Faculty Staff News Now: VSIP; Faculty Contemplates COVID-19; Fiscal Year-End Deadline Nears; KEEP; Asso. Respiratory Therapy Degree; Wellness Tier 1 Deadline 8/31; Sleep Tight Challenge; Role of Sleep, Lifestyle, Coffee, Drinks; Final Spring Grading

2020 Voluntary Separation Incentive Program Update

Eligible employees should have received an email yesterday from Faculty/Staff News Now with detailed information related to the Voluntary Incentive Separation Program. Any employee who has questions may contact Human Resources at hrweb@kent.edu. Learn more.

Community Engaged Learning Launches Faculty Contemplating COVID-19

Stephanie Smith, associate professor in the College of Communication and Information, kicked off the first edition of Contemplating COVID-19 With KSU Faculty, a new, weekly series.

Contemplating COVID-19 provides a platform for Kent State faculty to share how their disciplinary perspectives can help people understand and respond to the virus. Professors also describe how personal lives have been affected by the Corona virus pandemic.

The next two contributors are Chi-hua Chui, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biological Sciences (May 6); and J. Leigh Garcia, assistant professor in the Center for the Visual Arts (May 13).

Chui and Garcia will be followed by Julie Mazzei, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate coordinator of Political Science, and Joel Hughes, Ph.D., professor of Psychological Sciences.

Reminder: Fiscal Year-End Deadlines Approaching

Managers and supervisors should have received information from the Controller's Office regarding the cut-off dates for financial transactions for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30. View the deadlines for receipt of information and other year-end announcements online. The Controller's Office appreciates timely submissions of documents to ensure that a timely year-end cut-off has occurred.

The FY2020 year is scheduled to close the evening of July 14, 2020 and the final June Flashline reports should be available to departments the morning of July 15, 2020.

Expense Reimbursements
Travel or miscellaneous expenses incurred on or before June 30 are considered Fiscal Year 2020 activity. To ensure these expenses are recorded in the appropriate fiscal year, expense reimbursements must be approved by the final approver on or before June 26, 2020. Any expense reimbursements in draft status or submitted but not approved by this date will not be processed as fiscal year 2020 activity.

Travel or miscellaneous expenses that span both fiscal years or are incurred after June 30 should be considered new fiscal year activity. Therefore, these expense reimbursements should be processed and approved on or after July 1, 2020.

Purchasing Cards
All P-Card reconciliations for the June cycle must be completed by July 6, 2020. All transactions that are not fully reconciled (allocated, reviewed, and approved) by 5:00 pm on this date will be charged to your departmental index under office supplies (72017).  In addition, the P-Card will be suspended for non-compliance and the cardholder and/or approver will be required to repeat purchasing card cardholder or approver training before the card can be reinstated. 

Compensated Absences
All compensated absences should be both reported and approved no later than July 1, 2020 for any remaining FY2020activity.

KSU Foundation
The KSU Foundation reminds department heads and fund administrators that June 21, 2020 is the deadline to submit any funding requests for the current fiscal year. This will ensure that the transfer of Foundation funds to a university index will be recorded in Fiscal Year 2020. All requests must be submitted using the Foundation Funding Request form and must have the appropriate signatures and documentation. For more information, contact Jessica Vargo at 330-672-0432. 

Please continue to review and reconcile your monthly Flashline reports to ensure all transactions are complete and proper.  If there are any issues or discrepancies, please contact the appropriate finance department below to resolve them. This includes any issues involving your budget, your actual YTD transactions and your encumbrances.

Budget transactions (position and non-position) and transfers

Budget Office 2-3750


Credit Card Expense Allocations, Expense Reimbursements, Check Requests, and other A/P transactions

Accounts Payable 2-2607


IDCs/COR entries

Contact the initiating department and/or Controller’s Office 2-2392


Other Journal Entries

Controller’s Office 2-2392


Payroll entries

Payroll Office 2-8640


Requisitions, Purchase Orders and Related Encumbrances

Procurement 2-2276


Student Receivable Accounting entries

Student Receivable Accounting 2-8635


Kent Young Professionals Becomes Kent Engaged and Emerging Professionals

The Kent Young Professionals Employee Resource Group has officially changed its name to Kent Engaged and Emerging Professionals (KEEP).

The name change came from listening to the community served by the group and their requests for a name that reflects a space where all employees can take part in connecting across the university through networking, professional development and service.

“As connections becomes more important, we found it paramount to present an inclusive group that speaks to all people regardless of their age,” said KEEP President Nzinga Hart. 

The group was initially formed in 2016 in response to the campus climate study. Kent State Employees, especially those new to campus, were seeking a space to connect and develop themselves outside of their departments.

Founded by Michael Kavulic and Tim Pagliari, the group quickly grew to 80 members and currently has more than 120 members. KEEP has held coffee chats with leaders, tours of the Fashion Museum, and most recently a virtual “Coping Off Campus” panel discussion in Teams. 

To join KEEP, or to learn more, contact Nzinga Hart at nbodden@kent.edu.

Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy Now More Accessible

The Geauga Campus and the Twinsburg Academic Center is preparing students for a rewarding career in the healthcare industry by offering an associate degree in Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy. Learn more.

Wellness Your Way Tier 1 Deadline Extended to August 31

Your Employee Wellness Team is eager for the day we can all safely return to work, and we look forward to seeing your smiling faces once again. Employee health and safety continue to be our main priority, so we will continue to heed advice from University leaders and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. As of now, the Wellness Your Way Tier 1 deadline has been extended to Aug. 31. Should any additional changes need to be made, we will provide updates as the COVID-19 situation unfolds. 

To accommodate those employees still working on Tier 1 of the Wellness Your Way rewards program, we have added 3 new onsite screening dates:

  • Friday, July 24
  • Thursday, July 30
  • Wednesday, August 12

"Know Your Numbers" screenings are provided by our wellness partner, Be Well Solutions, and are available to full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff. To schedule a screening, login to the Be Well portal at portal.bewelldata.com, click on "Worksite Screening" under "My Appointments", and select a date. 

Remember, you can alternatively submit health screening results from your primary care physician. To access the physician screening form on the Be Well portal, click on "Wellness Reward Program" and open the Tier 1 drop down. 

Sleep Tight Tonight Challenge Launches June 1

Your Employee Wellness Team is pleased to introduce Wellable, our newest wellness partner. Wellable provides an online platform, resources and app integration formerly found in our partnership with the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). As we incorporate programs from Wellable's library of customizable challenges, we seek to fulfill our commitment to bring quality, research-based health promoting information and opportunities to the faculty and staff of Kent State University. 

We hope you will join us for our first Wellable challenge – Sleep Tight Tonight, which will focus on physical activity and maximizing healthy sleep habits. 

Sleep plays an important role in physical, mental, and emotional health. During this challenge, participants will learn about the interconnection between physical activity and sleep, the importance of a good night's rest, and ways to practice healthy sleep habits. 

This challenge provides a fun and effective way to improve sleep hygiene and prioritize regular movement throughout the day. In addition, practicing healthy sleep habits and incorporating daily physical activity will allow participants to earn points and enjoy some friendly competition against fellow Kent State employees on our internal leaderboard!

This four-week challenge will run from June 1 through June 28. It is open to ALL full and part time faculty and staff. Those who actively participate will be eligible for random drawings to keep you motivated and support your wellness goals. Prize winners will be announced throughout the challenge. Completing this challenge is also worth 20 Tier 2 points for those participating in the Wellness Your Way Rewards Program. To qualify for Tier 2 points, employees must maintain at least 65 percent participation over the four weeks. 

Register to participate here, Registration will close at 5 p.m. on May 26.

Webinar: The Role of Sleeping, Lifestyle, Coffee and Energy Drinks

We look for “pick-me-ups” to improve energy and productivity throughout their busy days. Join our guest presenter, Dr. Michael Schechter of Be Well Solutions, on Wed., June 10, from noon – 1 p.m., as Dr. Schechter engages us in this informative topic to cover strategies to maximize physical and mental energy through science-based strategies.

Specific discussion points Dr. Schechter will cover, include:

  • Define energy and discuss strategies for maximizing energy and productivity throughout the day

  • Understand that daily energy depends on quality sleep

  • Appreciate the essentials of healthy sleep

  • Strategies for addressing selected sleep problems

  • Strategies for maximizing energy and productivity throughout the day

  • Review natural energy boosting habits that you can work into your day

  • Understand the basics of over-the-counter energy products like caffeine, energy shots and drinks.   

This webinar presentation is a great compliment to our June focus on how sleep effects physical, emotional and mental health. To register for this webinar, click here. To register for our 28-day, Sleep Tonight Challenge, register here.

This webinar is open to all full and part-time employees. For full-time, benefits-eligible employees participating in the Wellness Your Way program, this session will be worth 10 points toward your Tier Two total. For questions regarding this offering, contact Employee Wellness at wellness@kent.edu.

Important Information about Final Grading of Spring 2020 Full Term

Online final grading for Spring 2020 Full Term (POT 1), Third 5 Weeks (F3), Second Half Semester (H2), Second 7 Weeks (W2) began Monday, April 27, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any Spring 2020 course section that was flexibly scheduled. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Monday, May 11. Any final grades for Spring 2020 courses not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow. These Spring 2020 courses will be available in the Workflow on Wednesday, May 13.

To access Final Grades via FlashFAST, log into FlashLine and click on the Faculty & Advisors Category / Faculty Dashboard / Grading Resources Section.

Blackboard Grading Process:
The Grade Push application has been developed as an option to assist in streamlining the university grading process. The use of this application is not mandatory, though it is encouraged. Grade Push will allow you to “push” the final grades recorded in Blackboard into our KSU Final Grade Roster, thus eliminating the time and effort spent manually entering them.

To access Grade Push, log into FlashLine and click on the Faculty & Advisors / Faculty Dashboard / Grading Resources.

If you have questions or concerns, please go to support.kent.edu and search “Grade Push.”

Incomplete Mark Workflow:
The instructor must create and submit an Incomplete Mark contract via the workflow.  Instructors are no longer be able to select the incomplete mark (IB+, IC+, IC-, etc.) from the final grade roster in FlashFAST (Self-Service Banner).  The primary instructor must initiate and submit the contract using this new workflow process, which mimics the old paper process.  Once the contract has been accepted by the student and approved by the department chair/campus dean, the student’s grade will be updated automatically.  The primary instructor will be able to initiate and submit the contract for a student after the deadline to withdraw (10th week of a regularly scheduled section in fall and spring, or prorated for flexibly scheduled sections) through the end of final grading.

Access the Incomplete Mark workflow in FlashLine from the Faculty Dashboard under Grading Resources or Faculty Workflows.

NF/SF Administrative Marks:
The administrative mark NF (Never Attended–Fail) denotes that the student neither attended one class session nor formally withdrew from the course. If a student has never attended your course, mark the student as “Not Started” on the Academic Presence Verification Roster, and the NF will automatically populate to your Final Grades roster.

The administrative mark SF (Stopped Attending–Fail) denotes that the student stopped attending the course and did not formally withdraw and must be accompanied by a date of last attendance in the course. If a student has stopped attending your course the SF can be entered on the Final Grade Roster along with the student’s last date of attendance.

For complete information on university grading policies including Incomplete Mark and NF/SF grading policies, procedures and timelines, please visit the Grading Policies and Procedures section in the University Catalog.

Grades Processing Tips and FAQs may be found on the Registrar's website (http://www.kent.edu/registrar/faculty-grades-processing). Any faculty member needing personalized instruction on submitting their grades via FlashFAST should contact their campus Registrar's Office during normal business hours for assistance.                                                    

Troubleshooting TIP: FlashFAST is accessible from any Internet-capable computer that has the cookies function enabled. We recommend that you clean out your cookie and cache files regularly to help your computer run faster, and to potentially restore and/or improve your access to FlashFAST and/or FlashLine by improving your connection to the server. Our Helpdesk is prepared to help with these issues. Please contact them at 330-672-HELP (4357) for one-on-one assistance and technical issues.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 10:10am
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 1:40pm