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April 2020 Human Resource Management Newsletter

April, 2020
Employee Recognition Ceremony to be held Fall 2020

Spring time is typically when the Employee Recognition Ceremony is held.  The ceremony, this year will instead be held in Fall 2020.  At the Fall 2020 Recognition Ceremony, service pins will be given to 5, 10, and 15 year honorees, and gifts will be given to those with 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 years of service. As part of the ceremony, the past year’s Employees of the Month will be recognized and the Employee of the Year winners and Team of the Year winners will be announced. For a full list of honorees that will be honored in the Fall, please visit the 2020 Employee Recognition Ceremony page.

More information to come in the HRM summer newsletter regarding the Fall 2020 Ceremony and the date of the event.

Tuition Assistance Deadlines

KU provides eligible employees with assistance to cover tuition for one class (up to 5 hours) per semester.  For more information about the program to include eligibility, and courses that qualify, please visit the Human Resource Tuition Assistance for Employees webpage

Applications must be received on time.  Application availability and deadlines are as follows:

Summer 2020 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application was made available March 1, 2020, and the deadline is April 3, 2020

Fall 2020 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be available June 1, 2020, and the deadline is July 3, 2020

Spring 2021 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be available October 1, 2020, and the deadline is November 6, 2020

Performance Management System Goal Setting

At this time, all Staff University-wide should be using the Performance Management System, in partnership with their supervisors to establish goals for 2020.  More information about the Performance Management System can be found on the Human Resources Website. Training materials can be found here:

Performance Management System - Goals Step-by-Step Instructions - Employees

Performance Management System - Goals Step-by-Step Instructions - Supervisors

If you or your department would like to request additional training to include hands on training, please contact Katie Varner at kdvarner@ku.edu.

A video on best practices in setting goals can be found on the Human Resource Management Website.

Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund

Emergencies can happen to any of us, and most often they occur when least expected.  Substantial loss of housing, food or clothing due to fire, flood or personal hardship can have devastating effects on an individual or family. The Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund (“The Fund”) exists to provide emergency assistance for KU staff members (unclassified professional staff and university support staff) who are struggling due to a natural or personal disaster that has caused financial hardship. Staff needing assistance may apply for funds online after reviewing The Fund Guidelines.  Please note that documentation of the emergency and the specific amount of the financial hardship caused by the emergency, along with the applicant’s household income, must be uploaded and submitted with the application. 

Be a HERO by donating to the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund (“The Fund”) on the KU Endowment website, by check, or by contacting your SSC HR rep to donate pre-tax deduction via payroll deduction.  Donations made to the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund are considered charitable contributions that are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. 



"The Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund is an easy way to make a meaningful difference to friends and colleagues when they need it most." – Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Operations.

More information on the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund (“The Fund”) can be found in The Fund Guidelines and on the HR website and in the policy library.

Exit Interview Questionnaire

If you are departing KU employment or transferring to another department/school, please complete the University’s online Exit Interview Questionnaire prior to departure/transfer.


The University’s online Exit Interview Questionnaire is a means for Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS) [who (1) resign, (2) retire, (3) depart from the University due to non-reappointment or layoff, or (4) transfer to another KU department] to comment upon their KU employment experience.  Providing feedback assists the University in its ongoing efforts towards achieving excellence and ensuring that the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. 

State Employee Health Plan

In March, Governor Kelly provided an update about the State Employee Health Plan related to COVID-19, including information about Telehealth services, which offer virtual doctor office visits via the internet or your smartphone, available 24/7.  The SEHP partners, Aetna and  BCBS of Kansas, will waive the member cost share for any Telehealth services. For details, visit these links: 


BCBKS Members                                         Aetna Members


The SEHP will also allow early refills on 30 or 90-day prescription medications and/or allow members to use their mail order benefit.

Employee Assistance Program

Upheaval and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus has brought stress, anxiety and even fear. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential, free service that provides benefits-eligible KU employees and their immediate family members with professional counseling and referral services for help in dealing with life’s challenges. 

For more information, please see  KU Employee Assistance Program and Telehealth email sent 3/24/2020

Retirement Information

During this turbulent time, financial markets have been experiencing greater than normal volatility.  Helpful information from TIAA and Voya addressing this situation can be found here:  TIAA     Voya

Spring 2020 Staff Professional Development Opportunities

KU Human Resource Management Learning and Development provides a variety of services aimed at improving individual and organizational performance. This includes professional development programming.


All KU staff and faculty have the benefit of unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning through mytalent.ku.edu. Getting started in easy: log into mytalent.ku.edu, click the Learning tile, and search directly in the Find Learning box or click “Browse all courses.” If you have any difficulties, please contact hrdept@ku.edu.


Here are some LinkedIn Learning courses you may find helpful for our current situation.


Working Remotely (ID# 22239) (1 hour)

Coach Mike Gutman shows how to use today's cloud-based communication and collaboration tools to get work done from anywhere, while remaining connected to your organization. He reveals how you can create a productive work environment at home by structuring your day correctly and avoiding distractions. He also explains how to build rapport with remote colleagues so you feel like you're part of the team and succeed in your remote career.


Time Management: Working from Home (ID# 10959) (1 hour 25 minutes)

Working from home is a wonderful opportunity, but time management can be a challenge. In this course, Dave Crenshaw begins by showing how to set up a dedicated workspace for maximum productivity, including tips on setting up your computer to ensure you stay focused. Then Dave walks through how to craft your daily schedule for peak productivity and plan meaningful breaks to avoid burnout. He explains how to collaborate with remote coworkers, including how to use virtual meetings productively. Finally, Dave offers advice for working parents and other caregivers who might be balancing professional and personal responsibilities in the home.


Microsoft Teams: Quick Tips (ID# 11552) (1 hour)

In this concise course, Nick Brazzi shares tips that can help you get more use out of Teams. He goes over useful commands and keyboard shortcuts that can help you streamline your workflow and explains how to use Teams as a hub to access information from different Office 365 apps. Plus, he demonstrates how to leverage different communication options and explores some particularly useful apps in Teams.


Building Resilience: Option B (ID# 11151) (20 minutes)

Encountering a devastating event—the gut-wrenching kind that zaps away joy—is an inevitability of life. In their book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton psychologist Adam Grant share their insights on building resilience in the face of such setbacks. They offer practical steps you can take to reimagine and rebuild your life when your first choice—your Option A—is no longer on the table. Course highlights include how to talk to friends and colleagues who are hurting when you're not sure what to say and how to fight the idea that the hurt you're feeling is permanent.

Staff Leadership Summit

The 2020 Staff Leadership Summit will take place online the week of April 27. A series of play-on-demand videos will be released that week focusing on the event theme of staff mental health and wellness. Registration is requested – click here to register. The videos can be found soon on the event website. Keynote speaker is Stephen Ilardi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology.

Coach on Call

The move to teleworking has presented a number of challenges and opportunities for supervisor and managers striving to support their teams and manage work flow.  We are offering 30 minute coaching sessions  to support you as you make the transition. You may schedule a session with a coach by contacting hrdept@ku.edu

LinkedIn Learning April Challenge

LiL April Challenge: Thriving through Change!

To help you learn to be as successful as possible in this new reality and to prepare for any unexpected changes your furture may hold, we invite you to participate in our LiL April Challenge: kicking off April 6th.

Completing Required Training

Please complete the required “Responding to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence” training module in KU’s MyTalent system by May 1, 2020.

  • The module takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes to complete.
  • It will appear in your “To Do” tile after you log into the MyTalent system and will remain until you complete the module.
  • You must go through the entire module. Simply logging in or partially completing the module will not register as “complete.”
  • The content of this training may be difficult for those affected by sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual violence. If you feel you cannot complete this training due to a past trauma or other reason, please contact the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access at 785-864-6414 or ioa@ku.edu.
  • If you experience technical issues, please contact KU Information Technology at 785-864-8080 or itcsc@ku.edu.

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