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January 2018 Human Resource Management Newsletter

January, 2018
New Employee Orientation

In order to best meet the onboarding needs of new university employees, New Employee Orientation will be online only beginning January 8, 2018.

The New Employee Orientation online program is designed to provide new employees information concerning benefits, campus resources, and guidance to support the transition to campus as a new employee.

In addition to online orientation, Human Resource Management has a comprehensive website to prepare new employees for their first day at the University of Kansas.


If you need assistance or information on the change in delivery of New Employee Orientation, please contact us at hrdept@ku.edu or 785-864-4946.

Performance Management System
Self Evaluation Due January 12, 2018

On October 16, 2017, all regular staff members due an annual evaluation received an email from the Performance Management System notifying them that the 2017 Annual Performance Evaluation had been launched and the self-evaluation was available for them to complete.  The self-evaluation is due January 12, 2018.  Once the employee completes their self-evaluation in the 2017 Annual Performance Evaluation, the employee will forward the self-evaluation to their supervisor within the Performance Management System.  The entire evaluation process is to be completed by March 1, 2018.

Some changes have been made to the evaluation form from previous years within the Performance Management System.  Specifically, ratings and comments are no longer required for all nine of the University Core Competencies, instead ratings on each competency and an overall comment(s) for competencies are optional.  Additionally, both the employee being evaluated, and the supervisor, have the ability to add attachments to the evaluation form.  Instructions on adding attachments can be found in the below linked step-by-step instructions.

Hands on Training has been scheduled specific to the 2017 Annual Evaluation Form in the Learning Management System.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the evaluation process as an employee can be found at: Performance Evaluation - Step-by-Step Instructions for the Employee

Step-by-Step Instructions for the evaluation process as a supervisor can be found at: Performance Evaluation - Step-by-Step Instructions for the Supervisor

Nominate Exceptional Teams for Special Recognition
Nomination Deadline:January 31, 2018

Any group consisting of three or more members is eligible for consideration for the Exceptional Team award. The nomination should be based on a project or assignment that is above and beyond the team’s normal course of duties.  Project participants may also be drawn from a cross section of University departments. This year’s nomination deadline is extended to January 31, 2018, and the winning team will be recognized at the Employee Recognition Ceremony to be held in May.

To access the nomination form go to Nominate Team Award Form.

Save the Date for KU's Eighth Annual Staff Leadership Summit:
Shared Commitment: Exploring the Give and Take of Staff Engagement

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 | Kansas Union

Staff Leadership Summit Logo. This photo includes the date of Thursday, February 22 and the time of 8:00am to 3:30pm

Save the date for the 2018 Staff Leadership Summit! This annual professional development event for staff features colleagues from across the university and provides networking and personal and professional growth for attendees. 

Stay tuned for more information later this month!

2018 Goal Plan Available
Begin setting 2018 goals in the Performance Management System

The 2018 Goal Plan is now available in the Performance Management System.  Staff and supervisors of staff now both have the ability to add goals to the 2018 goal plan.  The 2018 goal plan can be accessed by logging into mytalent.ku.edu

At least one goal must be established during the 2018 calendar year.  A best practice is 3-5 goals.  It is advised that goals are established as early in the 2018 review period as possible.

Step-by-step instructions on how to establish goals as an employee can be found here: Step-by-Step Instructions - Goals - Employee

Step-by-step instruction on how to establish goals as supervisor can be found here: Step-by-Step Instructions - Goals - Supervisor

Additional training for the Performance Management System is available including Goal Setting Hands-On Training.  You can register for training in the Learning Management System or you can email hrdept@ku.edu for more information.

Thank you for supporting the professional development of your staff by engaging actively in the Performance Management system.  

State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) - Plan Year 2018

Please refer to the 2018 SEHP Benefits Booklet for detailed information about plan design changes (page 4) and premiums (page 22-23), and 2018 updates. Please refer to the Open Enrollment website for additional information.

Paycheck Deductions
Health insurance elections made during October’s Open Enrollment for health, dental, vision and spending accounts, became effective January 1, 2018.  The first deduction for 2018 will be taken from the January 12, 2018 paycheck.  Please review your January 12, 2018 paycheck to verify correct benefit deductions for 2018 (How to guide). If your benefit deductions appear incorrect, please contact the Benefits Office immediately at benefits@ku.edu and be prepared to provide a copy of your Open Enrollment confirmation printout. 

Twelve-month staff will have deductions from 24 checks (the first two checks each month).  When the month has a third paycheck no deduction will be taken.

Prepaid Summer Benefits for Eligible Faculty and Staff

Employees with prepaid summer benefit coverage will prepay summer health insurance and optional group life insurance premiums during the designated spring semester payroll periods. If you will not be returning to KU in the subsequent fall semester, the prepaid summer deductions will be refunded.

Academic year faculty and staff with positions designated as less than twelve-month will have Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and/or Health Savings Accounts (HSA) deductions taken from 16 checks (the first two checks of the months of January through April and September through December).  These deductions will not be taken from any other paychecks received during the year. 

A memo will be sent to academic year faculty and staff in the Spring about the prepaid deduction schedule.

Health Savings Account (Employee & Employer contributions)

The Employer HSA and HRA contributions will be deposited in four quarterly installments for active employees.  The employer contribution will be based on your enrollment on the 1st day of each quarter.




Paycheck date

1st installment

January 12, 2018

2nd installment

April 6, 2018

3rd installment

July 13, 2018

4th installment

October 5, 2018


The first HSA employee contribution deduction will be taken from the January 12, 2018 paycheck. 


Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
FSAs for calendar year 2018 became effective on January 1, 2018.  The first 2018 deduction for health and/or dependent care FSAs will be taken from the paycheck dated January 12, 2018. 
  • NueSynergy will send new FSA accounts a debit card. You may continue to use your previously assigned card. Additionally, you can choose other claim submission methods.
  • Eligible claims incurred in 2017 must be filed by April 30th, 2018.
  • Health Care FSA and the Limited Purpose Health Care FSA allow up to a maximum of $500 to be rolled over into the next plan year.


For more info visit NueSynergy website or contact 1-855-750-9440 or CustomerService@nuesynergy.com


New Identification Cards:

New ID cards will be issued as follows:

  • Caremark will send new cards to all members
  • Aetna, BCBS, Delta, Surency and Quest are only sending cards to new members or members who make changes in coverages
  • NueSynergy will send new FSA accounts a debit card
  • Optum Bank is only sending new debit cards to new members enrolling in an HSA 
HealthQuest Rewards - Plan Year 2018

HealthQuest is a wellness rewards program that is part of the SEHP. For more information, visit the HealthQuest webpage.  

2018 HealthQuest Program - From January 1, 2018, employees and covered spouses enrolled in the medical portion of the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) have an opportunity to earn credits by participating in wellness activities offered through HealthQuest. Those who complete a required health assessment questionnaire worth 10 credits and earn the additional 30 credits by December 31, 2018, for a total of 40 credits, will receive the incentive which is a $480 annual discount on the medical plan premium for Plan Year 2019.  If only one individual completes the requirements, the premium incentive discount will be $240.

HSA or HRA participants (Plans C, N, J, and Q) can earn additional employer contributions to the employee’s HSA/HRA (up to $500 each per employee and covered spouse).  

Earning Your Credits - Employees and covered spouses can earn credits in 2018 and receive the HealthQuest premium discount.


Biometric Screening - Biometric screening events are being scheduled statewide and scheduling will begin 01/01/2018 using the HealthQuest portal or by phone at 1-888-275-1205 Option 3 (available 24/7). Fifteen biometric screening dates will be available in the Lawrence campus, from January through October 2018. 

403(b) and 457 Voluntary Retirement Plans

The University of Kansas offers two voluntary retirement savings plans that provide opportunities to make contributions on a before or after-tax basis.  While there are no University contributions made to either, the plans help employees supplement retirement income.

  • KPERS 457 deferred compensation plan (all employees may elect to participate)
  • Kansas Board of Regents 403(b) voluntary retirement plan (for benefits-eligible employees only)

For more information, please see Voluntary Retirement Plans, or email benefits@ku.edu

2018 Pre-Retirement and Financial Planning Seminars

A series of seminars designed to help faculty, staff, and families plan for financial security and an enjoyable retirement.  Reservations are not required and seminars are free of charge.  These seminars are not intended to provide individual investment advice. 

Seminars will be held in Alderson Auditorium, Level 4, of the Kansas Union: 


January 22, 2018

9:00 - 11:30

KPERS Benefits in Retirement

Presenter: KPERS


January 22, 2018

1:00 – 1:50

Planning Steps for Retirement

Presenter: Voya


January 22, 2018

2:00 – 2:50

Retirement Income

Presenter: Voya


January 22, 2018

3:00 – 4:00

Understanding Investing

Presenter: Voya


January 23, 2018**

9:00 – 11:30

Social Security Benefits in Retirement

Presenter: Lawrence Social Security Office


January 23, 2018

1:00 – 4:00

Health Insurance After Retirement

Presenter: State Employee Health Plan


January 25, 2018

9:00 – Noon

Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Presenter: Craig Reaves, J.D., Reaves Law Firm


January 25, 2018

1:30 – 3:30

Long Term Care

Presenter: Craig Reaves, J.D., Reaves Law Firm

**Pending availability related to possible federal government furlough   

All sessions will be available for on-demand viewing for 30 days after event with exception of Social Security Benefits in Retirement.

Beginning January 18, 2018, handouts for all sessions will be available on the HRM webpage.  In January, watch for an email from the Benefits Office which will provide complete details.

University Professional Development Course Offerings

The start of a new year is the perfect time to think about professional development to support all you want to accomplish in the year ahead. HRM Learning and Development is launching an expanded course catalog in 2018 and will be working with campus partners to facilitate learning opportunities in the new year. 

Harassment/Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct/Violence Reporting Obligations

As the current national conversation demonstrates, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and sexual violence are pervasive and pernicious.

As faculty and staff, we have a legal obligation, in addition to an ethical obligation, to learn how to recognize and respond to such incidents. 

  1. With a handful of exceptions, all KU employees are mandatory reporters — employees who are required to report to the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access incidents of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence, involving students or colleagues.
  2. It is important that you have information and understanding about sexual misconduct, its varying forms, and the effects it may have on individuals and workplace environments. Each of us contributes toward building and maintaining a healthy environment in which to learn and work.

Given this, we must ask that you complete the module on “Harassment/Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct/Violence Reporting Obligations” in KU’s Talent Development System by February 16, 2018. The academic break may provide a timely opportunity to complete this important required training.

  • The module takes approximately one hour to complete.
  • It will show up in your “To Do” tile after you log into the Talent Development System if you have not completed the module this year.
  • The content of this training may be difficult for those impacted by sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual violence. Please utilize the support resources in the attached Resource Wheel as needed.
  • The deadline for all employees to complete this is February 16, 2018.

If you have the following issues with the course, please send an email to itcsc@ku.edu

  1. Login issue
  2. Video not progressing
  3. Course is not marked as completed after the user went through the training

Solutions to common issues

SAML Errors:

You either need to allow all cookies or add this to your exception handling of cookies:

In your browser:
1. Clear cache and cookies
2. Add "KU.plateau.com" to your cookie exceptions
3. Exit browser and relaunch. Also make sure pop-ups are not blocked.

For instructions on how to do this for your specific browser go here: https://kuit.service-now.com/kb_view_customer.do?sysparm_article=KB0010243

Content is Not Progressing:

If the video is not progressing please “turn off” the accessibility button at the bottom of the screen and for best results use Mozilla Firefox (latest versions)

If the user is stuck at policy acknowledgment the most common error is the user not typing their “Legal Name”. The system is name sensitive.

Clear the cache and try again, as the browser may be remembering the error.

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 2018 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be available March 1, 2018, and the deadline is April 6, 2018

Fall 2018 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be available June 1, 2018, and the deadline is July 6, 2018

Spring 2019 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be available October 1, 2018, and the deadline is November 2, 2018.

Lean/Six Sigma Training

Human Resource Management and KU IT have partnered in coordinating Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt certification training at the Edwards Campus. The instructor is Heather McCain who used to lead quality control efforts at Garmin. Each certification consists of 4+ days of training (1 day/week for 5 weeks) with a certification test during the last class. Other units interested in participating in future cohorts can contact either Mike Rounds or Eric Freeze (KU IT). We will be coordinating 2018 cohorts in the near future.

(Lean/Six Sigma is a process/quality improvement approach. We are focusing on this particular tool in Admin & Finance to establish a common process improvement language and approach. For more information regarding Lean/Six Sigma please go to:  https://www.sixsigmaonline.org/). 

Time and Absence Roles Responsibilities

It is important that we communicate the roles and responsibilities of our employees, supervisors and time reviewers for Time and Absence reporting as this has a direct impact to accurate and timely pay.


  • Report Time worked by the end of each work week or clock in and out accurately.
  • Report Absences taken by the end of each work week.
  • The operator/user ID and time stamps are stored in HR/Pay when data is saved to meet the needs of various signature audits (including state and federal).
  • There should be rare circumstances in which Time or Absences are entered by others. 
  • For employees reporting clock times, if changes or corrections are required, the employee is responsible for notifying their supervisor or designated contact immediately with the correction.  This should be a rare occurrence.
    • Modification requests to Time or Absence request should be in email (writing) and will be used for the system audit documentation.

Supervisors (Managers-Approvers)

  • Review and approve accurate Time and Absences by the deadline.
  • If an employee is not reporting accurate Time or Absences by the end of the work week, the supervisor is to address promptly with the employee and update HR/Pay as appropriate.
  • If supervisors enter or modify an employee’s time, they are to document the reason for the entry exception in HR/Pay by using the timesheet comments. 
    • The comments are used for the audit documentation.
    • The employee’s email request may be copied into the timesheet comments.
  • Delegate in advance if unable to approve by the deadline.

Time Reviewer (Shared Service Center/Departmental Staff)

  • Provide guidance to employees on reporting Time and Absences.
  • Provide guidance to the supervisor for monitoring unapproved or exception time.
  • Only in very rare circumstances is new time or modified time entered by the staff with this role.
  • In the rare circumstance that a time reviewer enters or modifies an employee’s time, they are to document the reason for the entry exception in HR/Pay by using the timesheet comments.
    • The comments are used for the audit documentation.
    • The employee’s email request may be copied into the timesheet comments.

If you have any questions, please contact the HR/Pay System Team at hrpay@ku.edu or 4-0600 or your shared service center representative.

Affiliate Web Form

Requests for new affiliates or changes to existing affiliate statuses are now accepted online via an electronic form (https://humanresources.ku.edu/affiliates) to facilitate tracking and processing. Each Affiliate status has been clearly defined with corresponding titles to facilitate smarter completion of the form and smarter approval routing has been implemented.  If your unit utilizes the services of affiliates, training regarding these process improvements and the new online form are available monthly.  Please log-in to http://humanresources.ku.edu/learning-management-portal  to select a time that best works for you.

Walk-Ins Welcome at Immediate Care Clinic

Faculty and staff who develop flu symptoms or an achy back during the work day may be seen at the Immediate Care Clinic (ICC) on campus.  Watkins Health Services provides accessible and quick medical treatment for KU employees on a walk-in or appointment basis.  Walk-ins are welcome weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm when classes are in session or 8:00 am to 3:30 pm when classes are not in session. Co-pays are collected at time of service and claims are submitted to most insurance companies with the exception of Medicare or Medicaid.  For questions or to schedule an appointment, call the ICC at 785-864-95652.

The clinic provides treatment for common illnesses like colds, coughs, sore throats, sinus infections, ear aches, pink eye, rashes, bites, headaches, stomach aches, urinary discomfort and minor cuts and abrasions (non-work related).  For convenience, ancillary services like lab work, x-rays, immunizations and prescriptions are also accessible onsite.  Employees still need to have a primary care provider for preventive and on-going care and treatment of chronic conditions. Work related injuries are managed by Lawrence Memorial Hospital as the University’s approved provider.

KU affiliated corporations may also use the ICC.  Family members, former faculty and staff and retirees are not eligible for care.  

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Be the best you in 2018 by experiencing the benefits of massage from Watkins Health Services:

  1. Lower stress and improved mental health
  2. A boost in immunity
  3. Pain management
  4. Lower blood pressure and increased circulation
  5. Release of knots and increased mobility

Massage therapy is just one of the many services that faculty and staff can access at Watkins. You’ll find the faculty/staff rates are very affordable. Appointments can be made by calling 785-864-9507.  Gift certificates may be purchased for a co-worker or spouse from Watkins Business Office.

NEW: Arrange to bring Watkins massage therapist(s) onsite to your KU department, meeting or event. Chair massages for neck, shoulders and back are available in 15-minute increments at a rate of $15 per increment per therapist. To make a reservation for onsite massage, please call 785-864-97523.

Weight Watchers at Work Program
Deal Days/Open House

Thursdays, January 4th or January 11th at 11:30 a.m.

Discounted rate when you sign up at one of these meetings.

Meetings held at KU Endowment Building, West District

Join us for Weight Watchers At Work any Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at KU Endowment, 1891 Constant Ave. This Weight Watchers group meets in the privacy of the student call center at KU Endowment in West District (free parking!). Meetings include a private come-and-go weigh in from 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and a 30-minute program that begins at 11:30 a.m. Join any time! For more information, contact Lori Blaylock, coordinator, at 785-832-7337 or lblaylock@kuendowment.org or Kim Stewart, leader, at 785-213-5760 or kimberly.a.stewart@weightwatchers.com.

Grand Relaunching Ceremony for New Hawk Route Logo and Signage

April 10, 2018, Budig Hall 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M.

Join us on April 10, 2018 over the lunch hour to celebrate the relaunching of the Hawk Route.  The Hawk Route, our accessible route through campus, has a new logo and wayfare signage.  The logo was designed through a partnership between the ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility and Professor Shellhorn’s design class in the school of Architecture and Design. During the spring semester of 2017, design students created logos that signified inclusion, accessibility and navigation. A selection committee reviewed the students’ work and chose a winning design.  Provost Neeli Bendapudi, and Mr., and Mrs. Holt (parents of Piper Holt, student that designed the logo) will assist us in cutting the ribbon and relaunching the Hawk Route. Immediately following the relaunching ceremony, the Faculty/Staff Wellness Lunch-n-Learn will sponsor a trip through the new Hawk Route.  Please review the events on Accessible KU (http://accessibility.ku.edu) for more information regarding this event. 

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