HR update September 2017

Hello JMU Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to another exciting year at James Madison University! The university is growing by leaps and bounds as we welcome our largest ever first-year class. Each of us plays an important role in ensuring that our students are able to learn and thrive in a supportive and inclusive educational environment.

As I begin my sixth year at JMU I am impressed daily by you, the employees of JMU, who make this a truly special place. The buildings and technology make up the physical landscape of a university, but the people are what truly make JMU home for so many. I appreciate your hard work and dedication as we begin the 2017-18 academic year, and I wish you all the best. Thank you for all you do for JMU and for our students.

With gratitude and warm regards,

Jonathan Alger


President's Purple Star Awards

The university strives to promote the success of faculty and staff who contribute and support the university through their daily interactions, research, and commitment to JMU. In support of the Governor's Award program, JMU has established the President's Purple Star Awards to recognize the contributions to the university made by faculty and staff.

The recipients received recognition at the President’s Opening Address ceremony and a certificate commemorating the award.

2017 Purple Star Award Winners:

Agency Star: Dawn Knight

Innovation: Joan Fahrney

Workplace Health, Wellness and Safety: Dr. Mary Thompson

Community Service and Volunteerism: Delo Blough

Customer Service: Jill Staley Wade

Career Achievement: Joe Urgo

Teamwork: The East Campus Power Plant

  • Steven MacRae
  • Kenny Stickley
  • Thomas Burkholder
  • Aaron Carper
  • Cody Warlitner
  • Deland Morris
  • Alfred Miller
  • Randal Alger
  • Mark Hess
  • Steve Raines
  • Glen Smith
  • Brian Moshier
  • Reginald Lawson
  • Homer Whetzel
  • Dennis Hart

Save the Date

Plans are underway for the 45th Annual Employee Years of Service Recognition Awards Program Friday, October 13 in the Festival Conference and Student Center Ballroom. Invitations will be emailed soon. If you or someone you supervise are expecting an invitation for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 years of service and do not receive one, please contact Shea Tussing at 540/568-8056 or email

The Faculty Years of Service Recognition Program will be held Thursday, October 12 in the Festival Conference and Student Center Ballroom. Questions regarding faculty invitations can be directed to either Yvonne Miller at 540/568-3429 or email or Sheila Hopkins at 540/568-6616 or email

Time is Running Out!

Classified Employee Performance Evaluations due in Human Resources Friday, September 29

The annual performance cycle for non-probationary, classified employees runs October 25 through October 24 of the following year. The completed Annual Performance Evaluation Form is due in Human Resources, MSC 7009, no later than Friday, September 29. Supervisors should also attach the employee’s completed Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) to the evaluation form.

Please note: If rating an employee as an overall Extraordinary Contributor or Below Contributor, the Acknowledgment of Extraordinary Contribution or Notice of Improvement Needed (unless a Written Notice is on file) must be attached to the completed performance evaluation to support these overall ratings.

Please refer to the Performance Evaluation Process on HR’s website for links to applicable forms, policies and process details.

Contact your HR Consultant with questions you may have regarding performance management and JMU’s evaluation process.

Payroll’s Dollars & Sense

Calendar and Deadline Change

Due to the extra time off granted during December, Payroll Services had to make changes to their deadlines, including the creation date of timesheets for pay run X-24. These revisions are now reflected on the payroll web-page. Please reference the Calendar and Deadlines site and discard any prior calendar versions.

Mailing Address in MyMadison (Employee Tab)

Payroll Services would like to remind employees to check their mailing address in MyMadison by December 31, under the Employee Tab, to ensure timely delivery of their W-2 document in January. Payroll Services will not mail W-2 documents to mail stop codes, JMU departments, JMU student PO boxes or to the JMU designated zip code of 22807 due to the confidential nature of the information contained in the document. It only takes a minute to verify your address in MyMadison, but it may take the mail up to two weeks to return a W-2 document with an incorrect or invalid address. Reissue W-2 requests will be prepared on a weekly basis starting Monday, February 5, 2018.

NOTE: Student employees may need to update their mailing address under the Employee Tab for payroll purposes and under the Student Tab for other student related year-end documents.

Payments to Non-Residents

Please keep in mind that having a social security number does NOT equal U.S. citizenship… just because a foreign individual has a U.S. Social Security Number does not automatically mean that JMU can pay them for services. Before making a formal commitment to bring a foreign national to campus, the sponsoring department must determine whether it is legal to pay them, is the payment subject to tax, and what policies and procedures must be followed.

Please reference Payments to Short-Term Foreign National Visitors for detailed instructions and information.

Questions may be directed to Sherry Willis, Payroll Operations Manager, 540/568-8034 or

Information Technology - Windows 10 Updates

JMU IT will be updating certain versions of Windows 10 on managed, JMU-owned computers so they can continue to receive security patches from Microsoft. This update is larger than the typical monthly patches and will take anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes for the installation. You will have the option to start this installation at a convenient time prior to the deadline. We recommend that you leave your computer on campus to complete the update, save and close all of your work, and start the installer as you leave for the day since your computer will be unavailable for use during the process and will restart several times.

Please see for more information.

If you have questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at 540/568-3555, or email

JMU Well-Attended Wellness Fair

In spite of the weather, the first ever JMU Wellness Fair was a success. With over 350+ employees and 37 vendors, the day was an opportunity to focus on wellness and health. Virginia Blood Services reported that employees who gave blood during the event exceeded their goal by 25%--collecting 20 life-saving units of blood over four hours! In addition, over 80 employees took advantage of getting their free flu shot at the flu shot clinic. Also, 16 women took advantage of the ever-important mammogram screening through the Sentara RMH Mobile Mammography, a free wellness benefit through our health insurance. Everyone commented on the delicious, healthy food prepared by Aramark.

The following employees were the lucky winners of the door prizes:

1 – Two JMU Football Single Game Tickets (donated by JMU Athletic Ticket Office)

Sue Burket

2 - $25 gift certificates to the Bookstore (donated by Follett)

Tori Groene

Ryan Price

1 – UREC Nutrition Analysis Gift Certificate (donated by UREC)

Josiah Hansen

10 – Dining Vouchers (donated by Aramark)

Susan May

Peter Poage

Christina Myers

Jane Sorel

Deborah Porter

Kim Strawderman

Courtney Hodges

Cheryl Lantz

Chad Adams

Sara Hodges

2 – Free Entry Tickets to Valley Vines Twilight 5K (donated by VA Momentum)

Sherry Brooks

Craig Ganoe

1 – TOPS Travel Mug (donated by TOPS)

Vickie Raynes

A special thanks to Domino’s Pizza for donating lunch to our vendors. Also, we had two vendors who were voted helpful/engaging at the fair: JMU Talent Development and Harrisonburg OBGYN.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Wellness Fair.

It’s Flu Season Once Again!

Employees enrolled in the state health insurance plans may receive free flu shots this year at pharmacies participating in their health plan’s network. COVA Care, COVA HDHP and COVA HealthAware members also may receive flu shots at no cost from network physicians’ offices and other participating providers. The insurance will pay 100% for flu shots administered at a physician’s office; however, your doctor may charge a copayment for the visit, which will not be reimbursed. Kaiser Permanente HMO members must go to a participating Kaiser medical center.

Visit to find participating providers, questions and answers on each plan. Since an appointment may be required, it is advised to call ahead to the participating pharmacy to verify that the flu shots are available.

Next General Election is Tuesday, November 7

Election Day for the next general election is Tuesday, November 7. The polls open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Voters are required to show a photo ID at the polls. As employees exercise their right to vote, there are a few rules to keep in mind:

Election Day Attendance

Election Day can present staffing challenges resulting from employees wanting to arrive late or to leave early. It’s important to ensure that employees have a reasonable opportunity to vote, to maintain sufficient staffing coverage throughout the day, and to employ an approach that is equitably applied to all staff.

  • Encourage employees to vote before work, after work, or during their lunch breaks, and to coordinate their schedules with supervisors and co-workers.
  • Advise employees that late arrivals and requests for early departures or extended lunch breaks will require the use of personal leave. Annual, family/personal, overtime, compensatory, or recognition leave may be used for this purpose. Community Service Leave cannot to be used to vote.
  • Consider adjusting the schedules of non-exempt employees as an alternative to using leave.

Election Day Volunteers

Employees are encouraged to volunteer to be Officers of Election. Those who serve as Officers of Election shall be allowed to use up to 8.0 hours of Civil and Work-Related Leave on Election Day. As with all leave, supervisory approval is required.

Employees who serve as Officers of Election shall be allowed to use Civil and Work-Related Leave to attend the required Officer of Election certification training only when the employee's locality does not offer the training during non-work hours. Training schedules are available from local registrars and are typically posted on the localities’ websites. Contact Meghan Schaeffer, Leave Coordinator, if you plan to serve in this capacity.

If an employee uses Civil and Work-Related Leave to work as an Officer of Election and receives payment for duties and/or training, (s)he must submit the payment to the Commonwealth. Contact Payroll Services to arrange the return of payment.

  • If the employee wishes to retain the payment, (s)he must use annual, family/personal, overtime, compensatory, or recognition leave.
  • Employees who are reimbursed for expenses only (travel, parking, etc.) are permitted to keep such payments.
  • Neither Civil and Work-Related Leave nor Community Service Leave may be used by employees who wish to volunteer on Election Day in another capacity (e.g., poll workers not certified as Officers of Election, political workers, etc.) These activities are considered political activities, not community services as defined in the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Policy 4.05-Civil and Work-Related Leave.

Virginia Department of Elections:

New Financial Wellness Program Coming for Members

VRS members soon will have a new way to fine-tune their money-management skills and make sense of credit, insurance, taxes and other financial decisions that arise in day-to-day life.

Beginning later this month on the VRS website, members can access the myVRS Financial Wellness program, powered by Enrich. The offerings include articles, infographics and videos to help members make the most of their finances and manage their money effectively as they plan for retirement.

Later this year, VRS members who log into their myVRS accounts will have access to premium content. Calculators, educational games, budgeting tools and a library of mini-courses will help members evaluate their current financial knowledge and improve the money skills most important to them.

VRS is providing these resources to help members grow their knowledge and confidence in making day-to-day financial decisions, which will, in turn, aid them in preparing for retirement.

National Retirement Security Week is October 15-21

Is your retirement looking financially secure? Are you saving enough today for your future?

Are you taking advantage of all FREE retirement money available to you? October 15-21 is National Retirement Security Week (NRSW). This week provides an opportunity for you to revisit, think about or update your personal retirement goals and determine if you are on track in establishing a secure future.

Keep an eye out for additional communications and resources to help you make the most out of National Retirement Security Week and sign up to attend “Planning for Retirement Today and Taking Advantage of All that JMU Offers”!

Visit the Benefits page to check out ways you could be saving for your retirement through Supplemental Retirement Plan options and earning FREE money with the Employer Paid Cash Match!

VRS Plan 1, 2 and Hybrid Members: Check out the Virginia Retirement System’s educational and Retirement Planning resources here!

New Paycheck Calculator for VRS Hybrid Members

If you are a member of the VRS Hybrid retirement plan, there is a new tool available to assist you in seeing the impact of hybrid voluntary contributions and other deductions on your paycheck This visually interactive calculator allows you to experiment with various percentages of voluntary contributions and choose a percentage that works best for your personal situation. As a reminder, you may change your hybrid voluntary contributions quarterly. Changes to the deduction must be received by ICMA by the 15th of September, December, March, or June to be effective with the next quarter.

Benefits Broadcast

Our goal with the Benefits Broadcast is to feature a specific benefit each month. This month’s featured benefit is…

All employees eligible for benefits are covered with life insurance from the first day of employment. Your basic life insurance coverage is an employer-paid benefit; therefore, you will see no deduction from your paycheck for basic group life insurance. For natural death, the benefit amount is equal to your compensation, rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled. In the case of an accidental death, the benefit amount is double the natural death benefit.

The employer-paid basic life insurance policy also includes an accidental dismemberment benefit. For the accidental loss of one limb or the sight of one eye, your benefit is equal to your compensation rounded to the next highest thousand. For the accidental loss of two or more limbs, total loss of eyesight or the loss of one limb and one eye, your benefit is equal to your compensation rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled.

The policy features a safety belt benefit which pays an additional amount equal to 10% of the accidental death or dismemberment benefit or $50,000, whichever is less, if you die or suffer dismemberment in an accident while driving or riding in a private passenger vehicle. In addition, if you die in an accident 75 miles or more from home, the policy will pay a repatriation benefit for the cost of transportation to return your remains to your home, up to $5,000.

If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and have fewer than 12 months to live, you can withdraw some or all of your life insurance coverage to use for any purpose with the accelerated death benefit. Your beneficiary or survivor will receive any amount remaining in your coverage upon your death.

This basic life insurance policy continues when you retire at no cost; however, your coverage begins to reduce on January 1 following one calendar year of retirement. The reduction rate is 25% each January 1 until the coverage reaches 25% of the total life insurance benefit value at retirement.

In addition to the basic group life insurance coverage, you may elect optional group life insurance coverage for you, your spouse, and dependent children.

Optional group life insurance provides benefits for natural and accidental death or dismemberment, and the cost for the premium is an after-tax payroll deduction. You may purchase between 1-4 times your compensation, not to exceed $750,000, and your spouse is eligible for ½ the amount of the additional coverage, not to exceed $375,000. Children are covered at a flat rate of $10,000-$30,000, depending on which additional coverage option is elected. Proof of good health (evidence of insurability) is required in the following cases if: you apply for coverage for you, your spouse, or children after 31 days of your employment date; you wish to purchase more than $375,000 for yourself; you wish to increase your coverage; or, if your spouse’s insurance amount is more than ½ your salary.

Optional group life insurance coverage may be continued when you retire. You may opt to pay for two times additional coverage to the basic life insurance policy, and the amount begins to reduce 25% based on your age. This reduction begins with your normal retirement age, with coverage ending at age 80.

It is very important to keep your beneficiary designation up-to-date since VRS will pay benefits according to the latest beneficiary designation on record.

Please contact a Benefits Specialist or email if you have any questions concerning your life insurance benefits.

JMU Talent Development


  • Carpe Diem for Career Growth (TD1678)
  • Be Your Customer’s Hero (TD2179)
  • Cultivate Your Calm (TD2171)
  • LGBTQ 101: Understanding Gender and Sexual Diversity (TD2056)
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work (TD1904)
  • Estate Planning (TD1924)
  • Student Employment Essentials (TD1465)
  • Game On: Personal Power Plays (TD2167)
  • The Greatest Coach Ever: Practical Coaching in the Workplace (TD1976)
  • Grant Proposal Development (TD1501)
  • Appreciative Inquiry Basics: Help Your Team S.O.A.R. (TD2052)

Visit Talent Development’s webpage for a listing of all they have to offer!

Feed Virginia Day of Action is Friday, September 29

“In every part of Virginia, local organizations will be hosting events that support our food system and promote healthy foods and communities…I hope you will consider getting involved in this great cause by volunteering your time to help end hunger in Virginia. To learn more about the Virginia Food Access Network and the Day of Action, or to sign up to volunteer, please visit”

-First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe

What’s Happening at UREC?

Cycle Central

Shenandoah Bicycle Company, a downtown Harrisonburg bike shop, is now operating UREC’s Cycle Central right on campus! Cycle Central offers full-service bike repair as well as a comprehensive selection of products for your bicycle needs. They can also provide pointers about riding on and off campus, getting fitted and comfortable on your bike, and how to interact with vehicles on the roadway.

Located in the UREC Adventure Center, Cycle Central will be open Monday-Thursday 4:00-8:00pm and Friday-Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm this Fall. If you are bringing a bike in for repair, please use the Adventure Center Pick-Up and Drop-Off location on the east side of the building. Questions about services, products, pricing, and payment can be directed to General questions, concerns, or comments can also be directed to the Associate Director for UREC Services.

FAST (FAculty & STaff) Fitness and Group Exercise

Looking to exercise in a group setting with your colleagues? Then FAST Fitness is for you! A certified and licensed instructor will lead this Hatha Yoga class in the Memorial Hall Aux Gym. FAST Fitness takes place: Tuesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm ($28), Thursdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm ($28), or Tuesdays & Thursdays Bundle, 5:30 – 6:30 pm ($50). There are two sessions this fall taking place: August 30 through October 19 (spots are still available!) and October 24 through December 7. All fitness levels welcome. Register at UREC with flex or at with credit card!

Swim Lessons

Register your child now for UREC’s “Learn to Swim” series! Classes offered include:

  • Parent & Child: 6 months to 3 years ($35)
  • Preschool: 4 to 5 years ($40)
  • Youth: 6 to 9 years ($45)
  • Private swim lessons ($65 for five half-hour sessions, $120 for ten half-hour sessions for JMU faculty and staff)

Registration is now open for this fall’s second session taking place Sundays, October 15 through November 12. Visit for class descriptions and to register using a credit card. You can also register at UREC with flex.

International Week 2017

As the Office of International Programs becomes the Center for Global Engagement, we are happy to announce the 2017 International Week theme, “Global Engagement: Out of Many, One.” Though we are many and represent immense diversity that we should celebrate, our hope for the future lies in our ability to connect with one another and collaborate. Global engagement, after all, happens right here in our own communities, as well as abroad.

Human Resources is dedicated to customer service, a positive approach to change and the pursuit of excellence that promotes university and individual success.


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