You are here: December 2017 Newsletter

Happy Holidays from Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources wishes you and your family a safe and joyful holiday season.

Mark Your Calendars: End-of-Year Payroll Deadlines

The biweekly and monthly payroll schedules operate on a compressed processing schedule this month due to the winter holiday. The last paycheck in 2017 will be dated Dec. 29 for all monthly and biweekly employees. Biweekly timesheets for hours worked Dec. 2 - 15 must be signed and approved by noon on Friday, Dec. 15. Monthly leave reports for leave taken in November were due Dec. 1 (sign and approve immediately if you have not already done so).

Biweekly timesheets for pay period ending December 29 and monthly leave reports December are due Tuesday, Jan. 2.

How Do I Receive My 2017 W-2?

Active employees can opt to receive their 2017 W-2 forms electronically through the myAU portal. Electronic W-2 distribution is the fastest, safest, and most secure way to receive your form. Omitting the paper form reduces the university's environmental impact.

Sign up for electronic W-2 distribution by January 1, 2018 with the following steps:

  1. Log in to the myAU portal
  2. Go to the Personalized Links section, and select Work@AU.
  3. Click on the link "W-2 Electronic Consent," and select either "OPT-IN" or "OPT-OUT," then click "Submit."

You can verify your election by clicking on "W-2 Electronic Consent" again and reviewing the "consent history" section.

You must give consent to receive an electronic W-2 form. This election only needs to be made once, not yearly. You may change your election at any time. Online forms are expected to release in mid-January 2018.

Those who select to OPT-OUT or do not complete the consent form will receive a paper version of the 2017 W-2 in the mail by the end of January 2018. If you have any changes in your mailing address, contact the Payroll Office by sending a completed Personal Data Change Form to Additional verification may be required.

Important Payroll Deadlines

Biweekly employees

Pay period ending 12/15/2017
Time sheets due before Monday 12/18

Pay period ending 12/29/2017
Time sheets due Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Monthly employees

Pay period ending 11/30/2017
Leave reports due before Thursday 12/14

Pay period ending 12/31/2017
Leave reports due Tuesday, January 2, 2018

All employees
Elect W-2 Electronic Consent by Monday 1/1 OR

Update mailing address for paper W-2 by Monday 1/1

If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Payroll Office at (202)885-3520 or email

Return to top

Managers: 5 Steps to Setting Goals for You and Your Staff

It is important to make your goals meaningful to you and your staff. Setting goals at work motivates you to manage time efficiently and challenge yourself. Follow the steps below designed to aid the goal-setting process for managers:

Step 1: Review your department or school's organizational goals and objectives for the year.

Step 2: Share and discuss goals - help staff understand how their goals connect and relate to the strategic goals of the department and organization.

Step 3: Evaluate individual contributions - give staff the opportunity to consider how they can support the department and organizational goals. Identify key projects and duties. Discuss each contribution to see where it might fit in supporting the goal.

Step 4: Evaluate the effectiveness of each goal - is the goal S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely)?

Step 5: Repeat each of the above steps until each staff member has three to four meaningful goals.

If you need assistance with goal setting, contact

Return to top

Spring 2018 Tuition Remission Applications Due by Monday, January 22

Are you planning to take classes in the spring? AU offers tuition remission for eligible faculty, staff, spouses and same-sex domestic partners at AU and Wesley Theological Seminary. Online applications must be submitted every semester that you plan on using AU's education benefits.

Applications must be submitted through the myAU Portal by Monday, January 22.

Attend a Tuition Remission Workshop in January

Learn more about tuition remission benefits at an upcoming brown bag workshop. Find out what's covered, what's taxable, how to apply, and important deadlines. See the workshop dates below:

Workshop Schedule:
January 11 & January 18
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: MGC 245

Registration is requested, but not required. Walk-ins are welcome. To register visit AsuccessfulU on the myAU portal. For updated session information, follow us on Twitter @AUemployees.

Important Facts about AU's Tuition Remission:

  • Applications must be submitted each semester that you use tuition remission.
  • Spring 2018 tuition remission online applications are due Monday, January 22; applications received after January 22 will be denied.
  • Flex Work Arrangement and/or Work Schedule Exemption forms are due January 22. Allow sufficient time for manager and department approvals.
  • Full-time faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission benefits if they started employment prior to September 22, 2017.
  • Tuition remission for eligible courses is covered for 8 credits for each semester, and up to 20 credits per academic year.
  • Some courses are not covered. See the ineligible programs list.
  • Graduate level courses and same-sex domestic partners' undergraduate courses are 100% taxable.
  • Application, exam, matriculation, course and lab fees are not covered.
  • The last day to drop a class/make changes for 100% refund is January 29, 2018.

Tuition Remission Taxation Reminder

All graduate level courses are 100% taxable although faculty and staff receive annually the first $5,250 of their tuition tax-free. Same-sex domestic partners are taxed 100% on undergraduate classes.

When you receive a taxable tuition benefit for you, your spouse or same-sex domestic partner, or your dependent, the value of the benefit is imputed as taxable income. Imputed income taxes are paid through payroll deductions scheduled during the semester the benefit is issued.

Taxation on remitted tuition can significantly reduce your net (take-home) pay!

Use the Symmetry® calculator to estimate your take-home pay if you will be taking courses that are subject to taxation. Because there are many factors that may affect your individual situation, you may want to consult a tax advisor.

If you have any questions or need assistance with tuition remission, contact the Benefits Team at or x3400.

Return to top

Five Things an HR Business Partner Can Do For Leaders

This past year, the Office of Human Resources successfully piloted a new program called HR Business Partners (HRBP) with four different business units/schools across the university. The program pairs a staff member from HR with a unit to provide expertise and advice on human resource issues. Given the program's success, Katherine Simpson has been appointed HRBP Director to lead this function and expand it to service more business units.

How does an HR Business Partner help your business unit meet its goals?

HR Business Partners can …

  1. Create customized solutions for HR issues in your unit or school. Each business unit or school is unique, so we work with the unit's goals and individual situations to craft solutions and strategies that help achieve its organizational objectives.
  2. Use data and analytics to enable units to make informed decisions about future talent needs. Business partners can share current HR data to help assess if the right people are in place to be successful and plan to fill talent gaps.
  3. Provide a main point of contact for the unit's leadership. No more guessing about who to call - the business partner will connect unit leaders with the right person each time.
  4. Help you with diversity and inclusion efforts. Business partners can provide support and connect you with resources to better understand the unit's demographics, provide training, or navigate a difficult situation.
  5. Translate unit goals into a solid people strategy. It's often said that, "People are your greatest asset," but how do you turn the unit's goals into actions? The business partner can help craft a long-term people strategy to help a unit realize its goals and aspirations.

We are currently in the process of identifying and training partners for new unit clients. Contact Katherine Simpson for more details at

Return to top

Develop Skills in Human Resources Management with New SPExS Courses

Start or advance your career in human resources with American University's new online Human Resource certificate programs. American University is now a partner in the Society for Human Resource Management. With this partnership, HR professionals and those interested in entering the field can take two online professional certificate courses in the School of Professional and Extended Studies: Essentials of Human Resources and Human Resource Management.

Essentials of Human Resources
This 5-week online program provides an overview of key aspects of HR.
February 22 - March 22, 2018

Human Resource Management
This 12-week program will prepare you for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exam
February 5 - April 23, 2018

These programs are a part of the SPExS Graduate Professional Online Learning program that offers practical degrees, including an MS in Human Resources Analytics and Management. Please note that AU's tuition remission does not apply to these certificate programs.

For more information about SPExS HR programs and classes, visit

Return to top

HR Events & Announcements

One-on-One Investment Counseling Sessions Schedule

One-on-one financial planning consultations for Fidelity and TIAA are available at the following dates. All meetings will take place at the 3201 New Mexico Ave office in Room 280T except as noted.


  • Tuesday, January 16
  • Thursday, January 18

To schedule a consultation, please visit


  • Wednesday, January 10
  • Wednesday, January 24

To schedule a consultation, please visit