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January 2020 Human Resource Management Newsletter

January, 2020
Performance Management System - Self Evaluation Due January 16, 2020

On October 15, 2019, all regular staff members due an annual evaluation received an email from the Performance Management System notifying them that the 2019 Annual Performance Evaluation had been launched and the self-evaluation was available for them to complete.  The self-evaluation is due January 16, 2020.  Once the employee completes their self-evaluation in the 2019 Annual Performance Evaluation, the employee will forward the self-evaluation to their supervisor within the Performance Management System.  The entire evaluation process is to be completed by March 1, 2020.

Human Resource Management has created a video on Best Practices in Employee Self-Evaluation.

Hands on Training has been scheduled specific to the 2019 Annual Evaluation Form in the Learning Management System.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the evaluation process as an employee can be found at: Performance Evaluation - Step-by-Step Instructions for the Employee

Step-by-Step Instructions for the evaluation process as a supervisor can be found at: Performance Evaluation - Step-by-Step Instructions for the Supervisor

Nominate Exceptional Teams for Special Recognition - Nomination Deadline: January 31, 2020

Any group consisting of three or more members is eligible for consideration for the Exceptional Team award. The nomination should be based on a project or assignment that is above and beyond the team’s normal course of duties.  Project participants may also be drawn from a cross section of University departments. This year’s nomination deadline is extended to January 31, 2020, and the winning team will be recognized at the Employee Recognition Ceremony to be held in May.

To access the nomination form go to Nominate Team Award Form.

2020 Goal Plan Available - Begin Setting 2020 Goals in the Performance Management System

The 2019 Goal Plan is now available in the Performance Management System.  Staff and supervisors of staff now both have the ability to add goals to the 2020 goal plan.  The 2020 goal plan can be accessed by logging into mytalent.ku.edu

At least one goal must be established during the 2020 calendar year.  A best practice is 3-5 goals.  It is advised that goals are established as early in the 2020 review period as possible.

Step-by-step instructions on how to establish goals as an employee can be found here: Step-by-Step Instructions - Goals - Employee

Step-by-step instruction on how to establish goals as supervisor can be found here: Step-by-Step Instructions - Goals - Supervisor

Additional training for the Performance Management System, to include desk side coaching can be requested by emailing hrdept@ku.edu for more information.

Thank you for supporting the professional development of your staff by engaging actively in the Performance Management system.  

State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) - Plan Year 2020

Please refer to the 2020 SEHP Benefits Booklet for detailed information about plan design, premiums (page 29), and updates. Please refer to the KU Benefits – Health page for additional information.

Paycheck Deductions
Health insurance elections made during Open Enrollment for health, dental, vision and spending accounts, became effective January 1, 2020.  The first deduction will be taken from the January 10, 2020 paycheck and we encourage you to review that paycheck to review the premiums and contributions associated with the SEHP elections you made for calendar year 2020. (How to guide).

The SEHP allows HealthQuest credits to be earned through 12/31 and those credits will impact the premium discount for the following CY.  If you earned credits to qualify for the HealthQuest premium discount, but those credits were awarded late, they may not be reflected on the first 2020 check (dated 1/10/20).  The SEHP will process adjustments to reflect the correct premiums in future checks.

Click on this worksheet to find the semi-monthly premium rates for both no-discount and the full $20 semi-monthly HealthQuest premium discount. For employees who have spouses covered, under the SEHP medical plan, both the employee and the covered spouse must have earned enough credits to qualify for the full $20 semi-monthly discount. If only one earned enough credits, then a $10 semi-monthly discount would have been earned. If you have questions about the HealthQuest premium discount, please contact the SEHP at kdhe.HealthQuest@ks.gov.

If your benefit deductions appear incorrect, please contact the Benefits Office immediately at benefits@ku.edu and be prepared to provide a copy of your Open Enrollment confirmation printout. 

Twelve-month staff will have deductions from 24 checks (the first two checks each month).  When the month has a third paycheck no deduction will be taken.

Prepaid Summer Benefits for Eligible Faculty and Staff

Employees with prepaid summer benefit coverage will prepay summer health insurance, optional group life insurance and/or MetLife voluntary insurance premiums during the designated spring semester payroll periods. If you will not be returning to KU in the subsequent fall semester, the prepaid summer deductions will be refunded.

Academic year faculty and staff with positions designated as less than twelve-month will have Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and/or Health Savings Accounts (HSA) deductions taken from 18 checks (the first two checks of the months of January through May and September through December).  These deductions will not be taken from any other paychecks received during the year. 

A memo will be sent to academic year faculty and staff in the Spring about the prepaid deduction schedule.

Health Savings Account (Employee & Employer contributions)

The Employer HSA and HRA contributions will be deposited in four quarterly installments for active employees.  The employer contribution will be based on your enrollment on the 1st day of each quarter.  The first HSA employee contribution deduction will be taken from the January 10, 2020 paycheck. 

1st installment

January 10, 2020

2nd installment

April 3, 2020

3rd installment

July 10, 2020

4th installment

October 2, 2020

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
FSAs for calendar year 2020 became effective January 1, 2020.  The first 2020 deduction for health and/or dependent care FSAs will be taken from the January 10, 2020 paycheck. 

  • NueSynergy will send new FSA accounts a debit card if the current card is close to expiration.  Additionally, you can choose other claim submission methods.
  • Eligible claims incurred in 2019 must be filed by April 30th, 2020.
  • Health Care FSA and the Limited Purpose Health Care FSA allow up to a maximum of $500 to be rolled over into the next plan year.

For more info, watch the FSA overview video, visit the NueSynergy website or contact 1-855-750-9440 or CustomerService@nuesynergy.com

New Identification Cards:

New ID cards will be issued as follows:

  • BCBS of Kansas and Caremark have sent/will send new cards to all members
  • Aetna, Delta Dental, Surency Vision and Quest are only sending cards to new members or members who made changes in coverages during Open Enrollment
  • NueSynergy will send debit cards to new FSA, HSA and HRA account participants and to all participants with cards close to expiration.

HealthQuest Rewards – Plan Year 2020

HealthQuest is a wellness rewards program that is part of the SEHP. For more information, visit the HealthQuest webpage.  

2020 HealthQuest Program - From January 1, 2020, employees and spouses enrolled in the medical portion of the SEHP have an opportunity to earn credits by participating in HealthQuest wellness activities. Those who complete a required health assessment questionnaire worth 10 credits and earn the additional 30 credits by December 31, 2020, for a total of 40 credits, will receive the $480 annual discount on the medical plan premium for Plan Year 2021.  If only one of the covered individuals completes the requirements, the premium incentive discount will be $240.

HSA or HRA participants (Plans C, N, J, and Q) can earn additional employer contributions to the employee’s HSA/HRA (up to $500 each per employee and covered spouse).  

Earning Your CreditsThe HealthQuest portal is being redesigned for 2020.  It should be available in early January to start earning your credits.  More information will be emailed when available. 

Biometric Screening - Biometric screening events are being scheduled statewide and scheduling will begin 01/03/2020 using the HealthQuest portal or by phone at 1-888-275-1205 Option 3 (available 24/7).

Sixteen biometric screening dates will be available on the Lawrence campus, from February through October 2020. Screenings are from 8 am through 1pm in the Kansas Union Jay Room on Level 1.

Scheduled Dates



















403(b) and 457 Voluntary Retirement Plans

The University of Kansas offers two voluntary retirement savings plans that provide opportunities to make contributions on a before or after-tax basis.  While there are no University contributions made to either, the plans help employees supplement retirement income.

  • KPERS 457 deferred compensation plan (all employees may elect to participate)
  • Kansas Board of Regents 403(b) voluntary retirement plan (for benefits-eligible employees only)

For more information, please see Voluntary Retirement Plans, or email benefits@ku.edu

2020 Pre-Retirement and Financial Planning Seminars

A series of seminars designed to help faculty, staff, and families plan for financial security and an enjoyable retirement.  Reservations are not required, and seminars are free of charge.  These seminars are not intended to provide individual investment advice. 

Seminars will be held February 25th and 27th and March 3rd – 5th, 2020 in Alderson Auditorium, Level 4, of the Kansas Union: 

  • KPERS Benefits in Retirement
  • Social Security Benefits in Retirement
  • Health Insurance After Retirement
  • Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning
  • Long Term Care

Watch for an email from the Benefits Office which will provide complete details.

New 2020 W-4 Form

The IRS has released the new 2020 W-4 form, which has been revised to reflect changes made to the federal tax law.  Please read the instructions included with the form or consult a tax expert for assistance. Current employees are NOT required to fill out the new form unless they are changing their W-4 status or claiming exemption for 2020, but may choose to submit a new form.  If you choose not to complete a new W-4, federal tax withholding will continue to be based on the most recent W-4.  See our Federal W-4 Form page for more information.

Tuition Assistance Deadlines

KU provides eligible employees with assistance to cover tuition for one class (up to 5 hours) per semester.  For more information about the program to include eligibility, and courses that qualify, please visit the Human Resource Tuition Assistance for Employees webpage

Applications must be received on time.  Application availability and deadlines are as follows:

Summer 2020 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be made available March 1, 2020, and the deadline is April 3, 2020

Fall 2020 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be made available June 1, 2020, and the deadline is July 3, 2020

Spring 2021 Semester: Online Tuition Assistance Application will be made available October 1, 2020, and the deadline is November 6, 2020


State Recognition Ceremony 2019

On October 23, 2019, KU employees with 40 years of state service were recognized by Governor Laura Kelly at the Topeka Capitol Building.

Honorees in attendance and honored by the Governor on October 23, 2019, from left to right: Reva Friedman, Daniel Pentlin, D.W. Acker, Michael Ediger, Patricia Moody.


All 40 year honorees are as follows:

David W. Acker

Michael Ediger

Reva Friedman

Nancy Hollingsworth

Myron Kautsch

William Keel

Patricia Moody

John Peck

Daniel Pentlin

Elizabeth Phillips

Sara Sack

Prakash Shenoy

Barbara Terry


Congratulations on 40 years of State of Kansas service!

Winter 2020 Staff Professional Development Opportunities

KU Human Resource Management Learning and Development provides a variety of services aimed at improving individual and organizational performance. This includes professional development programming. Listed below are programs taking place on Lawrence campus from January through March 2020 provided by Learning and Development and other offices. Register through KU’s Talent Development System at mytalent.ku.edu by clicking the links below. All classes are held in Joseph R. Pearson (JRP) 204 unless otherwise noted.


      Training Spotlight: LinkedIn Learning with Lynda.com Content


All KU staff and faculty have the benefit of unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning with Lynda.com content through mytalent.ku.edu. LinkedIn Learning provides an on-demand library of more than 6,000 courses to further both your creative and professional skills across a wide range of topics. Getting started is easy: log into mytalent.ku.edu, click the Learning tile, and search directly in the Find Learning box or click Browse all courses.


Title and Link


Communication Foundations


Defining and Achieving Professional Goals

Managing Stress

Managing Stress for Positive Change





Building Intercultural Skills Workshop (in three parts)

This series of three workshops offers practical skills for handling confusing situations and building confidence in interactions with KU’s increasingly diverse community. A $20 fee for an online profile is required; contact Alison Watkins for more details.

Feb. 5,  Feb. 19, March 11 | 10 a.m. – Noon

Bullet Journal Workshop

Learn the Bullet Journal Method. Bring a pen or pencil and a notebook that has 100+ blank pages.

Wednesday, Feb. 5 | 1 – 3 p.m.

Compassionate Communication Series

Offered through a partnership between HRM and the Ombuds Office.

Introduction to Compassionate Communication

Wednesday, Jan. 22 | 1 – 4 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 20 | 1 – 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 11 | 1 – 4 p.m.

A Deeper Dive into Empathy

Prerequisite: Introduction to Compassionate Communication

Friday, Jan. 17  | Memorial Union Malott Room | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Thursday, March 19 | Memorial Union Malott Room | 1 – 4 p.m.

Diving Deep into Feelings and Needs

Prerequisite: Introduction to Compassionate Communication

Thursday, Feb. 27  | Memorial Union Malott Room | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Self-Empathy (new)

Prerequisite: Introduction to Compassionate Communication

Friday, Jan. 31 | 9 a.m. – noon

Thursday, March 12 | 1 – 4 p.m.

This class is designed to deepen your ability to connect with self and heal your past through the process of self-empathy. Exploring the places where you get emotionally triggered enables you to develop a greater understanding of why you react so strongly and expands your ability to choose how you respond to the things that trigger you.

Observations & Requests (new)

Prerequisite: Introduction to Compassionate Communication

Wednesday, Feb. 19 | 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25 | 2 – 3:30 p.m.

An activity-based class to practice making observations free of evaluations and making requests rather than demands.

Dance Floors: Masters Class (new)

Prerequisites: Introduction to Compassionate Communication; and A Deeper Dive into Empathy, the Breadth of Compassion; and Diving Deep into Feelings and Needs

Tuesday, March 24 | 1 – 4 p.m.


Discussion Sessions – Compassionate Communication

Prerequisite: Introduction to Compassionate Communication

An informal session to share with others about integrating CC into your lives. A facilitator is present to answer questions and provide feedback.

Monday, Jan. 27 | 11 a.m. – noon

Monday, Feb. 24 | 11 a.m. – noon

Monday, March 23 | 11 a.m. – noon

Practice Sessions – Compassionate Communication (new)

Prerequisite: Introduction to Compassionate Communication

An informal session to practice Compassionate Communication using a variety of individual and group activities.

Wednesday, Jan. 29 | 11 a.m. – noon

Wednesday, Feb. 26 | 11 a.m. – noon

Wednesday, March 25 | 11 a.m. – noon

Conducting Unclassified Professional Staff/University Support Staff and Student Searches

The training provides an overview of equal opportunity principles, university hiring guidelines, and best interviewing practices. Attendance is encouraged for those who plan to chair a search committee and anyone else needing a refresher on conducting staff searches.

Tuesday, Jan. 28 | 103B Carruth O’Leary | 10 a.m. – Noon

Wednesday, Feb. 19  | 103B Carruth O’Leary | 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.  

Thursday, March 19 | 103B Carruth O’Leary | 10 a.m. – Noon


For information, visit https://wellness.ku.edu/lunch-n-learns. Registration not required. 

Wednesday, Feb. 5 | Cooking demo

Wednesday, March 4 | Alexander Technique 

Managing Difficult Conversations

Learn tools to prepare for a difficult conversation.

Thursday, Jan. 30 | 1 – 4 p.m. 

Tuesday, March 17 | 9 a.m. – Noon 



All run from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. For more information and where to meet, visit https://wellness.ku.edu/move-n-learns. Registration required.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 – tour the Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena

Wednesday, Feb. 19 – tour the Spencer Research Library’s North Gallery

Wednesday, March 18 – tour the renovated Stauffer-Flint Hall

Safe Zone Training (for faculty & staff)

The purpose of this program is to reduce homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism on our campus, and to make KU a safer and freer environment for all members of our community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Offered through a partnership between the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Friday, Feb. 7 | Multicultural Resource Ctr. Room 116 | 9 a.m. – Noon

Friday, March 20 | Multicultural Resource Ctr. Room 116 | 9 a.m. – Noon

Friday, April 10 | Multicultural Resource Ctr. Room 116 | 9 a.m. – Noon

Friday, May 1 | Multicultural Resource Ctr. Room 116 | 9 a.m. – Noon

Supervisory Training for Excellence in Performance, 2.0 (STEP 2.0)

A 7-week comprehensive program for supervisors of staff. Topics are: hiring process, managing employee performance, compliance, communication, organizational change, counseling and disciplinary action, trust and relationship building, self-management, ethics, handling microaggressions, and addressing sexual harassment.

Tuesdays, Jan. 28 – March 10 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Unconscious Bias and the Workplace

Learn how unconscious bias negatively affects the workplace, interactions with our colleagues, and impacts productivity. This training is especially ideal for members of University search and selection committees. ​Offered by the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access.

Friday, Feb. 7  | | 1 – 4 p.m.

Wellness Fair for KU Faculty and Staff – Save the Date

Wednesday, April 8 | 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Kansas Union Ballroom

Whiteness in the Workplace – Save the Date

Registration opens in January at mytalent.ku.edu. All run from 1 to 4 p.m.

Part 1 | Thursday, Feb. 27 | Kansas Union Big 12 Room

Part 2 | Thursday, March 26 | Kansas Union Big 12 Room

Part 3 | Thursday, April 23 | Kansas Union Big 12 Room

Yoga on the Hill

Learn to incorporate breath awareness with postures and movement to help focus the mind and relieve physical stress. This is an all levels class. Bring a yoga mat.

Friday, Jan. 31 | Memorial Union Crossroads Rm. | 12 to 12:45 pm

Friday, Feb. 28 | Memorial Union Crossroads Rm. | 12 to 12:45 pm

KU Staff Mentor Program

The Staff Senate Professional Development Committee has announced the creation of a new KU Staff Mentor Program to promote connections between university staff.

By partnering with the KU Alumni Association, their KU Mentoring online platform serves as a networking database for anyone interested in getting involved. Staff who join the “KU Staff Senate Mentor Program” group will have access to seek out mentorship opportunities and indicate their support for their fellow colleagues. Step-by-step instructions are available to guide you.

To complement the online component of the program, the Professional Development Committee is planning spring semester meet-ups. This group is designed to facilitate knowledge sharing, build valuable skills and strengthen healthy workplace relationships.

Walk-Ins Welcome at Immediate Care Clinic

When a need arises during the workday, faculty and staff are able to be seen at the Immediate Care Clinic (ICC) on campus. Watkins Health Services provides accessible and quick medical treatment for KU employees on a walk-in or appointment basis. Walk-ins are welcome weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm when classes are in session or 8:00 am to 4:30 pm when classes are not in session.

The clinic provides treatment for common illnesses like colds, coughs, sore throats, sinus infections, ear aches, pink eye, rashes, bites, headaches, stomach aches, urinary discomfort and minor cuts and abrasions (non-work related). For convenience, ancillary services like lab work, x-rays, immunizations and prescriptions are also accessible onsite. Employees still need to have a primary care provider for preventive and on-going care and treatment of chronic conditions. Work related injuries are managed by Lawrence Memorial Hospital as the University’s approved provider.

KU affiliated corporations may also use the ICC. Family members, former faculty and staff and retirees are not eligible for care.  Co-pays are collected at time of service and claims are submitted to most insurance companies with the exception of Medicare or Medicaid. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call the ICC at 785-864-95652.

  • January - Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena
    • Wednesday, January 8, 2020 from 12:10-12:50 pm
    • Tour the team lounge, locker room, athletic training room, and hospitality suite
    • Meet at the front entrance of the new facility (map) 
    • Space is limited to 40. Registration is required and is open now: Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena
  • February - Kenneth Spencer Research Library
    • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 12:10-12:50 pm
    • Explore Spencer’s North Gallery, which highlights materials from the library’s impressive distinctive collections and go behind the scenes to walk through KU Libraries’ newly enhanced and renovated conservation lab.
    • Information about finding Spencer is located on the library’s website.
    • Space is limited to 30. Registration is required and will open closer to the event.
  • March – Stauffer-Flint Hall
    • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 from 12:10-12:50 pm
    • Come see the renovations to Stauffer-Flint Hall, home of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, including a new entrance, state-of-the-art broadcast studio, and learn about the Jayhawk Media Group.
    • Space is limited to 25. Registration is required and will open closer to the event.
  • April – Dole Institute of Politics
    • Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from 12:10-12:50 pm
    • The mission of the Dole Institute of Politics is to promote political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, balanced manner. The public education coordinator will take you on an in-depth look at the Dole Institute and Archives. The museum gallery highlights Senator Bob Dole’s legacy and career of over 35 years representing Kansas in Congress. The Dole Institute is also home to the world’s largest stained glass American flag, Veteran’s Memory Wall with over 1,000 pictures of Kansas WWII veterans, and two beams from the World Trade Center, a memorial to the victims of 9-11. We’ll also go behind the scenes to see where one of the country’s largest congressional collections is stored.
    • Space is limited to 40. Registration is required and will open closer to the event.

Lunch-N-Learns (http://wellness.ku.edu/lunch-n-learns)

  • February – Cooking Demo
    • Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 12:10-12:50 pm
    • Location TBD
    • Celebrate National Sweet Potato Month with a sweet potato taco cooking demo and sampling! We will also discuss a few tips and tricks on how to make meal prepping easier and a little more enjoyable.
    • Led by Jade Gibson, Registered Dietitian for KU Dining
  • March – Alexander Technique
    • Wednesday, March 4, 2020 from 12:10-12:50 pm at the Kansas Union in The Jay
    • Alexander Technique is an educational method that helps you move in a way that is more coordinated and balanced. We will explore the basic principles of this technique by playing games and looking at our movement habits and patterns. Please bring a yoga mat with you and wear something comfortable to this session. 
    • Led by Karen Benda

KU Faculty and Staff Wellness Fair

  • Save the date to attend the annual KU Faculty and Staff Wellness Fair on Wednesday, April 8th from 10:30-1:00 pm at the Kansas Union in the Ballroom.  Checkout new vendors, fill your bag with swag, get free samples, and earn a HealthQuest point!


Weight Watchers at Work Program
Meetings held at KU Endowment Building, West District

Join us for Weight Watchers at Work any Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at KU Endowment, 1891 Constant Ave. This Weight Watchers group meets in the privacy of the student call center at KU Endowment in West District (free parking!). Meetings include a private come-and-go weigh in from 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and a 30-minute program that begins at 11:30 a.m. Join any time! For more information, contact Lori Blaylock, coordinator, at 785-832-7337 or lblaylock@kuendowment.org

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