State Pension Reform Legislation Takes Effect in January
Last month the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation making changes to the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). On Sept. 26, Gov. Kasich signed the STRS legislation into law; it will go into effect on Jan. 7, 2013.
Recently representatives from OPERS and STRS came to Kent State University for town hall meetings on the pension reform legislation. You can view a recording of each session at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/announcements-in-benefits.cfm. On that site, you will also find updates on the new legislation.
Employees who have questions about how the pension reform will affect them should contact the appropriate state retirement system to receive the most accurate and updated information.
Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 14
The Open Enrollment period for eligible faculty and staff to select their health insurance and other benefits-related options for 2013 is Oct. 14-26. The booklet with 2013 information will be available online beginning Oct. 14. Please make sure your employees know that they will not receive a printed booklet; all information will be online.
To help employees with their Open Enrollment decisions, Human Resources will host an Open Enrollment and Wellness Fair on Monday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom (the date was changed since the last issue of Management Update).
Employees will be able to meet with representatives from the university’s various benefits providers, find out more about the voluntary insurance options available and get information on the wellness resources offered. Please make every effort to coordinate work schedules on that day so employees may attend the fair.
Questions about the fair and Open Enrollment should be directed to the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election Poll Worker Guidelines
This is the time of year to remind managers and supervisors that the university has a category of paid leave for employees who volunteer as poll workers during a general, primary or special election. Permanent part-time and full-time classified and unclassified employees can request “poll worker leave” from their supervisor, subject to the following conditions:
- The request must be made in writing, at least 14 calendar days prior to the election;
- The request must include the employee’s intent to serve as a poll worker and specify the county in which the employee intends to serve; and
- The request must be turned in to the employee’s immediate supervisor.
Employees are only eligible to receive paid leave for their time as a poll worker on an hour-for-hour basis, up to the maximum number of hours the employee was regularly scheduled to work on an election day.
Following the election, the employee must submit a Poll Worker Leave Verification form, signed by the employee and a representative from the Board of Elections.
More information is available online or by contacting Mary Jane Hannahs at 330-672-2100 or email@example.com.
FERPA 101: What You Need to Know
The Office of the General Counsel will sponsor a two-hour workshop on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) on Friday, Oct. 26. The workshop will be held from 10 a.m.-noon in Room 340 Franklin Hall on the Kent Campus.
Representatives from the General Counsel and the Registrar’s Offices will provide an overview of what faculty and staff need to know about FERPA, including the definition of an “educational record,” what records can be released with and without a student’s permission, and how to handle requests for student information.
Registration for the seminar is required and the program will be streamed live to all Kent State locations. Registration and streaming information will be available closer to the date at www.kent.edu/generalcounsel/university-outreach.cfm.
New Guidelines for Compensating Research Subjects
New procedures have been put in place for compensating research participants. The new procedure was a collaboration between the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Controller’s Office and the Treasury and Tax Services Office. The information has been distributed to deans, chairs, department heads and the Business Administrator Services (BAS) listserv. View the new procedures.
Questions regarding the processes for making payments to research participants should be directed to Accounts Payable at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-2607.
Questions regarding the tax issues for research participants should be directed to Paula DiVencenzo, tax manager, at email@example.com or 330-672-8622.
Questions regarding the Institutional Review Board may be directed to the Office of Research and Compliance at 330-672-2704.
UHS: It’s Not Just for Students
A reminder that University Health Services (UHS) on the Kent Campus offers care to all Kent State faculty and staff. The services provided are similar to those offered at a medical center or primary care physician’s office, such as:
- Treatment for illnesses and minor injuries
- Flu shots
- Immunizations, travel vaccines, allergy injections
- Health screenings
- Treatment for worker’s comp injuries
- Women’s health
- X-ray and lab services
- Physical therapy
- On-site pharmacy
Patients receive quality medical care from experienced, board-certified clinicians, and all information remains confidential. UHS accepts most major medical insurance providers, including the plans offered to employees by the university.
Employees can schedule an appointment online and same-day appointments are often available. For many employees, using UHS reduces time away from the office for healthcare appointments.
You can find out more about this university resource at www.kent.edu/uhs/employeehealth.
Connect With Your Colleagues in New Kent State Blog
Have you checked out the new faculty and staff blog? Kent State Connects, at www.kentstateconnects.com, offers a platform for university faculty and staff to have peer-to-peer online conversations with their co-workers around a variety of topics that include health and wellness and other “just for fun” topics.
The blog is written by Kent State faculty and staff members to create and advance discussions that both interest and impact their co-workers. Every week, your campus colleagues share their knowledge and views on different subject matters, with occasional posts from guest bloggers.
Faculty and staff can subscribe to Kent State Connects to get an email notification whenever a new blog entry is posted. Please encourage your employees to subscribe to the blog, visit the page often and participate in the conversations.
Recent topics include fashion trends for fall, what to do with fall produce, healthy aging and a Kent State staff member’s struggle with weight loss and the journey to dropping the pounds.
The blog is a collaboration of the Division of Human Resources and University Communications and Marketing.
Dates to Remember:
National Italian American Heritage Month
Disability Employment Awareness Month
Oct. 1 Sukkot: Eight-day Jewish observance
Oct. 5 National Diversity Day
Oct. 8 Columbus Day (university open; holiday observed Nov. 23)
Oct. 8 Thanksgiving Day: Canada
Oct. 19-20 Kent State Homecoming: Events include the Homecoming parade and the Golden Flashes football game. More information available at www.ksualumni.org/homecoming.
Oct. 20 Sweetest Day
Oct. 20 May 4 Visitors Center Open House, Taylor Hall
Oct. 25-26 19th Annual Celebrating College Teaching conference, Kent Student Center. More information available at www.kent.edu/utc/index.cfm.
Oct. 31 Halloween
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.