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HR Recruiter Dan McGuffey Happy to Be Back on Rocky Top

As a human resources recruiter and employee relations specialist, Dan McGuffey helps departments with the employee recruiting process, makes offers to candidates, and facilitates new employee orientation. In his employee relations role, he answers questions about UT policies and assists faculty and staff with complex employee relations issues.

He started in the department in February 2016, but it was a homecoming for him. In the 1980s, he received an active duty commission from UT’s Army ROTC program while also completing his undergraduate degree. In the years between leaving UT and returning, he led a variety of military organizations and staffs.

After completing infantry officer training and the Ranger course, McGuffey served as an infantry officer in Germany and was deployed as an infantry platoon leader in Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990–91 with the 1st Armored Division. In his military career, he also served as commanding officer, operations manager, deputy program manager, and adjutant general corps officer, a position responsible for providing support that improves soldiers’ welfare and well-being, while assisting commanders in keeping soldiers combat-ready. He held several HR executive positions including G1 (deputy chief of staff for human resource management) and director of manpower and personnel. His service took him to Sardinia, Kenya, Korea, the Philippines, and Southwest Asia.

“Those experiences molded me into someone who can take charge and lead a team or organization to operate at a high level of efficiency,” McGuffey said. “The military also instilled in me physical and mental toughness, outdoor survival skills, a strong work ethic, and attention to detail.”

What’s it like to work for UT after those years of working for the Army?

“I like organizations that operate efficiently. UT’s HR department has great people and superb processes in place and provides an extremely valuable service to the university,” he said. “I am honored to work here.”

McGuffey and his wife of 27 years, Candace, live in   Sweetwater. They have two children: Daniel Jr., 23,  and Savannah, 19. In his free time, he enjoys hiking in the mountains, swimming, golfing, and playing the tuba.

New Functions Added during HR Website Redesign

Two new online HR toolkits give managers resources to support them in overseeing the hiring process and ongoing management of employees.

Under the Departments and Managers tab on the HR website home page are the Hiring Toolkit and the Manager’s Toolkit. The hiring toolkit includes resources for planning and onboarding along with answers to frequently asked questions. The manager’s toolkit includes information about career development, compensation support, conflict resolution, and performance and feedback, among other topics. Both toolkits provide links to necessary forms and policies. More toolkits are being developed.

The addition of toolkits is part of a larger redesign of the website to make it more user friendly and visually appealing. The navigational structure has been refreshed to reflect the way most people search for HR information. The redesign has also allowed both the UT System and UT Knoxville offices to reduce information redundancies and direct users to the best source for information on a given topic.

 

Welcome, Baby Vol: The New Parent Experience

By Julie Roe, Management Specialist

Fresh out of high school, I stepped onto UT’s campus eager to continue my education and earn a college degree, but what I really got was a whole lot more. I quickly adjusted to my new academic life, found a student assistant position with the university, and was welcomed by a diverse campus community. Fourteen years and two degrees later, I can proudly say I’ve received a valuable education, made some lifelong friends, and even met my husband, Brian.

So now, after all that, I face a new chapter in my life—being a first-time parent. My husband and I are both UT alumni so we were thrilled to welcome a new baby Vol in May 2016. Having met while we were both working for UT Human Resources in the Conference Center Building on Henley Street, we chose to name our daughter Henley. That street and this campus hold a special place in our hearts, so Henley was the natural choice for us. Plus we just adore the name.

As an employee, I used several benefits in my new parent experience. The State of Tennessee provides up to four months of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption for full-time employees who have been employed at least 12 consecutive months. (In the case of an adoption, leave begins at the time the parents receive custody of the child.) This leave runs concurrently with the 12 weeks provided by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The leave begins with paid leave—using up, in order, any unused compensatory time, sick leave, annual leave, and personal leave. (However, an employee may opt to retain up to five days or 40 hours of sick leave, whichever is less.) If these forms of paid leave do not cover the entire four months, the rest can be taken as an unpaid leave of absence. The university will continue to pay the employer portion of the employee’s health insurance throughout the leave, and the employee remains responsible for the monthly employee portion.

Using these benefits, I was able to take several weeks of protected paid leave. And with the permission of my department and HR approval, I was able to transition back to the workplace part-time, making my parental leave experience as seamless as possible.

UT Policy HR0338 Family and Medical Leave provides more information about parental leave at UT. To learn more about leave accruals, read Policy HR0305 Annual Leave and Policy HR0380 Sick Leave on the Human Resources Policy website.

Other helpful resources include the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service’s East Child Care Resource and Referral Center. This is a great resource for families who are not sure where to begin in the search for local day care services. One quick phone call and I had access to an abundance of information about local day cares and general child care.

Lastly, I was thrilled to learn about lactation rooms available across campus. These come in handy when I travel for meetings, and yes, even take classes. To see a full list of current lactation rooms across campus, visit the Facilties Services website’s Family Restrooms and Wellness/Lactation Rooms listings and select the Wellness/Lactation Rooms tab.

946-CARE for Distressed Faculty and Staff

We are all members of the Vol family, so let’s help take CARE of each other. Launched in 2010, the 946-CARE program provides support for faculty and staff who are in distress or concerned about a colleague.

The 946-CARE line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls are handled with sensitivity and concern, by trained professionals who assess each situation and take appropriate action.

 What types of behaviors might be cause for concern?

While no list can be exhaustive, the following are signs of troubling behavior you may notice in yourself or others that could warrant a call:

  • Depression
  • Fixation on weapons
  • Anger or paranoia
  • Chemical dependency
  • Social isolation
  • Zealotry—racial, religious, political, etc.
  • Pushing the limits of acceptable behavior
  • Contempt for authority
  • Newly acquired negative behavior
  • Diminished personal hygiene
  • Verbal threats, bullying
  • Stalking and harassing others or discussion of doing so

What happens when I call?

On weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. calls are answered by trained human resources professionals. The UT Police Department answers calls after 5 p.m., on weekends, and during closures. Each call is assessed with appropriate next steps and resources to follow.

The 946-CARE line is not designed to replace 911—you should always call 911 for emergencies. The 946-CARE line is a great place to turn, if you or someone you know, is struggling. To learn more, visit hr.utk.edu/care.

If you are concerned for your welfare or for that of another UT citizen, call 946-CARE (865-946-2273) today.

Human Resources Exit Interviews Will Be Web-Based Beginning January 6

An exit interview is an invaluable source of information that the university can use to assess the quality of work life and identify opportunities for improving employee retention and engagement.

The Knoxville Human Resources team is revamping the exit interview process to better collect and analyze this vital information. Beginning January 6, Human Resources will begin using an automated, web-based exit interview process. Employees who are leaving the university will be sent a link to an exit interview questionnaire. The questionnaire will take less than 10 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept confidential. The survey will be accessible from a desktop or laptop computer, a tablet, or a mobile phone.

The new electronic process will help Human Resources and campus administrators better understand the causes of attrition so they can assist with developing and retaining high-performing employees. If you have questions about exit interviews or other employee retention strategies, contact Nate Taylor in Employee Relations at 865-974-6686.

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