Management Update – March 2017
Great Colleges to Work For Survey
Kent State University is pleased to announce that we are once again participating in the Great Colleges to Work For program. By continuing to participate, we are able to track our progress and gain valuable internal and external benchmarking.
Thanks to our valuable 2016 survey respondents, Kent State was recognized in the Benefits and Compensation category. We should all be proud of such an accomplishment. This year affords us the same opportunity, and I encourage you all once again to share your insights. Although recognition is not guaranteed, we remain wholly optimistic about the value we can derive from this program.
Once again, thank you to all who participated last year. I hope those of you who receive invitations this year will share your honest feedback.
Please note that the survey, open March 13 through April 7, is voluntary and completely confidential; our institution will not be able to trace results back to individuals. ModernThink LLC, an independent management consulting firm on workplace quality in higher education, will process your survey. ModernThink can be reached at 888-684-4658 or at email@example.com.
Thank-you, in advance, for your participation. Please contact Assistant Provost Susan Perry, Accreditation, Assessment and Learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
330-672-3931, if you have any questions.
Changes to Administrative Policies Effective March 1
Please be aware of changes to two administrative policies that are effective March 1. The highlights of each policy are listed below:
Administrative policy regarding acquisition, inventory control, and sales or other disposal of capital assets (3342-5-12.3):
- All requirements related to purchasing of goods and/or services previously included in this policy have been transferred to a new administrative purchasing policy (see below) and this policy has been expanded to address requirements regarding capital assets.
- Some specific changes to this policy for handling of capital assets are:
• Increased capitalization threshold from $2,500 to $5,000.
• Clarification of departments’ responsibilities regarding acquisition, inventory control, and sale or other disposal of capital assets.
• Specified requirements for capital assets acquired with funds from sponsored programs.
- Some specific changes to this policy for handling of capital assets are:
Administrative policy regarding purchasing of goods and/or services (3342-7-12.1): This new policy formalizes practices that have been in place and adds some requirements not previously in place.
- Examples of practices that have been in place and are now fully documented include:
• Specification of the responsibilities of the Procurement Department.
• Clarification of requirements for competitive bidding.
• Identification of minimum requirements for vendors.
- New requirements not previously in place include:
• All purchases of goods and/or services using university funds for which there is an existing university contract with one or more preferred vendor(s) must be made from those vendors.
• The Procurement Department will provide guidance and information about university contracts and monitor compliance with mandatory contract adherence.
The Procurement Department will offer training (in-person and online) and other resources to facilitate compliance with these changes.
Questions regarding capital assets should be directed to Senior Accountant Mark Farina at email@example.com or 330-672-8614.
Questions regarding purchasing of goods and/or services should be directed to Director Tim Konczal, Procurement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-9192.
Reminder – Changes to Cellphone Stipends
One of the steps associated with recent changes to administrative policy 3342-7-02.15, regarding provision of cellular devices to university employees, is for department heads and their respective vice presidents to take a more critical review of which employees should receive a cellphone stipend. This review should follow the business purpose guidelines stated in the policy.
As part of this review, the Procurement Department this month will provide each vice president with a list of the employees in his or her division currently receiving a cellphone stipend. By the beginning of April, each vice president will be asked to return a list of those employees who will remain eligible for the stipend for Fiscal Year 2018. The eligible employees will then be notified in April to renew their authorizations. Department heads should be prepared to make these decisions and notify your respective vice president by mid-March in order to meet the April deadline.
Questions should be directed to Associate Vice President Anne Brown, Business and Administration Services, at email@example.com or 330-672-6364.
Become a Mental Health First Aider and be One in a Million
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based training course that teaches people to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. The course is for those interested in learning how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health or substance abuse related crisis.
What Will You Learn?
• Risk factors and signs of addictions and mental illness
• Information about and impact of mental and substance use disorders
• Five-step action plan to assess a situation and help those in need
• Local resources and where to turn refer individuals in need
Mental Health First Aid Course:
• FREE 8-hour course
• Open to Kent Campus students, faculty and staff
• Faculty and staff earn 2 hours of Beyond Compliance
• Kent State students earn 1,500 FLASHperks for completing the course
Kent State’s Wellness Offerings Second to None
Kent State University offers a wealth of mental and physical wellness offerings for faculty and staff, including instructor-led classes in yoga/meditation and spinning; walking groups; stress management, smoking cessation and lunch-and-learn programs; universitywide group challenges; Weight Watchers@Work; and biometric health screenings, among others. For a comprehensive list of current wellness offerings, visit the KSU Employee Wellness Calendar.
We hope that you will encourage your employees to participate in these workplace wellness programs and engage in a healthy lifestyle that leads to increased productivity and improved work-life balance.
Please note: It is not necessary for employees to use their vacation or sick time for these types of events. Any employee who wishes to attend a university-sponsored event only needs to seek permission from his or her supervisor to leave the work site. Supervisors, as is the case for any leave request, will make their own decision on granting the leave based upon their need to operate effectively and efficiently.
March Month of Gratitude
Spring is just around the corner and what better time to embrace the present and look forward to tomorrow.
On March 1, the Employee Wellness Office will officially launch the new Gratitude Graffiti Project that gives employees the opportunity to pause and reflect on someone or something you are grateful for in your life.
The Gratitude Graffiti Project is a practice of purposeful reflection and appreciation expressed through interactive art. Over the past decade, hundreds of studies have documented the social, physical and psychological benefits of practicing gratitude. The Kent State community has responded with great enthusiasm toward the project, and we will have well over 80 stops spread across all Kent State campuses, including our New York City Studio. See a stop, take a moment and add your gift of gratitude. Visit the Gratitude Graffiti Information page for more details or check out all Graffiti Stops here.
Coming July 1: Let’s Clear the Air
Please make sure faculty and staff in your area are aware that Kent State will become a smoke-free, tobacco-free university on July 1, 2017. University policy 3345-5-21 was approved last year by the Board of Trustees and aligns with the university-level initiative to create a healthy campus environment for all employees, students and visitors. The policy covers all Kent State campuses, locations and properties, both domestic and international and applies to all members of the university community: students, employees, volunteers, vendors, visitors and customers.
Under the policy, all smoking will be prohibited. This includes electronic smoking devices, mod boxes or electronic nicotine delivery systems that create an aerosol or vapor. Also prohibited will be the use of nicotine, tobacco-derived or plant-based products and oral tobacco.
Members of the university community who are thinking about kicking the tobacco habit should visit the tobacco-free, smoke-free website at www.kent.edu/smoke-free. There you will find a variety of resources for faculty and staff, including smoking cessation apps, nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medication that are now part of the university’s prescription drug plan through CVS Health. A comprehensive list of resources, contact information and eligibility requirements for smoking cessation services is available for university employees.
The website also has more information on the policy, enforcement and FAQ. Questions on the new policy should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions related to Kent State University’s health and wellness offering or the smoke-free, tobacco-free policy for faculty and staff should be directed to Director Kim Hauge, Employee Wellness, at 330-672-7505 or email@example.com. You may also visit the employee wellness homepage at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/wellness.
Summit Street Improvement Project: Work to Begin on Phase Two
Work is scheduled to begin the week of March 6 on the second phase of the Summit Street: Building a Better Way Improvement Project. The second phase will make improvements to Summit Street between Lincoln Street and Fraternity Circle and include a second roundabout, a left turn lane from Summit Street to Terrace Drive and the relocation of Campus Center Drive to align with the Student Green.
One-way, one-lane eastbound traffic is scheduled to begin the week of March 6 and will continue through November. Please note that weather or other factors could delay the start of the one-way traffic.
The work will be done in sections, which should minimize the disruption of traffic on Summit Street. The first stretch of one-way, one-lane traffic will begin on Summit Street between Willow Street and Morris Road and will continue through early May.
Access to buildings and parking lots in the construction area will be maintained at all times, and the current PARTAbus routes will not be impacted for the remainder of spring semester.
The westbound detour will be state Route 261 to state Route 43 north to Summit Street. Electronic message boards will be operational to advise motorists of lane closures and detours. You can view videos on the detour route and the project improvements at www.kent.edu/summitstreet/resources.
Motorists should allow extra time to get to their destination and should watch out for workers in the construction area, especially when there is sun glare.
The Summit Street Improvement project is being managed by the City of Kent and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Project updates are available at https://www.kent.edu/summitstreet/news-announcements.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Steam Shutdown
In order to perform necessary maintenance on the boilers, steam transmission systems and electrical distribution systems, Kent State University’s Power Plant will be shut down on the following dates:
Shutdown begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 14, 2017, until start-up begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, 2017. As a result of the steam shut down, most buildings located on campus will NOT have hot water to sinks and showers, etc. or air conditioning.
Please address any questions about this project to Frank Renovich at 330-672-0775 or email email@example.com. Your assistance and understanding during this process is greatly appreciated.
Student Employee Appreciation Week
The week of April 9-15 is designated as National Student Employment Appreciation Week. This year, Career Exploration and Development, in collaboration with all of the Regional Campuses and various departments, will have activities, lunch celebrations and giveaways planned all week for student employees at all campuses. Additional details will be coming soon!
While student employees will be celebrated universitywide, you are also encouraged to show your appreciation to the students in your department. Appreciation can include giving students a simple thank-you card, surprising students with a homemade treat or a number of other suggested Student Employee Recognition Ideas. Another great way to appreciate your students is to place an ad in The Kent Stater’s special Student Employee Appreciation edition on Thursday, April 13. For more information on their advertising specials, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates to remember:
Women's History Month
National Nutrition Month
March 8 – International Women's Day
March 12 – Daylight Saving Time begins (ends Nov. 5)
March 17 – St. Patrick's Day
March 20 – Spring begins; International Earth Day
March 9-12 – Purim begins at sundown
March 27-April 2 – Spring Recess
April 3 – Spring classes resume