January 2023 HRM Newsletter

Winter Color 2012-2013 Potter Lake, Campanile

Inside this Edition

Updates & Reminders

HRM Welcomes New Employees

Steps to Transform HRM and be a Best-in-Class Employer

Departure Resources and Exit Survey

Student Hourly Increase Deadline for Spring 2023

Employee Growth

Annual Mandatory Compliance Training

Goal and Evaluation Alignment with Jayhawks Rising

Supervisor Training

Employees of the Month


Central Bank at Work Educational Workshops

Mental Health First Aid

Faculty and Staff Wellness Committee: Lunch-N-Learn and Move-N-Learn


Vacation Leave and the Importance of Time Away

State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) – Plan Year 2023

Mandatory and Voluntary Retirement Plans

HRM Welcomes New Employees

Sydney Coleman joined the HRM Appointment Team the last of October.  Sydney previously worked as an escrow processor and closer for a title company here in Lawrence.  She obtained her Bachelors in Strategic Communications from Ottawa University.  Sydney brings great customer service, time management, and data entry skills to her new duties with us.  We couldn’t be happier to have Sydney join the Appointment Team!

Cody Brown joined the Employment Team as a Senior Recruitment Coordinator in December.  Cody comes to us from the Strong Shared Service Center when he handled HR Coordinator duties for a variety of departments.  He started at KU in March 2018 after receiving double Bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University in General Business Management & Human Resource Management.  We are excited to have Cody join our team!

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Steps to Transform HRM and be a Best-in-Class Employer

The Provost Office recently announced changes in our human resources structure that will advance our efforts to be an exceptional learning community.  This transformation is foundational and critical to advancing all the other goals in Jayhawks Rising, our strategic plan.

We hope the disruption during this initiative will be minimal. We will be back in touch soon with additional information about specific steps and how the transformation will help KU be all it aspires to be.

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Departure Resources and Exit Survey

In an effort to further our workplace excellence and advance a culture that values the contributions and aspirations of our employees, it is incredibly important to Human Resource Management to learn more about your experiences during your time at KU. HRM invites all departing or transferring employees to participate in a confidential Exit Survey.

If you are planning a change in positions or workplace, know of someone who has recently shifted positions or left the University, or are a supervisor that is aware of an employee’s plans to transition, please refer to the university Departure Resources. Feedback collected from Exit Surveys is vital to the continued success of the university and we will use the feedback provided to continue to strive towards positive change across the institution.

For more information and resources, please visit Human Resource Management.

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Student Hourly Increase Deadline for Spring 2023

Following the guidelines we put in place last fall for student employee increases (see Student Compensation), the Shared Service Centers will be reach out to supervisors after the first of the year with spreadsheets of current student employees.  If the department/supervisor wants to self-fund a salary increase for any of their students for the Spring semester, the increase effective date will be 2/20/23.  The SSCs must have the information no later than 2/13/23 to process the files for the increases to HRM.  This is an optional activity for departments/supervisors and if increases are not awarded during the Spring Semester, the next opportunity for an increase to be awarded will be June 2023 and/or September 2023.  If you have any questions about the process, please reach out to HRM Employment at employ@ku.edu or your Shared Service Center Representative.

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Annual Mandatory Compliance Training

In order to simplify our mandatory training process we will be launching all compliance training courses for 2023 at one time. The annual compliance training window in 2023 will be from early February through late March.  The training offerings will cover critical compliance information related to Harassment Prevention, DEIB, and IT Security. Exact dates and course titles will be communicated through KU Today as we get closer to the launch date.

Courses will have due dates associated with them in MyTalent, and each completion is tracked. As such, please expect follow-up communication if courses are not completed during the compliance training window. We look forward to helping you complete the mandatory training in order to make KU a safe and welcoming community.

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Goal and Evaluation Alignment with Jayhawks Rising

Typically this time of year we are sending communications regarding staff performance evaluations. As a reminder, the staff performance review period will now follow the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) rather than the calendar year. Therefore, there is no annual evaluation process to complete at this time.  The annual evaluation process will start in late spring/early summer. 

If not already done, supervisors should meet one-on-one with the staff they supervise to identify their goals and expectations for the new evaluation period.  Annual goal setting ensures that staff know what is expected in their positions and clearly communicates priorities for work and the unit overall.

If you goals and expectations have been established, this message can serve as a reminder for supervisors to check in with staff on progress and to provide feedback on their performance toward the responsibilities of their position and the expectations that have been identified. 

Human Resource Management has developed a video on Best Practices in Goal Setting and a presentation on Best Practices in Providing Feedback.  We encourage staff and supervisors of staff to view these resources and.

Goals are to be documented in writing on the staff member’s goal plan in MyTalent.  It is also recommended that feedback be documented on the staff member’s goal plan as well. Tutorial videos are available on the Human Resource Management website.

The goals added for staff to the FY2023 Goal Plan will cover 18 months (January 1, 2022-June 30, 2023), rather than just the fiscal year, due to the timing of the transition. More details can be found on the HRM website.  While both staff and supervisors of staff can establish goals within the system, ultimately setting goals and expectations is the responsibility of the supervisor.

Starting with this new FY2023 Goal Plan, and subject to your leadership, Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS) have the option to align their goals with the 13 objectives that make up the foundation of KU’s institutional strategic plan. The Jayhawks Rising Strategic Plan is organized around three institutional priorities and 13 objectives.

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Supervisor Training

University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards campus staff who were hired, promoted or appointed to a supervisory position after Oct. 1, 2022, are now required to complete STEP within one year.

The Supervisory Training for Excellence in Performance (STEP) program is a professional development curriculum designed to improve the capacity of new and seasoned supervisors to lead with vision, confidence, equity and inclusion at KU.

The course consists of 16 sessions delivered over eight course days. The group meets one day each week for both a morning and afternoon session. Supervisors must take STEP within a year of being hired, promoted or appointed. The program only applies to KU staff, including academic staff. Faculty who supervise are not required to participate in STEP at this time.

To enroll in STEP for 2023, choose one of the four links below to register through the KU MyTalent portal.

  • STEP Winter 2023 (Virtual)

    • 1/26/23 – 3/16/23
    • Eight consecutive Thursdays from 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.
    • All sessions delivered via Zoom
    • Click here to register
  • STEP Spring 2023
    • 4/18/23 – 6/6/23
    • Eight consecutive Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – noon and 1 – 3 p.m.
    • All sessions take place on Lawrence campus in 204 Joseph R. Pearson (JRP) Hall
    • Click here to register
  • STEP Summer 2023 (Virtual)
    • 7/19/23 – 9/6/23
    • Eight consecutive Wednesdays from 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.
    • All sessions delivered via Zoom
    • Click here to register
  • STEP Fall 2023
    • 9/28/23 – 11/16/23
    • Eight consecutive Thursdays from 10 a.m. – noon and 1 – 3 p.m.
    • All sessions take place on Lawrence campus in 204 Joseph R. Pearson (JRP) Hall
    • Click here to register

The STEP curriculum aligns with the Jayhawks Rising strategy to “develop a career life cycle support model for all categories of employees” under the Increase Workplace Satisfaction objective. The course is designed to help supervisors develop stronger leadership skills, as well as the knowledge and training to effectively engage and support their employees. Through this professional and personal development, supervisors will be better prepared for future career opportunities at KU. Supervisors are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible to secure the course block that best fits their schedule.

If you have any questions about STEP enrollment or requirements, please contact Kathleen Ames-Stratton, director of human resources for learning & development, at kames-stratton@ku.edu.

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Employees of the Month

Thank you to all who took the time to nominate individuals for Employees of the Month, and we encourage others to follow their example and nominate an exceptional staff member by completing the Employee of the Month Nomination Form.

Winners receive a $750 award, a surprise visit from a member of the Provost’s Office, and they become a candidate for the 2023 Employee of the Year Award.

Nominations need not come from an individual’s supervisor; anyone can nominate staff whom they feel go out-of-their way to help others or exceed the normal requirements of their jobs.  This program is open to all regular staff with half-time or greater appointment, with a year of service at the time of nomination.  Employees of most affiliated corporations are also eligible for this program.

October – December 2022 Winners:

Brad Richard, Facilities Maintenance Services

Ronald Wallace, Facilities Maintenance Services

Jack Campbell Jr., Public Safety Office

Stacy Ash, Music Admin

Meseret Guremu, Edwards Campus Custodial Services

Tina Todd, Custodial Services

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Central Bank at Work Educational Workshops

Central Bank is KU’s community banking partner that offers traditional banking services as well as financial education workshops, and more.  Learn more by visiting Bank at Work Powered by Central Bank.  The following workshops are now open for registration:

  • Budgeting Basics

    • (Instructor: Amanda Eisenlohr) Q1 Date & Time: Tuesday, January 24th @ 10am

      • Struggling to make ends meet each month? This in-depth workshop will walk you through how to live comfortably within your means so you can start saving for the future and eliminating financial stress day by day with smart habits.
  • Credit 101
    • (Instructor: Becky Thomas) Q1 Date & Time:Tuesday, February 7th @ 10am

      • Learn more about understanding, establishing, maintaining, and rebuilding credit in this course that will help you achieve your long-term financial goals.
  • Buying Your First Home
    • (Instructor: Doug Walker) Q1 Date & Time:Wednesday, March 10th @ 10am

      • Learn all about the benefits of home ownership, what you need to know before you apply and all about the home-buying process.
  • Creating A Living Financial Plan: Work, Life & Money
    • (Instructor: Tom Wood) Q1 Date & Time: Tuesday, March 28th @ 10am

      • No matter what your short or long-term financial goals are, hear from experts on the best tips and methods to achieve those goals with smart and well-thought-out planning.

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Mental Health First Aid (Virtual)

Virtual Mental Health First Aid is a course designed to teach everyone how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use disorder or crisis as well as the skills to be helpful and supportive to someone that is struggling. Participants are taught how to apply the 5-step Mental Health First Aid Action Plan in a wide variety of situations, from helping someone through a panic attack or to working with someone who may be suicidal. After signing up for this class, you will receive email linking you to a 2-hour pre-work session to accomplish on your own prior to the live Zoom class at the date and time you have selected. There is a $30.00 materials fee for this course. Offered through a partnership between Human Resource Management--Learning & Development and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. Contact hrdept@ku.edu with questions.

Tuesday, April 18 | 9 a.m. -3 p.m. | Zoom

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Faculty and Staff Wellness Committee: Lunch-N-Learn and Move-N-Learn

The Faculty and Staff Wellness Committee invites you to the January Lunch-N-Learn! Alex Barajas, PhD Licensed Psychologist, with KU Counseling and Psychological Services, will present Mindfulness Meditation to Manage Your Daily Life Stress on Wednesday January 18th from 12:00-12:45PM, virtually. This presentation will provide participants an opportunity to learn the principles of mindfulness meditation and its usefulness in managing daily life stressors. You’ll have the opportunity to engage in a meditation practice and learn ways to incorporate mindfulness in their daily life to manage their stress and take care of your mental health. Registration for this event is open! Please click HERE to get signed up.

The registration for our February Move-N-Learn is also open! This event will be on Wednesday February 1st from 12:10-12:50PM and features KU Botanical Science Greenhouses. Did you know that KU is home to a curated collection of rare plants from all over the world? Please consider joining us on a tour of the KU Botanical Science Greenhouses located on a rooftop in Haworth Hall. Patti Beedles is the Greenhouse Manager and will be conducting the tour.  Space is limited to 20 people with a wait-list. To register and get more information about this event, please click HERE.

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Vacation Leave and the Importance of Time Away

Leave is a major part of an employee’s compensation package at KU. 

Research shows that using vacation time improves an employee’s focus by 78 percent and alleviates burnout by 81 percent (e.g., data source). Human Resource Management encourages supervisors to monitor their employee’s vacation balances and to be flexible with leave requests so that employees may take appropriate amounts of vacation leave, as this benefits both the employee and the workplace overall. The beginning of the academic year is a good time to develop an action plan for vacation use so that eligible employees may feel enabled to utilize this important benefit. 

Employees may earn up to 8 hours of vacation leave each biweekly payroll period until the maximum 176 hours is earned in a fiscal year. Once an employee reaches the maximum balance of 304 hours, they will not earn vacation leave until the balance is reduced.  

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State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) – Plan Year 2023

Please refer to the 2023 SEHP Benefits Booklet for detailed information about plan design, premiums (page 38), and updates.

Paycheck Deductions
SEHP elections made during Open Enrollment became effective January 1, 2023.  We encourage you to review the January 6, 2023, paycheck as it reflects the first premiums and contributions deducted for your calendar year 2023 SEHP elections. To view your paycheck, please log into hr.ku.edu, click on KU Payroll Dashboard, then paychecks.

HealthQuest credits can be earned through 12/31, and those credits can impact the calendar year 2023 premium discount.  If you earned credits to qualify for the HealthQuest premium discount, but those credits were awarded late, they might not be reflected on the first 2023 check, and the SEHP will process adjustments to reflect the correct premiums in future checks.

Click on this worksheet for the semi-monthly discounted and non-discounted premium rates.  For 2023, employees with spouses covered under the SEHP medical plan, both the employee and spouse had to earn enough credits to qualify for the full $20 semi-monthly discount in calendar year 2023. If only one earned enough credits, then a $10 semi-monthly discount would have been earned. If you have questions about the HealthQuest premium discount, please contact the SEHP at SEHPHealthQuest@ks.gov

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, optional group life insurance and/or The Hartford voluntary 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 18 checks (the first two checks of the months of January through May and September through December).  These deductions will not be taken from any other paychecks received during the year. 

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

Health Savings and Health Reimbursement Accounts (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.  The first employee contribution will be taken from the January 6, 2023, paycheck.   The employer contributions will be made on this paycheck schedule:

1st quarter - January 6, 2023

2nd quarter - April 14, 2023

3rd quarter - July 7, 2023

4th quarter - October 13, 2023

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
FSAs for calendar year 2023 became effective January 1, 2023.  The first 2023 deduction for Health and/or Dependent Care FSAs will be taken from the January 7, 2023, paycheck. 

  • NueSynergy will send FSA accounts a new debit card if the current card is close to expiration.  Additionally, you can choose other claim submission methods.

Health Care/Limited Purpose FSA participants can carry over up to $610 of remaining calendar year 2023 FSA funds into the next plan year and those funds may be used for qualified medical expenses incurred during that year. This valuable feature gives you the flexibility to spend your FSA funds at a future date and reduces the likelihood that your unused funds will be forfeited. The carryover will not count against your annual election. Remaining Health Care/Limited Purpose FSA funds will be automatically carried over to the type of FSA in which you are currently enrolled, as long as the balance is $25 or greater. If the balance is below $25, funds will not automatically carry over and will only be accessible during the run-out period (4/15/2023). After the run-out period, any remaining balance will be forfeited.

For more info, watch the FSA overview video, visit the NueSynergy website or contact 1-855-750-9440 or CustomerService@nuesynergy.com

HealthQuest Rewards – Plan Year 2023

HealthQuest is a wellness rewards program offered by the SEHP. For more information, visit the HealthQuest webpage.  

2023 HealthQuest Program - Employees enrolled in a SEHP medical plan can earn credits by participating in HealthQuest wellness activities. Those who earn the required number of credits in 2023*, will receive the $480 annual medical plan premium discount for Plan Year 2024.  

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

New for calendar year 2023: covered spouses will no longer be required to participate for employees to earn the calendar year 2024 premium discount or calendar year 2023 additional employer HSA/HRA contributions. 

*A new HealthQuest portal and credit information will be coming for 2023.  More information will be distributed as it is available. 

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Mandatory and Voluntary Retirement

This 1st Quarter Newsletter about the Kansas Board of Regents 403(b) Mandatory and Voluntary Retirement Plans contains information about new IRS 2023 contribution limits, e-delivery of statements, online tools and calculators, and on-demand webinars.

The Mandatory Plan is available for eligible faculty and unclassified professional staff.

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 the University does not make contributions to either plan, this helps employees supplement their 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

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