HR Faculty/Staff News Now - June 10, 2019, Vol. 1, Issue 10

Teaching Awards Presented at Spring Commencement Ceremony

Deepraj Mukherjee, associate professor of economics (pictured center) and John Frank, finance professor at the Stark Campus, each received awards at the spring commencement ceremony. Read more.

Faculty Spotlight on Dr. Renate W. Prescott, Associate Professor of English

Life and learning are coexisting, vibrant partners for anyone seeking meaning, growth, and transformation. That’s why a classic liberal arts education is so precious to Dr. Renate W. Prescott, Associate Professor of English and Associate Editor of the AURCO Journal at Kent State University Geauga Campus. Read more.

New Flexible Work Arrangement Policy

The new Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) policy, effective July 1, 2019, demonstrates Kent State’s commitment to ensure a great place to learn, work and live and is responsive to our Kent State community.

Kent State integrates the use of workplace flexibility to support the wellbeing of our employees and achieve our workplace goals. Although not every position can take advantage of these arrangements, there are often a variety of ways that flexibility can be customized to meet the needs of departments and individuals.

This policy will be implemented by Human Resources, including Employee Wellness and other functions within the division. Kim Hauge, employee wellness director, will serve as the primary contact. Over the next several weeks, you will receive information, including the policy statement, guidelines for use, how to initiate a FWA request, and a schedule of training sessions available for employees (requesters) and management (approvers). To make that information easily accessible for all, a Flexible Work Arrangement information page has been created.

The FWA policy, 3342-6-01.2, is available on our website for review. Prior to making any FWA request, the employee/requester must attend a FWA Training Session, or view a session in its entirety via Blackboard. The Blackboard edition will not be available until the week of June 24. Approvers also must attend, or view, the training session. Although some of the training dates/locations have been posted, we are continuing to secure additional dates and locations and will populate the website as more dates become available.

Departments are encouraged to have open dialogues regarding flexible work and integrate it as a standard business practice where applicable. Upon completion of training, employees may use the FWA Request Form to initiate such dialogue.
Kent State University is committed to fostering a flexible workplace environment that recognizes employees’ ongoing navigation of career and life responsibilities. At the same time, the determination as to whether a specific FWA request can be accommodated will be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the needs, requirements and constraints of the department.

For questions related to the Flexible Work Arrangement policy or training, please contact Employee Wellness at 330-672-7505 or 330-672-0392. You may also email wellness@kent.edu.  

Flexible Spending Account Deadline – June 30, 2019

The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan year of January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, has ended. The IRS required that any 2018 balances remaining in your FSA at the end of the calendar year be spent by March 15, 2019 and the related expense information filed by June 30, 2019, or the balance will be forfeited.

This means that if you had a balance of funds remaining in your FSA as of Dec. 31, 2018, you had until March 15, 2019, to incur qualified expenses (i.e. deductibles, co-pays, eyeglass, dental expenses, etc. not covered by the applicable plan). Claims for reimbursement of incurred expenditures must be filed by June 30, 2019. This is known as the IRS "use it or lose it" rule and there are no exceptions.

For reimbursement from your 2018 FSA funds, claims for 2018 expenses occurring from January 1, 2018 to March 15, 2019 must be filed either via PNC’s online system or by paper claim only. Note: If you use your PNC debit card for expenses incurred between January 1, 2019 and March 15, 2019, PNC will reimburse you utilizing funds from your 2019 account.

Filing a claim is easy and can be accomplished by filing your claim online via your PNC Benefit Plus online account, or downloading and completing the PNC Reimbursement Request Form.

To file a claim online, log into your PNC BeneFit Plus account and click on “Accounts." On the far right of the screen, click on the drop down arrow next to the box titled "I want to" and click on the words "File a Claim." From there, follow the instructions to complete your claim online. You may need to attach supporting documentation.

To file a paper claim, download and complete a copy of the PNC Reimbursement Request Form. Attach a copy of the detailed bill or Explanation of Benefits and either mail or fax the information to: PNC BeneFit Plus, Consumer Services, P. O. Box 2865, Fargo, ND 58108-2865, Fax: (855) 628-5950.

For any questions concerning your 2018 FSA account, you may contact PNC BeneFit Plus Consumer Services at 844-356-9993, or email pncbenefitplus@healthaccountservices.com with any questions. Representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. E.T.

You may also contact the University Benefits office at (330) 672-3107 or benefits@kent.edu.

Institute for Excellence Applications Closing June 14

Eligible candidates are jockeying for a spot in the nation’s fourth ranked program for certificates with an emphasis on leadership and organizational development. But you have only until June 14 to submit an application for KSU’s Institute for Excellence.

The program begins in September 2019, and has two tracks for Administrators and Individual Contributors. The Administrator track is for faculty or staff who supervise others. The Individual Contributor track is for employees who do not supervise but have a desire to sharpen their leadership skills. Both tracks are for high performers and focus on the core leadership qualities associated with collaboration, coaching, communication, trust, emotional intelligence, resiliency and more.   

Employee eligibility requirements include:
•    A minimum of one year of university service
•    A rating of meets expectations or higher on the most recent performance evaluation
•    Approval by direct supervisor to attend

Visit the Institute for Excellence website for a complete list of criteria and other important information. Training and Development will notify supervisors and applicants regarding selection for the Institute for Excellence in late June. 

Contact Renee Romine, director, Training and Organizational Development, at 330-672-0898 or Wendy Gold, program manager, at 330-672-0899 if you have questions or comments. Administrators click here to applyIndividual Contributors click here to apply

 

Lunch & Learn: Caring for Loved Ones with Alzheimer's and Other Forms of Dementia (Live Streamed)

The term "Alzheimer's" is all over the news. But what really is Alzheimer's disease? Is it the same thing as dementia? What does a diagnosis mean?

On Tuesday, June 18, from noon - 1 p.m. in Heer Hall, we will explore:

  • Normal aging in the brain,
  • The role of genetics in the diagnosis,
  • Types of dementia,
  • Stages of dementia,
  • Creating environments to maximize the abilities of someone living with the disease,
  • Communicating effectively with a loved one with dementia, and
  • Problems and changing behaviors in a loved one with dementia.

This lunch and learn is open to all full- and part-time employees. Employees participating in the Wellness Your Way incentive program can earn 10 Tier 2 points toward your financial wellness. Register for live streaming today.

Participate in The Longest Day® to Advance Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s is often referred to as “the long goodbye” because of its slow nature and lasting emotional and physical drain. In honor of people fighting the disease and those who love and care for them, the Alzheimer’s Association encourages the public to host a variety of events on the longest day of the year – the summer solstice, June 21 – while raising funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer's care, support and research.

Consequently, Recreational Services has partnered with Employee Wellness to sponsor The Longest Day® at Kent State for faculty, staff, students and the Kent community. We will be hosting a full day of activities scheduled from sun up to sun down, including a special “Field Day” at the outdoor pavilion/field, 1575 Johnston Drive in Kent from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Fun-filled events at Field Day include:

  • Corn hole
  • Bulzibucket
  • Hula hoop ring toss
  • Football throw
  • Ladder golf
  • Giant jenga
  • Giant checkers, and more.

Employee Wellness will also be providing an eldercare specialist, Kelsey Loushin, from IMPACT Solutions during our Field Day event. Kelsey will be available from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Pavilion. She will provide resources for employees and discuss how IMPACT Solutions, our employee assistance program, can provide support to employees and their families in need of assistance with eldercare, memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer's and more. 

Light refreshments will also be provided to keep you hydrated and energized. Dress for the occasion and come when you can for as long as you can. Make sure you stop by the Employee Wellness table to sign in and enter your name in our prize raffle.

For complete information on all the activities being offered throughout the day, Wellness Your Way points that can be earned, and how to register, please visit our Longest Day webpage for TEAM KENT STATE at https://www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/longest-day.

Financial Wellness Lunch and Learn: Getting On Track For Seniors

On Wed., June 26, from 9 – 10 a.m. at Heer Hall, we will provide you with the necessary financial management tools and strategies that seniors must consider when adjusting to living on less income.

This includes considerations that should be addressed when health and mobility become obstacles to maintaining the same lifestyle. Register to attend.

This program 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 towards your Tier Two total. 

FY 2019 Leave Approval Reminder

The Division of Human Resources is working closely with the Controller's office to confirm that all compensated leave balances are up-to-date for fiscal year 2019. 

As the fiscal year comes to a close on June 30, 2019, Human Resources Records would like to remind all Flashline leave approvers to ensure all personal, sick and vacation leaves used by faculty and staff have been properly recorded, submitted and approved.

Please be sure that outstanding leave reports have been approved by July 1, 2019 as HR Records will be moving all pending reports to an approved status on July 2, 2019

We thank you in advance for your assistance with our year-end processing. Should you have any questions or need further information, please contact the Human Resources Records Department at 330-672-8316 or hr-records@kent.edu.

Discount Tickets Available for Matinee Performance of “The Music Man”

Faculty and staff are cordially invited to a matinee performance of “The Music Man” at Porthouse Theatre, 3143 O'Neil Road in Cuyahoga Falls, on the grounds of Blossom Music Center Sat., Aug. 10, at 2 p.m. A complimentary lunch served in the Thornbury Pavilion from noon - 1:45 p.m.

"The Music Man" is the funny and romantic story of fast-talking salesman Harold Hill. When Hill arrives in River City, Iowa, to con the townspeople and hurry off with their money, he doesn't count on falling for the town librarian in the process.

Discount tickets on sale now for $22 each. Limit four tickets per employee. Limited supply available. Deadline to reserve tickets is Fri., Aug. 2.

Call the Porthouse Theatre Box Office at (330) 672-3884, or visit the Center for the Performing Arts Roe Green Center Lobby, 1325 Theatre Drive on the Kent Campus. Box office open weekdays 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks and cash accepted.

Dates to Remember:

June 10
Summer I and Summer II classes begin

June 14
Flag Day

June 16
Father's Day

June 21 
First day of summer (summer solstice)

POSTED: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 1:58pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 10:29am