Learn More About Proposed Changes to STRS
Representatives from the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) will be at Kent State University later this month for two town hall meetings on the proposed pension reform legislation.
The sessions will be held on the Kent Campus on Friday, Sept. 21, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Kiva (adjacent to the Kent Student Center). Both sessions will be streamed live on the Web, and those viewing it will be able to submit questions. The link to the live stream will be available the day of the sessions at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/announcements-in-benefits.cfm.
Please share this information with faculty in your department and let them know that many of the proposed changes will impact all STRS members, whether they are close to retirement or have only a few years in the retirement system.
The STRS pension reform bill passed the Ohio Senate in May and is pending in the Ohio House of Representatives. Additional updates can be found on the STRS website.
Raise a Red Flag Against Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
As a new academic year begins, it’s a good time to remind faculty and staff in your area about their responsibility in helping to prevent gender discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
Title IX Requirements
Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs or activities operated by recipients of federal funding, such as Kent State. Title IX goes beyond athletics and protects all students, employees and visitors to campus from gender discrimination. Sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct (assault), is a form of gender discrimination and is prohibited by federal and state law, as well as university policy.
All Kent State employees are required to report incidents of gender discrimination against a student, faculty or staff member, or visitor to Kent State’s Title IX coordinator Loretta Shields. Shields can be reached at 330-672-2038 email@example.com. Sexual assault cases should also be reported to the police. Students and campus visitors also are expected to report such incidents.
Several university and administrative policies, dealing with unlawful discrimination and harassment, and specifically, complaints of gender discrimination, have been revised. The policies, 5-16, 5-16.1 and 5-16.2 were previously located in Chapters 4 and 6 of the university policy register. With the change, all three policies are now under Chapter 5 (General Administration), because the provisions of each apply to faculty, staff, students and visitors.
Questions on the policies should be directed to Michael Pfahl, associate counsel, at 330-672-2982 firstname.lastname@example.org.
No More DMA Forms
As of Sept. 10, the Declaration Regarding Material Assistance/Nonassistance to a Terrorist Organization (DMA) law will be repealed. That means that new hires at Kent State will no longer be required to complete a DMA form.
The DMA is a provision of Ohio’s homeland security and anti-terrorism legislation. The form was required to provide the state with an additional tool to deter and prosecute acts of terrorism.
As of Sept. 10, DMA forms will no longer be included in any new hire packets distributed by Kent State Human Resources. The form will also be removed from the HR Forms Library.
More information is available by contacting a member of the Talent Acquisition team at 330-672-2100.
September Leave Balance Reminders
Please remind staff in your area about the two September deadlines for employees who earn vacation. You should also make sure that leave approvers have reviewed and approved any outstanding leave reports.
The annual sick leave conversion is Sept. 1-14, and the process can be completed electronically through the My HR tab in FlashLine. Per policy 6-11.2, administrative policy regarding conversion of sick leave, eligible full-time employees with a balance of at least 500 sick leave hours may convert a maximum of 40 hours to vacation or a combination of vacation and personal leave. Eligible part-time employees with a minimum balance of 250 sick hours may convert up to 24 hours. Eligible employees have received an email with instructions on how to convert the time.
Classified and unclassified staff has until Sept. 30 to use vacation time that has accrued beyond the maximum allowed. After Sept. 30 any vacation balances beyond the maximum will be forfeited. Employees who are over the allowed maximum have been notified through an e-mail.
Questions on the sick leave conversion or the vacation cutback should be directed to a member of the HR records staff at 330-672-2901.
Legal Updates From the General Counsel Office
Over the summer, changes were made to several policies in the University Policy Register and to the university’s records retention schedule. Please see the information below from the Office of the General Counsel.
The following policies, related to academics and research, have been revised and cover several areas of university governance:
- 3342-3-01.1 - Updated to reflect the university’s current policies regarding course offerings and academic requirements.
- 3342-3-01.5 - Updated to reflect the university’s current process for academic forgiveness.
- 3342-3-01.10 - Revised to include the circumstances under which the provost may dismiss a student and the current process for reinstatement.
- 3342-3-07.1 - Revised to include the definition of a “significant financial interest” and to provide a methodology for applying the definition to issues involving financial interest in sponsored programs. The policy was also updated to define, and provide the process for, special requirements and disclosures necessary for PHS-funded research.
- 3342-4-02.1 and 3342-4-02.101- The student conduct policies were updated to include definitions for additional conduct violations and to reflect the current proceedings for the conduct process. These policies will be available later this month in the policy register.
If you have any questions regarding these changes or any other university policies, contact Associate Counsel Michael Pfahl at email@example.com or 330-672-2982.
Additions to the Records Retention schedule
Additions have been made to the university’s records retention schedule, which defines how long a university record must be retained before it can be destroyed.
In the General Administrative Records section, the retention schedule for completed waivers/hold harmless forms is “the date of the event plus three years.”
Questions on records retention should be directed to Associate Counsel David Ochmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-2982.
Get Ready for Open Enrollment
Kent State faculty and staff are invited to attend the Open Enrollment and Wellness Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
Employees will be able to meet with representatives from the university’s various benefits providers for 2013, find out more about the voluntary insurance options available and get information on the wellness resources offered. Faculty and staff can also vote on their choice for a new Kent State wellness logo.
The fair is an excellent opportunity for employees to get the information they need to make their decisions for Open Enrollment, which is Oct. 14-26. Please make every effort to coordinate work schedules on that day so employees may attend the fair.
A list of the vendors and other activities is available online. You can also contact the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 email@example.com.
Who’s Demonstrating Excellence in Action?
There’s still time to submit your nomination for the fourth annual President’s Excellence Award. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 14.
Kent State President Lester A. Lefton established the award program in 2009 as a way to recognize staff members who demonstrate their daily commitment to carrying out the university’s Excellence Agenda.
Full-time classified and unclassified employees at all campuses who have been employed by the university for a minimum of one year and are in good standing are eligible to be nominated. Past recipients are not eligible for a minimum of two years following their award and faculty are not eligible.
The award recipients will be announced in December. Each recipient will receive a check for $1,000,after taxes. Details on the award criteria and the nomination form are available online atwww.kent.edu/president/excellenceaward/index.cfm.
If you have questions, contact Carla Wyckoff at 330-672-5857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect With Your Colleagues in New Kent State Blog
Kent State Connects, a new Kent State University faculty and staff blog, launches today (Sept. 4) at www.kentstateconnects.com. This initiative offers a platform for Kent State faculty and staff members 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. Other categories will be added in the future.
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 will share their knowledge and views with you 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.
This fall, you will read about a Kent State staff member’s struggle with weight loss and the journey to dropping the pounds, how to handle or overcome addictions, what you can do with fall produce, fall fashion trends, wine selection tips and much more.
The blog is a collaboration of the Division of Human Resources and University Communications and Marketing.
News for Student Employee Supervisors
Career Services has a listserv for supervisors of student employees. If you, or any of your colleagues supervise student workers and are not receiving these emails, please contact Ami Hollis at email@example.com or 330-672-8380.
Dates to Remember:
Sept. 3 Labor Day (university closed)
Sept. 8 International Literacy Day
Sept. 9 Grandparents Day
Sept. 11 Patriot Day (anniversary of U.S. terrorist attacks)
Sept. 16-17 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish observance begins at sundown)
Sept. 17 Constitution Day, Citizenship Day
Sept. 22 First Day of Autumn
Sept. 25-26 Yom Kippur (Jewish observance begins at sundown)
Sept. 26 Open Enrollment and Wellness Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Kent Student Center Ballroom
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 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.