Office of Human Resources                                                                                                 April  2013



 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information
Temporary Staffing Center

All Temporary Employees Route through the Temporary Staffing Center

There may be instances when you plan to bring temporary employees on board who have not come through the University's in-house Temporary Staffing Center.  


While you may already have your candidate identified, it is still important in these situations that you contact the Temporary Staffing Center.  The Temporary Staffing Center runs background checks on all temporary employees at no cost to your department, and will also ensure they have completed the required DCFS Mandatory Reporter form.  Additionally, the Temporary Staffing Center maintains files on all temporary employees to ensure there are thorough and accurate records of all temps working at the University. 


If your department already has temporary employees working here who have not yet completed a background check and DCFS form, they will be contacted by the Temporary Staffing Center and will be required to do so in order to continue temporary employment.


If you have any questions regarding this process, contact the Temporary Staffing Center at (847) 467-3272 (Evanston) or (312) 503-1234 (Chicago).

Inside This Issue
Tempoary Staffing Center
Employee Recognition
Conflict of Interest
Learning and Organization Development
Work/Life Resources
Upcoming Events
Quick Links
Employee Recognition 

Employee of the Year 2013: The Results Are In


Did you nominate a staff member for the 2013 Employee of the Year award? Are you wondering about the status of the selection process?


The Employee of the Year selection committee has chosen one winner and six finalists. Letters will be mailed to all nominees notifying them of their status.


All nominators will also receive an email notifying them of the status of their nominees.   Nominators whose candidates have not been selected as finalists may recognize their nominees in other ways, including nominations for Service Excellence Awards ( ).


The Employee of the Year winner and finalists will be invited to the 36th Staff Service Recognition Luncheon on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.  The finalists will not know the identity of the 2013 Employee of the Year until it is announced at this luncheon.


Tax Filing Deadline April 15


Don't forget!  The U.S. tax filing deadline is Monday, April 15, 2013; non-resident students that received only scholarship/fellowship income in 2012 have until June 17, 2013 to file.

All Northwestern employees and students should have received tax forms required for filing their 2012 federal and state tax returns.  If you have not received your W-2 and are a current employee, you can access and print it yourself at any time via Self Service. Simply log in, navigate to Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View W-2 Forms, and choose the "Year End Form" link.  An official copy of your 2012 W-2 will open, which can be printed on regular paper.  If you are not a current employee and need a W-2 reprint, please contact payroll. Non-residents that are expecting Form 1042-S and have not received their 2012 form should also contact payroll.


Update Your Mailing Address


Faculty, staff and students should always keep their mailing addresses up to date. Please take a moment to log in and navigate to Self Service >  Personal Information > Home and Mailing Address and ensure that your Home and Department mailing addresses are correct.  If a change needs to be made, click on the Edit icon and enter the necessary updates. These addresses will be used for delivery of printed year-end W2 Forms and other official University mailings. If you manage temps or work-study students, ensure their addresses are reviewed as well -- W2s for regular active employees will be sent to the Departmental Location Address; those for temps, work-study students, and separated employees will be sent to the Home Address.


Reminder to students- updating your address on CAESER does NOT change your address in FASIS. You need to make sure that your address has been changed in both systems.  


Kronos Upgrade This Summer


Over the next few months, the Kronos system will be upgraded to address the issues with Java version 7, which is not compatible with our current version of Kronos.  By approximately mid-June, Java 7 will work with Kronos 6.3; the majority of the timecard functionality will remain the same. 


If you need to install Java 7 before the new version of Kronos is available this summer, please use the non-java version of Kronos until the upgrade is complete:  


Documentation on how to use the non-Java version is available here:


More information on the upgrade of Kronos will be communicated throughout the process.  Please continue to contact the Kronos Help Desk for assistance at or 847-467-7606.  For one-on-one assistance, see our website for open lab session dates:


New Trainings for FASIS Administrative Users


Two new trainings are scheduled in the coming months for administrative users of the Faculty and Staff Information System:


HRS111: FASIS Reporting

This class demonstrates various methods of obtaining reports from FASIS data.  The central focus of this training will be the new Employee Search Report, a multi-prompt employee data report recently made available through the University's BI Reporting tool.  The class will also provide an overview of canned reports accessible through the VISTA system and the FASIS Query Viewer.  Click here for more information and to register for a session.


HRS105: FASIS Advanced Query

This training is intended for existing FASIS Query users who would like to learn advanced functions to extend the usefulness of their existing queries.  Participants must have access to FASIS Query Manager, must have completed the HRS104 class, and should be comfortable with creating basic multi-table queries with criteria. Click here for more information and to register for a session.

Conflict of Interest

Prepare for the Upcoming Annual Staff Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure


Staff COI season is right around the corner! Annually, all staff are required to complete a COI disclosure. Staff members' external activities and interests are assessed to determine whether or not they could potentially interfere with or detract from one's University obligations and responsibilities.


This year, the staff COI disclosure will be available from May 20th to June 28th.


To facilitate a smooth staff COI disclosure process, managers are encouraged to proactively verify that the COI Approver is accurate and up-to-date in FASIS for employees; this will ensure that COI disclosures are routed to the appropriate approvers.   


Managers and administrators can update the COI Approvers for their employees within FASIS on the "Reports to" panel. Here is a link to instructions:


Please click here for additional information on the staff COI process:



Important News Regarding Your PayFlex Card  Personal Identification Number (PIN) Available April 1

Currently, when you use your PayFlex Card to pay for an eligible expense, you must choose "credit."  Beginning April 1, 2013, when you use your PayFlex Card it can be used as "debit" or "credit."  In fact, a merchant may require you to choose "debit", in which case you will need a PIN to complete the transaction.  They have the choice to not let you use the card as "credit."  This is true for any location that accepts your PayFlex Card.  

To get a PIN for your card, call Card Services on or after April 1, 2013.
The toll-free number is 1-888-999-0121. 

We understand that you may have questions about your new PIN.  Click here to view frequently asked questions.


Learning & 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.


Upcoming Performance Excellence Workshops for Managers






Performance Excellence is a continuous process that helps Northwestern individuals and  organizations accomplish their goals. Annual planning begins in the spring.


Managers who are new to the University's Performance Excellence Process-or managers who'd like a refresher course-are encouraged to attend one of the following workshops for ideas and best practices on setting individual objectives, recognizing Northwestern behaviors, and giving feedback.



HRD560: Performance Excellence for Managers I - Initiating the Process

May 16 - Chicago

May 23 - Evanston



HRD570: Performance Excellence for Managers II - Completing the Process

April 11 - Evanston

April 16 - Chicago



L&OD offers a variety of workshops and additional opportunities to help improve workplace performance. Check them out!

Follow 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.

Work/Life Resources

Navigating the College Admissions Process


Chicago: Tuesday, April 16th 12:00-1:00 p.m. Lurie Center, Gray Room

Evanston: Wednesday, April 17th 12:00-1:00 p.m. Norris, Arch Room


Parents are often extremely involved in the college admissions process. Applying to college does not begin or end with the college application. Searching and choosing the right college also involves knowing when to apply, deciding whether to apply early decision, crafting college essays, and preparing for interviews with admissions officials. Parents and future students work together to reach educational goals, from coordinating campus tours to understanding scholarship eligibility.


This workshop will investigate everything parents need to know about supporting their children as they apply to college. Join members of Northwestern's Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid as they discuss approaching the college search, preparing for the application process, tips and tools for the financial aid process and more. A member of the Northwestern University Benefits Department will also provide information about portable tuition benefits and reduced tuition plan benefits.


For more information or to reserve your space, contact Phyllis Ellis at 7-1460.     


University Children's Center 


NAEYC accredited University Children's Center is currently enrolling infants and accepting wait list applications for the summer program for children ages 2-6. Discover how our convenient location helps streamline your day and lets you maximize the time you spend with your family!


Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day is Thursday, April 25th!


The Women's Center and the Office of Human Resources invite you to join us in celebrating the 19th year of Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day. The theme for this year's educational event is "Work in Progress." The daylong event is open to the pre-teen and teenage (ages 8-16) relatives of Northwestern faculty and staff members.  The event offers children an opportunity to participate in a variety of learning activities across campus. The event takes place on both the Chicago and Evanston campuses.

For More Information


Starting Off on the Right Foot: Steps to Take with a New Boss


Perhaps you recently changed jobs and have newly found yourself here at Northwestern. Or perhaps have been with Northwestern for years and have recently transitioned to a new department. Or maybe you haven't changed positions at all, but your department has recently reorganized its management team. While each of these scenarios is very different, they all share a common element - you now find yourself with a new supervisor.


Whether you are the type who embraces change or who prefers to run for cover when you see it coming, at some point in your career you can expect to have a new supervisor, and the steps you take early on can be instrumental in establishing a successful relationship. Consider the following:

  • It is important to get to know your new supervisor. Rather than waiting for your supervisor to come to you, initiate a meeting (or set of meetings) with him or her. Use these interactions as a time to understand what your supervisor's goals are for the department, and more specifically, their expectations for your position. Learn what is important to them in an employee and what they value. Come prepared with questions and use the time judiciously.
  • Learn your supervisor's preferred communication style. Don't assume just because your previous supervisor preferred to communicate via email that your new supervisor will want to do the same. Perhaps group problem solving during weekly team meetings is more her style. It's up to you to learn - and explicitly ask - what your new supervisor's style is, and then to adapt to it.
  • Be open to change. Often new supervisors mean new ways of working, whether it's new processes, revamped projects, or even structural changes. The fact that things are changing doesn't mean they weren't working before. It simply means your supervisor wants to move the organization forward in a way he/she feels will be most successful.
  • Don't bring problems, bring solutions. Nothing will shut things down faster with a new supervisor than hearing an employee drone on about age-old problems in the department, without offering any solutions or ideas for fixing them. It's acceptable in the right context to identify issues, but be prepared to offer ideas for how they can be addressed and what role you're willing to take in making that happen.

In the inevitability that you wind up with a new supervisor, most importantly keep an open mind. Consider it an opportunity to start fresh and embrace the opportunities it holds to work in new and different ways. You never know what possibilities abound.


If you have questions or would like additional consultation, please contact your HR Consultant at (847) 491-7507 or (312) 503-8481. 


Writing an Effective Cover Letter


For those who attended the NUSAC Brown Bag on Career Development in February, you'll recall the panelists touching on the importance of including a cover letter when applying for a position. While you may be tempted to skip this step when applying for an internal position here at Northwestern, keep in mind that a cover letter is your single best opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates and showcase your unique strengths and capabilities.


First, and perhaps most importantly, cover letters should be tailored to the position for which you are applying. The qualifications and skills you highlight should be matched to the requirements of the position. For example, consider an individual with an extensive administrative background who also has volunteer experience in publishing and a degree in English. The cover letter he/she submits when applying for Administrative Assistant positions may look very different from the one he/she uses when applying for Editorial positions.


While your cover letter can- and should- vary based on the position for which you are applying, there are some general components that should be included in any cover letter:

  • An introduction that indicates why you are writing and to which position you are applying.
  • One to two paragraphs outlining your relevant skills and qualifications. This is your opportunity to demonstrate what uniquely qualifies you for the position compared to other candidates, and to explain any gaps in your resume or questions others may have when reading it. Rather than simply listing your past accomplishments and titles, position them in terms of how they benefit the organization. Your cover letter needs to address the question, "What's in it for the organization?"
  • Include a brief final paragraph that indicates what action will come next. Use this as an opportunity to make your desire and availability for an interview known.
  • Close by thanking the reader for their time and consideration.

With all this, don't lose sight of the basics when writing your cover letter:

  • Keep your cover letter brief and simple. A half-page cover letter is ideal and you should keep from going over one page in length.
  • Use a font size that is simple and clear.
  • Always use spellcheck and have someone else review your cover letter for proper spelling, grammar, and overall readability.
  • Steer away from using buzzwords, acronyms, jargon, and overly personal language. Even within Northwestern, we have an abundance of acronyms, so don't assume the reader will know what you are referencing if it hasn't been spelled out.

For additional resources on career development and conducting a job search, visit the Careers and Workplace Learning sections of the Office of Human Resources website.

Upcoming Events
2013 Northwestern Football

Show your Wildcat Pride for our student-athletes and Northwestern Football by becoming a season ticket holder this year and experience all the excitement of Chicago's Big Ten Team. Northwestern faculty and staff enjoy enhanced discounted pricing on season tickets. Save over 40% by purchasing your season tickets for $213 and receive benefits such as access to away game and bowl game tickets and the opportunity to purchase a season parking pass.


Order today by calling 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775) or visit NUSPORTS.COM  



Sept. 7 vs. Syracuse

Sept. 14 vs. Western Michigan

Sept. 21 vs. Maine

Oct. 5 vs. Ohio State 

Oct. 19 vs. Minnesota

Nov. 16 vs. Michigan

Nov. 23 vs. Michigan State