HR Update October 2020

Fall Campus Scenes

Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

The university will close November 23 - 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and December 22, 2020 – January 1, 2021 for the Winter Break.

Classified Employee Leave

With the holidays fast approaching, now is a good time for classified employees to review vacation leave balances for any hours that would be above the maximum carryover limit. Employees should work with their supervisor to use any excess leave hours by Saturday, January 9, 2021. As a reminder, you must work or be on approved paid leave the day before and the day after a holiday to receive holiday pay. Please review your leave balances in the event you are carrying a low leave balance and may fall into a time loss situation. Contact Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist, with any questions.

REMINDER: Time & Attendance Records for Non-exempt Staff

All non-exempt employees are required to maintain a Time and Attendance Record each leave year that shows hours worked, leave taken, scheduled days off, and university closures. This record must be submitted to Human Resources each January. Employees will receive an email in January with instructions on how to submit the record.

Open Enrollment for Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE)

October is open enrollment for participants in the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE). You have the opportunity to change providers, effective with the first payroll in 2021.

Two provider options are available: DCP (record kept by ICMA-RC) and TIAA. Register for an online open enrollment meeting to learn more about your options during open enrollment.

If you wish to change providers during open enrollment, you can view your options and make a selection in myVRS. Once logged in, the following message will appear on your account home page through October 31, or until you make a provider change:

No action is required if you do not wish to change your provider during the open enrollment period.

Please note that selecting a new provider does not impact your balances. If you wish to transfer balances to your new provider you will need to request a plan-to-plan transfer. For additional information or assistance, please email orphe@varetire.org.

Benefits Broadcast

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

Many of you are familiar with the JMU wellness program, Balanced Dukes, but do you know that state employees have access to an additional wellness tool? CommonHealth is the employee wellness program for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Bi-annual campaigns cover a variety of health and wellness subjects and are presented in an array of formats - including onsite educational events and video presentations – that make it easy to participate. Not only are the campaigns educational and fun, they help Commonwealth employees stay fit and healthy.

CommonHealth also provides the Compass Newsletter and Weekly Wellnotes delivered directly to your state email account to keep you in the loop about the latest wellness information. Employees across the state have improved the quality of their lives through CommonHealth and you can too! See your agency CommonHealth coordinator, Tara Roe (roetb@jmu.edu) or visit www.commonhealth.virginia.gov for more information.

Virginia Retirement System Member News

Be sure to read the latest issue of Member News from VRS. Included in this issue is information regarding member MBPs, VRS COVID-19 updates, purchasing prior service, and many other topics. Subscribe to Member News directly for the latest updates.

National Retirement Security Month is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. NRSM provides an opportunity for employees to revisit their personal retirement goals and determine if they are on track for a secure future.

Since the onset of the pandemic, nearly one in four workers say their confidence in their ability to retire comfortably has taken a hit, according to a recent survey conducted by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. So, making the time to consider plans for the future is a must for everyone.

Tune in throughout the month to weekly emails, webinars and our NRSM website to get information and resources that can help you confidently plan for your future.

Ways You Can Take Action throughout the Month

1. VRS Plan 1, 2 & Hybrid Members: Log into your myVRS account and review your 2020 Member Benefit Profile

2. Start saving more today by enrolling in a Supplemental Retirement Plan and earn the Cash Match

Participation in either of the following, earns you the Employer-Paid Cash Match

o The Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, or

o 403(b) Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan

3. Attend an educational webinar:

o ‘Invest Confidently for Your Future’ – This presentation will cover a variety of topics that will help you define your savings goals, build an investment plan to help you optimize your savings and understand the important of continuously managing your plan.

Presented by Fidelity

  • October 20, 2020 at 2:00pm

o 'The Starting Line' - This presentation will cover a variety of topics including: The real effect of time on money, why saving for your retirement is important and how to plan, understanding debt and how to manage it and finally, how budgeting can help you find and save money.

Presented by TIAA

  • October 23, 2020 at 11:00am

o 'Are You on Track' - This presentation for current VRS Plan 1 and Plan 2 members educates you on your VRS membership and the importance of planning now for your future. Topics include an overview of your VRS benefits and optional programs, purchase of prior service and member resources such as our online self-service tool, myVRS.

Presented by John Kegel, VRS Member Education and Outreach Counselor

  • October 28, 2020 at 10:00am

4. Explore a variety of financial wellness and educational tools including: articles, videos, calculators live webinars and resources with myVRS Financial Wellness portal. You can explore general information or log into to your myVRS account and explore personalized content!


JMU Talent Development

Upcoming October Opportunity

A second virtual session of TD1153: Confronting Bias for an Inclusive Workplace is being offered on October 20th from 2:00 – 3:30 pm in Zoom. You do not want to miss this opportunity! Register in MyMadison today!

November Workshops

November 3rd & 5th DiSC for AACP TD2194

November 10th & 12th StrengthsFinder 2.0 TD1695

November 18th Retirement 101 TD1212

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

Information Technology

QuestionPro replaces Qualtrics

Last Spring, James Madison University went through a required RFP process to procure a new survey tool and QuestionPro was selected.

QuestionPro is available to all faculty, staff, students and affiliates. To create an account or access your existing account, log in to QuestionPro at http://questionpro.jmu.edu using your JMU eID and password. You will be prompted to authenticate with Duo.

Please keep in mind that a stop-gap renewal period for Qualtrics was put in place to prevent loss of research data. Survey owners will need to make plans to migrate surveys into QuestionPro by May 1, 2021.

Workshops on how to migrate surveys are available through JMU Libraries. To sign up, visit https://events.lib.jmu.edu/calendar/events/.

For additional QuestionPro training resources and information, visit https://www.jmu.edu/computing/teaching-and-learning/question-pro.shtml.

Security Awareness

New security awareness training was released in September. Everyone with a JMU eID will be prompted to take this training when setting or changing their password in MyMadison. You will see fresh content in video and infographic formats as well as multiple choice and true/false questions.

Please do NOT use an iPad device as you may encounter issues. Report questions or any issues through the IT Service Portal, (its.jmu.edu) or by contacting the IT Help Desk at (540) 568-3555 or email at helpdesk@jmu.edu.

Goodbye Skype for Business, Hello Microsoft Teams!

Later this month, Information Technology will retire Skype for Business and transition to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams offers a wide range of capabilities including chats, video meetings, audio/video calls, calendar integration and document sharing. To help you with this transition, IT Training will be offering two Teams overview workshops:

Microsoft Teams Overview (IT711)

10/22 9:30-11am

10/26 3:30-5pm

Watch your email in the coming weeks for more information!

JMU IT-Telecommunications Rolls Out “Voicemail to Email” feature, Nov 9-13, 2020

When someone leaves you a message in your JMU voicemail box, you will receive an email containing the message as a .wav audio file attachment that you can listen to on any device where you receive JMU email. Your device will need a media player installed. The service will also be available for departmental voicemail boxes that take general messages for the department. Information Technology will communicate additional details prior to roll out.

UREC Small Group Training

People Exercising at UREC

Registration is now open for Cycle, Yoga for Balance, and Barre Small Group Training at UREC! These 6-week small group sessions meet twice a week beginning October 26th. Try out a free demo class between October 19th and October 23rd. Learn more at https://www.jmu.edu/recreation/activities/group-exercise/small-group.shtml and sign up on URECRegister.jmu.edu to secure your spot!

Beyond the Quad Outdoor Guide

People Exercising Outdoors

Wondering where, what, and how you can safely enjoy everything JMU has to offer outdoors? This guide is for you! It includes an interactive map to find outdoor recreation and activity spaces to enjoy the outdoors safely this fall. We encourage you to #OptOutside and explore the guide!

Foster a Welcoming and Inclusive Campus Environment

On Campus and Around the World Photos

James Madison University has partnered with EVERFI to expand individual and collective employee knowledge in the areas of harassment and discrimination. This training will include the following content: recognizing, preventing, and intervening to address instances of any form of harassment and/or discrimination and important skills and resources to help foster a safe, inclusive, and healthy campus environment.

As a member of our JMU community, you are expected to fully complete the training. Doing so is a significant way to demonstrate your commitment to fulfilling our values, goals and strategic priorities, particularly in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

At JMU, our senior leaders recognize campus climate is critical to our success. We recognize these are extraordinary times we are facing as individuals and a campus community. This is evidenced in the following ways: One of JMU’s four strategic priorities states "…we will champion and foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, and students". And from our updated values, "We strive to be an inclusive community that values the richness of all individuals and perspectives."

You should receive an email invitation with course access information by October 16. All employees are required to complete the training by February 28, 2021. Though our offices will be tracking successful completion of all modules, we will not be able to access individual responses to questions. This is being done to protect the privacy and confidentiality of participants. Once you have successfully completed the training, you will receive professional development credit in My Madison. Non-completion is unacceptable and our offices will consult with your supervisor to ensure successful completion of the training. Therefore, if you anticipate any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact any of the individuals listed below with questions or concerns.

The Offices of

Access and Enrollment, Art Dean

Title IX, Amy Sirocky-Meck and Barbara Hetzel

Equal Opportunity, Amy Sirocky-Meck interim

Human Resources, Chuck Flick

Constitution 101 Event Flyer

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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