February 2011

Reporting Time During a Campus Closing


When the university has an unscheduled closing, like the one that occurred in December due to inclement weather, there are always questions about how to report time for staff and student employees.

A special Management Update on Dec. 15, 2010, provided managers with detailed instructions on how to report time for employees who were scheduled to work and did not, and those who did work during the closing. The special edition is available online, and managers are encouraged to keep the issue bookmarked as a reference for any future campus closings.

Managers should also make sure that staff and student employees understand that in most instances university services and offices remain open when classes are canceled. It is only when a campus is closed that offices are closed and some services unavailable. During a closing only essential staff must report to work.


Independent Contractor Requests to Go Paperless

Within the next few months, departments requesting an independent contractor (IC) to work at the university will be able to submit the form electronically. The policy for hiring an IC has not changed, just the format to submit the request. In addition, departments must also submit a draft agreement or contract between the university and the proposed IC. The form may not be submitted without the agreement.

Training sessions on how to submit the online form are scheduled this month for staff members who handle IC requests for their departments. The sessions will be held in the Moulton Hall Ballroom on the Kent Campus on Feb. 14, from 2-4 p.m. and again on Feb. 15, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Registration is required and may be completed atwww.kent.edu/hr/register.

If you are unable to attend one of those sessions, a training webinar will be offered in February (date to be announced). A webinar allows participants to hear from the presenters and ask questions right from the computer at their work station. 

If you have questions or require more information, contact Sandy Taylor at staylor4@kent.edu or 330-672-0771.


New Legal Resource for Academic Administrators

The Office of General Counsel has a new resource to assist academic leaders, particularly those who are new to the university and/or their role as a dean, director or chair. Navigating the Legal Landscape for Deans, Chairs and Directors is available on the General Counsel website.

The document provides a brief overview of many issues that may come before an academic administrator, with information on the university resources available to assist in resolving it. Topics covered in the guide include:

  • State, federal and university regulations that impact the university;
  • The role of the Office of General Counsel and when to contact a university attorney (e.g. , public records requests, subpoenas);
  • Liability issues for the department chair and dean;
  • Administrative duties including handling faculty and staff issues, performance evaluations and adhering to university policies and procedures;
  • Employment issues including hiring, promotion and tenure and termination;
  • The procedure to follow for discrimination and harassment complaints;  and
  • Student and employee privacy.

If you have questions about a topic listed in the guide or an area that is not covered, contact Michael Pfahl, associate counsel, at mpfahl@kent.edu or 330-672-2982.


New Institute for Excellence Underway

The Institute for Excellence kicked off in January. The yearlong professional development program is designed to align the university’s strategic goals with personal leadership development to create and promote a culture of excellence. This year for the first time there are two tracks of the program: one for administrators and one for individual contributors. The latter group is composed of employees who are not in a managerial role but who have demonstrated the ability to contribute and lead change.

There are 16 participants in the Administrator group and 11 in the Individual Contributors program. Kent State University President  Lester A. Lefton addressed the opening session for both groups in January; participants will have the opportunity to meet with other university leaders throughout the program. View a list of the 2011 IE class.


Spring Employee Recognition Events

Mark your calendars for two annual spring employee recognition events. The Office Support Staff Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 27, in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. This program recognizes university employees who provide office support in departments throughout the eight-campus system. Invitations will be sent in March, and managers and supervisors are encouraged to coordinate work coverage in their unit so those who are invited may attend.

The 20-Year Club dinner will take place on Thursday, May 26, in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. This year 33 staff members will mark 20 years of continuous service at Kent State during the fiscal year.  The list of inductees and more information on the dinner will be available in April. 

For more information on either event, contact Carla Wyckoff, communications manager, Human Resources, at 330-672-5857 or cwyckof1@kent.edu.


Spring Mail Service Workshops

Mail Services is again hosting a series of one-hour seminars about best practices and distribution of mail through the United States Postal Service. Two programs are scheduled in February; both begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be held in Room 320 of the Kent Student Center.

Mailing Basics takes place on Feb. 3 and will provide information about the different mail classes and when to use first class vs. nonprofit rates, delivery standards, size and design and layout. The second workshop, on Feb. 24, will be a Move Update, with a focus on preferred formats for mailing lists, internal list hygiene and the role of return mail.

The seminars are free, and participants are encouraged to share mailing concerns or problems. Registration is requested and can be completed online at www.kent.edu/hr/register.

For additional information, contact Steve Finley at sfinley7@kent.edu or 330-672-8703.


Password System Upgrade Coming This Spring

During the Spring Semester Kent State faculty, staff and students will notice improvements to how they manage their FlashLine account and password.  This is part of the Identity Management initiative from Information Services and will result in a decrease of password support requests, make password changes easier and bring better account security to Kent State.

When the upgrade launches users logging in to FlashLine will be prompted to choose a new password, answer new security questions and provide an alternate e-mail address. Once the initial password upgrade is completed, passwords and security questions will be managed within FlashLine.

With these tools on hand, faculty and staff will be able to maintain their accounts at their own convenience, without having to call the Helpdesk for assistance. The new password will be used to access many university systems, including the FlashZone Wireless Network, FlashLine, Kent State e-mail, Banner and university-owned computers.

Information Services recommends that employees have access to an alternate e-mail address in advance of the transition. The alternate addresses will only be used as a backup source, in the event that a user is unable to access his/her account. Help for creating an alternate e-mail address is available at support.kent.edu.

More instructions and details on the upgrade will be sent via an e-mail closer to the rollout date. FlashLine login support is available at the Online Support Center, support.kent.edu, and by phone at 330-672-HELP (8324). 


Who’s in Charge of Your Departmental Website?

University Communications and Marketing is asking all academic and nonacademic department heads to verify the person(s) who have access to update your website if it is housed in CommonSpot, the university's content management system.

If you have not already verified the webmaster for your department, please take a few minutes to review the Excel file atwww.kent.edu/ucm/services/web/commonspot/upload/commonspot-user-account-....

The easiest way to search the file is to hit CTRL F (find), enter your department (example Justice Studies), and scan to where this 'finder' functionality takes you in the document. Be sure to click Find Next, to see all individuals associated with your department's website.

If you find that an individual(s) needs to be added or deleted from the list, please e-mail webteam@kent.edu and indicate the changes.  If you are adding someone for website access, that person should also contact University Communications and Marketing at the above e-mail address for access instructions and a user training session. Training information can be found at http://www.kent.edu/ucm/services/web/commonspot/.

Questions should be directed to Lin Danes at ldanes@kent.edu.


Dates to Remember:
Feb. 2 Groundhog Day
Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day 
Feb. 14-15 Maulid an-Nabi:  Islamic observance begins at sundown
Feb. 21 President’s Day (University open, observed on Dec. 27)


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: Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 3:37pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 2:54pm