Search within:

Business Matters October 2016

September 30, 2016

Quarterly Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Baker University Center 240. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: November Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Questions? Contact Finance and Administration Communication & Training at

Updated FSLA Overtime Minimums

This is a reminder that new U.S. Department of Labor regulations regarding the salary threshold for employees to be considered exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) take effect December 1. The new rule requires an increase in the minimum salary considered exempt from the overtime requirements from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) to $47,476 per year ($913 per week).

Ohio University is working to address the new guidelines by continuing the analysis of current salaried exempt employees who earn below the new salary threshold to determine which employees and job families or sub-families should be converted to non-exempt status or have their salary increased above the new minimum to retain their exempt status.

Human Resources has also been reviewing potential impacts on various policies and internal salary compression as well as converting the newly non-exempt employees to hourly employees paid on a biweekly frequency. HR Compensation is working with planning units to finalize decisions and to communicate with all impacted employees by the December 1 deadline. 

For more information about the new FLSA overtime regulations, see the June Compass article, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website or read the fact sheet released by the White House.

Questions? Please contact HR Compensation at

Employees to Use My Personal Information Self-Service Benefits to Select Benefits

The Human Resources Benefits Office has completed an update to the Self-Service Benefits section of My Personal Information (MPI)

With this enhancement, employees will now use MPI Self-Service Benefits to enroll in benefits as new hires and to make benefit changes throughout the year when experiencing a qualified life event. New employees hired before September 9, 2016 must make benefit elections using the paper benefits enrollment form supplied during their new hire orientation.

For more information, please review the Enrolling in Benefits web page. A detailed user guide is also available to assist employees with enrolling in, or making changes to, their benefits using MPI Self Service Benefits.

Outside of the annual open enrollment period, employees can only make changes to their elected benefits if a qualifying event occurs. Review the Qualifying Life Events web page for details regarding those qualifying events.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office at or 740-593-1636.

University to Stop Courtesy Tax Withholding January 1

Beginning January 1, 2017, Ohio University will discontinue its current practice of courtesy tax withholding for municipalities. This change will affect any employee who currently has a local tax withheld in addition to the tax for the municipality they work in.

As taxpayers, all Ohio University employees pay taxes in the town where they live and in the town where they work. If these are separate municipalities, employees owe taxes to both. In Ohio, employers are required to withhold federal and state taxes from an employee’s paycheck, as well as local taxes for the municipality in which the employer is located or maintains a physical presence. However, employers are not required to withhold local taxes for the municipality in which the employee lives.

Recent legislation passed by the State of Ohio House of Representatives taking effect January 1, 2017, will make employer compliance of municipal withholding more difficult. For this reason, Ohio University will no longer withhold municipal tax for employees when that municipality is different from the one in which they live.

The change in courtesy tax withholding will shift the payee responsibility to the employee. All employees will be required to file and pay municipal tax for the locality in which they reside; employees should contact their local tax office to determine municipal tax regulations for their locality. For example, if an Ohio University employee worked on the Athens Campus and commuted from her home in Logan, Ohio, she would need to contact the tax office in Logan to determine how to file and pay taxes for that municipality. Taxes for Athens, the municipality in which she works, would still be withheld from her paycheck as usual.

The University will continue municipal tax withholding for the following municipalities: Akron, Athens, Cambridge, Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Dublin, Ironton, Lancaster, Nelsonville, Pickerington, St. Clairsville, Warrensville Heights and Zanesville. If an employee resides outside the localities listed, they should contact their local tax office for information regarding filing and payment requirements. 

Questions? Contact Robert Payne, tax manager, at or 740-597-1721.

Performance Management Pilot

In response to the recent Campus Climate Survey, Ohio University is exploring a new approach to performance management with a pilot program that began this August. Administrative staff and supervisors from several planning units including the College of Health Sciences and Professions, University College, Undergraduate Admissions, Office of Information Technology, and Human Resources are participating in a pilot program to evaluate new performance management training, forms and processes. A similar pilot involving Classified staff and supervisors is planned for 2017-2018. The Performance Management Pilot will help the University move towards the goal of a consistent, campus-wide approach to performance management with a program that:

  • emphasizes the importance of ongoing performance feedback;
  • seeks to improve skills and understanding through in-person training;
  • streamlines processes and forms to make them more user-friendly;
  • balances the importance of results and behaviors in evaluating overall performance;
  • looks beyond past performance and focuses on future development opportunities.

A steering committee consisting of a senior leader from each of the units participating in the pilot program, a representative from Administrative Senate, and co-chairs from Human Resources and the Russ College of Engineering provided general guidance and direction to a design team that was asked to create the training experiences, supporting tools and processes, and year-end evaluation forms. The design team, led by the HR Organizational Development Department, is comprised of nine representatives from different academic and administrative planning units. The Compensation Partner Group, Campus Climate Task Force, and Human Resources provided additional oversight. 

The new process focuses on the importance of providing performance feedback and frequent “check-in” discussions between employees and their supervisors throughout the year. As a part of the performance management pilot, the following four new training modules have been developed.

  • Performance management overview
  • Setting goals and expectations
  • Coaching and feedback
  • Evaluation and recognition

The performance management pilot group will evaluate this training and training modules will be updated as needed based on comments and insights from the pilot training sessions. Several general sessions on these topics will be offered to University employees beginning later this fall.

Additional details regarding specific dates, times, and locations for the general training sessions will be available soon. For more information about the Performance Management Pilot program, please contact your HR Liaison or Lewis Mangen, Director of Talent and Organizational Development, at

Customer Service Training Concludes in October

The Creating a Customer Service Culture training series was offered on the Athens campus in September with 94 Ohio University employees representing 16 departments participating in the two-part training. A customer service culture represents shared values across the entire organization and the design of Creating a Customer Service Culture included shared successes in customer service across a variety of OHIO departments. Creating a Customer Service Culture covers customer service basics that are cultural standards and how OHIO successfully supports a customer service culture.  

“The presentation was engaging and the activities were a fun way to practice skills to apply to our everyday work,” one participant said in the post-training evaluation. “The training and materials are very helpful. I will soon start incorporating these materials into staff meetings.”

Training sessions are scheduled for the regional campuses via OULN in October.

Questions? Contact Communication and Training at

Ohio Ethics Hotline Available

In February 2006, Ohio University demonstrated its commitment to promoting a culture of ethics and integrity by contracting with EthicsPoint®, a third-party provider located in Portland, Oregon, to manage the Ohio University Ethics Hotline. This hotline is a toll-free anonymous telephone-based system available to all University employees. It can be accessed by calling 866-294-9591. A link to additional hotline information is available on the Internal Audit web page.

The system facilitates an anonymous dialogue between anyone making a report and Internal Audit, Legal Affairs, or the University representative who can most appropriately respond to the reporter’s concerns.

Employees should report concerns through normal lines of communication. However, when employees are uncomfortable using these methods, the Ethics Hotline offers an alternative for filing concerns in an anonymous manner.

While investigations are performed in a highly confidential manner, it should be noted that records generated in the course of an investigation may be subject to disclosure in accordance with applicable law, including Ohio's Public Records Act.

The University is also required by Ohio law to inform OHIO employees of a fraud hotline maintained by the Ohio Auditor of State. This hotline can be reached at 866-372-8364.

If OHIO employees have a concern about possible fraud, waste, abuse of University assets, or other compliance or regulatory issues, the Ethics Hotline is available and can be reached by calling EthicsPoint® toll-free at 866-294-9591.

Hotel Payment Process

When booking a single room, OHIO employees should use their PCards to pay for the room. Group travel arrangements should include an agreement with possible insurance and a purchase order through BobcatBUY. The contract and insurance matrix lists national chain hotels as a Level 1 insurance risk, so a certificate of insurance is not required. A Level 2 and Level 3 insurance risk requires the certificate of insurance be provided to the procurement team. The University’s preferred travel provider (Altour) is also able to help secure all of the required supporting documentation for group travel booked through them. Contact Margie Hand at for assistance in booking group travel through Altour.

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-597-6446.

Opening P2P Forms

The following forms on the Procure to Pay forms web page have been switched to static PDF forms in an effort to resolve the “Please Wait” error that many campus constituents have been experiencing:

  • BobcatBUY Access Request Form
  • Contract- Comprehensive IC Agreement Form
  • Contract - Honorarium Agreement Form
  • Contract - Independent Contractor Agreement EZ Form
  • Contract Routing & Approval Form
  • Purchasing Card Application / Request for Update
  • OHIO Substitute W-9 (former Payment Compliance Form)

The forms will now open in all browsers. The Firefox Browser requires a one-time fix for forms to be fillable:

Step 1:  Open Menu

Step 2:  Select Options

Step 3:  Select “Applications“

Step 4:  Select “Adobe Acrobat Forms Document (application/vnd.a…)”

Step 5:  Under Action Select “Use Adobe Acrobat (default)” from the drop down menu.

Step 5:  Select “Adobe Acrobat Forms Document (application/vnd.a…)”

Step 6:  Under Action Select “Use Adobe Acrobat (default)” from the drop down menu.

Step 7:  Select “Portable Document format PDF”

Step 8:  Under Action Select “Use Adobe Acrobat (default)” from the drop down menu.

Step 9:  Select “Adobe LiveCycle Designer Document” (If Applicable)

Step 10:  Under Action Select “Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)” from the drop down menu (if applicable)


Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-597-6446.

New Office Supply Platform Available Soon

Effective October 24, the Office Max catalog in BobcatBUY will convert to the Office Depot platform. The punch-out from BobcatBUY will have a new look and feel, with better search capabilities and features. Once enabled, users will find the catalog on the BobcatBUY home page with the following icon:

The catalog will more closely resemble the retail website with an easy search tool and better descriptions and pictures.


Information on training opportunities and how to maneuver through the new BobcatBUY catalog will be communicated directly to current users and posted on the BobcatBUY website during the week of October 10.

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-597-6446.

Procure to Pay Hosts First Annual Supplier Fair

Thank you to everyone who participated in Procure to Pay’s first annual Supplier Fair. The fair featured 35 external preferred suppliers and 12 internal suppliers. Over 300 OHIO employees participated in the fair where they were able to meet suppliers and learn more about the goods and services provided by those suppliers. There were many small giveaways, along with several big ticket raffle items for faculty and staff to win. Find a full list of suppliers and winners the Procure to Pay web page. The Procure to Pay team has already started planning next year’s event and invites OHIO employees to attend the second annual Supplier Fair next fall.

Questions? Contact Finance Customer Care at or 740-597-6446.

Budget Updates

FY16 Fund Balance Key Dates

Responsibility Center Fund Balances were loaded to Oracle September 21.                

Feedback was provided to Allocated Cost units regarding reallocation requests in late September.

FY17 Budget

The FY17 Budget was loaded in July, and is available in July financial reports.

FY18 Budget Planning

The fall forecasting cycle for FY18 planning will begin in September with a staged roll-out of planning tools, templates, and materials. An overview of the FY18 planning timeline was presented at the August/September Budget Partner Group meeting. Training sessions were held in September to review the new Budget Sheet format, timeline and supplementary materials.
Questions? Connect with your Budget Planning & Analysis contact or e-mail

Financial System Enhancements to Launch Fall 2017

In response to campus feedback, the project launch date of the Financial System Enhancements (FSE) project will be moved to Fall 2017. The FSE project, which encompasses the Chart of Accounts Redesign, the new Oracle Grants Accounting Module, and an updated Financial Approvers tool, was originally planned to launch in the Spring of 2017. Timeline concerns were expressed during the August FSE Awareness Sessions, through the FSE Pulse Survey and during the User Impact Analysis review with Planning Units. Primary concerns with the original launch timeline were related to resourcing issues within Planning Units surrounding both end of the academic year activities as well as various financial deadlines (budgeting, reappointment, and fiscal yearend). These concerns were discussed internally with the FSE Project Team and then reviewed with the Responsibility Center Strategy Group (RC Strategy), which is comprised of representatives from each Academic Planning Unit. Additional times for project launch were reviewed to determine the most viable solution based on the Academic Calendar and Fiscal Calendar.

The FSE Project Team is in the process of reworking the project timeline. The project launch delay will change the training schedule that was shared during the August Awareness Sessions and in previous publications. Once a firm date is set for the launch, communication will be shared including an updated training schedule and the official launch date.

The extended project timeline will allow for a focus on improved efficiency in technology and business processes in Procure to Pay Services. Wherever possible, the team will look for opportunities to deploy changes in advance of the fall FSE launch.

The above communication was sent via email to impacted users and published in Compass on September 22. For additional project-related updates, please visit the Chart of Accounts Redesign website.

Questions? Contact the FSE Project Team at