December 2014 | Kent State University

December 2014

December 2014
Volume 12 | Issue 7

Commission Seeks Feedback to Strengthen University Multicampus System

The 1 University Commission (1UC), a presidential initiative charged with strengthening our university system by creating more value for our students, our communities and our state, is collecting feedback via an online forum at http://theciviccommons.com/1uc and at listening posts at all campuses.

Every few days, new questions in each of the four conversations will appear for added discourse. Please share your opinions as they relate to individual questions or groups of questions. Participation in the 1 University Commission discussions is easy. You can provide feedback in two ways:

  1. Join a conversation on the Civic Commons.
  2. Complete an online survey.

The Civic Commons 1 University Commission landing page will remain active through Dec. 19. Feedback from both the online community and the previously held listening posts will be combined in early 2015 and shared with Kent State University President Beverly Warren.
 
Share your opinion and share it often. Visit http://theciviccommons.com/1uc.


Hiring Certification Program

The Division of Human Resources Hiring Certification program is now available. The program is designed to streamline and enhance our hiring procedure in regards to compliance, processes and systems.

This self-paced educational and professional development program is designed for hiring managers and search committee members and will take approximately 4-5 hours to navigate through the various topics.  We will introduce the program in two phases.  During the first phase, all hiring managers are required to go through the certification program.  We would like to get all hiring managers through the course by March 2015. During the second phase, all managers and search committee members will be required to complete the certification. The certification is good for two years, and there will be opportunities annually to recertify.  

The program is accessible using Blackboard at https://learn.kent.edu. The course features five modules: compliance, hiring process, employment law, search committee resources and making the salary offer. Once all the modules have been reviewed, there will be a short quiz. The passing rate to earn certification is 80 percent or higher, and there will be no wait time if the test has to be retaken.

The certification program is intended to provide a standard training process regarding university hiring.  It will also provide a one-stop location that will store tutorials, training materials, quizzes and videos for search committees to access as needed. Additional goals of the certification process include a reduction in time to fill positions, preventing or minimizing Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) violations and increasing awareness of Affirmative Action history and federal/state equal employment opportunity laws.

If you have questions regarding the Hiring Certification Program, please contact the Talent Acquisition Office at ext. 22100 or the Affirmative Action Office at ext. 22038.


What You Need to Know About the Holiday Schedule

All Kent State University campuses will operate on a holiday schedule from the first shift on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, through Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Please read the information below for details about the schedule, early timecard approval and paychecks.

Details of the Holiday Schedule
During the holiday schedule, all nonessential operations will be closed at all Kent State campuses. Normal business operations will resume with the first shift on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015.

Classified and unclassified employees who accrue vacation will receive paid leave for any regularly scheduled work time on Dec. 26, 29, 30 and 31. This is in addition to the paid holidays of Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1. This also applies to 12-month faculty who accrue vacation.

The holiday schedule applies to classified and unclassified employees who normally accrue vacation throughout the year. Employees not eligible for the paid leave include student employees, classified temporary staff, temporary agency staff, unclassified nine- and 10-month term appointments, short-term unclassified appointments, unclassified intermittent appointments and employees in a lay-off status.

View information on recording time and pay guidelines during this period. On the website, you will also find the list of departments that will be open during the holiday schedule and a list of frequently asked questions

Employees should confirm with their supervisor the status of their unit's plans to suspend operations or remain open with partial or regular coverage. If the status of your department has changed from the published schedule, please notify Kim Hauge at khauge@kent.edu.

Early Timecard Approval
Due to the shortened payroll processing period, the Payroll Office is asking managers to approve timecards early for the week ending Saturday, Dec. 13. Managers may approve timecards as early as Friday, Dec. 12, after the employees have clocked out at the end of their shift.

The only exception to the early approval is for employees who work on the last day of the pay period (Dec. 14). In those instances, the timecards cannot be approved until after the Saturday shift has ended. All timecards for the week ending Dec. 13 must be approved by end of the day Monday, Dec. 15.

Direct your questions about timecard approval to the Payroll Office at 330-672-8640 or payroll@kent.edu.

December Paychecks
Faculty and salaried employees with direct deposit who are scheduled to receive their second pay of the month on Dec. 31 will be paid on Dec. 23, as has been done in past years. This only applies to faculty and salaried employees with direct deposit. All hourly employees and student workers will be paid on Dec. 26 as scheduled. All faculty and salaried employees not on direct deposit will also be paid on Dec. 26.

Employees who do not have direct deposit will have their paycheck mailed to their permanent address on Dec. 26. Accurate mailing addresses are critical as checks lost in the mail cannot be replaced for 10 business days. Employees can review or update their permanent address in FlashLine. Look for the Employment Details tab in My HR, and then select the Personal Information link.

Questions related to the December paychecks or the early timecard approval may be directed to the Payroll Office at the phone number or email address listed above.


How Delays, Cancellations or Closings Are Determined

Please review the following guidelines with your faculty and staff.

As previously communicated by Gregg Floyd, Kent State’s senior vice president for finance and administration, and Todd Diacon, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, in the e-Inside issue of Nov. 24, 2014, the decision to delay or close campuses does not come lightly. In any case, it is imperative that we plan for such situations.

As part of senior vice presidents Floyd and Diacon’s communication, guidelines and priorities used in guiding class delays, cancellations or closing procedures in the case of a winter weather advisory were shared. In addition, communication avenues and procedures for such delays, class cancellations or campus closings were included as follows:

  • In the event of a delayed opening of the Kent Campus, classes will not begin before 10 a.m. (Students in special classes, i.e., clinicals, should consult with their dean about the appropriate procedures for an early morning delay or cancellation.)
  • When there is a delayed opening of the Kent Campus, employees shall report to work when the delay has been lifted, with the exception of those staff members who are deemed essential and must report. If you are not sure of your status, please check with your supervisor.
  • When classes are canceled, university services and offices remain open. This means that staff members are expected to report to work as usual or remain at work if the cancellation occurs during the day. If there is an exception to this, it will be communicated with the class cancellation announcement. 
  • Our university staff members work very hard to keep campus sidewalks, roads and parking lots clear. Only when the university is “closed” due to weather are offices closed and some services not available. Even in that situation, essential staff members must report to work so that operations needing 24-hour attention are maintained.

The above information pertains to the Kent Campus. Each campus’ respective dean determines Regional Campus delays, cancellations or closings. When such decisions are made, the advisory information will be communicated via the same vehicles as those used by the Kent Campus. Read the complete article.


How to Report Time During a University Closing or Delayed Start

The Division of Human Resources has created a quick reference document that includes a set of frequently asked questions on how to report time for classified, hourly and student employees in the event of a university delay or closing. You may want to bookmark this information for future use.  Please share this information with your classified, hourly and student employees. The quick reference document is located on the Human Resources website.

Should you have additional questions or a specific circumstance not listed within the guidelines, please contact Human Resources Records at 330-672-8316 or the Payroll Office at 330-672-8640.


Sign Up Now to Receive Electronic W-2

Kent State will again make it possible for all employees, including student employees, to elect to only receive the W-2 Wage and Tax Statement electronically. Choosing the electronic option allows employees to access the W-2 information earlier, eliminates the risk of sensitive personal information being sent through the mail and saves the university the cost of printing and mailing the forms.

Please remind faculty and staff in your department that this option is available. Employees who wish to take advantage of this opportunity are required by federal regulations to give their consent. This can be done online any time between now and Jan. 12, 2015, in the My HR tab of FlashLine.

Just look for the Tax Forms link in the Employment Details box. From the link, select Electronic W-2 Consent, check the box indicating consent and then click Submit. If there is already a check mark in the box, that means you have previously given consent and do not need to do so again. Employees must consent in order to view or print the W2.

Anyone who does not elect to receive an electronic version will receive a printed W-2. These will be delivered via U.S. or campus mail no later than Jan. 31. Questions should be directed to the Payroll Department at 330-672-8640 orpayroll@kent.edu.


Kent State’s Office of Sustainability Encourages Winter Shutdown

Kent State University’s Office of Sustainability reminds faculty, staff and building curators to turn off – and if possible unplug – all appliances before leaving for winter break to help the university conserve energy.

Before leaving campus for winter break, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Turn off and unplug computers, copiers, appliances, peripherals and other electronics. If possible, unplug these electronics at the outlet to prevent “phantom” or “vampire” load. For instance, even laptop power cords will still draw electricity as long as they are plugged in, even if the device is turned off or there is no computer attached to the power cord.
  • Close all windows and shades. If there is any access to a thermostat, set it back to 68 degrees. If there are any items that need maintenance, please submit a request.
  • Finally, before leaving, make sure that all lights are turned off.

University Facilities Management will contribute to the energy conservation effort by setting back some building systems.

These efforts can reduce costs of heating, ventilation, lighting and plug loads on campus during the winter break schedule.

During the 2013 winter break, the university saved nearly $48,000 in energy costs over nine days, and the carbon dioxide emissions reduction equaled the energy use of 35 homes for one year.

For questions about the energy-saving winter shutdown, contact Melanie Knowles, Kent State’s sustainability manager, at mknowle1@kent.edu or 330-672-8039.


Kent State Employee, Family and Friends Appreciation Days

Please share this opportunity with members of your department.

Sponsored by Kent State’s Division of Human Resources, the “Kent State Employee, Family and Friends” program allows each Kent State employee to reserve up to four complimentary tickets for one or more of the Kent State men's or women's home basketball games. Deadline for reserving tickets is by noon the day before the requested game date.

For a complete list of available games, employee giveaways and to reserve your tickets, log intohttp://kentstatesports.com/employee. 

As an added feature this year, all ticket holders can enjoy reduced concession prices during “happy hour," which starts 90 minutes before game time and ends 30 minutes before the start of the game.  Concession prices during this “happy hour” include $1 hot dogs, soda or popcorn.  All other concession items are reduced by $1. 

For questions regarding the Kent State Employee, Family and Friends Appreciation Days program, contact Chris Muhlberg at ext. 28418 or 330-289-3933. Muhlberg also may be contacted via email at chris.muhlberg@imgworld.com.

See you at the game and go Flashes!


Dates to Remember

Universal Human Rights Month

Date Holiday
Dec. 1-12 Fall finals (first- and second-year podiatric medicine students)
Dec. 7 National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Fall Semester Classes End
Dec. 8-14 Fall semester finals
Dec. 10 Human Rights Day
Dec. 12 Kent State University at Ashtabula December Commencement
Kent State University at Stark December Commencement
Dec. 13 Kent Campus December Commencement, Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. Baccalaureate Degrees, 9:30 a.m. Advanced Degree Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visitwww.kent.edu/commencement.
Dec. 15 Bill of Rights Day
Dec. 17-24 Hanukkah
Dec. 25 Christmas*
Dec. 26 Kwanzaa
Jan. 1 New Year’s Day*
Jan. 5 Spring Classes Begin (first- and second-year podiatric medicine students)
Jan. 12 Spring Semester 2015 Classes Begin
Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (university closed).
Just 4 a Day — Day of Service event. Sign up.
Jan. 22 Martin Luther King Jr Celebration

*Please Note:  All Kent State campuses will operate on a holiday schedule from Dec. 24, 2014, through Jan. 1, 2015. During that time all nonessential operations will be closed. Normal operations will resume with the first shift on Jan. 2, 2015.


Tell Us What You Think

This e-newsletter is designed to keep you, the managers and supervisors, informed. Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think of it, along with any comments or suggestions. You may contact us atmanagersfeedback@kent.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

For information about events and programs for university employees, please check out the Faculty and Staff calendar and share the information with your staff.