Independence Day Holiday Reminder and the Modified Summer Schedule

Friday, July 4 is a university holiday! Full-time employees’ work schedules should be adjusted to 32 hours the week of Monday, June 30 through Thursday, July 3.

Questions may be directed to Dianna Banks, Absence Programs Coordinator, 540-568-3974, or

Optional Life Rate Changes

Minnesota Life recently announced revised optional group life insurance rates for five age brackets, effective July 1. It is expected that the VRS Board of Trustees will approve these rates at its June 26 meeting. Listed below are the reduced age brackets:

  • Age 30-34: Reduced from $0.06 to $0.05 per month per $1,000 of coverage
  • Age 35-39: Reduced from $0.07 to $0.06 per month per $1,000 of coverage
  • Age 55-59: Reduced from $0.34 to $0.33 per month per $1,000 of coverage
  • Age 60-64: Reduced from $0.66 to $0.65 per month per $1,000 of coverage
  • Age 65-69: Reduced from $1.27 to $1.15 per month per $1,000 of coverage

The maximum coverage amount also will increase to $750,000 for employees and $275,000 for retirees effective July 1. Rates for all other age brackets remain the same. Rates for dependent children coverage also remain unchanged.

This rate decrease will be reflected in the July 16 pay advice. Questions concerning optional group life insurance coverage may be directed to a Benefits Coordinator at 540-568-3593 or

Saving for Your Retirement

Beginning August 1, employees who participate in the Tax Deferred Savings Program will have another option for saving for retirement by contributing to a Roth 403(b) account. Roth 403(b) contributions and withdrawals are taxed differently than the pretax 403(b) contributions you may currently make. The compensation that you defer to a Roth 403(b) account is contributed to the plan after state and federal income taxes have been withheld.  Then, at retirement, when you take qualified distributions from your Roth 403(b) account, the contributions and earnings on them are not subject to federal income tax.

Depending on your personal circumstances, this new feature may provide you with additional tax benefits as you plan your financial future. You should also consult with your tax or financial advisor to determine if Roth 403(b) contributions are appropriate for you. Watch for additional communications during the month of July, including information on how to make your elections.

July 16 Pay Advice

Please check your July 16 pay advice for accuracy regarding any changes you may have made to your health insurance coverage and/or flexible spending accounts during the recent Open Enrollment period.

Classified Employee Performance Evaluations

Did you know annual performance evaluations for non-probationary classified employees may be completed and submitted to Human Resources anytime beginning July 1 through September 30, 2014? Ratings are contingent on continued performance for the duration of the performance cycle which officially ends October 24. To ensure thorough and thoughtful evaluation of employee performance, this is an ideal time for:

  • employees and supervisors to receive and provide open and honest feedback on the past year’s performance;
  • employees to communicate their perspectives on performance through self-evaluation;
  • employees to review/create their Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP); and
  • supervisors to make any necessary adjustments to position descriptions through PositionLink.

An Acknowledgement of Extraordinary Contribution or a Notification of Improvement Needed must be attached to the Annual Performance Evaluation to support an overall rating of Extraordinary or Below Contributor.

Refer to Performance Evaluation Process on HR’s website for links to applicable forms, policies and process details.

Training opportunities for employees and supervisors: Individual Professional Development Plan Workshop

Training opportunities for supervisors: Performance Management Information Sessions for Supervisors of Classified Employees

Your HR Consultant is available to assist you with questions about employee performance evaluations.

June Safety Tips

Timely summer safety tips from JMU’s Office of Risk Management.

Watch: 90-second video

Take 90 seconds to watch this video and picture a substance abuse prevention toolbox available to JMU students.

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

Department leaders, please consider adding this video to the agenda of your next staff meeting or retreat, and as part of the orientation process for new hires.

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.

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

Clear as Mud (
Ending Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct: What You Need to Know About Discrimination, Harassment, and Title IX
Performance Management Info Sessions for Supervisors of Classified Employees

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

The University Policy Committee website is a resource to research policies that have a broad impact on the university's people and processes. The most recently implemented/updated policies may be reviewed at

Save the date of Friday, August 15 for JMU's annual Faculty-Staff Picnic! More information to come your way.

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

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