Office of Human Resources                                                                               February  2014



 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information
Staff Handbook

Introducing the New Staff Handbook


The Office of Human Resources is pleased to announce a new Staff Handbook that took effect on February 1, 2014. The Handbook contains newly updated policy and program information that defines the responsibilities of staff members and the University's commitments to the staff of Northwestern University.


It is available online at and can be viewed, downloaded, and printed from this site.


In addition, if you would like a printed copy of the Staff Handbook, you may visit the Office of Human Resources in Evanston (720 University Place) or Chicago (710 North Lake Shore Drive).


Each staff member is required to attest within the Self Service Portal by February 28 that he or she has received the new Staff Handbook. This confirmation of receipt will be retained by the University. 


Click here to access the Self Service Portal and complete the process.        


NUSAC and the Office of Human Resources will be co-sponsoring Brown Bag Sessions to provide an opportunity to learn more about the new Staff Handbook:



Tuesday, February 25, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Levy Mayer, Lincoln Hall, 357 E. Chicago Avenue



Thursday, February 27, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Norris Center, Big Ten Room, 1999 Campus Drive


Click here to RSVP to one of these sessions.


Please contact the FASIS Help Desk with technical questions regarding the electronic attestation process (, 847-467-4800).


Please contact or your Human Resources Consultant with questions regarding the policies and programs within the Staff Handbook. The Office of Human Resources can assist you in identifying your assigned HR Consultant (847-491-7507 in Evanston, 312-503-8481 in Chicago).

Inside This Issue
Staff Handbook
Employee Recognition
Work Life Resources
Conflict of Interest
Learning and Organization Development
Article Headline
Quick Links

W-2s for Tax Year 2013


2013 W-2 forms have been distributed. W-2 forms are not available online this year; all employees will receive a paper copy of their W-2.


Need to reprint your W-2? Since electronic W-2s are not available this year, the Payroll Office will handle all requests for W-2 reprints. Please wait until Monday, February 10th to request a replacement W-2. Reprint requests should be directed to the Payroll Office email at Please remember to include your Employee ID and name. Employees can also stop into the Evanston or Chicago Payroll office and receive a reprint after presenting proper identification.


Since W-2s contain social security numbers and other sensitive/confidential information, reprints cannot be sent via email or facsimile. They will either be sent via the U.S. Postal Service or can be picked up in Payroll.  


Keep Your Contact Information Up-to-Date for Emergency Closures


The extreme weather last month prompted Northwestern to close for two days, and employees were notified by the University's emergency notification system.  To ensure that you receive prompt communications from the University in similar and other emergency situations, you should always ensure that your contact information in FASIS is up-to-date.


To review and edit your phone numbers, log in to the FASIS Self Service Portal at, click "My Personal Information", and "Update My Phone Number."  You may add a Mobile, Home, and Off-Campus phone in addition to two work phone numbers.  After saving your changes, close the window and select "Update My Online Directory."  Here, you can review which numbers will appear in the University's Online Directory.  For example, you should list a Mobile and/or Home phone for emergency contact purposes, but you may choose to show only your Office phone in the directory.


Update your Emergency Contacts too!  In the same "My Personal Information" menu, take some time to review the information in the "Update my Emergency Contacts" link.  Unlike your personal phone numbers, Emergency Contacts are used when the University must contact someone close to you.  This information is confidential, but it's imperative that you keep it up-to-date in the unlikely event that someone must be reached.


Retirement Plan: Fidelity Fund Merger


All Retirement Plan participants will be receiving an email in the next few weeks from Fidelity Investments regarding a fund merger.  The Fidelity Europe Capital Appreciation Fund is expected to merge into the Fidelity Europe Fund on or about March 21, 2014.  This email is for informational purposes only, as Fidelity is required to notify all plan participants of this merger.  Even if you have your retirement plan assets with TIAA-CREF exclusively, you will receive the email notice. If you have any questions about this email, please do not hesitate to contact the Benefits Division at


Final 2013 FSA Reminder

  • For those with a 2013 FSA, you have until March 15, 2014 to pay for eligible expenses with unused funds remaining in your Health Care FSA.  The deadline for submitting these claims is March 31, 2014.
  • Prior plan year funds remaining in your Health Care FSA after March 31, 2014 will be forfeited per IRS guidelines.
  • Dependent Care FSA claims must be filed by March 31, 2014 for expenses incurred by December 31, 2013.  Remaining funds in the Dependent Care FSA will be forfeited per IRS guidelines.

Please contact the Benefits Division at (847) 491-7513 with any questions you may have. 

Is your job description up to date?

Few things remain exactly the same year after year; and jobs are no exception.  With the ongoing transitions of our employee population (e.g. new hires, promotions, retirements), work assignments evolve to meet the changing needs of the University. Some shifts occur gradually while others are more deliberate.  In either case, job changes must be tracked so that they are appropriately identified, the work performed is adequately defined and documented, the staff members remain engaged, and that our pay practices remain in compliance and are competitive and equitable. Job descriptions help to accomplish these goals.


Job descriptions are required for each staff position as they summarize the essential responsibilities, qualifications, skills, abilities and physical requirements necessary to perform a job effectively. Importantly, they provide the basic building blocks of our compensation system and help facilitate most employment-related activities including goal setting, performance review and appraisal, pay determination, succession planning, training, developing and career pathing.  


Northwestern's staff members occupy more than 2,000 unique jobs.  While the HR Compensation Consultants routinely review job descriptions as part of the job evaluation, position creation and promotional processes, each staff member is encouraged to review his/her own job description regularly to ensure accuracy.  Job descriptions should be updated whenever a significant aspect of the job changes.  Without an updated, accurate job description, it is difficult to effectively determine job grades, pay rates, training and development opportunities, etc.


The HR compensation Consultants are available to provide assistance upon request creating and updating job descriptions. A useful guide to writing effective job descriptions can be viewed here

Employee Recognition 

Employee of the Year Nominations


The Office of Human Resources is now accepting nominations for the NU Employee of the Year awards.

The Employee of the Year awards recognize seven staff members across the University, including Qatar, as finalists for their outstanding contributions. From the seven finalists, one will be announced as the Employee of the Year winner at the annual Staff Service Recognition Luncheon, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.


All staff members who have been employed at least three years, are in good standing, and have not previously been named Employee of the Year are eligible. Finalists from past years are eligible.


Nominations are due by Friday, February 14, 2014.


Additional information, instructions and the nomination form are available at:


If you have questions, please e-mail Maudell Gaines at or call 847-491-7509.
Work Life Resources

School's NOT Out for Summer: 

Five Reasons Why Summer Camp Provides Crucial Enrichment Experiences for Kids  From the American Camp Association


Fear not parents. The beginning of summer doesn't have to mean the end of learning and enrichment for your child. On the contrary, between the tremendous growth in academic-focused summer camps nationwide and the key life skills that traditional summer camps have always fostered in kids - including leadership, interpersonal skills, appreciation for the arts and the environment, independence, and personal responsibility - the camp experience will spark remarkable growth in over 10 million children across the country this summer. Here are five reasons why your child should be one of them:

1.  Camps Don't "Teach to the Test": "What we are seeing is that schools today are increasingly "teaching to the test" and in the process stripping out invaluable parts of their curriculums such as theater, dance, art and music programs, and physical education. Parents are looking to summer camps to provide their children with a creative outlet that will positively shape the adults they become." 
 - Peg L. Smith, American Camp Association® (ACA) CEO

2.  Learn to Love and Respect the Natural World: "There is a real danger that our children's generation won't pick up the environmental mantle since they are spending a record-low number of hours in nature. Summer camps educate our kids about the need for environmental stewardship and instill a sense of shared responsibility to care for the natural world. Compared to a classroom setting, what better place is there to do this than singing around a campfire, paddling across a lake, or hiking along a mountain trail?"
- Peter Surgenor, ACA President

3.  Camp is a place for every child to learn: "Nationwide there has been a 78 percent increase in camps with academic programs in the last nine years and a 40 percent increase in ACA-Accredited® camps offering performing arts programs over the last five years. So, whether your child is a math and science whiz or a budding thespian, there is a camp that will value and foster your child's unique talents and interests."
- Ann Sheets, Former ACA President

4.  It's about the learning, not the grading: "In school, children study hard and push themselves - and often overstress themselves - for a grade and performance measurement. While grades are important during the school year, what camp provides is a unique learning opportunity - a chance to explore and learn without fear of a grade. The summer camp experience is truly one of discovery, connection, and growth."
- Peg L. Smith, ACA CEO

5.  Numbers don't lie:  A 2005 ACA study shows that the summer camp experience is a truly positive force in the development of key life skills for children including leadership, independence, acceptance of others, and self-esteem. The study reported the following:

More than 96 percent of the parents agreed with the statement "The people at camp helped my child feel good about him/herself," and 92 percent of campers agreed that people at camp helped them feel good about who they were.

Children reported a significant increase in their own independence and an increase in leadership skills from pre-camp to post-camp.

93 percent of campers agreed that "Camp helped me get to know kids who are different from me."


About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit

Visit the Office of Work/Life Resources' Summer Camps page for more information about local summer camp options.


Elder Care Tip of the Month   

From and NU Senior Care Connections

Winter Doldrums or Depression?     

Cozy evenings by the fire, mulled cider, days blanketed in pristine, glistening snow...

The picture postcard view of winter may inspire songwriters and copywriters, but for those not busy bonding with the muses, winter is rarely a season of unbridled joy. In fact, for many people, the dark evenings and colder weather may trigger mild to serious mood disorders.

A recent National Alliance for Caregiving study shows that caregivers providing eldercare already are significantly more likely to report depression, among other health issues, than other caregivers. Factor in the mood-dampening effects of decreased sunlight and more time indoors, and caregivers may find each day to be more of a struggle. This is particularly true for female caregivers, since the rate of depression is two times higher in women than men.

Think you need help this season? Here are some tips to help understand when mood changes could be a problem, when it's time to take action, and where to start.

Symptoms of depression: Understand the difference between feeling down and clinical depression. We all have times in our lives when we feel sad, stressed and have decreased enthusiasm. However, if you are experiencing persistent changes in energy, personality and hope for the future this may be more than "the blues." The National Institute of Mental Health offers a full list of signs and symptoms of depression.

Treatment: If you identify with some of the symptoms of depression listed it is extremely important to seek professional advice. You can start with your primary care doctor who can review options with you. There are various treatments for depression. While medication and therapy are most common, many people incorporate diet, exercise and socialization into their treatment regimen.

Depression and seniors: You may notice Mom or Dad seem more down than usual. Depression can look different in older adults. Signs may include increased physical pain and slowed movement and speech. offers an overview on depression and seniors. If you are concerned, speak with your Mom or Dad and consider asking for permission to reach out to their doctor. Depression is not a normal part of aging and can be treated.

Concerns about depression should be taken seriously. If you are wondering if your parent or loved one needs extra support please call 855-772-2730 to speak with a Care Advisor. 


Child Care Fee Assistance

Fee assistance applications are now being accepted for the 2014-15 school year at the following child care centers:
Bright Horizons at Evanston
University Children's Center

How the Fee Assistance Program Works:

Funds are awarded to Northwestern families who demonstrate financial need and meet the following eligibility requirements:

Recipients must be full-time faculty, staff or undergraduate/graduate school students. 

Children must be enrolled full time at the center.

Combined family income must be $100,000 or less, as documented on last year's tax return.

Both parents must be employed or in school full time (as is consistent with Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account rules).

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, beginning in January for the following school year. Families currently receiving assistance are given priority. School year awards are determined on a first come first served basis. Please apply early. For more information about fee assistance contact:

  • McGaw YMCA Children's Center, registration at 847-475-8580.
  • University Children's Center, contact the Office of Work/Life Resources at 847-467-3631.
  • Bright Horizons at Evanston, contact the business manager at 847-491-9032.

For more information


New Mothers' Room Location

We are very pleased that the Feinberg School of Medicine on the Chicago campus, has a new mothers' room in Tarry 02-746.


Tarry Research & Education Building
300 E. Superior Street

Directions: The room is on the second floor of the Tarry building, along the main corridor. Access to the room does not require a key. It is left unlocked and can only be locked from inside when in use.

Please contact 312-503-8194 with any questions or concerns about the Tarry Mothers' Room.

For more information  


Upcoming Workshops

Child Care Fair & Summer Camp Expo, Evanston Campus

It's not too late to RSVP for the Child Care Fair & Summer Camp Expo on the Evanston campus!

Join the Office of Work Life Resources and area child care experts and providers, for an informative program on choosing child care for full time, after school, and school breaks. We will explore the similarities and differences of the various options available, learn how to evaluate providers, and build skills for maintaining an effective working relationship with your chosen provider. You will also have time to meet-and-greet various child care providers from the community.


Child Care Fair (Evanston Campus)
Thursday, February  6
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Norris University Center, Wildcat Room         

To Register

For more information



Real Estate Workshop
Are you interested in buying or selling a house, condo or investment property? Join the Office of Work/Life Resources and area real estate experts to learn about selecting a broker, finding current mortgage and financing information, and the various issues involved in real estate transactions.

Chicago Campus
Tuesday, March 11
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Lurie Center, Searle Seminar Room
Evanston Campus
Tuesday, March 18
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Norris University Center, Big Ten Room
To Register 


On-Going Programs - New Participants Are Welcome!  Weight Watchers @ Work

Are you interested in losing weight and living healthier?  Did you know Weight Watchers @ Work meetings are held here every week?   On the Evanston campus, we meet every Thursday at lunchtime. 

Come check out our meeting at 12:30 p.m. in 3.226 Searle Hall (Health Services Building - 633 Emerson Street, Floor 3, room 226, Evanston Campus) for FREE next Thursday.

Get inspired and learn how the PointsPlus® program can help you lose weight and learn to keep it off.  Experience the benefits of guidance from a Weight Watchers Leader as well as the support of your colleagues and the convenience to do it all right here at work.  Now is a great time to start reaching your weight-loss goals.

For more information, contact Tamara Rosner at or 1-2210


Conducting a Good Faith Search


Northwestern University is committed to affirmative action as an integral part of the process of recruitment, selection, placement, transfer, and promotion; consideration of all qualified candidates; and non-discrimination in employment practices and procedures.


As an equal opportunity employer, good faith efforts are made to provide diverse candidate pools that include members of groups underrepresented in the University's workforce. All searches are conducted in compliance with the laws of the United States, the State of Illinois, local jurisdictions, and the Affirmative Action Plan of the University.


Positions are generally posted for at least five business days for all non-exempt positions, and all exempt positions below grade 10. Positions are generally posted for at least 10 business days for all other positions. Offers of employment may be made following the posting period. To view job opportunities, visit


For further information on conducting a good faith search, please contact your department's Staffing Consultant.  Additionally, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (OEOA) is available to answer questions regarding the University's Affirmative Action policy, applicable laws and regulations, and to provide training to hiring managers and search committees.  To reach this office, contact 1-7458 or


Discounts Available to Northwestern Employees


There are many reasons it's great to be a part of the Northwestern community.  One of these reasons is that Northwestern University partners with hundreds of businesses to provide discounts to employees on a wide range of goods and services.


The WildCARD Advantage program is administered by University Services and provides discounts at participating businesses in Evanston, Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and online.  These businesses include categories such as travel, entertainment, professional services, clothing, fitness, and much more.  Anyone with a valid, unexpired NU WildCARD or NU-issued ID card may be eligible to take advantage of this discount program.


So, whether it's food that's on your mind or finally getting that oil change, your WildCARD has you covered.  For additional information, including a list of participating businesses and discount eligibility details, visit the WildCARD Advantage home page. 

Conflict of Interest

2014 Annual Staff Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Available February 3rd


Staff COI season has arrived!  Annually, all staff are required to complete a COI disclosure.  External activities, interests, and relationships meeting certain criteria must be disclosed and are assessed to determine whether or not they could potentially interfere with, detract from, or influence University obligations and responsibilities.


The annual staff COI disclosure will be available in FASIS from February 3rd through March 3rd


This year's earlier disclosure cycle is due to the consolidation of the annual staff, faculty, and research COI disclosure processes; individuals with multiple roles can now meet all annual COI requirements simultaneously.  


The staff COI disclosure will be accessible in the FASIS Portal on February 3rd.  A go-live email will be sent to all staff on February 3rd with specific access and disclosure instructions. 


Verify Staff COI Approvers in FASIS

To facilitate a smooth staff COI disclosure process, managers are strongly encouraged to proactively verify that the staff COI approvers in FASIS for their employees are accurate; this will ensure that COI disclosures are routed to the appropriate approvers.  Click here to learn how managers and administrators can update COI approvers for their staff within FASIS.


Updates for Staff Disclosers

This year's FASIS staff COI pages include several enhancements.  Rather than solely allowing text comment responses, staff disclosers will be required to provide specific information in designated fields if they respond "yes" to any question.  The additional detailed information will allow managers/approvers, and the Staff COI Committee, to better assess situations and/or relationships for potential COI concerns.   


Updates for Staff COI Approvers

The approver pages in FASIS are structured differently than in past years; while disclosures require review and a COI designation/approval (e.g., a status of "No Conflict" or "Conflict Managed"), all comments relative to a staff COI disclosure may be entered into one "Comment" page, rather than a separate comment page relative to each "yes" response by question.  However, approver comments relative to each "yes" response must be addressed on the "Comments" page.  For example, if a staff member responds "yes" to question number one and question number three, an approver's comments on the "Comments" page must reflect assessment of what was disclosed in both question number one and question number three.  Other changes include a "Monitor Compliance" page, which offers you a global view of all employees' disclosure submittal and disclosure approval statuses as well as an ability to view all disclosures.  The "Monitor Compliance" page also includes a "Send Email" button which will automatically send an email reminder to any staff members who have not yet completed their disclosure.  The "COI Reviewer" page serves as your task list; this is the page you will use to make COI designations/approvals (e.g., "No Conflict" or "Conflict Managed") as well as enter comments relative to staff COI disclosures that include any affirmative responses.     


While the new staff COI disclosure pages are very straightforward, the "approver" pages for managers are quite different than previous years.  Managers are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the four online training opportunities detailed below.  Training and resources (including a Staff COI Approver Tip Sheet) can be found on the NUCOI website.  Managers may also contact NUCOI at any time with questions or concerns. 


NUCOI, and FASIS, are continuously working to identify opportunities to improve the user experience and facilitate streamlined processes, all while ensuring compliance.  We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we roll-out, and subsequently assess, various changes.     


FASIS online training sessions:


HRS221: Staff COI for Employees and Managers


2/4/2014:  11:00 a.m.

2/5/2014:  1:30 p.m.


HRS223: Staff COI for Managers Only (COI Approvers)


2/25/14:  11:00 a.m.

2/27/14: 11:00 a.m.


COI disclosure requirements and the procedures for handling potential conflicts of interest are outlined in the University's Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment policy. 

For questions regarding COI policies and procedures, please contact NUCOI at or 847.467.4515. For additional guidance, please refer to Training and Resources for the annual staff COI disclosure process. 

For technical issues, please contact the FASIS Help Desk at 847.467.4800 or

Learning and Organization Development

The Northwestern University Learning & Organization Development (L&OD) team collaborates with faculty and staff who want to develop their talent and advance their workplace outcomes, processes and engagement. L&OD provides consulting, coaching, workshops, retreats and tools for individuals, groups and organizations.


Registration Now Open for Spring Workshops

Registration is now open for
workshops offered in March, April and May. Check your mailbox for our spring catalog or look online to see what's coming up.


Spring workshop highlights include: 

  • Career Challenge™ on March 26 (CH) and March 27 (EV) - Learn More.
  • Effective Meetings on March 25 (CH) and April 25 (EV) - Learn More.

L&OD offers a variety of workshops and additional opportunities to help improve workplace performance. Check them outFollow our Twitter feed to get L&OD's best picks of upcoming events and learning resources. Questions? Comments? Contact the L&OD team at or 847-467-5081.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Access

Black History Month   


Northwestern University celebrates its diversity and inclusion all-year round. The month of February, however, gives us the opportunity to connect with the peoples of Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom to celebrate Black History Month internationally. We reflect on the immeasurable contributions African Americans and other Black peoples have made to enrich our world.  Here at Northwestern, we treasure our diversity in all its forms. As Provost Daniel Linzer aptly put it, "A diverse community is essential to achieve our mission of creating the best possible learning environment and educational experience, because only by exploring issues with people of different backgrounds and viewpoints can we challenge our assumptions, test our ideas and broaden our understanding of the world."


In January, Northwestern hosted several events celebrating the life and works of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This month student organizations, departments, and programs will commemorate Black History Month.  "Its Relevance to You" will be sponsored by Kemper & Elder Residence Life Staff, which will discuss the relevance of Black History Month with Dr. Aldon Morris, Northwestern's Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and affiliated faculty member in the department of African-American Studies. 


Outside Northwestern, The Du Sable Museum will host numerous events including "a series of public lectures examining America's history of educating people of color, and what needs to happen to ensure greater equity and student achievement in the future."  Please visit for more information on this lecture series and other events. 


The Office of Equal Opportunity & Access with the Office of Human Resources cordially invites you to our celebration of Black History Month, the February Social Mixer Reception 2014.  This event will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Orrington Hotel located at 1710 Orrington Ave., Evanston, IL 60201.  The reception will feature hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, and live music.  All Northwestern faculty and staff are welcome to attend.  For the purpose of ensuring appropriate accommodations for all attendees, we strongly encourage everyone to R.S.V.P. by Friday, February 14, 2014 at