance costs while giving us great options so we can choose a plan that is most beneficial to us. Besides health insurance, other offerings include:

  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA), where UVU deposits money each month
  • Telehealth
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • International coverage
  • Diabetes Management Program
  • Mental health options
  • Prescription plan
  • Dental coverage
  • Vision coverage
  • Employee Wellness Incentive Program (UVUFit) to earn up to $525 annually

Financial and Other Benefits

Beyond the good health benefits, UVU offers several free or discounted options for financial planning and other perks—some of which are also available to PT employees.

  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage
  • Long-Term Disability insurance
  • Supplemental insurance (specialized health, auto, home, legal, and education)
  • Home-Buying Assistance
  • Retirement options
  • Tuition Remission
  • Free UTA Transit Pass
  • Free Employee Parking (most schools charge)
  • Free LinkedIn Learning to skill up
  • Work from Home (WFH) options
  • Awards and Recognition Programs (Excellence Awards, Wolverine Sightings, Spot Awards, and more)
  • Summer University
  • PACE Staff Association
  • Free or discounted admission to sports, arts, etc.
  • Free or discounted meals, such as Food Truck Fridays and regular campus events

Dx Benefits 

One of the reasons that UVU is such a great place to work is because they offer all these benefits and perks. Dx makes it even better by enhancing the university's benefits listed above, taking advantage of every opportunity within university policy to make our work environment fantastic. 

  • Our Dx leaders make work-from-home (WFH) options as flexible and productive as possible. We provide equipment and space for WFH employees when they come to work in person at UVU. 
  • Some student and PT employees want to move into FT work, and when they do, Dx works with them to make that happen. However, others prefer PT because it offers incredible flexibility while still enabling them to make ends meet. We even offer a place for student employees to study while they're not on the clock. 
  • Dx found the right way to work within policy (not easy) to create our own peer recognition program in the form of weekly Dx Team Recognition. We've also gained the benefit of improved transparency, knowledge sharing, and team building through enjoying the weekly Half-Time Livestream.
  • Dx is focused on helping our employees become all they can be. They support Dx employees through Pluralsight and other training tools that level up our skill sets. In the coming months, our Pluralsight licensing will likely be made easier and more available to everyone. 
  • We provide funding to directors of each department to ensure everyone has the equipment, software, and environment they need to succeed. Each department in Dx is also encouraged and has flexibility in providing training, conference, and travel opportunities for their employees. 
  • We've instituted quarterly All-Hands meetings where the food is amazing, the topics are relevant, the presentations unite us as a successful team, and we get to interact with people from all across the Dx organization to build our professional network.

Here's the bottom line: I love working in Dx at UVU. I hope you do too! I so look forward to all that our future has in store for us. We're on a good track, and if we all continue building ourselves into one team, we can't help but find success! Have a great holiday season! 



David Tobler, Senior Director of IT Technology Support Services


In these last few months before retirement, I've looked back with fondness over my career at UVU. I've contemplated how the institution has grown and changed, the role technology has played, the people I've had the opportunity to work with, and our accomplishments. 

As I prepare to step aside, I've also considered the future. I have tremendous confidence that Dx is in good hands and headed in a good direction. Sure, we have challenges, but they can be overcome. If I've seen one constant over the years, it's that there never seems to be enough money or people to accomplish what we feel is expected of us. However, it's also been the case that as we prudently use the available resources, we can achieve our strategic goals, fulfill the university's mission, and do so in a way that respects our values.

I've been energized and encouraged by the Dx leadership and organizational changes that have taken place over the past three years. I admire our leaders and wish them well as they guide and direct Dx. I respect our talented teams, from the frontline staff supporting students and employees to those who keep our devices, data, networks, software, and systems state-of-the-art, stable, and secure. 

In keeping with Christina's "Beach Picture" concept, I'd like to share five statements that I presented to Dx leadership in October that I hope our Dx team aspires to:

  1. Despite our differing perspectives and competing interests, we trust that other people have well-meaning motives and intentions for Dx and the institution. 
  2. We have healthy conflict and meaningful, passionate deliberations to determine priorities, directions, and resource allocations. Even though we may not fully agree, we understand, respect, and support the decisions that result from these deliberations.
  3. We look at change and disruption as opportunities, not as threats, and we convey that attitude to those we influence.
  4. We view Dx as a unified team with a shared purpose and vision. Dx earns a reputation on campus and across the state for being reliable, responsive, accountable, forward-thinking, and sensible.
  5. Our organization evolves to align with the university's strategic directions and to deliver the transformational potential of technology.


Finally, I'd like to express my appreciation to everyone I've associated with over the years at UVU. Many are still here, and many more are not. I am fortunate to have had a career where I enjoyed the people I worked with, and my contributions were meaningful and made a difference.

I very much look forward to retirement, but at the same time, I will miss associating with you and being part of the important work that you are all involved in. 



Todd Harper, Associate Director of Data Collection & Assessment Support 


Employee header


As of November 30, 2022, there were no new job postings from ASDS, AVSE, Dx, IT Services, Information Systems/Technology, or Institutional Research/Info. 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 Human Resources Guidelines. Once the position is open, get the word out by submitting it to Caitlin Tobler for next month’s newsletter.

NOTE: UVU transferred to a new Applicant Tracking System (ATS) on November 15, 2022. Applicants will be required to create a new account now that the new applicant tracking system is live.


The following individuals have been recently hired or changed positions in Dx:

  • Cameron Jarman, Network Architect 
  • Erik Donadel, Service Desk 
  • Jake Harward, Service Desk 
  • Tess Shearer, Software Developer II 
  • Merrill Hutchison, Software Developer III 
  • Karl Eiche, Software Developer III 
  • Tim McCumber, Software Developer III 
  • Sheldon Strebe, AIS Student Employee 
  • Tyler Jones, AIS Student Employee 


We have several promotions to celebrate! On November 21, 2022, Scott Dewar assumed the role of Web and Mobile Solutions Director. Additionally, Sam Gedeborg will assume the role of Senior Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) as of December 1, 2022. Last but not least, Devin Krisle has been appointed as the new Director of Operations (as announced in Dx Leadership on Tuesday, Nov. 29).

Be sure to send your congratulations to Scott, Sam, and Devin! 


This month, David Tobler is retiring. His retirement reception will be held on Wednesday, December 7, from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM in SC213b. Darvin Burgess is also retiring from UVU at the end of December. His retirement reception will be held on December 8, 2022, from 2:00 PM-4:30 PM in SC 206B. Stop by both receptions to wish David and Darvin well in their new adventures!