HR Update

April 2014 HR Update

Modified Summer Schedule Reminder

The university will adopt a modified summer schedule for Monday, May 12 to Friday, August 15, 2014. University business hours of operation will be 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8:00 a.m. – noon on Friday.

Community Merit Scholarship Opportunity

Stuart Hall School announces the $10,000 James Madison University Community Merit Scholarship. See what a difference a 100% college bound environment can make for your family. Click here to learn more!

Virginia Retirement System Hybrid Plan Open Enrollment

Wednesday, April 30 is the last day you may enroll in the Virginia Retirement System Hybrid Plan.  We encourage you to log in to myVRS to access the Hybrid Plan Calculator to create a benefit estimate to compare your current plan to the new Hybrid plan.

Benefits Open Enrollment

The open enrollment period for health insurance, flexible spending accounts, and AFLAC is May 1 – May 23.  We will communicate more details related to health insurance coverage and rates as we receive the information from the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

Premium Rewards

HR’s benefits team would like to take this opportunity to provide clarification to the letter regarding premium rewards which enrolled participants in the health insurance plan recently received from DHRM and MyActive Health.

  • If you were hired on or prior to July 1, 2013, and if you completed your health assessment and biometric screening, and currently receive the premium reward, then you do nothing further to receive the premium reward through June 30, 2015, as long as you remain in either the COVA Care Plan or the COVA HealthAware Plan.
  • If you were hired after July 1, 2013 and (a) missed the opportunity to participate in the premium reward or (b) you chose not to participate in the premium reward program during the 2013-2014 plan year, then here’s another chance to participate! 

Taking the following steps gives you a starting point for getting healthier and lowers your monthly premium by $17/month if you participate, plus an additional $17/month if your enrolled spouse participates.

To take advantage of the premium reward, go to  Register on the site, complete your online health assessment and arrange for your biometric screening.  You and your enrolled spouse must register separately and complete individual assessments. 

Earn credit for a biometric screening in two ways.  When you register, complete your health assessment and print either a:

  • Biometric screening Physician Form to take to your doctor, or
  • LabCorp authorization to take to a LabCorp location that is convenient for you.

Follow the instructions on the form or authorization. Biometric screening results completed between April 1–May 31 will be accepted. Be sure to take action by May 31.

Please contact the Benefits Team at or 540-568-3593 with questions that you may have regarding the premium reward program or the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan.

Administrative & Professional Faculty Performance Evaluations

Annual performance evaluations for A&P faculty are conducted between June 1 and August 31. Detailed evaluation process information, applicable forms and policies can be found at

Supervisors should complete sections 2 and 3 of the A&P Faculty Job Description and Performance Evaluation form between June 1 and August 31 of each year and retain in the employee’s departmental file. Policy 1307-Performance Evaluation of Administrative & Professional Faculty addresses A&P faculty performance evaluation requirements.

Please contact your HR Consultant for assistance with evaluation processes.

Transfer or Separation from Employment Policy Highlights

The University Policy Committee recently approved the latest version of Policy 1314-Transfer or Separation from Employment. Here are a few key elements of the policy which supervisors and their administrative assistants need to be aware of:

  • This policy applies to all university employees, including student employees and graduate assistants.
  • Supervisors have primary responsibility for adherence to this policy by closely and quickly overseeing the process of their employee’s transfer or separation.
  • Submit Personnel Action Requests to HR or SWEC as soon as the supervisor becomes aware of the employee’s intent to separate. HR and SWEC monitor timely submission of PARs and follow-up with departments as needed.
  • HR sends supervisors a reminder email to refer to Policy 1314 for procedures to follow and of the requirement to complete the Checklist for Supervisors of Transferring or Separating Employees.
  • Requests to terminate central systems, network file storage, calendar access, and other systems access are separate online forms which also must be completed.  
  • HR sends separating full-time employees a reminder email or letter to return university property before leaving and contains information about their health insurance and COBRA, life insurance, long-term disability and tax-deferred annuities.

JMU Job Shadow Day

Share your morning with area eighth graders on Friday, October 17 by participating in the annual JMU Job Shadow Day event.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for nearly 200 area eighth graders to spend their morning in our departments and see first-hand what we do at JMU.

If you would like to participate in JMU Job Shadow Day, as either a hosting department or as a chaperone please contact Kellie Dovel at 540-568-4115, or, or Renee Reed at 540-568-7203 or

Summer School Tax Withholding Adjustments

As the university gears up for summer school, adjunct and full-time faculty who are teaching may want to make tax withholding adjustments for their summer school compensation. Payroll Services website has an informational link for summer school tax withholding under the Announcements section. Please pay close attention to deadline dates for making adjustments.

Payments to Non-Residents

When making payments to non-residents, please keep in mind that just because a foreign individual has a U.S. Social Security Number does not automatically mean that JMU can pay them for services or an honorarium.  All payments for foreign nationals (i.e. non-residents), including services, honorariums and/or associated travel expenses, are subject to different policies and procedures.  Before making formal arrangements to bring a foreign national to campus, sponsoring departments 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, at 540-568-8034 or

Weekly Wellnotes

CommonHealth, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s employee wellness program, recently offered the following Weekly Wellnotes:

Cleaning Your House
Hand Washing
Loneliness in the Workplace
Benefits of Volunteering

Visit CommonHealth's website, where you’ll find a wealth of Wellnotes. 

April Safety Topics

Here’s a minute’s worth of timely safety tips from JMU’s Office of Risk Management.

Promoting Positivity – AlcoholEdu

Picture a substance abuse prevention toolbox available to JMU students. One of the tools in that toolbox is AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol prevention program that all incoming first-year students are required to complete.               

AlcoholEdu is currently being used on hundreds of college campuses and by 36% of all first-year students at America’s four-year higher education institutions. It uses the latest prevention techniques and evidence-based research to create an experience that:

  • Empowers students to make well-informed decisions
  • Helps students better cope with the drinking behavior of peers
  • Motivates behavior change
  • Examines expectations about the effects of alcohol
  • Links choices about drinking to academic and personal success
  • Helps students practice safer decision-making
  • Engages students to create a healthier campus community

Why is this important to you? Increasing awareness among faculty and staff about the substance abuse prevention tools and resources available for students can help in two ways.

  • Increase awareness in the community about JMU’s substance abuse prevention efforts for its students
  • Empower faculty and staff to be involved and serve as points of access for students in need of referral

Please bookmark to see more substance abuse prevention tools and resources available to students. Download and print a toolbox reference sheet to keep handy. And contact the University Health Center at or 540-568-3317 for more information.

Save the date! JMU Employee Appreciation 2014

JMU’s annual employee appreciation festivities return to the Festival Conference and Student Center on Thursday, May 15.  Make sure to save the date on your calendar as the events are open to all JMU employees.  Details on lunch, workshops and other activities will be announced to the campus in the next few weeks.

A Snapshot of Upcoming HR-Related Workshops Offered by JMU Training and Development

ACA and JMU: The Impact, the Responsibility and the Activity!
Ending Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct: What You Need to Know About Discrimination, Harassment, and Title IX
JMU JobLink
Retirement 101: Understanding Your VRS Retirement
Understanding and Using the Grievance Procedure

For additional information or to arrange customized sessions for your department, please contact Suzanne Vance, Training Coordinator at 540-568-4101 or

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