HR Update February 2021

Campus Scenes

Friday, March 12 is a university holiday!

Floating Holiday for JMU

Election Day, November 2, is now a generally recognized state holiday. Since November 2 occurs within JMU’s fall academic calendar, instead of closing on November 2, the university has designated the state’s Election Day holiday to be used as a floating holiday.

All classified employees and A&P faculty are granted 8.00 hours of Recognition Leave to use at their discretion, with supervisor approval. This floating holiday must be taken in the full 8.00 hour increment and will expire if not taken on or before Friday, December 31, 2021. Select the RL TAKEN option from the drop down menu in MyMadison.

Bereavement Leave - A New Leave Type

All classified employees and A&P faculty are granted three days (24 hours) of Bereavement Leave each leave year to use following the loss of an immediate family member. Bereavement Leave can be taken to grieve an immediate family member’s (defined as parent, spouse, or child) death, prepare for and attend the funeral, and/or attend to other immediate post-death matters.

Bereavement Leave can be taken in any increment, the minimum being .25 hour, and must be approved by a supervisor. Select the BL TAKEN option from the drop down menu in MyMadison.

Service Recognition Leave Benefit

The university is pleased to announce that the Service Recognition Leave benefit has been reinstated after being "frozen" by the Governor in response to the financial implications of COVID-19. Eligible classified employees and A&P faculty having a service anniversary date on or after January 10, 2021 will receive 40.00 hours of Service Recognition Leave on their eligible service anniversary date, to be used within 12 months.

Service Recognition Leave has been retroactively awarded to classified employees and A&P faculty who had an eligible service anniversary date between April 23, 2020 - January 9, 2021. Those employees received 40.00 hours of Service Recognition Leave with an effective date of January 10, 2021, to be used by January 10, 2022.

Contact Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist, 540-568-3974, for guidance on these and other leave benefits.

Benefits Broadcast

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

Shared Savings Incentive Program

COVA Care, COVA HDHP, and COVA HealthAware members are eligible for the Shared Savings Incentive Program. These voluntary incentive programs offer cash rewards when you shop for better-value health care services. Many common medical services are shoppable, including mammograms, colonoscopies, MRIs, labs/bloodwork, and more.

For employees enrolled in the COVA Care Health Plan and the COVA High Deductible Health Plan, SmartShopper is the shared savings incentive program. So how does it work?

Your doctor recommends an eligible medical service.

1. Visit www.cova.smartshopper.com to register for an account. Enter your Anthem ID as it is presented on your insurance card.

2. Call the SmartShopper Personal Assistant Team (PAT) at 1-844-277-8991 before you have the eligible procedure. The Personal Assistant will help you:

  • understand options;
  • guide you to the best-value care;
  • look at preferences for convenience, cost and quality; and
  • schedule appointments as well as handle re-authorizations.

3. You have the procedure at the high-value location of your choice.

4. Once the claim is paid, SmartShopper verifies that the location qualifies for an incentive and triggers the reward process. Rewards vary from $25 to $500, depending on the procedure and where you have it done. There is no cap on how many rewards you can earn.

For more information, watch the SmartShopper Video and the Frequently Asked Questions.

For employees enrolled in the COVA HealthAware plan, Aetna Informed Rewards is the shared savings incentive program. So how does it work?

  1. Go to www.Aetna.com/about-us/login.html and log into your Aetna member website.
  2. Search for service in the “Find Care & Pricing” section.
  3. Identify eligible service and activate your rewards.

Stuart Hall School

JMU and Stuart Hall School—a college preparatory boarding/day school located in Staunton, VA that serves students from the local area and around the world—have enjoyed a partnership through which children of full-time JMU employees have received an across-the-board Stuart Hall tuition discount. Stuart Hall recently shared with us that, as they plan for the 2021-22 school year and put in place a new strategic plan, they have implemented a new approach to tuition-setting known as Indexed Tuition.

Under this new approach, families have the opportunity to apply for a customized tuition level that is indexed to their personal finances, up to a maximum tuition level. Families who are interested in participating in this optional program will be asked to submit a financial application, which the school will use to set a tuition level specific to the family. This personalized tuition option will replace the across-the-board discount for JMU families with newly enrolled students going forward.

“We at Stuart Hall are dedicated to providing an excellent college preparatory education with a diverse student body, and it is our desire that the families who are committed to our philosophy and values are able to attend,” wrote Stuart Hall’s Head of School Michael Robinson. “We feel confident that our indexed approach to tuition setting will support this goal and continue to serve the children of JMU employees who wish to take advantage of the rich Stuart Hall experience.”

For more information on Stuart Hall School, its admissions process, and the Indexed Tuition financial application, please see visit the School’s website by clicking here or email the School’s admissions team at admissions@stuart-hall.org.

New York Life Whole life Insurance Enrollment Thursday, February 25

Due to inclement weather expected on Thursday, February 18, New York Life is re-scheduled to be on campus Thursday, February 25 for employee whole life insurance enrollment. They will be on the second floor of the Wine-Price building.

Benefits: The Employee Whole Life Program is Guaranteed Issue. The benefits include no medical questions or exams, convenient payments through payroll deduction, coverage available for family members, a lifetime of protection, stays with you if you change jobs or retire, ability to earn dividends, access to cash value through policy loans, and premiums will never increase.

Please view this video for more info. If anyone has questions or would like to set an appointment, please contact us at 434-953-5091 or email lvanwickler@ft.newyorklife.com. We look forward to talking with you.

Please view this video for more info. If anyone has questions or would like to set an appointment, please contact us at 434-953-5091. We look forward to talking with you.

February’s Social Security Column Newsletter


February 22 - 26, 2021

America Saves Week is an annual celebration and call to action for everyday Americans to commit to saving successfully. You are encouraged to prioritize checking in on your finances and saving behaviors during the week by engaging in the information and resources sent via email each day with topics changing each day.

During the week, we'll be focusing on the following themes:

  • Monday, February 22nd | Save Automatically
  • Tuesday, February 23rd | Save for the Unexpected
  • Wednesday, February 24th | Save to Retire
  • Thursday, February 25th | Save by Reducing Debt
  • Friday, February 26th | Save as a Family

Keep an eye on your inbox for emails each day with information and resources on each topic to help you save successfully today for tomorrow. Visit the America Saves website and take the America Saves Pledge today!

Recruitment and Employment Services Welcomes Danielle Ritchie

Danielle Ritchie has joined the HR Recruitment and Employment Services Team as a Recruitment Specialist for Academic Affairs. She will be responsible for working with departments in the development of effective recruiting strategies for faculty and staff positions. Danielle will also manage the Dual Career and Community Resources program by providing support to new faculty and their families.

Danielle previously worked for the JMU University Career Center (UCC) as the Recruiting Programs Coordinator where she was responsible for coordinating recruiting-oriented programming and events. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communication Studies from Bridgewater College and a master’s in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication from JMU.


***Featured TD SHARE***

Bridging Differences

Bridging Differences offers participants an opportunity to look at how we can better understand and get along with people who are different from us. In the company of your colleagues, come learn a few ideas about how to communicate across divides, share what has worked for you, and in doing so contribute to JMU being an inclusive community for all individuals and perspectives

Upcoming Workshops

  • 2.23 - Positive Politics – TD1743
  • 2.24 - Team Building: Apply Your Style to Goal-Setting – TDW602
  • 2.25 & 3.4 - Clear as Mud – TD1482
  • 3.2 - Student Employment Essentials – TD1461
  • 3.3 - Customer Service: How Values Influence Our Behaviors – TDW703
  • 3.10 - Self-Awareness: Don’t Take Anything Personally – TDW803
  • 3.18 - Communication: Asking for What You Want – TDW103

Upcoming TD SHARE topics

  • How to Make Better Decisions
  • Coaching Yourself
  • Getting Things Done
  • Bridging Differences
  • Time Management

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

Helping Students Who May be Facing Basic Needs Insecurity

The Pantry: a food+ pantry offering shelf-stable foods, basic hygiene products, and limited school supplies. Available to any JMU student, no questions asked. To get an idea of what the experience is like for students, check out this video.

  • Spring Hours: Mondays 12-6 p.m. and Wednesdays 12-5 p.m.
  • Located in The Union 112 (in Taylor Down Under)
  • Curbside pickup available; students place an order online and can pick up their order outside near TDU

Help get the word out to students by sharing this flyer.

You can also refer students to The Pantry for assistance with printing costs, on-campus laundry costs, and access to campus dining options. Email pantry@jmu.edu for specifics.

If you’d like to stay informed about Basic Needs efforts on campus, you can join the list-serv.

If you have questions regarding The Pantry email pantry@jmu.edu.

Book a Massage at UREC

Massage Table at UREC

Remember to take time for self-care this semester! UREC has partnered with Cedar Stone Spa to offer the JMU community a wide variety of massage therapy services at UREC. Learn more about massage therapy services here. Or purchase a gift certificate online for a loved one!

Risk Management's Monthly Safety Tip

Do the penguin walk to avoid winter slips and falls!

COMPASS Award For Diversity and Inclusion

Presented by the Office of the President, a Compass Award recognizes those individuals or groups with demonstrated outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion at JMU and/or into our community.

Who is eligible?

Any Student, Faculty, Staff, Department/Group or Community Partner/Organization is eligible to be nominated for a Compass award in any of these 4 focus areas:

  • Visionary forward thinking; innovative; creative new programming; progressive initiatives
  • Leader mentoring; guiding; facilitating; influencing
  • Advocateproviding a voice for an underrepresented person or group – site examples
  • Catalystcausing transformative activity or understanding between 2 or more persons, precipitating change

How do I nominate someone for a Compass award?

To nominate someone for this award, please go to Compass Award Nomination Details

***The deadline for receiving nominations is February 22, 2021. Please submit nomination materials to:

Compass Award Selection Committee | Office of Equal Opportunity | MSC 5802 | JMAC-2 Room A101 James Madison University | Harrisonburg, VA 22807

For questions or to submit electronically, contact Lisa Hess at 540-568-6991 or hesslb@jmu.edu

The award recipients will be honored virtually, by President Alger, on Wednesday, March 17, as part of the week-long Diversity Conference programming March 15-18, 2021.

The Office of the President is pleased to announce the annual Diversity Conference in a revised, flexible format. We are offering four days of opportunities with over 30 virtual sessions including lunchtime and late afternoon panel discussions. Dr. Janice Underwood, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer, will provide the lunchtime keynote address on Wednesday, March 17.

Offered Virtually via Zoom – March 15-18

COVID -19 Testing Frequently Asked Questions


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


JMU Photography Services, JMU Diversity Council