Business Matters December 2016
Quarterly Business Forum
Thank you for attending the Business Forum on Tuesday, November 8. The November 2016 Business Forum Presentation Slides are available on the Business Forum web page.
The next Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, February 9 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in HRTC 141-145. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: February Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.
Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Communication & Training at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calendar Yearend Gift Processing
The Ohio University Foundation wants to ensure that all donors who wish to do so are able to transact gifts during the University’s Winter Break Closure.
Athens City Income Tax to Increase
On Jan. 1, 2017 the Athens City income tax will increase 0.2 percent, after approval of the measure by voters on Nov. 8, 2016. The City income tax will increase from 1.65 percent to 1.85 percent. This rate increase will impact all individuals working or living in the Athens City limits. The University’s Payroll Department will adjust tax withholding accordingly for all University employees and no action is required for OHIO employees.
For more information about Athens City income tax, please visit the Athens City income tax web page.
Questions? Contact Payroll at email@example.com or 740-593-1860.
2017 Payroll Calendar Available
The 2017 Payroll Calendar is now available on the Payroll Calendars web page. This calendar identifies key payroll dates and deadlines, including the direct deposit dates for both the biweekly and semimonthly dates.
Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-593-1636.
Winter Weather Emergency Procedures Shared
With winter weather approaching, Human Resources has shared the University's policy on emergency closings.
University Policy 40.051 provides that only the president or his designee has the authority to officially close the University. As in the past, if the Athens County Sheriff declares a Level 3 snow emergency, the Athens Campus of the University will close.
Questions regarding regional campus operations should be referred to the appropriate regional campus’ dean.
Compensation for employees will follow the guidelines established in the aforementioned policy in the event of an official closing.
In all other bad weather conditions short of an emergency closing, including weather that causes cancellation of classes, the expectation is that employees report for duty as assigned. However, supervisors should develop departmental guidelines to excuse individuals’ attendance if circumstances warrant.
In such situations, time missed can be replaced through the use of the following:
- Personal time (see Policy 40.027 or Policy 40.028)
- Compensatory time (see Policy 40.049)
- Vacation time (see Policy 41.001)
The Athens County Sheriff has agreed that OHIO employees who are needed at work will only have to present their OHIO ID card and explain to the deputy that they are en route to work if they are stopped. The deputy will verify with the Ohio University Police Department that the employee is traveling to or from work.
At least yearly, departments must determine which positions are essential and then notify the staff in these positions that they are considered essential and, as such, are required to report to work during an emergency closure of the University.
Essential employees are permitted to drive directly between work and home only. The privilege to drive on a closed road only pertains to Level 3 snow emergencies. The privilege does not permit essential employees to drive on roads closed due to flooding, downed power lines, accidents, etc.
Employees should ask their supervisors if they have any questions about these procedures.
Paid Time Off Protocol
Human Resources has issued the following guidance to the OHIO community regarding the upcoming holidays, usage of paid time off and alternative work arrangements.
On July 1, 2016, HR published the annual Holiday and Winter Break Closure Days memorandum which specifies days on which the University will be closed for business. The memo can be accessed on the Human Resources Holidays web page.
Any employee who does not work their normally scheduled shift during days when the University is open must utilize the appropriate paid time off (vacation, personal, or sick time). Employees should make their requests as soon as possible to allow supervisors proper time to plan for coverage. Note: Vacation and personal time will be approved at the discretion of the supervisor.
Additionally, some employees may already be working or may request alternative work arrangements. Employees and supervisors should refer to Polices 40.053 – Flextime and Flexplace Schedule (Classified Employees) and 40.063 Flexible Work Schedule, Flexible Hours and Flexplace for Administrators in considerations of such requests. Both policies outline the process for requesting and using flexible workplace arrangements afforded under this policy.
If employees or supervisors have questions about paid time off or alternate work arrangements, they are encouraged to contact the HR Employee Service Center at 740-593-1636 or their HR Liaison.
Paid Time Off Requests
Human Resources Issues Winter Break Closure Reminder
Human Resources wishes everyone a happy Winter Break Closure and offers a few reminders as we all prepare for a well-deserved break.
Winter Break Closure is a unique time in which faculty and staff will have time to relax and unwind. Because the whole University will be closed, this is the perfect opportunity to “unplug” without fearing you may miss an important email, deadline, or event. Whether it be spending time with family and friends, taking a trip, reading a good book, or trying out some new recipes, use the Winter Break Closure to focus on life outside of work, rest, and rejuvenation.
While the OHIO community is fortunate to have this time away, individuals outside of our community may not realize that the University is closed for business.
Here are a few reminders to consider as you prepare for break:
- Remember to set away messages on email and voicemail. Indicate that the University is closed for business December 26-January 2 and you will respond to messages when you return from break (January 3 for most faculty and staff).
- Ensure that any bills or deliverables due to outside entities or individuals during the closure are taken care of before leaving for break.
- Remove any perishable items from your work space or break room before leaving for break.
- Consider taking any plants home that may need attention over break or are sensitive to cooler temperatures. Remember, heat in most buildings will be turned down to conserve energy while employees are away.
Some personnel will be required to work during the closure. Employees should check with their supervisors if they are unsure about whether they need to report to work during WBC. Supervisors and employees may refer to the WBC web page for FAQs and guidelines that will provide information regarding timekeeping and alternate time off for employees that must work during WBC.
Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at email@example.com or 740-593-1636.
Student Work Hour Limit Increases
Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the limit on hours worked for student employees (without graduate appointments or F or J visas) will increase from 20 hours per week to 25 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. The limit for summer semester and all academic breaks will remain at 28 hours per week.
For students with graduate appointments or with F and J visas, the limit on hours worked will remain at 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters and 28 hours per week for the summer semester and all academic breaks.
At the request of students and department managers, the University reviewed the current work hour limit. Students indicated they were interested in the ability to work additional hours on campus to generate additional income, to gain more work experience, and to make up for a perceived lack of off-campus part-time work options.
Please see the following Frequently Asked Questions for more details:
- Why is there a limit on student work hours?
The University maintains student workload limits principally to prevent work requirements from jeopardizing academic success.
- Why is the limit increasing?
The University reviewed the current work hour limit based upon requests from students and department managers. Students indicated they were interested in the ability to work additional hours on campus to generate additional income, to gain more work experience, and to make up for a perceived lack of off-campus part-time work options.
- When will the new limit be implemented?
New limits will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
- Is the limit based on hours per week or hours per pay period?
The limit is a weekly limit (Sunday – Saturday).
- What is the work hour limit for students with Graduate Appointments?
Per Ohio University policy, students with Graduate Appointments can work no more than 20 hours per week for all employment/positions with the University.
- What is the work hour limit for students with F and J visas?
Per federal law, students with F and/or J visas are limited to working no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session. When school is not in session, nonresident alien undergraduate students can work up to 28 hours per week. Exceeding the 20 hour per week limit when school is in session, even just one time, can result in a visa being revoked.
- Does the work hour limit apply to all campuses and centers, including regional campuses?
- How does the limit apply to students working multiple positions?
The work hour limits apply to all student positions. If a student works multiple jobs at the University, the combined total hours worked per week for all jobs must not exceed the limit.
- Can I start working more hours?
Students should talk with their supervisors regarding the ability to increase the amount of hours worked. Budget constraints may limit the ability of departments to offer students additional work.
- Who is responsible for monitoring student work hours?
Student employees and their supervisors are responsible for monitoring work hours and complying with the limits. Planning units will be provided access to workload reports to assist in monitoring student work.
- What happens if a student violates the limit?
Students who violate the limit will be notified by their supervisor(s) that they must adhere to the University’s work hour rules. Repeated violations may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Are there exceptions to the limit?
The University recognizes that a department may need a student to work greater than 25 hours per week during peak work periods, such as a one-time special event. However, students should not consistently exceed the limit.
For any long term exceptions to this rule, please contact Greg Fialko in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-593-1639.
- If a student works more than the limit, will they still be paid?
Students must be paid for all hours worked, regardless of this rule. Time worked in excess of the limit will be paid; however, repeated violations may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
- Are there other the implications for continually exceeding the work hour limits?
Students who exceed the work hour limit and work an average of 30 hours per week may become eligible for the University’s employer sponsored health care plan, not the student health plan. Departments are charged for this additional expense, and depending on budget constraints, may not have the funds to continue to employ such a student, resulting in the student being unable to obtain employment anywhere on campus.
For more information, visit the student employment web page.
University Launches OHIO Ready Staff Program
Ohio University launches a pilot program this month for providing temporary office and accounting staffing assistance. The OHIO Ready Staff pilot program will be run by the Finance and Administration Business Service Center, but open to all University departments on the Athens campus, and offers temporary accounting or office staffing support to fill gaps left by sick leaves or other paid or unpaid time off, peak work times or hiring processes.
Departments wishing to utilize the OHIO Ready Staff program may complete a staffing request form on the OHIO Ready Staff web page. Those departments utilizing the OHIO Ready Staff program will be billed at an hourly rate.
OHIO Ready Staff positions for the pilot program were posted through Human Resources and any future positions will also be posted on the Ohio University Jobs web page.
Multi-Factor Authentication to Reduce Risk of Lost/Stolen Passwords
Coming soon to an enterprise business system near you: multi-factor authentication. The name might sound complicated, but the idea is simple: make life hard on hackers by adding personalized, mobile device verification to your OHIO login.
Without multi-factor, all it takes is a password to access your account. If you lose your password or someone steals it, you and anyone whose data you have access to could be in a world of hurt. With multi-factor, your password is useless to a hacker unless he or she also has access to the smart phone, tablet or phone line you’re using to verify your login.
Multi-factor will be required for e-Biz users who have access to more than just MyHR and FMS View on Dec. 12.
How It Works
- Install a small app on your personal smart phone or tablet and enroll it in the service. As a fallback, you also can enroll a land line phone number.
- When you try to log into a protected system like e-Biz, a verification request gets sent to your smart phone or tablet. If you don’t have access to your smart phone or tablet, you can request an automated phone call.
- Open the app (or answer the phone), approve the login, and you’re in.
- To make access more convenient, you can tell the service to remember you for 30 days at a time. We strongly recommend using this option, especially if you are using a land line phone number.
Timeline: E-Biz Users with Access to More Than Just MyHR and FMS View
Approximately half of e-Biz users with this level of access already are using multi-factor. On Dec. 12, 2016, the remaining members of that group will need to start using multi-factor when logging into e-Biz. Email reminders will go out to affected employees on Dec. 7. If you are one of those employees, you will be able to enroll your preferred device(s) any time before Dec. 12. Enrollment instructions will be included in your reminder email.
Expanding the Protection: MyHR
Based on industry trends, individuals who fall victim to phishing scams are at risk of having their identities stolen by hackers who use the stolen credentials to download W2 tax forms. To reduce this risk for OHIO employees, MyHR will start requiring multi-factor authentication for off-campus access when this year’s W2s are issued on Jan. 19. Employees who would like to enroll before the requirement goes into effect can do so starting on Dec. 7. See this Compass story for more details.
Securing your Personal Assets
Multi-factor authentication is not only a good way to protect University resources but also a great way to secure personal assets. Many banks offer multi-factor at no charge to customers who know to ask for it. If your bank or credit union offers the feature, it’s well worth enabling.
For more information, visit OIT’s multi-factor authentication webpage.
Accounts Payable Winter Break Closure Deadlines
Please note the following Accounts Payable deadlines in preparation for the University Winter Break Closure (WBC) from Saturday, Dec. 24 through Monday, Jan. 2.
Dec. 22, 2016
Any invoices that need to be paid in the final check run before break must be received by AP. Please plan ahead as invoices requiring approval must be through the online approval process by this deadline. Only approved invoices will be processed.
Dec. 23, 2016
Special check run for payments scheduled between Dec. 24, 2016 and Jan. 2, 2017.
If you are aware of special needs, please reach out to Sue Jago (email@example.com) by 5 p.m. Dec. 22 to ensure your invoices will be included in this check run.
Jan. 3, 2017
Any invoices that need to be paid in Jan. 3, 2017 check run must be received by AP.
Only approved invoices will be processed.
During WBC, the Finance Customer Care voicemail and e-mail boxes will be available for emergency issues that may arise (firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-597-6446). On weekdays during break (Dec. 26-30, and Jan. 2), these mailboxes will be checked twice a day to address any issues that have been reported.
BobcatBUY and Concur Winter Break Closure Reminder
Remember to add a substitute in BobcatBUY and a delegate in Concur if you will be out of the office longer than Winter Break Closure.
Assign a Substitute in BobcatBUY
- Go to View My Profile > Ordering and Approval Settings > View Assigned Approval Folders
- If you approve invoices and requisitions, be sure to assign a substitute for Invoice under Type.
Assign a Delegate in Concur
- Go to Profile > Profile Settings > Expense Settings > Expense Delegates.
- Do not assign the right to submit or approve. Delegate rights should be to prepare, receive emails and view receipts.
Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at email@example.com or 740-597-6446.
FY18 Budget Planning
Fall financial review meetings were held in October and November. Important upcoming dates in the Budget Process include:
- Dec. 16
Republish planning assumptions and allocation models
- Jan. 13-27
Spring submission of revised Budget materials
- Jan. 30-Feb. 17
Spring financial review meetings
At the upcoming Budget Partner Group meeting, there will be a discussion regarding how units should approach the spring submission process.
Financial System Enhancements: Progress Continues
The Financial System Enhancements (FSE) project represents a combination of initiatives including the Chart of Accounts Redesign (COA), a new Financial Approvers tool and the new Oracle Grants Accounting Module. Each of these building blocks will be supported by detailed reporting capabilities within Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) and thorough training.
Wherever possible, the project team is looking for opportunities to release some of the enhancements before the Fall 2017 FSE Launch. Enhanced HR/Payroll OBI dashboards are in development and are planned to be available in early 2017. More details will be provided as the plan is determined.
The project team is working to finalize Object Code values and mapping for the General Ledger and Oracle Grants Accounting. Object Code values and Activity segment values will be reviewed with the COA Partner Group in December and released to campus for broader review and comment.
Campus Support Activities
In December, the FSE Change Network, with representative(s) from every Planning Unit across campus, will meet to review the new project timeline. The Change Network will also review the results of the FSE Pulse Survey by Planning Unit. The purpose of this survey was to gauge the individual level of comfort, knowledge and perceived impact of the FSE project across campus and was sent out in September 2017. A summary of the FSE Pulse Survey [PDF] results was published on the COA website and in the November Business Matters.
The Change Network will also discuss the initial results of the User Impact Analysis that was conducted in November 2017. The purpose of this exercise was to identify unique impacts within each Planning Unit and begin to map roles and/or individuals to specific training tracts for the FSE projects. The User Impact Analysis will continue for the duration of the project, as training is more thoroughly defined. The Change Network representatives will play a major role in ensuring that all FSE training is inclusive and appropriate. An updated training schedule is planned for publication in early 2017.
Questions? Visit the COA Website for information, reach out directly to your Planning Unit’s Change Network member(s) to share feedback or ask questions, or contact the FSE Project Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.