HR Update April 2019

Dates to Remember

Office of Human Resources

JMU will close at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3 for May Commencement ceremonies. President Alger granted four hours of recognition leave for all full-time employees to be used on Friday, May 3.

The university’s Modified Summer Work Schedule begins Monday, May 6 and ends Friday, August 16. Full-time employees must work a 40-hour workweek or use leave to make up the difference.

The Office of Human Resources will be closed from 8:15 a.m. – 12 noon, Tuesday, May 7 so that HR staff may attend the Administration and Finance divisional meeting.

JMU will be closed in observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.

May 2019 Commencement Crew Members Needed

University Events Team

Would you like to help guests, families and graduates on one of the most memorable days at James Madison University? Then sign up to be a volunteer for May 2019 Commencement.

Volunteers can choose from the following days:

Friday, May 3 - University Ceremony at Bridgeforth Stadium

Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 - College Ceremonies at various locations across campus

The University Events team is looking for productive, energized and happy volunteers to greet and direct guests and families at key areas throughout campus, assist the 2019 graduating class, and distribute programs. All volunteers will receive commencement information including maps and event details. In addition, volunteers will receive an official Commencement Crew t-shirt.

Interested? Please fill out the quick survey here: Volunteer Survey

For questions and more information see www.jmu.edu/commencement or email Sarah Ciccone at cicconsh@jmu.edu.

JMU’s Annual Employee Appreciation Event

Employee Appreciation Day Committee & Employee Advisory Committee

All JMU faculty and staff are invited to participate in the fun on Thursday, May 9, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • Lunch served in the Festival Conference and Student Center Grand Ballroom 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Community Service Fair outside the Grand Ballroom
  • Four Bingo Sessions
  • Blood Drive in Alleghany Room
  • Two Movies (Aquaman and A Dog’s Way Home)
  • Food Drive for Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
  • Workshops, Tours and Open Recreation at UREC (workshop registration opens Tuesday, April 23)
  • Come listen to the band, Staff Infection - Festival Drum 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
  • Corn Hole Tournament on the Festival lawn at 9:00 a.m. Register your team by emailing Krista Nealis, nealiskl@jmu.edu.
  • Take advantage of a 25% discount for JMU Employees on EAD at the JMU Bookstore!

Registration opens 4/23 for Workshops/Tours/Bingo/Blood Drive in MyMadison.

Lunch, Community Fair, Movies and Karaoke do not require registration.

Visit the Employee Appreciation website at http://www.jmu.edu/ead/index.shtml for more details on the day’s activities and lunch menu. Questions? Email jmuad@jmu.edu.

Important Reminder Regarding Graduating or FWS Student Workers

Recruitment and Employment Services

If you have a student worker who is graduating in May or who is graduating in August and NOT taking at least 6 credit hours in the summer they must end their student employment on or before May 3 (the last day of spring semester).

If you have a Federal Work Study (FWS) student who will be working over the summer you must either transition them to wage employment or institutional employment (IE) for the summer on or before May 3.

If you have a student worker transitioning to wage employment you must submit an ePar to Human Resources in order to hire them as a wage employee. Please note that the employee is not eligible to begin work as a wage employee until they have been cleared by Human Resources. It is the responsibility of the departments to prohibit students from working beyond May 3 and until the confirmation email from Human Resources is received.

Action Needed by Supervisors of Classified Employees Before June 20

The 2019 Open Enrollment period will present monthly premium changes for optional benefits, a new Optima Health Vantage HMO plan offered for employees who live in the Hampton Roads area, several new plan administrators, and health flexible spending accounts (FSA) contributions increased to $2,700.

The Spring 2019 Spotlight on Your Benefits will be mailed to home addresses. You may also access Open Enrollment information through the Department of Human Resource Management web page.

Enroll in Health Benefits Online this year! Log in to EmployeeDirect, select Health Benefits record, review your current health benefits record, update your personal information, enroll or make changes to your health plan and/or membership; enroll in one or both FSAs. Enroll online beginning May 1 but no later than May 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Prefer paper? Then complete the fillable health coverage form and return to the Benefits Team no later than the close of business on May 15. The Enrollment Form for Employees may be sent through campus mail to MSC 7009, by fax to 540-568-7916, or by email to benefits@jmu.edu.

New Plan Administrators

Anthem will administer the outpatient prescription drug program through IngenioRx for the COVA Card, COVA HealthAware and COVA HDHP. Take advantage of new online and mobile tools, including a “medicine cabinet” that stores a list of your medications. Medication Synchronization is a voluntary program that allows you to work with your pharmacy to synchronize your maintenance prescriptions refills once per year so that they are available the same time each month.

PayFlex will administer Health and Dependent Care FSAs and also the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) for the COVA HealthAware Plan.

Take Control of Your Health Care through Apps

A mobile app, New Engage, will be available for COVA Care and COVA HDHP. In addition, the Aetna Health app for COVA HealthAware participants has been enhanced.

Ask ALEX for Advice

Evaluate and compare health plan options with ALEX, your online benefits counselor! ALEX will use your input to let you know how the different health insurance plans work for you. Visit ALEX at www.myalex.com/cova/2019.

Earn Premium Rewards to Reduce Your Monthly Premiums!

How can you save $17/month on your health insurance and up to a total of $34/month if you and your spouse participate? Visit www.myactivehealth.com/cova to complete or update an online health assessment. It’s as simple as answering a few questions about your health and lifestyle, and in exchange you will receive a personalized report that can serve as your guide toward better health PLUS you’ll save money on your monthly premium! To earn the premium reward beginning July 1, complete or update your online health assessment between May 1-15. Health assessments submitted before May 1, 2018 will not count for the new plan year. To earn a reward after July 1, complete or update your online health assessment by the 15th of the month, and you will receive a reward in about six to eight weeks.

Flexible Spending Accounts

PayFlex will administer Health and Dependent Care FSAs beginning July 1. You will receive a PayFlex Mastercard in the mail after your enroll for your Health FSA for the new plan year starting July 1.

As a reminder you must re-enroll each year to continue participating in flexible spending accounts.

New ID Cards

You will receive new ID cards in June, and you should start using this card July 1.


Michael Glover, JMU's Aflac representative, will be in the Wine-Price Building during open enrollment so you may add, change, or cancel coverage. You may also email him directly at michael_glover@us.aflac.com.

Please be aware that Human Resources will be observing the modified summer schedule. Contact Human Resources at 540-568-3593 or email benefits@jmu.edu with any questions concerning Open Enrollment.

Want to stay up-to-date on your benefits? Text HRBenefits to 81437 and receive important benefits information via text!

New COVA Care & COVA HDHP Member ID Cards Issued this Month

Effective July 1, 2019, pharmacy benefits for the COVA Care and COVA HDHP plans will be managed by Anthem Pharmacy, delivered by IngenioRx. New ID cards will be mailed to all COVA Care and COVA participants in April for the purpose of ensuring that the Anthem pharmacy system is ready to process prescription drug claims starting on July 1. You are encouraged to use the interim card immediately. However, if you happen to use your current card, claims will still process as usual through June 30, 2019. The new April ID card is identical to the current card except that it reflects Anthem-specific pharmacy information that will allow the pharmacy to test the Anthem system in advance of the July 1 change. A new Anthem Pharmacy telephone number will also be included.

In mid-June, new ID cards will be issued again for COVA Care and COVA HDHP participants for the start of the new plan year on July 1. These will reflect any changes made during Open Enrollment, but all participants, regardless of Open Enrollment activity, will receive new cards. Once participants begin using the new July 1 cards, previous cards may be destroyed.

Participants currently using mail service or the specialty pharmacy will be contacted directly with information about transitioning their claims to IngenioRx. Participants may contact Anthem Member Services at 1-800-552-2682 with questions.

Benefits Broadcast

Our goal with the Benefits Broadcast is to feature a specific benefit each month.

This month’s featured benefit is…Tuition Waiver

The university offers a waiver of tuition (undergraduate and graduate level) to all eligible employees for academic credited courses offered at the university each semester. Refer to Policy 1402-Waiver of Tuition Program for Faculty and Staff Course Work for eligibility, enrollment information, and course restrictions. Books, application fees, special course or departmental fees, and readmission fees are not covered. The waiver policy does not apply to individual courses offered through Outreach and Engagement or other self-supporting programs, except as provided by university policy. Waivers can be used for employees who are fully accepted into the Adult Degree Program. Waivers can also be used for employees who are fully accepted into a Certificate Program or a Degree Program if space is available and with approval from Outreach and Engagement.

All full-time faculty members are eligible for two courses and one lab upon hire. Classified staff are eligible for two courses and one lab after achieving a contributor rating on their sixth month evaluation. Adjunct faculty are eligible for one course per any active teaching semester or up to six months after their last teaching assignment. Wage employees have two options: work 1,000 consecutive hours and receive one course and one lab before having to work another 1,000 hours or work 2,000 consecutive hours and take two courses and one lab per calendar year for the duration of employment without having to reach the 2,000-hour threshold. Please note these classes must be taken one per semester.

Follow the steps below to utilize the Waiver of Tuition:

  1. Apply for admission into James Madison University through two avenues:• Admissions - application fee cannot be waived • Outreach and Engagement - application fee cannot be waived
  2. Once admitted, sign up for your class(es) through MyMadison or as directed by admitting avenue
  3. Fill out the Waiver of Tuition for the classes you registered for
  4. Have signatures of two levels above you sign the waiver
  5. Assure the completed waiver is in Human Resources before 5:00 p.m. of the add/drop deadline

Need to Talk with an Expert?

Did you know that every month, company representatives for your benefits are here on campus in the Wine-Price Building? Below is a list of upcoming dates where you could talk with an expert:

Dollars & Sense

Payroll Services

Summer School Is Quickly Approaching… faculty wishing to make tax withholding adjustments for their summer pay, please reference Payroll Service’s summer school calendars under the “Calendars and Deadlines” link on the left sidebar of their web page @ www.jmu.edu/payroll.

There are two calendars available... a “guaranteed” course calendar and a “contingency” course calendar. Note: A contingency course that “makes” is still considered a contingency course for the purpose of determining your scheduled pay dates.

In order for Payroll Services to assist with the calculations, faculty must provide the following information…

  1. The session(s) being taught (i.e. 1st 4 wks, 2nd 6 wks, etc…)
  2. The actual pay dates the payments are schedule to pay out
  3. The exact amount expected
  4. Your PeopleSoft Employee ID Number, or the last four digits of your SSN.

For payroll assistance, please contact Chris Jones (jones5cm), Jessica Hensley (henslejg), or Sherry Willis (willissl).

In an effort to “Go Green”, all adjustments must be made electronically via MyMadison. There is a “DD and W-4/VA-4 Effective Date Table” calendar located under their “Calendars and Deadlines” link as well. This calendar will identify when changes must be made via MyMadison in order for the change to be effective for a particular pay date.

Microsoft Outlook app for iOS and Android

Information Technology

The Microsoft Outlook app for iOS (Apple) and Android mobile devices is now approved to work with JMU’s Exchange system for email and calendaring. Microsoft recently addressed a security issue that enabled JMU IT to allow the app to work with our system. If you want to try the Outlook app, please see the configuration instructions available in the “Where can I get Help/Support?” on the Exchange email page:http://www.jmu.edu/computing/communication-and-collaboration/exchange-email.shtml

Celebrating Earth Month with a Few of JMU’s Sustainability Accomplishments

Sustainability Performance

In honor of JMU’s decade-long commitment to enhancing environmental stewardship and sustainability the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World assembled highlights of JMU’s environmental sustainability performance in many categories, including student engagement, research, and campus facilities.

STARS Gold rating

JMU has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Read JMU’s STARS Report.

Bee Campus USA affiliate

JMU is the 66th college/university in the nation to become a Bee Campus USA affiliate. Bee Campus USA fosters ongoing dialogue to raise awareness of the role that pollinators play in our communities and what individuals can do to provide pollinators with healthy habitat.

JMU Talent Development


  • Delegation Made S.I.M.P.L.E (TD2059)
  • Social Media in the Workplace (TD2083)
  • Team Excellence #3: Diagnose Problems (TD2341)
  • Help Your Team Understand You (TD2246)
  • RAD: Basic Self-Defense for Women (TD1096)
  • Retirement 101: Understanding Your VRS Retirement (TD1212)
  • Once Upon A Time: Storytelling in the Workplace (TD2077)

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

University Park Now Open


Spring is here and that means University Park is open! Visit “JMU’s Backyard” to play tennis, sand volleyball, disc golf, basketball, soccer, and more! You can bring your immediate family for a day of fun during Family Hours too (6:00 p.m. Fridays through 6:00 p.m. Sundays).

University Park is located at 1090 Devon Lane, only minutes from campus.

Learn more about what University Park has to offer here.

Adventure Equipment Rentals

Going on an adventure? Get the proper gear by visiting the UREC Adventure Center! Available equipment includes: tents, shelters, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, backpacks, climbing shoes, bicycles and equipment, fly fishing kits, kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, car top kits, and so much more! Questions? Visit our Equipment Rentals page for more info.

Office of Risk Management

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The Autism Society Recognizes “Autism Awareness Month” by Highlighting the Efforts of the We See Things Differently Campaign


The Autism Society is marking the start of “Autism Awareness Month” by highlighting their efforts with the launch of their We See Things Differently campaign.

The We See Things Differently campaign is a digital awareness campaign whose slogan explains its mission: “Celebrating Differences.” This campaign is targeted at re-educating the public about what the Autism Society does to help individuals and families who are living with autism.

The Autism Society and its more than 80 affiliates lead the campaign; the goal of the campaign is threefold:

  • To EDUCATE the public about the Autism Society and the services it provides to assist families and individuals living with autism;
  • To IGNITE a sense of urgency about the 7 in 10 adults with autism who are either unemployed or underemployed; and
  • To INSPIRE individuals, families, communities, employers to be more all—inclusive and health care providers, and educators to get involved and support the Autism Society and its efforts to celebrate our differences.

With autism rates currently on the rise in children and adults in the United States living with autism, and many more who will be diagnosed, simple awareness will no longer suffice. According to the CDC, 1 out of every 59 children born today will face a future with autism spectrum disorder if current trends continue. Autism affects all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

Find Information: The Autism Society reaches thousands of families each day with trusted information and caring referral services through, Autism Source™ – a comprehensive resource database and National Contact Center Help Line. Autism Source™ information and referral specialists are available seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., to help families affected by autism spectrum disorder navigate life on the spectrum. To connect with knowledgeable and caring information and referral specialists, please visit www.autismsource.org or call 1-800-3-AUTISM .

Get involved: Discover local events. Nationwide, over 80+ Autism Society chapters hold a number of special events in their communities throughout April. For more information about any of these activities, please visit www.autism-society.org/about-the-autism-society/affiliate-network/

About National Autism Awareness Month: Established in the 1970s to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness about autism, April is a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. With 1 in 59 American children now being diagnosed, the need for services and supports is greater than ever, and this year the Autism Society hopes to raise awareness of the many issues faced by families affected by autism. Learn more at www.autism-society.org/differences

“It’s important for individuals and families to know that they do have a place where they can go to get access to support, resources, and education to help them manage the complexities of autism”, says Scott Badesch, President and CEO of the Autism Society. “Our goal with the campaign is to shed light on the many wonderful ways that individuals can help to support and celebrate those that are living with autism. More importantly, highlight our National Help Line available 5 days a week when you are in need of autism-related support.”

The Autism Society is encouraging individuals, families, community leaders and companies to review and make use of a number of helpful educational materials the national We See Things Differently campaign offers, including posters, brochures, quick-reference guide for our National Help Line “pocket cards,” a new video detailing opportunities to engage with the Autism Society, and free local education resources available to the public. To access these materials and to learn more about the Campaign here and nationally, follow this link: www.autism-society.org/differences. To schedule interviews or additional questions, please contact Cheretta A. Clerkley, Chief Marketing Officer at 301.657.0881 ext.9005 or cclerkley@autism-society.org.

About the Autism Society: The nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, the Autism Society is a national source of information, advocacy and support that reaches local autism communities offering a one-of-a-kind nationwide network of autism knowledge and support. An organization with 50 years of heritage and heart, the Autism Society is dedicated to providing a trustworthy, respectful and caring network of people that truly impacts the lives of individuals on the spectrum. For more information, visit www.autism-society.org.

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 Risk Management, Cheretta Clerkley & Autism Society

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