RamStrong Wellness Challenge

VCU Human Resources is excited to share RamStrong, a new wellness initiative conceived by a Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute team and brought to life by VCU Human Resources, VCU Recreational Sports, VCU Health and other university partners. The team recognized that VCU has many different wellness resources and envisioned a collaborative tool where faculty and staff could easily access resources to support their own holistic well-being.

Wellness is more than physical fitness. There are actually eight dimensions of wellness that work together to support your mind, body and spirit. Learn more about RamStrong, by participating in the RamStrong Fall Wellness Challenge. Track your participation and bring your completed activities to the RamStrong Wellness Challenge Celebration in December to be entered into a drawing for prizes. Free wellness events include yoga, financial fitness, flu shot clinics and more.

Visit ramstrong.vcu.edu for event details and a printable checklist to track your wellness activities. Please print this flyer to post it in common areas and/or break rooms in your schools and departments to encourage participation.

For more information about this and other featured employee benefits and discounts, subscribe to HR Insights, an email newsletter from VCU Human Resources, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter at Working@VCU.

Exceptional recognition acknowledgement, nominations due this week, administrative leave

Exceptional Recognition Acknowledgment
As a reminder, the process for recognizing exceptional or extraordinary performance has been revised. There is now one form to both acknowledge extraordinary performance (for performance evaluation purposes) and grant bonuses or leave to employees. The form is called the “Exceptional Recognition Acknowledgement Form.” Please see the July 17, 2017 Instant HR for details.

Award nominations due August 25
Recognize your colleagues for their important work! The 46th annual service awards celebration for VCU and VCU Health faculty and staff with 5 to 55 years of service will be held October 4. Nominations are being accepted until this Friday, August 25 for this year’s President’s Awards for Professional and Administrative Distinction and for the 2017 Dorris Douglas Budd Award, which recognizes outstanding administrative and office support staff who enhance the image and mission of VCU and the VCU Health System. Eligibility criteria and nomination forms are online.

Officers of Election and administrative leave
Employees volunteering to serve as Officers of Election on Election Day should work with their supervisors to approve the time away from work and use VCU’s Administrative Leave code in VCU RealTime.

Classified performance appraisal process begins

The classified staff performance appraisal process begins today and completed evaluations are due Friday, October 13. The performance appraisal is a wonderful opportunity to provide employees with feedback, set professional development goals, and identify opportunities for career growth. As you know, this is the last year Employee Work Profiles (EWPs) will be used as part of the performance appraisal process. In support of the Great Place: HR Redesign, VCU is currently piloting a new performance management process for all classified staff and university employees. We look forward to rolling this out university-wide later in the fall and will offer training for Ram Talent Connection, software for managers and employees that supports the new performance management process.

For this current performance appraisal cycle, please note the following:

  • Classified employees hired prior to July 25, 2017 must be evaluated during this performance review cycle.
  • The Employee Work Profile (EWP) Performance Evaluation form may be found on the VCU Human Resources forms webpage or via the following link:


  • Current probationary employees may be evaluated utilizing the Probationary Progress Review form which may be found on the VCU Human Resources forms webpage or via the following link:


  • Staff must be given an opportunity to complete a self-evaluation. The Employee Self Evaluation form may be found on the VCU Human Resources forms webpage or via the following link:


  • Classified employees who receive an overall rating of “Extraordinary Achiever” or “Unsatisfactory Performer” require additional documentation to accompany their performance evaluations, which is explained on the overall ratings/signature page on the form.
  • Supervisors who plan to issue an overall rating of “Unsatisfactory Performer” must conduct prior consultation with VCU Human Resources Office of Employee Relations, which can be reached at 828-1510.
  • Please send completed evaluations, and supporting documentation as required, through ImageNow/Perceptive by fax at 827-8250 or by email at hrdocs@vcu.edu. If you are unable to fax or email to ImageNow/Perceptive, you can hand-deliver completed forms to the VCU Human Resources Welcome Center at the corner of West Franklin Street and Belvidere Street on the Monroe Park Campus.
  • We encourage Personnel Administrators to request completed evaluations at least two weeks prior to the due date (Oct. 13) to review the evaluations for accuracy and completion.

The annual review process is a requirement of State Policy 1.40, Performance Planning and Evaluation. More information about VCU’s classified performance appraisal process is available at http://www.hr.vcu.edu/current-employees/performance-evaluations/.

Questions? Contact VCU Human Resources at 828-1510 or emprel@vcu.edu.

New faculty benefits information, process reminders

New faculty benefits information sessions
New faculty may attend one of three upcoming information sessions designed to provide a comprehensive overview of their new benefits and important election deadlines. A benefits overview is not part of VCU’s New Faculty Orientation day on August 23; VCU Human Resources is providing these information sessions, as well as detailed information online, to help new faculty access resources and make benefits elections earlier. The letters new faculty receive regarding New Faculty Orientation direct them to the online information for benefits and registration for an information session. Visit hr.vcu.edu/new-faculty-2017/ for details.

Reminders about direct deposit, I-9 forms and background checks
Direct deposit forms are required for all new hires. If an employee leaves VCU and returns, the bank account information must be updated to ensure direct deposit into the appropriate account. Anyone with direct deposit through Accounts Payable must complete a new form for Payroll, as these offices do not share the direct deposit form.

As a reminder, the I-9 form must also be updated for anyone rehired with a break in service with VCU. No action is required for those transferring into another position without a break in service. In addition, background checks for employees transferring within VCU must be initiated before the transfer occurs, but do not have to be cleared before the employee starts the new position.

Service awards, fringe rates, premium pay guidelines

Call for nominations!
The 46th annual service awards celebration for VCU and VCU Health faculty and staff with 5 to 55 years of service will be held October 4. Nominations are being accepted until August 25 for this year’s President’s Awards for Professional and Administrative Distinction and for the 2017 Dorris Douglas Budd Award, which recognizes outstanding administrative and office support staff who enhance the image and mission of VCU and the VCU Health System. Eligibility criteria and nomination forms are online.

Fringe benefit rates for FY18
The fringe benefit rates for Fiscal Year 2018 are 38.2 percent for faculty and classified staff and 8.2 percent for hourly employees. For more information, visit http://controller.vcu.edu/cost/fringebenefitrates.html.

Premium pay procedures
VCU Human Resources recently published a resource for managers, employees and timekeepers regarding premium pay procedures. This document is meant to offer clarity on premium pay practices and management’s responsibility for cost-effective overtime management. Read the full document and share it as applicable with faculty and staff in your area.

Change in HR Banner access
VCU Human Resources has made a small change to HR Banner access. Effective immediately, all personnel administrators have access to update rank and tenure on the Faculty Action Tracking form (PEAFACT) in Banner. Detailed instructions on updating PEAFACT can be found at http://www.hr.vcu.edu/media/hr/documents/guides/PEAFACT_Instructions.pdf.

Recruitment of adjunct faculty

As you know, VCU maintains a strong commitment to equal opportunity in our recruitment of a diverse and highly-qualified workforce. As an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer, VCU is required to provide a competitive process for the selection of employees as well as the ability to track applicants. Adjunct faculty are an important part of our equal opportunity plan, but with the decentralized nature of hiring adjunct faculty, there has never been a standardized recruitment process, a mechanism to be able to appropriately track adjunct faculty, or a way to learn important trends. In addition, as the university plans events and makes information and resources available to adjunct faculty, it is important to have accurate data beginning with the recruitment process.

To that end, a standardized, competitive process has been developed for the recruitment of adjunct faculty. Effective Monday, August 7, 2017, adjunct faculty positions will be required to be recruited for and posted in VCU eJobs. The process developed for the recruitment of adjunct faculty is similar to the process that is successfully being used for hourly hires, but with a few modifications specific to adjunct faculty appointments (e.g., posting of academic qualifications and verification of credentials). Adjunct positions can be posted for a specific job or for a “rolling pool” of applicants.

At this time, current adjunct faculty appointments may continue to be renewed without going through a recruitment. Also, if potential adjunct faculty have already been identified and/or if discussions or offers of employment have taken place, these appointments will be honored and no recruitment will be required. However, once this new process is implemented, all future adjunct faculty positions are to follow the established recruitment process.

Below are links to the two (2) key instruction guides for this new adjunct recruitment process.

Adjunct Position Recruiting and Hiring Guide
eGuide to eJobs for Non-Benefited Positions

There are also additional tools to help you in the development of position descriptions and ads for recruiting adjunct faculty. All of the procedure guides and tools are available at http://www.provost.vcu.edu/faculty-affairs/pa-and-hiring-resources/faculty-searches/.

Important note: If the hiring of adjunct faculty is decentralized in your area(s) of responsibility, it would be greatly appreciated if you could forward this email and provide the necessary training to ensure compliance with this new process.

Should you have questions about this process, please contact Danielle Hairston (dnhairston@vcu.edu) or Carol Ann Irby (irbyca@vcu.edu), as applicable.

Suspension of in-band adjustments and role changes

As we focus on implementing the Great Place: HR Redesign policy and develop the guidelines, processes and information systems that will support the new HR plan, VCU is suspending the processing of in-band salary adjustments and role changes effective September 1 through the end of the calendar year. Requests that are in the pipeline may be processed effective August 10 or August 25, before the suspension goes into effect. As you work on any critical actions that should be processed before the suspension goes into place, please provide for adequate central HR review/approval/processing time.


As we develop the “side-by-side” documents to help employees understand the Great Place: HR Redesign, making as few position changes as possible will ensure accurate data and communication. Schools and departments may still process recognition bonuses and temporary pay as interim measures for handling pressing compensation or recognition matters; counter-offers may also be processed for mission-critical positions. Exceptions to this suspension include departments with firm, clearly communicated commitments for salary adjustments based on attainment of certain rank or competency thresholds (e.g., VCU Police).


Patient care and fingerprinting

VCU faculty and staff who provide patient care or clinical services to VCU Health
VCU Human Resources requires your continued assistance in identifying VCU faculty and staff who provide patient care or clinical services to VCU Health. Accurate and complete identification of all university employees who work in VCU Health clinical locations in any capacity for any length of time is of critical importance to both VCU and VCU Health for many reasons including

  • accurate licensing and credentialing;
  • maintenance of required professional education and training;
  • billing compliance;
  • maintenance of professional liability coverage and;
  • security and access to VCU Health physical locations, computer systems and confidential health information.

Who Should Be Included In This Request
Faculty and staff who provide patient care or clinical services are defined* as anyone who provides patient care/clinical services in the hospital, clinics or from another location. Patient care/clinical services include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • assessment
  • counseling
  • treatment
  • registration
  • diagnostic testing
  • data collection to determine the patient’s plan of care

*This definition does not include VCU faculty or staff who

  • are also paid through MCVP;
  • analyze data related to research activity only (data which is not used to determine patient treatment at the time collected); or
  • have no other patient care or patient service role specific to the health system but who may need access to health system facilities as part of a service agreement or due to department location.

What You Need to Do
Because the list of employees assigned to these roles can fluctuate with the academic semesters, there is a need to update this information periodically. You can access a list of VCU faculty and staff in your school/area who have been previously identified and who remain active in Banner by going to the VCU Reporting Center and reviewing the “VCU EEs Providing Health Care” report in the Personnel Administrators folder. After a careful review of the report, please follow these steps:

  1. Verify the individuals currently providing “patient care or clinical services” to the health system. Update the list, as necessary, with new additions and remove the names of individuals who are no longer working in this capacity. If you have questions regarding who should be included, please contact Donna Steigleder, VCUHS Director of Employee Relations, at steigleder@vcuhealth.org.
  2. By Friday, August 4, 2017,submit the names and V#s of the individuals who should be deleted or added to Brenda Alexander, Employee Relations and Compliance Specialist, at baalexander@vcu.edu.

As we plan for the fall, we anticipate an increase in requests for fingerprints. Fingerprinting is provided by the VCU Police Department on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through August 30, 2017.

Before sending employees for fingerprints, personnel administrators and hiring managers should complete section II of the background application form. Download the Background Application Form. The form does not require you to note your telephone extension, although it is recommended that you include your extension on the line with your printed name to ensure you are notified about fingerprint check results. Once section II is completed, prospective new hires should take the form to the VCU Police Department for fingerprinting.

Exceptional Recognition Acknowledgment, pay rates for hourly and student workers

Exceptional Recognition Acknowledgment
The process for recognizing exceptional or extraordinary performance has been revised. There is now one form to both acknowledge extraordinary performance (for performance evaluation purposes) and grant bonuses or leave to employees. Please note the following changes.

  • The form is called the “Exceptional Recognition Acknowledgment Form.”
  • The distinction between “Extraordinary” and “Outstanding” has been removed and departments may use their discretion to determine the amount of an award (up to $2,000/fiscal year and/or up to 5 days of leave per calendar year). Your assigned HR Consultant or HR Professional can provide you with guidance for working with managers in determining an appropriate award amount.
  • Awards will now be processed on both the 10th and 25th of the month.
  • Group 1 written notices no longer automatically disqualify employees from receiving awards; exceptions may be granted with Central HR approval.

Pay rates for hourly and student workers
To more effectively meet VCU’s business needs, pay rate limits for student and hourly workers have been increased.

  • The student worker rate limit is $30/hour.
  • The hourly worker rate limit is $80/hour.
  • Human Resources’ approval for hourly posting rates is not necessary until the amount meets or exceeds $80/hour.
  • Wage Position Descriptions must continue to be submitted for rates of $30/hour or greater.
  • Payments for services rendered must be reasonable and consistently applied.

Questions? Please contact your HR Consultant.

2Factor and eJobs, accident reporting and leave sharing reminders

2Factor authentication and eJobs
Starting July 14, 2017, VCU 2Factor Authentication will be required to access VCU eJobs off campus. VCU 2Factor Authentication better protects VCU’s employees, data and information systems against cyber threats. Learn more at http://go.vcu.edu/2factor.

Tutorials for registering and using multi-factor authentication with CAS can be found at:
Registering and using multi-factor authentication with CAS
Using CAS with multi-factor authentication

Reminder: accident reports are mandatory
Please remind managers and employees in your area to promptly report all workplace accidents, even when an injury or medical treatment is not immediately anticipated. VCU is required by federal and state law to report all workplace accidents and to provide workers’ compensation benefits for covered work-related injuries and illnesses.

In addition to an accident report for each accident, the employee must also complete a Physician Selection Form at the time of the accident to ensure the employee has medical coverage under a potentially resulting workers’ compensation claim. Medical care for injuries or illnesses determined to be work-related and covered by workers’ compensation is not covered by COVA health plans, even if an employee waives their right to payment under workers’ compensation; only treatment from the selected panel physician will be covered, and costs for treatment from any other physician may be denied by workers’ compensation.

Information about accident reports and workers’ compensation, including frequently asked questions and checklists for employees and managers, can be found at http://www.hr.vcu.edu/current-employees/benefits/a-z-list-of-benefits/workers-compensation/.

Leave sharing reminder
Leave sharing is available to classified staff and salaried 12-month faculty in the traditional sick leave plan for income replacement when an employee has exhausted their own leave balances for their own illness and during FMLA leave due to family illness. It is also available to salaried classified staff and salaried 12-month faculty in VSDP when they have exhausted their own leave balances during an FMLA leave due to family illness. Please remember to share this information with employees who are going into an unpaid status for these reasons and review the donor and recipient procedures here: http://www.hr.vcu.edu/current-employees/leave/leave-sharing/.