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April 2015 HR Update

2015 Summer Schedule

The university will adopt a modified summer schedule beginning Monday, May 11 and ending Friday, August 21, 2015. More information is available on our website: Click here


Benefits Open Enrollment

The open enrollment period for health insurance, flexible spending accounts, and AFLAC is May 1 – May 22. 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).

The Office of Risk Management wishes all JMU employees a safe winter holiday break. December Safety Tips

Premium Reward Requirements for the 2015-2016 Plan Year

Premium rewards for the upcoming plan year starting July 1, 2015 will be available to employees and covered spouses enrolled in the COVA Care or COVA HealthAware Plan on or before July 1, 2015.

If you are already receiving a reward, you will be required to update your online health assessment no earlier than March 1, 2015 and no later than June 30, 2015 to continue your reward without a break.

If you are enrolled in COVA Care or COVA HealthAware and not currently receiving a premium reward, you must do the following: 

  • complete a online health assessment no earlier than March 1, 2015, and
  • submit a biometric screening with measurements no earlier than April 1, 2013.

Participants who are newly eligible for premium rewards must do the following:

  • complete a health assessment no earlier than March 1, 2015, and
  • submit a biometric screening with measurements no earlier than April 1, 2013.

Complete the required healthy action(s) by June 30, 2015 to begin the rewards on July 1, 2015. If the requirements are not completed by June 30, 2015, eligible members can complete the health assessment and/or the biometric screening during the plan year. The member’s Premium Reward will be effective the first of the month after both requirements are completed, submitted and accepted.

Contact ActiveHealth at 866-938-0349 for additional information.

The Office of Risk Management wishes all JMU employees a safe winter holiday break. December Safety Tips

LiveHealth Online

LiveHealth Online allows you to talk to a doctor any time of day and, in many cases, the doctor is able to send a prescription to your pharmacy after your online visit. LiveHealth Online lets you have face-to-face conversations with a doctor on your computer or mobile device. No appointment is necessary.

This company is not directly affiliated with our health insurance providers; however, LiveHealth Online is supported by the state’s health insurance plans and would be treated the same as a “sick office visit”. You may also utilize this service if you do not have health insurance; the cost of a LiveHealth Online visit costs $49. This service is coded under telemedicine.

Doctors at LiveHealth Online can help with many different health issues, such as:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Allergies
  • Sinus infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Pinkeye and other eye infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Rashes

For more information, go to


Classified Performance Ratings

Human Resources will begin accepting classified performance evaluations in just three months. We would like to share some changes to the performance ratings that were approved in the revised Salary Administration Plan (SAP) and are currently being revised in Policy 1305-Performance Evaluation for Classified Employees.

Since July 1, 2000, JMU has been using the three ratings provided by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM), which are Below Contributor, Contributor, and Extraordinary Contributor. Beginning this July, JMU has added two additional ratings: “Moderate Contributor” and “High Contributor” for supervisors to use when evaluating employee performance. The revisions to the performance evaluation, as outlined in the SAP, were adopted last fall by JMU administration as a direct result of feedback from supervisors and managers. The additional ratings will allow supervisors more flexibility in assigning performance ratings that can more accurately reflect their direct reports' contributions. The newly established list of all five ratings is detailed below:

Below Contributor: This rating recognizes job performance that fails to meet the minimum criteria of the job function. To receive an overall Below Contributor rating, an employee must have received at least one Written Notice within the performance cycle or have an active Notice of Improvement Needed.

Moderate Contributor: This rating recognizes work that meets the minimum standards required of the position. While employees at this level are achieving a majority of the core responsibilities and measures, the employee is still developing competency or did not consistently achieve expectations and may require further development.

Contributor: This rating recognizes work that is at or occasionally above the performance standards by achieving the criteria of the job’s core responsibilities and measures throughout the performance cycle. Employees at this level are achieving the core responsibilities and performance measure - and are occasionally going beyond- as outlined by the supervisor.

High Contributor: This rating recognizes work that is characterized by a consistently higher level of accomplishment; meeting and often exceeding performance targets of core responsibilities; providing significant support that contributes to achieving the mission of the organization. On a regular basis, the employee demonstrates high proficiency in their knowledge; skills and abilities; required work; and behavioral competencies.

Extraordinary Contributor: This rating recognizes work that is characterized by exemplary accomplishments throughout the performance cycle and performance that considerably and consistently exceeds the criteria of the job function. An Extraordinary Contributor is observed regularly taking increased initiative and going above and beyond the requirements of the position. To receive an overall Extraordinary Contributor rating, an employee must have received at least one Acknowledgement of Extraordinary Contribution within the performance cycle. The Acknowledgment of Extraordinary Contribution must be attached as supporting documentation to the performance evaluation submitted to Human Resources.

While the University's Performance Management Program for non-probationary classified employees now includes five performance rating levels, the Commonwealth of Virginia still specifies only three performance categories (Extraordinary Contributor, Contributor and Below Contributor). Therefore, the University's "high” and “moderate" contributor ratings described above will equate to the Commonwealth’s "Contributor” level for conversion and compensation practices.

Please take time to review the updated Salary Administration Plan in its entirety, and be on the lookout for revised forms, web updates and upcoming Training and Development workshops to become more familiar with the changes.


Transfer or Separation from Employment Policy Requirements

Supervisors and their administrative assistants should be aware of the following requirements of Policy 1314-Transfer or Separation from Employment:

  • 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 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 full-time employees an exit packet upon separation with information about health insurance and COBRA, life insurance, long-term disability and tax-deferred annuities, and a reminder to return university property and to update one’s mailing address.


Diversity Conference Wrap-up

The 9th annual Diversity conference, held on March 16, was a huge success! The theme of this year’s conference was Engaging Community: Creating Change. President Alger opened the conference day with a special welcome to participants. Thirty-one individual sessions were presented in the Festival Conference & Student Center and the Rose Library involving over 350 JMU faculty, staff and community partners. Diversity consultant and JMU Alum, Scott Horton, provided an engaging lunch message, which was followed by recognition of several key awards. President Alger, Mr. Art Dean, Office of Access & Inclusion and Ms. Liz Howley, University Health Center, presented the Diversity Enhancement Awards, Woman of Distinction Awards, and recognized the 2014-2015 Innovative Diversity Efforts Award grant recipients.

Women of Distinction Award Winners

Lynda Chandler Capaccio

Kathleen Campbell

Kimberly Joy Johnson

Kendall Stewart Barger

Anne Stewart

Diversity Enhancement Award Winners

Susan Zurbrigg

Marie Eszenyi

Dr. Ramon Mata-Toledo

School of Hospitality and Recreation Management


Volunteers Wanted for Commencement
Friday, May 8 and/or Saturday, May 9

Get all DUKED out in your purple and gold and welcome the graduates, families and guests for Commencement. Volunteer positions include: greeter, program distribution, student services AND MORE. There is a position for everyone (seated positions available as well).

Benefits include a t-shirt, JMU Bookstore gift certificate, refreshments, reserved parking and recognition! NEW BENEFITS for this year include a thank you lunch in June, door prizes (mini iPad, Forbes tickets, Athletics tickets) and more!!

Training will be held on Tuesday, April 28 or Wednesday, April 30 (should last no more than one hour).

You have assisted the Class of 2015 to become JMU Graduates; now help their families have the most memorable day at JMU!!! We couldn’t do this without your help!

Register today at or call Tammy Steele, Event Manager, University Events, for details at 540-568-5180.


Gardening Health and Safety Tips

JMU’s Office of Risk Management invites you to read more about Gardening Health and Safety Tips at


Save the date! Thursday, May 14

JMU’s annual employee appreciation festivities return to the Festival Conference and Student Center on Thursday, May 14. 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 Workshops Offered by JMU Training and Development

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, or 540-568-4101.


Discounts for State Employees


The University Policy Committee website is a resource to research policies that have a broad impact on the university's people and processes.


Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter @JMUJobs and HR’s LinkedIn group at

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