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Business Matters March 2016

March 16, 2016

Upcoming Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 10:00 am in Baker 240. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: May Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Questions? Contact or 740.593.1893.

Open Enrollment

The annual Benefits Open Enrollment period is planned for April 11 through April 29. Benefit changes and elections made during this Open Enrollment period will take effect on July 1, 2016. The Benefits Office is currently working to offer online enrollment directly through My Personal Information (MPI).

This year, benefits-eligible employees must participate in Open Enrollment to select new vision and short term disability plan options. Failure to participate in Open Enrollment will result in the continuance of current medical, dental and life insurance enrollments only. All other benefit coverages (including vision, flexible spending accounts, and short term disability) will be dropped unless selected during Open Enrollment. Plan coverage options, instructions for using MPI to elect benefits, and informational session schedules will be announced closer to the Open Enrollment start date.

As a reminder, Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity OHIO employees have to make changes to their benefits coverage plan options including: increasing/decreasing coverage; adding/dropping covered dependents; enrolling in flexible spending accounts and to opt out of parking (Athens campus only). In compliance with Federal regulations, other than during the annual Open Enrollment period, employees can only change their benefits if a qualifying event occurs.

For more information about Open Enrollment, visit the Benefits Open Enrollment web page.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office at or 740.593.1636.

Annual Reappointment

Reappointment is scheduled to open on Monday, May 2, 2016 and will close at midnight on Friday, May 27, 2016. Compensation will be sending information related to the Reappointment process and guidelines in April 2016. Please note that those employees in the Administrative Hourly Group will not be included in the Reappointment system. Compensation will be working with departments to process appointment information for these employees during the month of May.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Employee Evaluations

University Human Resources (UHR) reminds supervisors of upcoming deadlines for annual performance evaluations for Classified and Administrative/Professional (CA&P) staff.

Annual performance evaluations are required for all CA&P staff, including those that were converted from administrative Group III contracts in July. For Administrative and Professional staff, including Administrative Hourly employees, the deadline for completion is March 15. The deadline for Classified staff is April 1.

Evaluations provide an opportunity to discuss performance in light of established goals and expectations. Supervisors and staff are encouraged to begin planning for the next evaluation cycle by reviewing and updating position descriptions, performance plans and career development for the upcoming year.

Last year, HR Liaisons worked with each Planning Unit to determine a plan and provide guidance for completion of the annual evaluations. That practice will continue this year. Supervisors and employees should expect to receive word from their Planning Units and/or HR Liaison regarding specific instructions for completing the evaluation and the proper routing of associated documentation.

Questions? Please contact your HR Liaison or call the Employee Service Center at 740.593.1636.

Health Insurance Info for Filing 2015 Income Tax Return

By March 31, 2016, the University is required to provide certain employees with a new tax form called the 1095-C that will contain important information about their health care coverage in 2015. Employees will receive the new Health Care Form if they meet both criteria below:

  • Were enrolled in health care coverage from Ohio University at any point in 2015
  • Worked an average of 30 or more hours per week or were considered a full- time employee in 2015

While information on form 1095-C may assist in preparing a return, it is not required. Individual taxpayers should file their tax returns as they normally would. Like last year, taxpayers can prepare and file their returns using other information about their health insurance as noted in the Health Care Coverage – Qualifying Offer section. In future years the 1095-C form is scheduled to be a required form for individual tax payers. To view the blank 1095-C form visit the IRS website.

More details were mailed to benefits-eligible employees in January and published in the UHR releases health insurance information related to tax filing announcement.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

New Punch-Out Catalog Added to BobcatBUY

On March 1, Procure to Pay Services added Henry Schein as a preferred supplier to the BobcatBUY purchasing system. This new addition provides departments across OHIO’s main and regional campuses with online access and ordering options for medical supplies, including:

  • Diagnostic Supplies
  • Sports Medicine Supplies
  • Medical Equipment

The new ordering page within BobcatBUY displays images, product descriptions, and minimum quantities for available Henry Schein products. All active BobcatBUY users can access the Henry Schein punch-out catalog from the preferred supplier showcase within BobcatBUY.

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

JPMC PCard Reissuance

As part of the conversion from magnetic strip cards to chip cards, all PCards and controlled value cards, regardless of expiration date, will be reissued to existing cardholders beginning April 4, 2016. New OHIO PCards will be dark blue with a vertical silver strip on the left side which will state “Purchasing”. The Ohio University logo and Tax Exempt FEIN will also be detailed. Cardholders will be notified where and when to pick up their cards by their division/unit. Cardholders should be prepared to show a photo ID and must sign affirming receipt of new card. Once the new card is activated, the existing card will no longer work and should be shredded immediately.  The existing card will continue to work up until June 1, 2016, provided the new card has not been activated.

PCard Distribution by Unit
Unit Distribution Preference Unit Contact
Arts and Sciences Baker Center/Tech Depot Claire Kimok
Business Unit Distribution Evelyn Blake
Communications Unit Distribution Heather Krugman
Chillicothe Unit Distribution Jonna Depugh
Cleveland Unit Distribution Terra Ndubuizu
Dublin Unit Distribution Brian Thompson
Eastern and Zanesville Unit Distribution Angela Richcreek
Engineering Unit Distribution Luanne Bowman
Fine Arts Unit Distribution DeAnna Russell
Graduate College and Research Unit Distribution Keith Leffler
Health Science and Professions Unit Distribution Tia Barrett
Heritage College of Medicine Unit Distribution Kelly Coates
Honors Tutorial Unit Distribution Kathy White
International Studies Unit Distribution Diane Cahill
Lancaster and Pickerington Unit Distribution Gwen Whitehead
Library Unit Distribution Debi Daniels
Patton College of Education Finance Customer Care Beth Lydic
University College Unit Distribution Wendy Merb-Brown
Voinovich School Unit Distribution Mike Finney
Advancement Finance Customer Care Mark Willis
ICA Finance Customer Care Tim Knavel
OIT Unit Distribution Aaron Leatherwood/Renee Perry
Provost/President Unit Distribution Sheila Schultz
Southern Unit Distribution Kim Addis
Student Affairs Baker Center/Tech Depot Megan Vogel
VPFA (all but Auxiliaries) Finance Customer Care Tina Payne
VPFA - Auxiliary Services Unit Distribution Erin Robb

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

P2P Contract and Insurance Web Page

Do you have Procure to Pay (P2P) contract questions?  Check out the Procure to Pay Services Contract and Insurance Web page at or join us at a Contract and Insurance Roadshow.

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

PCard, Services & Agreements

Per Ohio University Purchasing Card Policy 55.074, the PCard is a University credit card that delegates small-dollar purchasing power to individual University employees. 

Although the PCard has often been viewed as the primary purchasing tool, its original and continuing purpose is for the purchase of low dollar goods and employee travel. With the implementation of BobcatBUY and the introduction of insurance provisions, terms and conditions, contracts and agreements, signature delegation, and group travel, the focus has shifted to mitigating risk for the institution and our travelers.   

As a reminder, the University PCard should not be used for services, group travel, or any purchase that requires a contract or agreement. The PCard only protects the immediate traveler and does not extend protection to the others in a group travel situation. In addition, a Purchase Order (PO) must always be in place prior to the delivery of a service. The PO is both a legal and financial authorization from the institution to notify the supplier that the transaction has been approved by Ohio University. Increases for PCard limits to accommodate expenses above the cardholder’s current PCard limits will be reviewed and, in most cases, the cardholder will be directed toward the PO process. 

Please join Procure to Pay Services at our Roadshows (P2P Services or Contract). Procure to Pay Services also provides Roadshows to individual units upon request.  Invite us in!

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

FY 2017 Endowment Spending Allocations

On Friday, February 19, 2016, the FY 2017 endowment distributions report was distributed via email to Planning Units’ primary and secondary finance contacts. The report provides the actual amount of funds that will be withdrawn from the endowment investment pool to support individual spending accounts pursuant to the initiatives specified by the donor’s gift agreement.

These resources, which will be available for spending on July 1, 2016, are labeled as the “FY2017 Net Spending Allocation” (Column H) in the report. For current spending account balances, please consult Funds Available View.  Please note that the amounts on the report may be less than is available for expenditure in the coming fiscal year for the following reasons.

  • Donations directed to an endowment’s spending account do not appear on the report, but are recorded in the general ledger and contribute to the spending account’s balance.
  • Spending account balances that are not committed or spent prior to June 30, 2016 may also be available for spending in the following fiscal year, if the related donor gift agreement does not require unspent amounts be returned to principal.

In most cases, you will notice an improvement in the spending allocation for FY 2017, as compared to FY 2016.  This is especially true for mature endowments that were established on or before December 31, 2011. The spending calculation is based on the average market value of an individual endowment account over 36 months. Positive performance in the financial markets and the receipt of new gifts have contributed to the increase in the average value of the endowments for the 36 months ending December 31, 2015 (which was used in calculating the FY 2017 spending allocation), as compared to the 36 months ending December 31, 2014 (which was used in calculating the FY 2016 spending allocation); however, some account distributions have declined due to very recent, negative performance in the investment markets. This is especially true for young endowments that were established within the past two years and are now underwater. An underwater endowment is one whose market value is currently less than its historic gift value.  The annual endowment distribution for underwater endowments is the product of a 1% spending rate and the account’s average market value for the trailing 36 months. Accounts that are above water spend 4% of the account’s average market value for the trailing 36 months.” Please distribute the endowment distributions report to individuals within your planning unit as appropriate.

Questions? If you have questions or need a copy of the report, contact Candice Casto at or 740.593.1901

FY 2017 Budget Calendar & Timeline

The Budget Office has provided updates regarding the FY 2017 Spring forecasting process per the email sent to Budget Contacts on February 27, 2016. Please reference the BPA website for an updated FY 2017 Budget Timeline.

Questions? Contact your Budget Planning & Analysis contact or e-mail

Absence Management Is Now Available in MPI

Effective March 1, all salaried employees paid on a semi-monthly basis must perform absence management in My Personal Information (MPI). The new Absence Management function enables employees paid on a salaried, semi-monthly basis to submit work absence-related information electronically in MPI, eliminating the need to complete a paper form for Paid Time Off (PTO).

Paper forms for PTO taken after March 1, will not be accepted and will be returned to departments to enter into Absence Management. The Employee Service Center will accept paper forms for PTO taken prior to March 1, 2016 until March 31, 2016. Alternatively, employees can enter previous PTO taken directly into Absence Management. Note that if a paper form is submitted for PTO taken prior to March 1, PTO accruals will not be accurate in Absence Management until the April 15 pay period. On March 1, the PTO form will be removed from the University Human Resources web page and will be replaced with a link to MPI. Departments are encouraged to replace PTO form references with a link to MPI.

Please note that at this time, planned absence requests cannot cross the fiscal year. When projecting for future accrual balances and submitting planned absence requests, the system will not reflect vacation days or hours that may be carried over from one fiscal year to the next. There is a planned system enhancement expected to be implemented later this spring that will allow employees to enter planned absences and project future accrual balances that cross the fiscal year. Additional communication will be sent out once this functionality is available.

Steps to Access Absence Management

  1. Log in to MPI with your OHIO ID.
    • If you have trouble logging in, please review the tips included on the log in screen. If you have not yet established your OHIO security questions, you will not be able to access MPI. If you still have trouble, contact the Help Desk at 740.593.1222.
  2. Expand the “My Personal Information” Tab.
  3. Click “Absence Management”

A variety of resources are available to ensure employees are prepared to use Absence Management. Training videos, an Employee Quick Start Guide and user manuals are available on the Absence Management web page. The Employee Training Video shows employees how to view PTO accrual balances, query for projected accrual balances when planning for future time off, submit absence requests, view absence history and the automated routing of electronic absence requests. The Manager Training Video demonstrates how to take action on employees' requests.

Additional communication was sent to all impacted employees via email on March 1. Note that employees paid on an hourly bi-weekly basis will continue to track their absences in Workforce and will not use the Absence Management feature in MPI to report or request time off.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Plan Developed for Campus Training Needs

In Fall 2015, the offices of UHR Organizational Development and VPFA Communication & Training conducted a series of sessions to assess the training needs for staff across the University. 75 representatives from 80% of the Planning Units were appointed to participate. The focus of these sessions was to identify shared training requirements for staff in Managerial, Individual Contributor, and Technical & Administrative roles. Based on the information gathered during these sessions, the following training topics were determined to be of highest priority, and new learning experiences to support these needs will be developed later this calendar year.

  • Positive Performance Management
  • Analyzing Information with Systems
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Designing Effective Employee Onboarding

Positive Performance Management will be piloted this fall in conjunction with the work being done by the Campus Climate Task Force, with anticipated rollout to the entire University in Summer 2017. Exemplary Customer Service and Designing Effective Employee Onboarding will be developed and deployed in Summer 2016. Although not identified as a “new” experience, the Senior Leadership Development Program will continue from previous years but will be further tailors to OHIO’s specific needs and led by Lewis Mangen, Director of Organizational and Talent Development.

Help Define Excel Training

Analyzing Information with Systems represents a series of topics that are being developed as building blocks in support of the new Chart of Accounts Redesign project. Additional information regarding the overall plan will be published in April; however, the first topic in this series will be centered on Excel skills. The Excel Training Series will be a combination of instructor-led sessions and open labs to allow real-time learning within the context of specific tasks staff are working on. To ensure the training sessions are properly focused, please help identify which Excel functions are most used by participating in the OHIO Excel Training Needs Assessment. Please complete the survey by March 31. Your feedback will be used to create effective, relevant, and accessible learning opportunities for OHIO staff.

Questions? Contact UHR Organization Development and VPFA Communication & Training, at

The Chart of Accounts Redesign Project – Evolution of the Segment Structure

As detailed previously, the Chart of Accounts (COA) Redesign Project will provide greater access and increased visibility into the accounting structure for Ohio University. It is important to share how the proposed COA has evolved to optimize Planning Unit needs and build accounting maturity for Ohio University. Numerous steps have been taken to develop and validate the new Chart of Account segment definitions, segment values and order. Starting in June 2015, the COA Core Project Team conducted research to compare and contrast best practices for the COA across large U.S. academic institutions. Data from campus interviews and a University wide survey to assess current state COA usage was collected in September 2015 and resulted in recommendations for the new COA segment structure.

Interviews and survey results indicated that nearly all participants asked for a method to track unique activities in their Planning Unit. As a result, the newly proposed Activity segment was added and will allow Planning Units to assign specific activities within the Activity segment. Additionally, it was evident that the COA must include logical assignment of segment values, clear definition of segments and sources, and numeric sequencing to categorize accounts and make entry of accounts more efficient for end users.

Current Chart of Accounts Segment Structure

As of March 2016, the proposed New COA Segment Structure and Value Lengths

Designed based on Current State survey results, Campus interviews, COA Core Project Team research, and input from COA Partner Group, RC Strategy and RC Technical

As COA segment values are finalized and validated with campus users, further changes were made to enhance the transparency and accuracy of COA segment definitions and order. In February, three major changes were made to the COA segment structure as a result of soliciting feedback from the COA Partner Group, RC Strategy Group and the Core Project Team. First, the Entity segment value length originally allowed for three digits and has now been reduced to a two-digit value format. The second change is the ability for Planning Units to uniquely identify and name values in the Activity segment. This segment length allows a total of 9999 values to be split among Planning Units and provides a tool for tracking of departmental activities associated with each Planning Unit in the accounting system. The last segment COA value, Natural Account was re-labeled to Object, in order to reduce confusion for users who typically refer to the COA string as “account number.” It is expected that the Project Team will complete the assignment of all segment values for COA by the end of March 2016.

As part of the Prototype activities planned for Spring 2016, critical and high impact business scenarios are being identified and loaded into Oracle to test transactional processing and reporting as defined by COA Partner Group, RC Technical, RC Strategy and COA Core Project Team. The Project Team will work with participants from College of Arts & Sciences, Heritage College of Medicine, College of Engineering, VPFA and Regional Campuses to map old values to new values within the new COA structure. The objective of the prototype is to validate that the new COA can support the business requirements and scenario identified.

A series of campus-wide forums, called the COA Demo Awareness Sessions, will be offered to preview the COA segment structure and reporting capabilities in late Spring/Summer 2016. The purpose of the COA Demo Awareness Sessions is to provide an overview of the new COA and highlight report capabilities for impacted users.For additional project-related updates and information on the COA Account Redesign Project, refer to the Chart of Accounts Redesign website.

Questions or feedback? Contact the Chart of Accounts Project Team at