Faculty/Staff News Now: Families First Coronavirus Response Act; Geauga Fights COVID-19; 2020 Performance Evals & Webinars; PaymentWorks Portal; Gratitude & Stress Webinar; Gratitude Graffiti Goes Virtual April 6; KSU Student Scholar

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, through Dec. 31, 2020. Learn more.


KSU Geauga/TAC Community Combats COVID-19 With Compassion

It is during times of stress and strain that people’s true strengths are revealed. “We cannot tell from day to day what may come,” said Eleanor Roosevelt at the onset of WWII. “This is no ordinary time. No time for weighing anything except what we can do best for the country as a whole, and that responsibility rests on each and every one of us as individuals.” Learn more.


2020 Performance Evaluations and Webinars are Here

Performance evaluations for classified and unclassified employees will take place from April 3 through June 15.

As a reminder, access is available to the performance log that employees and supervisors can use throughout the year to record personal accomplishments, training and discussions.

Two webinars will be available for supervisors and managers. The first, "Navigating the Online Evaluation Process," will familiarize evaluators with the online assessment tool. The second webinar, "Assessing and Improving the Performance of Others," is a webinar for new managers and supervisors regarding how to evaluate employees.

Below are the registration links for the Performance Evaluation webinars:

Assessing and Improving the Performance of Others April 14, 2020 2 p.m.

Navigating the Online Performance Evaluation System April 21, 2020 10 a.m.

Assessing and Improving the Performance of Others April 30, 2020 10 a.m.

Navigating the Online Performance Evaluation System May 7, 2020 2 p.m.

Information, Training Aids and Supervisor Manuals are located on the Human Resources Performance Evaluation website. If you have any questions, please call Karen Watson at 330-672-4636 or email kswatson@kent.edu.


PaymentWorks Vendor Management Portal

Accounts Payable’s vendor onboarding and management system, PaymentWorks, went live in February, after a presentation at the university’s BAS Forum. To date, over 350 vendors have completed the PaymentWorks onboarding process.

The PaymentWorks tool is used by the university’s department purchasers and vendors. Purchasers are required to invite their vendors to complete the onboarding process. Vendors then register with PaymentWorks and provide their business information – legal names, tax IDs and statuses, addresses, payment preferences, etc. – by completing an onboarding profile.

Vendors are responsible for maintaining and updatingtheir profile information via PaymentWorks. In addition, vendors and university faculty and staff can use the system to check the status of invoices submitted to Accounts Payable for payment.

Implementing PaymentWorks has resulted in a more secure vendor setup process as paper W-9 and direct deposit enrollment forms are no longer needed. It assists Accounts Payable and Procurement in ensuring that vendors are following university and governmental policies and regulations. It also speeds up the vendor setup process, which results in faster payments. Finally, reduces the university’s risk of payments fraud.

The use of PaymentWorks is required of all university departments. As of April 15, 2020, payment requests that are submitted without their vendors (existing and new) having completed the PaymentWorks onboarding process will be returned to the initiating departments.

Information about PaymentWorks, including instructions, a demonstration video, and a FAQs list, can be found in the PaymentWorks section of the Accounts Payable website.

All questions regarding PaymentWorks and vendor onboarding should be sent to vendmgmt@kent.edu.


WEBINAR: Gratitude & Stress Relief

Keeping with our April focus on gratitude, the Employee Wellness Office brings you our April 10 webinar, Gratitude & Stress Relief. Our presenter will be Bill Frankel. Bill is a licensed counselor, executive coach, and principal of Be Well Solutions.

As humans, we often don’t take the time to appreciate the good in our lives. You may be asking, with our current pandemic, should we still feel grateful even when circumstances feel grim? The answer is YES – not only will a grateful attitude help – it is essential. It is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. Research suggests that expressing gratitude can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress and disease. Some of what Bill will lead and engage participants in, includes the following:

  • Explore the meaning of gratitude
  • Review the research indicating a strong relationship between gratitude and well-being
  • Learn different gratitude techniques that can be applied in daily life
  • Practice an example of gratitude
  • Discuss the expression of gratitude during difficult times

Register for this webinar, which takes place from noon – 1 p.m. on Fri., April 10. This session is open to all full- and part-time faculty and staff. For individuals participating in the Wellness Your Way reward program, this session is worth 10 points towards your Tier 2 totals.


The Gratitude Graffiti Project Goes Virtual Starting April 6

For the fourth consecutive year, Kent State will participate in the Gratitude Graffiti Project, a practice of purposeful reflection and appreciation expressed through interactive art. Participants are no longer "spectators" of art -- they are fully engaged in creating the art that expresses their gratitude. Through art, individuals can contemplate, create, rejuvenate, and awaken a completely new perspective on how to look at how great life can be.

For the past three years, you likely saw poster boards filled of colorful post-it notes with sentiments of gratitude and window displays reflecting window chalk expressions of thankfulness across all KSU campuses. This year, considering COVID-19 precautions, Gratitude Graffiti is going virtual!

Beginning Monday, April 6, employees will be able to add electronic sticky notes with messages of gratitude to be shared on our digital Gratitude Graffiti boards. There will be a new board and prompt each week that aligns with the weekly themes of the 28-day Gratitude Challenge. You do not need to be registered for the challenge to add your "graffiti" to the virtual gratitude board.

To visit and add your note for week one go to our Gratitude Board here. Feel free to visit throughout the week beginning April 6 – April 12. Watch for your Employee Wellness emails for links to weeks 2, 3 and 4 or visit our Gratitude Graffiti webpage here. This virtual offering is open to all full and part-time faculty and staff.


KSU Student Named Prominent Scholar

The Office of Student Conduct is proud to announce that, after successfully navigating a highly competitive process, Graduate Assistant Natasha Hutchinson has been selected to be a Fulbright Scholar.

Natasha was also awarded a grant to be an English Teaching Assistant in Malta with research opportunities in tourism and education. Provided she can travel safely, her adventure will begin in September. Congratulations and best wishes to Natasha, who graduates in May.

Named after former Arkansas Senator J. william Fulbright, the curriculum is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world. Fulbright has been supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and partner nations. The program works with universities, schools, binational Fulbright commissions, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to actively seek out individuals of achievement and potential who represent the full diversity of their respective societies, and selects nominees through open, merit-based competitions.


Dates to Remember:

April 6 - 12
National Public Health Week

April 7
World Health Day

April 12
Easter Sunday

April 12 - 18
National Student Employee Appreciation Week

POSTED: Monday, April 6, 2020 - 4:28pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 3, 2020 - 5:08pm