News & Events
Updated Adverse Weather Policy and Guidance
Updated October 19, 2016
As we approach the increasing potential for adverse winter weather conditions in our region, this communication serves as a reminder and summary of current Adverse Weather Policy including operating conditions, employee designations and guidance for accounting for time during adverse weather events.
Our campus Adverse Weather and Emergency Closing Policy has recently been updated to be fully compliant with current state policies and related rules issued by the UNC President. The updated policy can be viewed at: http://policy.appstate.edu/Adverse_Weather_and_Emergency_Closing.
Under current policy, campus chancellors have discretion to determine the operational status appropriate to maintain essential operations and provide for employee safety, based on winter weather conditions. These options include:
Our updated policy includes a list of operations designated as “mandatory operations” to be maintained during adverse weather events. Generally, employees whose work is necessary to maintain these mandatory operations are designated as “mandatory employees.” Current Adverse Weather and Emergency Events Policy requires that each employee be informed of her/his mandatory or non-mandatory status for purposes of adverse weather events. With assistance from departments across campus, we have added this status to each employee job description and, with assistance from Business Systems, employees may now review their designations through Banner Employee Self Service. We ask that all employees please log into Employee Self Service and click the Adverse Weather Mandatory/Non-Mandatory link to review their designations and guidance on accounting for time missed due to adverse weather. Please visit this tutorial for detailed instructions on navigating to the Adverse Weather Mandatory/Non-Mandatory link in Employee Self Service.
Guidance for coding time missed due to adverse weather is posted on the Human Resources website at: Adverse Weather Guidance. Along with this guidance, we will post the date, time, duration and operational level of all adverse weather events at this location for reference in completing payroll time sheets.
All changes in campus operational status due to adverse weather events will be communicated with as much notice to the campus community as possible. Changes in campus operational status affecting the start of any workday will be communicated not later than 5:30 a.m. on the affected day. All weather-related communications will be made via university email, Twitter at @appstateclosing, the University homepage, recorded messages at 828-262-SNOW and, if appropriate, through media such as WASU and Booneweather.com.
Please take time to review our updated campus policy and related time-recording guidance. If you have questions regarding any guidance we have provided please contact the Office of Human Resources at 828-262-3187.
Winter Break Closing
Winter Break Closure
Announcement to Campus, November 22, 2016
This communication serves as a reminder that winter break closure is approaching. Winter Break is implemented for the purpose of reducing our campus fuel consumption and supporting our strong commitment to sustainability. Last year, the closure resulted in $519,237 in energy cost avoidance for our campus.
This year, our winter break closure will begin on Monday, December 26 and the University will re-open on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Just one weekday during the closure, December 30, is not a university holiday and employees must either apply accrued leave or perform alternate work to be compensated for the non-holiday closure day. To maximize energy and cost savings, we must work to limit on-campus activity during the closure period to essential operations, to the extent possible. At the same time, we are committed to minimizing the impact on employees who may not have sufficient vacation or bonus leave to cover the non-holiday closure day, or those who may prefer to conserve their available leave for other purposes. The three options available to help employees manage the non-holiday closure day – community service, telecommuting and professional development.
For more detailed guidance regarding the 2016-2017 holiday and winter break closures including leave and alternative work options please visit the Winter Break Closure page on Human Resources website or contact Human Resources at 262-3187.
Community Service Leave
As we did last year, we encourage employees to consider utilizing community service leave as a way to manage the winter break closure and also support our community. To facilitate this, the ASU Staff Senate has again done outstanding work to identify a list of community organizations which may be able to support volunteers during the winter break period. A flier detailing these volunteer opportunities can be found on the Staff Senate website.
Where productive work that can be performed remotely is available, employees may seek approval of their supervisors to work from home to offset non-holiday closure hours. To utilize this option:
The supervisor and employee must agree on the work to be performed and it must be documented.
Work to be completed must be measurable and completion must be verified by the supervisor.
Hours spent performing work must be documented by the employee and provided to the supervisor for approval.
Any university work materials (hard copy or electronic) that would be removed from campus must be documented with the supervisor and their return must be documented.
Anyone needing assistance accessing university computer systems remotely should contact IT Support Services (http://support.appstate.edu/contact).
Professional Development Opportunities (Lynda.com)
Lynda.com is a web-based archive of professional development videos. It is a service to which Appalachian State University ITS subscribes, offering over 4,000. It is an exceptional professional development resource to help employees advance their knowledge and skills in areas ranging from technology and computer software to business, personal and professional skills. The winter break closure provides employees with an excellent opportunity to engage in some of these learning opportunities, to offset non-holiday closure hours. To utilize this option:
Employees must obtain approval from their supervisors.
Employees must work with their supervisors to identify offerings appropriate to their work, professional and personal development goals.
Employees and supervisors must agree upon and document offerings to be completed.
Completion of offerings must be documented by printing the Certificate of Completion at the end of each video. If the employee does not have printing capabilities, completion can be documented through ITS system tracking upon return to work after the holiday break. For this confirmation, please contact Kevin Snook in ITS at: email@example.com.
Hours spent engaged in these professional development opportunities must be tracked by employees and submitted to their supervisors for approval.
Lynda.com offerings can be accessed at www.lynda.com. From that site, click "log in" and choose the "log in through your organization or school" option. This will redirect you to the ASU Shibboleth sign-in page where you will enter your ASU ID and password. You will then be directed back to Lynda.com where you can browse and view offerings. The first time you log in through the Lynda.com site, you may be prompted to enter your organization’s URL. If you are, enter appstate.edu in the box provided.
Employees who do not have internet access at home may be able to check out a Faculty/Staff PC laptop with the Lynda.comapplication already installed by contacting the Tech Desk Manager, Michael O’Hara, at (828) 262-2270 by December 22, 2016. Please note, anyone who checks out a computer will need to log into the computers on campus before taking them off campus. Employees can download videos directly to the laptop so they can be completed later offline. Available laptops may be checked out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Anyone needing assistance in identifying a targeted selection of Lynda.com offerings is encouraged to contact Emily Wilson in Human Resources at 262-6486 prior to winter break.
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Program: May 2, 2016
We are pleased to announce that Human Resources, Academic Affairs and Counseling for Faculty and Staff have partnered with ComPsych® GuidanceResources® to provide all Appalachian State University faculty and staff an enhanced Employee Assistance Program. GuidanceResources services will provide you and your dependents confidential support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. These services are available to you now and are provided at no charge to you.
Your new Employee Assistance Program resources provided by GuidanceResources services include:
Supplemental, Confidential Counseling Services
There are two ways to access your GuidanceResources services:
Remember, your GuidanceResources services are strictly confidential. To view the ComPsych HIPAA privacy notice, please go to www.guidanceresources.com/privacy.
We hope you will take some time to explore all the benefits that GuidanceResources can offer to you. Please click here to view additional information, including a downloadable flyer. Please post and distribute the flyer to be certain that all faculty and staff are made aware of the new program. Additional informational materials will be distributed across campus in coming days.
Thank you for everything you do for Appalachian. Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions regarding our new ComPsych program.
Sheri N. Everts, Chancellor
Legislative Bonuses to be Paid in October
The Fiscal Year 2016-17 state budget included three legislative compensation-related components for state employees. A 1.5% across-the-board salary increase for all permanent employees was applied on our campus in August payroll, retroactive to July 1. The other two components are bonus payments to eligible employees, to be paid in our October payroll. These payments are one-time lump-sum payments and not increases to employee salaries. This communication describes the eligibility requirements for these bonus payments.
0.5% across-the-board bonus payment. Eligible SHRA and EHRA employees will be awarded a bonus payment equal to 0.5% of their current annual base salaries as of September 1, 2016. The following criteria apply to these bonus payments:
1.0% one-time merit bonus pool. Additional one-time bonus payments will be awarded to eligible employees from an appropriated 1.0% merit bonus pool. These bonus payments are not across-the-board payments but will be awarded based exclusively on individual employee performance. Criteria for these merit-based bonus payments differ for SHRA and EHRA employees as described below.
Emergency Loan Fund Policy (Updated November 13, 2015)
Updates to the ASU Emergency Loan Fund (ELF) Policy can be viewed in the ASU Policy.
Probationary/Career Status (Effective October 1, 2015)
All state employees subject to the State Human Resources Act (SHRA) who are appointed to full-time, part-time, or time-limited permanent positions must serve a probationary period. The probationary period is an extension of the selection process and allows time for the effective evaluation and adjustment for the new employee.
The length of an employee’s probationary period and the period of time to achieve Career Status is 12 months from the date of hire with continuous employment in a permanent position.
Law Enforcement Only: If the law enforcement officer has completed the required training (BLET) before the employee is hired, that employee is subject to a 12-month probationary period; otherwise, the employee must complete a 24-month probationary period.
For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit the Office of State Human Resources website: http://oshr.nc.gov/state-employee-resources/employee-relations/reduction-in-force
Professional Development Survey
The Office of Human Resources recently conducted a survey to determine the professional development needs and preferences of its staff. The survey concluded in January 2015 and we are pleased to present the results of the survey to you. The ultimate goal of conducting this survey was to translate the results into a catalog of professional development training courses that can be offered to all employees. We are excited to begin laying the groundwork for these programs and appreciate all who have stepped forward to be a part of the planning process. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey.
For more information, or to get involved, please contact Emily Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-262-6486.
Survey Results (PDF: 296KB)