Skip to main content

Human Resources Newsletter

August 2014


Welcome to the August issue of the HR Newsletter. In this issue, read about:

  • Fall 2014 Tuition Remission Deadline, August 29
  • Fall Employment-Related Reminders for Managers
  • Retirement Plan One-on-One Counseling Sessions
  • 2014 Compensation Program for Full-Time Staff
  • AhealthyU Success Story: Kevin Wyatt
  • Pedometer Challenge Results, Stepping to Better Health
  • Ergonomic Resources for Back and Neck Pain
  • Workplace Learning and Development September Training Calendar
  • Staff Council Gears Up for another Year

To go directly to an article, click on the Quick Links on the right.

Fall 2014 Tuition Remission Deadline is August 29

AU offers tuition remission for eligible staff, spouses, and same-sex domestic partners at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.

If you utilize the tuition remission benefit, you must apply each semester. The fall 2014 tuition remission online application is due no later than Friday, August 29, 2014. Applications submitted after August 29 will not be accepted for tuition remission for the fall semester. 

To learn more about tuition remission, attend one of the upcoming brown bag workshops that addresses:

  • Who is eligible
  • What is covered
  • What is not covered
  • How the program works
  • Key dates and deadlines
  • How taxation is applied and how your paycheck may be affected

The tuition remission brown bags workshops will be held:

Tuesday, August 12   Thursday, August 21
12:00 – 1:00p.m. AND 12:00 – 1:00p.m.
Butler Conference Room   Butler Conference Room

Full-time faculty and staff should register for either brown bag session on AsuccessfulU.

  • Log on to the and under the “Work@AU” tab, select “AsuccessfulU”
  • Click the “Go to AsuccessfulU” button
  • Click the Home drop-down menu (top left corner) and select the “Learning” tab
  • Type in “tuition remission” in the Search Catalog field and click “Go”
  • Once you find the course, click "View Course Dates" then find the date you can attend and select "Register Now" and then "Confirm"

For comprehensive information about educational benefits including tuition remission, visit the Education section on the myBenefits site which is accessible through the myAU portal under “Work@AU.”

Return to top

Fall Employment-Related Reminders for Managers

As the new academic year begins, there will be many employment opportunities for students. Some important events and dates that managers should be aware of include: 

HR Room on Campus

August 20 - September 5
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
MGC 244

The HR Room on campus is for the convenience of students to complete new hire documents at the Mary Graydon Center, rather than at the HR office, including Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (see List of Acceptable Documents), federal and state tax forms, and direct deposit form. 

Federal Work Study Job Fair
Hosted by the Office of Human Resources and the Career Center

September 3
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
MGC Rooms 2 – 5

Human Resources and the Career Center encourage managers to refer anyone interested in participating in the fair to Ganiat Harris ( or ext. 3734) for registration information.  

Finding Part-time Employment Workshop
Hosted by the Office of Human Resources and the Career Center

August 27
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
MGC 200

September 9
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
MGC 200 MGC 203

Human Resources and the Career Center encourage mangers to refer interested students to these workshops and to make jobs available to students with or without Federal Work Study.

As the fall semester also brings new faculty members to the university, managers are encouraged to remind them of important events and dates including:

New Faculty Benefits Briefing

New full-time faculty are encouraged to attend the briefing that will be held in the Office of Human Resources. For dates, times, and information about how to participate in a benefits session, please contact the HR Faculty Team at

Adjunct Information

  • Fall adjunct appointments are due to HR by Monday, August 11.
  • Online payment for teaching actions are due to HR by Wednesday, September 3.
Graduate Assistantships
  • Fall graduate stipend e-actions are due to HR by Wednesday, August 27.
  • Graduate assistants will receive eight biweekly payments starting on Friday, September 12.
Other reminders for managers
  • Post student job openings via OLA, AU’s online employment application system.
  • New hire paperwork must be completed within three business days of the employee's first day.
  • Submit actions in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure that approved timesheets for student workers are submitted according to the payroll schedule.

Return to top

Retirement Plan One-on-One Counseling Sessions in August and September

American University offers faculty and staff a great opportunity to save for retirement through the AU retirement plan. AU matches the first five percent of eligible employee contributions to the retirement plan on a two-to-one basis. We encourage you to take an active role in your retirement planning and start contributing to the retirement plan or, if you are a current participant, review your current contribution amount and investment strategy to ensure they meet your needs.  

Representatives from TIAA-CREF and Fidelity will be onsite in HR’s office to meet one-on-one with faculty and staff about their retirement savings plans. Please see below for the upcoming counseling session dates for August and September, as well as the toll-free number that you may call to schedule an appointment. The counseling sessions schedule for the remainder of 2014 – 2015 academic year is attached below. 


  • August 13 and 21
  • September 10 and 23
To schedule an appointment call: 1-800-732-8353


  • August 26 and 27
  • September 24 and 25
To schedule an appointment call: 1-800-642-7131

Retirement Plan One-on-One Counseling Session Schedule

Return to top

AU’s 2014 Compensation Program for Full-Time Staff

If you're a full-time staff member, you probably have completed your Performance Management Program (PMP) year-end appraisal, had your one-on-one discussion with your manager, and electronically acknowledged that you had your discussion. As the PMP process comes to an end, the merit increase process has begun. 

The merit increase process is part of AU’s compensation program for staff that links pay and performance, provides career advancement opportunities, and continues to support the university’s commitment to competitive pay and benefits.  

This year’s merit pool, the amount of money that the university has approved for merit increases, is 2.5%. Managers will use the AsuccessfulU system to recommend merit increases for staff. The system will provide a merit range for each staff member based on the individual’s overall performance rating and their position within the pay band and market cluster. The guidelines support larger merit increases for staff who are higher performers. 

You are eligible for a merit increase this year if you were hired, transferred, or promoted prior to May 1, 2014. 

A few key dates in the merit increase process are: 

  • August 15 - Merit recommendations are due from division budget representatives to HR for final review
  • August 30 - Effective date of increases for bi-weekly staff to be paid in September 26 pay
  • September 1 - Effective date of increases for monthly staff to be paid in September 30 pay

Don’t forget that the 30-minute online training, Compensation at AU, on AsuccessfulU, addresses pay ranges, merit guidelines, and career growth.

If you have any further questions, please contact Human Resources at x2591, or by email at

Return to top

Kevin Wyatt, Before and After

AhealthyU Success Story: Kevin Wyatt

AhealthyU offers faculty and staff programs and tools to achieve their health and fitness goals including health screenings, diet and nutrition programs, and group exercise classes. It is important that you also have regular check-ups with your primary care physician to evaluate your health and make recommendations that suit your individual needs. 

Three years ago, Kevin Wyatt, an AU shuttle supervisor, had a number of back-to-back personal losses that served as a wake-up call to make some significant changes to his lifestyle. In August 2011, one of Kevin’s nephews died suddenly, followed by a number of close friends, all due to issues exacerbated by unhealthy lifestyles. 

At 265 pounds, Kevin challenged himself and his siblings to adopt healthier lifestyles that included weight loss, a more nutritious diet, and regular exercise. Although Kevin lost 15 pounds over the next year, Kevin’s doctor told him that he had borderline high blood pressure at his biannual physical in 2013. He also knew that there was room for improvement in his physical health because he got winded and experienced back pains after walking around the block at home. “That’s when I became determined to change the way I ate and set out to walk at least 10,000 steps a day,” explained Kevin. 

Kevin joined AhealthyU’s 2013 Pedometer Challenge and attended Zumba class twice a week at Jacobs Fitness Center. He set reasonable goals for himself and decided that, “No weight gain was considered a victory for me.” 

In the past year, Kevin has lost 45 pounds and keeps track of his weight at home every morning using his Wii Fit. He has also increased his target number of steps per day to at least 12,500 – often walking instead of riding the AU shuttle. Kevin recently completed his first 5K walk. 

“I still have a weakness for Oreos and Chips Ahoy cookies and milk, but these days I limit it to one or two cookies instead of the whole row,” said Kevin. 

Kevin’s determination to improve his health are now paying dividends. “At AhealthyU’s last Wellness Fair, my blood pressure range was so good that the nurse said that it was no longer an issue. I also went from a pant-waist size of 42-44 to 36-38, and my shirts have gone from a 2XL to XL. But my greatest motivation to stay healthy is my 10-year old daughter. I would like to see her graduate from AU and plan on walking her down the aisle when she gets married.” 

When asked how others can adopt similarly healthy habits and achieve success, Kevin advises, “To quote the Nike slogan, ‘Just Do It,’ and remember, you didn’t gain this weight in one day, so don’t expect to lose it in one day.” 

To share your success story of a lifestyle change that has helped you to become healthier and happier, please submit your story online at

Return to top

Team Red Hot Chili Steppers

Stepping to Better Health

This summer, five hundred faculty and staff members participated in the 2014 Steps to AhealthyU Pedometer Challenge. The 6-week pedometer challenge was designed to appeal to all participants and included both a competitive and non-competitive track for teams of four. The top three teams in the competitive track collected cash prizes from the $2,500 prize pot.  

Team “Red Hot Chili Steppers” won the title of “2014 Steps to AhealthyU Pedometer Challenge Top Stepping Team,” as each member of the team stepped more than an average of 28,000 steps a day – equivalent to 14 miles.  

Team “#get2steppin,” who led the leaderboard for four out of the six weeks, eventually placed second and Team “Steps Do the Talking” held steady at third place for all six weeks of the Pedometer Challenge.  

All participants who met their step goals were entered into a weekly raffle to win a healthy catered lunch at Subway or complimentary seated massages for their entire team. 

Congratulations to everyone who participated and did an outstanding job in this year’s challenge. Final standings and information on the Pedometer Challenge can be found at: 

AU also piloted a community pedometer challenge which ran concurrently with the 2014 Steps to AhealthyU challenge. The community challenge included teams of four from Georgetown University, Catholic University, American University, and Aramark at AU. Each of the four teams recorded more than one million steps throughout the six weeks, with Georgetown placing first with nearly two million total steps.  

AhealthyU congratulates and thanks the members of our AU community challenge team: David Taylor (Chief of Staff), Mary Kennard (Vice President and General Council), Mary L. Clark (Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost), and Beth Muha (Vice President of Human Resources). 

Based on feedback from the 2014 pedometer challenge, AhealthyU will be doing 30-day walking challenge this fall. Stay tuned for more details.

Return to top

Ergonomic Resources for Back and Neck Pain

Based on AU data including AhealthyU's Personal Wellness Profile statistics, musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain, were identified as areas of risk and focus for education.  

If you are looking for ways to prevent or reduce back and neck pain at work, visit AU’s Risk Management & Environmental Health & Safety (RMEHS) department’s website for information about ergonomics and assessments that encourage healthy interactions between employees and their work environment. 

Resources to prevent and reduce neck pain

Did you know?

Acupuncture and chiropractic care are covered services by Kaiser and CareFirst with a co-pay.

Return to top

Workplace Learning & Development September Training Calendar

Register for the instructor led courses listed below by logging into AsuccessfulU, AU's online training registration system via the portal. 

How to Access the Learning Module in AsuccessfulU:

  • Click here to access AsuccessfulU’s portal page.
  • Click the "Go to AsuccessfulU" button in the middle of the page.
  • From the "Home" tab on the top left of the page click on "Learning" from the drop down menu.
  • This will launch your personal profile in the “Learning” tab. You can search and register for training sessions here.
Thursday, September 4
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Setting Performance Expectations
Thursday, September 4
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Situational Leadership
Monday, September 8 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Service Plus
Tuesday, September 9
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Leading Change
Thursday, September 11
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. People Management Basics
Monday, September 15
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Exploring Intercultural Communication
Thursday, September 18
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Personal Empowerment
Monday, September 22
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Coaching for Improvement
Tuesday, September 23
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. StrengthsQuest
Wednesday, September 24
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Giving and Receiving Ideas
Monday, September 29
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Building an Environment of Trust for Leaders
Tuesday, September 30
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Emotional Intelligence

Please contact the Workplace Learning and Development team at with any questions.

Return to top

Workplace Learning and Development

Staff Council Tout

Staff Council Gears Up for another Academic Year

For many of us, August is a time to plan and prepare for the students to return to campus. With the new members on board, Staff Council is planning for the upcoming year and the best ways to serve the American University staff.

The Staff Council considers its relationship with staff members to be a partnership. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the Staff Council liaison who supports your department. He/she will reach out to your department with staff-related updates and information throughout the year. At any time, feel free to contact your Staff Council liaison with questions related to the interests of staff.

For more information about Staff Council, visit their website at:, and like them on Facebook at

Jennifer Baron-Knowles Library
Andrea Carpenter Kogod School of Business
Anna Castro Housing & Dining Programs
Keesha Ceran Dean of Students
Sean Cullinane Finance & Treasurer - Finance
Provost - Graduate Studies & Research
Finance & Treasurer - Internal Audit
Finance & Treasurer - Mail Services
David Fletcher School of International Service
James Helms School of Professional & Extended Studies
School of Public Affairs
Jocelyn Hill Finance & Treasurer - Administration
External Relations & Auxiliary Services
Risk Management & Safety Services
Steve Kelly Office of Information Technology
Helen Lee Facilities Management
Jeremy Lowe Undergraduate Enrollment
Rena Munster WAMU
Marianne Norman WCL
Paula Palhus Development
University Communications
University Marketing
University Publications
Valerie Rauenzahn College of Arts & Sciences
Adrian Sanchez Provost - Academic Affairs
Provost - Administration
Office of Institutional Research & Assessment
Heather Smith Budget & Payroll Office
Human Resources
Planning & Project Management
Jordan Tobin Athletics & Recreation
Office of the President
General Council

Return to top