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February 2015 HR Update

Holiday Reminder

Friday, March 13, 2015 is a university holiday!

Reminder for classified employees and their supervisors: To receive holiday pay, classified employees must either work or be on paid leave the workday before and the workday after the holiday. DHRM Policy 4.25-Holidays.


February 23-28 is designated as America Saves Week

Experts suggest saving 10-15% of pay in order to have sufficient retirement savings. However, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, more than 38 million U.S. working-age households do not have retirement accounts.

If you are a VRS member, an important resource to assist you in planning your retirement is myVRS. This tool can assist by estimating income and expenses using the Retirement Planner, or if you are in Plan 1 or Plan 2, you can create retirement estimates based on retirement dates and payout options.

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

Employer Match Money

Hybrid plan members may elect to contribute an additional voluntary .5 - 4% of creditable compensation to the Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. This is in addition to the 1% mandatory employee contribution to the defined contribution plan. Of the first 1% voluntary contributions you contribute, JMU matches 1%; any additional percentage up to 4% is matched by JMU at .50%. Every quarter, you are allowed to increase/decrease your voluntary deductions to the 457 deferred compensation plan. If you are interested in receiving employer match monies, visit the Hybrid Retirement Plan website and set up your deductions by March 15 to be effective the first quarter of this year, which begins April 1.

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

Faculty Service Awards

207 faculty members were recently recognized for their years of service to James Madison University. Included were faculty who celebrated milestone years in 2014, in five year increments. Of special note were four faculty who celebrated 40 years of service to the university! Congratulations and deepest appreciation to:

Lynn Fichter – Geology & Environmental Science
Mark Hawthorne – Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication
Pamela Johnson – School of Theatre & Dance
John Little – School of Music


Two New Staff Members Join Human Resources

Erin Staudt joins the team of assistants at HR’s front desk. Erin, a December 2014 JMU graduate, is very excited about her new role as a JMU employee!

Gary Griffin joins HR’s Business Applications team. Gary brings years of IT experience and customer service with him to HR.


9th Annual Diversity Conference Monday, March 16

Engaging Community:  Creating Change
Monday, March 16 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Festival Student & Conference Center and Rose Library

This year’s conference features over 30 sessions to choose from. Lunch will be provided. Participants can attend for the entire day or pick and choose just what fits into their schedule. Registration is now open at:

JMU’s Training and Development website
JMU’s Office of Access and Inclusion website

~Sponsored by The President’s Office


Lets’ Celebrate! Madison Week is Sunday, March 15-Saturday, March 21

You won’t want to miss the fun! We will celebrate Madison Week with lots of interesting events and activities for you and the entire family. We’ll top off the week with "Purple Out!" Day on Friday with fun and unique giveaways. Check out the Madison Week website ( or Facebook page (JMU Madison Week).


University Events Wants You!

Help make May Commencement 2015 memorable by volunteering to assist during Commencement Ceremonies on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9. All volunteers will receive incentives! Please sign up today at Volunteers are needed for any and all jobs!!! Questions? Call Tammy Steele in University Events at 540-568-5180.


February’s Safety Tips from JMU’s Office of Risk Management

February is American Heart Month. Learn about your risks for heart disease and stroke and stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones at


Promoting Positivity ~ Syllabus Planning Around High-Risk Drinking Periods

Picture a substance abuse prevention toolbox available to JMU students. One of the tools in that toolbox is syllabus planning around high-risk drinking periods.

The right column under the faculty tab on MyMadison encourages academic rigor in course planning around high-risk drinking periods in the academic year by complementing the list of high-risk dates with scheduled assignments and assessments.

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 540-568-6178 for more information.


Anthem Breach May Impact Commonwealth of Virginia Members

The Department of Human Resource Management’s (DHRM) Office of Health Benefits is actively working with Anthem to ascertain what impact the information systems breach will have on employees of the Commonwealth and their dependents.

Be aware of scam email and telephone campaigns targeting current and former Anthem members. Anthem will contact current and former members via mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service about the cyber-attack with specific information on how to enroll in credit monitoring services. Affected members will receive free credit monitoring and ID protection services.

Anthem has set up a toll-free telephone number and website specific to the nationwide data breach. Members should call the Anthem hotline at 1-877-263-7995 with questions about this incident. A special website at will be updated with new information as it is received.


A Snapshot of Upcoming Workshops Offered by JMU Training and Development

DISC I: Assessment & Introduction
Health Insurance and Flexible Reimbursement Accounts
Retirement 101: Understanding Your VRS Retirement
Injured at Work-What Next? Understanding Workers Compensation

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


Stuart Hall Merit Scholarship Application Deadline Approaches

The 2015-2016 academic year merit scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2015. Additional information may be found on page 5 of January’s HR Horizons at


WOW! Free Admission for Preschoolers

Busch Gardens and WaterCountry USA announces “our FREE 2-Park Preschool Pass is back!” More information about their 2-Park Preschool Pass at


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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