December 2013 | Management Update | Kent State University

December 2013

What You Need to Know About the Holiday Schedule

 

All Kent State University campuses will operate on a holiday schedule from Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, through Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Please read the information below and share it with your staff.

How It Works
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 Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

Classified and unclassified employees who accrue vacation will receive paid leave for four days, Dec. 26, 27, 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.

Information for managers and department heads regarding employee eligibility, recording time and pay guidelines for members of your staff is available at www.kent.edu/hr/records/holiday-schedule.cfm. On that website you will also find the list of departments that will be open during the holiday schedule. The list will also be published in the Dec. 9 issue ofe-Inside.

Managers should confirm with employees 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 Time Card Approval
Due to the shortened payroll processing period, the Payroll Office is asking managers to approve timecards early for the week ending Saturday, Dec. 14. Managers may approve timecards as early as Friday, Dec. 13, 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 endingDec. 14 must be approved by end of the day Monday, Dec. 16.

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. 27 as scheduled. All faculty and salaried employees not on direct deposit will also be paid on Dec. 27. 

Any employees who do not have direct deposit will have their paycheck mailed to their permanent address on Dec. 27.Accurate mailing addresses are critical as checks lost in the mail cannot be replaced for 10 business days. Employees can review and/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 time card approval may be directed to the Payroll Department at 330-672-8640 or payroll@kent.edu.
 

How Delays, Cancellations or Closings are Determined

 

Please review the following guidelines with your faculty and staff.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Gregg Floyd, has shared the general policy and priorities used in guiding class delays, cancellations or closing procedures in the case of a winter weather advisory. In addition, Floyd indicates that communications for such delays, class cancellations or campus closings will be communicated 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 on 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. For the complete article, please click here.
 

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 Payroll at 330-672-8640.
 

Sign Up Now to Receive Electronic W2

 

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 also represents a cost savings to the university by not 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, 2014, 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.
 

Minimum Wage Going Up in January

 

This is just a reminder that Ohio’s minimum wage will increase from $7.85 to $7.95 per hour Jan. 1, 2014. More information on Ohio’s 2014 minimum wage is available on the Department of Commerce website.

With this increase, the Student Employment Pay Plan will be adjusted accordingly. Please keep in mind that departments do not need to take action on the minimum wage increase. Career Services will adjust the hourly wage for all students who are below the minimum for each of the three pay levels beginning Jan. 1. However, the hourly wage for students who are at or above the new minimums will not be adjusted. If you wish to increase the hourly wage for a student employee who is currently at or above the new minimums, please submit a Pay Raise Request form.

You can contact Ami Hollis at 330-672-8380 or ahollis@kent.edu for more information.
 

Empower Timekeeping to Replace Kronos

 

Kent State University is transitioning from Kronos to Empower Software Solutions as the university’s timekeeping system vendor. Empower was selected after a comprehensive evaluation process that included issuing a request for proposal, reviewing the proposals received, selecting the top vendors and attending vendor presentations and system demos. Empower was the unanimous preference of the payroll department, information services and the end users involved in the evaluation process.

Empower is used by thousands of companies nationwide, including Home Depot, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Tufts University and the University of Northern Iowa.

Some of the features or improvements we will see with Empower are:

  • FLASHcards can still be used to swipe time clocks.
  • Empower software is HTML-based so there will be no Java issues.
  • Empower software is compatible with Macs. 
  • Empower has more robust baseline scheduling options. 
  • Empower has more flexible reporting options.

The payroll department, information services and other user areas will work together to implement this new system. The transition will take place over the next eight to 12 months with plans for Empower to be fully implemented by Dec. 31, 2014. 

Questions may be emailed to payroll@kent.edu.
 

Training and Development Webinar Series Kicks Off

 

Join us as the new HR webinar series begins! Our feature for December is Communication Effectiveness, a 60-minute journey through the world of communication models and competencies that develop us into better communicators. You will gain insight into how different communication styles affect your personal style and learn how to create the best possible climate for communicating.

This one-hour webinar will take place from 10 – 11 a.m. on Dec. 10. Click here to register.

If you have questions, please contact Ron Smith at rsmith5@kent.edu or 330-672-2602.
 

Reducing Energy Consumption over Winter Break

 

Please share this information with your staff regarding steps to be taken prior to winter break. 

As the semester comes to a close, please join your colleagues in reducing campus energy consumption over the winter break. Before leaving campus, follow these simple steps:  

  • Turn off/unplug all computers and other electronic devices.
  • Close windows and shades.
  • If you have access to a thermostat, set it back to 68 degrees.
  • Report any maintenance items that come to your attention.

Associate Vice President Tom Euclide, states, “Our efforts last year saved the university over $11,000 in energy costs in one week!”
 

New Test Schedule for Classified Hourly Positions

 

Effective Dec. 1, 2013, the Division of Human Resources Talent Acquisition Department has implemented a new scheduling process for classified hourly positions that require civil-service testing. Applicants interested in being considered for a civil-service position will now follow instructions listed on the job posting directing them to register for the civil-service test through ABC Sign Up.

Testing will take place on the Kent Campus in Heer Hall (Human Resources), on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. Once the applicant receives a passing score, his or her name will be placed on an eligibility list to fill vacancies as they occur. When a department has a vacancy, the Talent Acquisition team will provide the department with a top 10 list of eligible candidates. This new testing process is not applicable to AFSCME positions. Employees appointed to a classified civil-service position are subject to the terms and conditions established under Section 124 of the Ohio Revised Code.

If you have questions, you may contact a Talent Acquisition team member. For Angela Jackson, ayjackso@kent.edu or 330-672-8323; Rachel Rundo, rrundo@kent.edu or 330-672-8079; or Mary Jane Hannahs at mhannahs@kent.edu or 330-672-8331.
 

Postal Rates and Regulation Set to Change

 

Effective Jan. 26, 2014, there are two events associated with the U.S. Postal Service that will impact postage expenses at Kent State University.

  • Full Service requirement – This new regulation states that in order to get any postage discounts, mailing lists must be processed for automation, the address panel must contain an Intelligent Mail Barcode and the postal paperwork must be submitted electronically. The term Full Service indicates that we are following these Postal Guidelines, especially inputting the paperwork electronically. Currently, when we take the paperwork with the mailing to the Post Office, a clerk has to enter the specifics into their computer system. Full Service eliminates this duplication of effort and allows the highest possible discounts on postage.

Gone are the days of simply printing and affixing labels to mail pieces and having Kent State Mail Services sort and submit them for discounted, nonbarcoded, nonautomated rates. Mail Services has completed the transitional processes, software upgrades and tests to become Full-Service compliant, and we are already submitting mailing paperwork electronically. The difference in postage is only about a penny per piece, but the cumulative effect for the university is an estimated $15,000 extra expense annually.

I encourage you to standardize your mailing list(s) into a useable format such as comma delimited or Excel and let Mail Service prepare your mailings for best practices and maximum savings.  In addition to saving on postage, this will also result in reduced cost of labels, printer ink and labor for your department.

  • Postal Rates are increasing – The details of the new postal rates have not been finalized yet, but we do know that the rate for 1st-class mail and the other classes will increase based on the consumer price index. That factor alone is expected to increase postage to $.47 for first-class and at least $.01 per piece for nonprofit mailings.


The Postal Service has also asked for an exigent (additional) postage increase that would increase the 1st-class postage to $.49 and all other classes by similar amounts.

More information will be distributed as it becomes available, but the increase in postal rates is another reason to take the necessary steps to qualify for the Full Service discounts we can obtain with your mailings.

 

Please contact Steve Finley at sfinley7@kent.edu or Brett Edwards at bedward3@kent.edu or call 330-672-2164 if you have any questions.
 

Dates to Remember:

Universal Human Rights Month

Dec. 1 World AIDS Day
Rosa Parks Day
Dec. 2-13 Fall Finals (first- and second-year podiatric medicine students)
Dec. 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Dec. 7 National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Dec. 8 Fall Semester Classes End
Dec. 9-15 Fall Semester Finals
Dec. 10 Human Rights Day
Dec. 13 Kent State University at Ashtabula December Commencement
Kent State University at Stark December Commencement
Kent Campus December Commencement Advanced Degree Ceremony, Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, 6 p.m.  For more information, visit www.kent.edu/commencement.
Dec. 14 Kent Campus December Commencement, Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. Baccalaureate Degrees, 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. For more information,visit www.kent.edu/commencement.
Dec. 25 Christmas*
Dec. 26 Kwanzaa
Jan. 1 New Year’s Day*
Jan. 6 Spring Classes Begin (first- and second-year podiatric medicine students)
Jan. 13 Spring Semester 2014 Classes Begin
Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (university closed)
Jan. 23 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, 2 p.m., Kent Student Center Ballroom

*Please Note:  All Kent State campuses will operate on a holiday schedule from Dec. 24, 2013, through Jan. 1, 2014. During that time all nonessential operations will be closed. Normal operations will resume with the first shift on Jan. 2, 2014.
 

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.

POSTED: Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 2:23pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 10:17am