Office of Human Resources                                                                                             August 2013



 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information

Please Welcome Roberto Sanabria, 

Director of Equal Opportunity and Access

oberto joined the Office of Human Resources on July 15 from Northeastern Illinois University, where he was the Director of University Outreach and Equal Employment. Roberto served on the President's staff as the University's Affirmative Action Officer, Equal Employment Officer, Title IX Officer, Ethics Officer and ADA Coordinator as well as the liaison to education, social service, government and business institutions in Chicago and the region. Previously, he was the Affirmative Action Officer and Chief of Latino Affairs at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Roberto earned his Doctorate in Adult Education from National-Louis University, Master of Science in Adult Education from Northern Illinois University and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


As a member of the Northwestern Human Resources leadership team, Roberto (and his staff) will work with leaders and individual contributors throughout the University to 1) establish policies and practices for equal opportunity, 2) improve diversity and access, and 3) build a community free of discrimination and harassment. He will advise faculty and staff on protocols, laws and regulations while catalyzing change with internal and external stakeholders to realize Northwestern University's vision of inclusion.

Inside This Issue
Work Life Resources
Temp Center
Learning and Organization Development
Conflict of Interest
Upcoming Events
Quick Links

Scent-sitivity to Fragrances: Demonstrating Consideration in the Workplace


Individuals vary in their sensitivities to light, temperature, and sound. They also vary in their sensitivities to scents and chemicals.  While sensitivity to fragrances generally is not a visible issue, it is a genuine concern to some. Those with sensitivity may experience a variety of symptoms, such as wheezing, nausea, fatigue, headache, runny nose, stinging eyes, and sore throat.


As a matter of general consideration, as well to foster a productive work environment for all members of our community, it is important to maintain an environment as scent-free as possible while we are at work.  This includes both the products we wear on our bodies, as well as products we use in or around our work spaces. Fragrances and chemical odors travel, so it is important to be aware that even when we limit the use of these products to our own work spaces and bodies, it may still affect others.


While not exhaustive, the list below provides examples of products that may contain strong fragrances and chemicals.  Before using these products, please consider how much odor they produce and how this may affect others in your work area:

  • Perfumes, colognes, and aftershave
  • Lotions and creams
  • Shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, and other hair products
  • Soaps
  • Makeup and deodorants
  • Chemical cleaning products
  • Scented dry-erase and permanent markers
  • Scented candles (even unlit, candles can exude a strong odor)
  • Potpourris
  • Air fresheners

Limiting the use of these products helps provide an environment in which all can do their best work.  If you have questions regarding this topic or would like to discuss how it relates to your work environment, please contact your HR Consultant.  For assistance in identifying your assigned HR Consultant, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 847-491-7507 (Evanston) or 312-503-8488 (Chicago).

Work Life Resources

Get a Head Start with Your Aging Parents

Theodore Roosevelt knew what he was talking about when he said, "Old age is like anything else. To be good at it, you need to start young." Speaking with our parents about aging is never easy. Read more for some helpful advice on how to approach the delicate topic of aging from the NU Senior Care Connections Team.



Faculty and Staff Blood Drive, Sponsored by LifeSource  

Thursday, August 22nd 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Norris Center, Louis Room  


Blood is needed every two seconds for surgeries, procedures, cancer treatments and emergencies. There is a tremendous demand for blood in the Chicagoland area. Northwestern faculty and staff are highly encouraged to donate this month to help meet the need. 100% of the blood donated during this blood drive will go to hospitals in our community. All donors will learn their blood type, receive a  cholesterol screening, blood pressure reading and iron level screening. Walk-ins are welcome. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact LifeSource directly at 877-543-3768 or schedule online and use sponsor code: NWUVNWEC.





The right back- to- school transitions can get a new school year off to an even better start and help children perform well. Re-establish bedtime routines, at least one week before school starts, to prepare your child and avoid becoming over-tired or overwhelmed by school work and activities. Allow plenty of extra time the first few days. Make sure your child has adequate time to get up, eat breakfast, and get to school.  



Other tips: 

  • Schedule doctors' appointments well before school starts. It helps to have all physician paperwork completed and submitted on time. Also, any concerns about your child's development may be better identified and begin to be addressed before school starts.
  • It is smart to prioritize and plan ahead for school activities. Sit down with your child and your own calendar in August when the school schedule arrives and plan the year. Together you'll be able to decide which special events at school you would like to attend and take some time off work in order to be there (See information below on this topic).


Plant the Seeds that can Lead to Success:   

  • Build a partnership and meet with your child's teachers at the start of school, and explain that you want to be involved in your child's education, and offer your availability. Ask for suggestions and tasks for home that will boost your child's learning ability, and ask the teacher for the best ways and times to be in touch.
  • Visiting school with your child, meeting the teacher, locating the classroom, locker, and lunchroom will help prevent or ease pre-school anxieties and allow your child to ask questions about the new environment.


Remember that Northwestern offers resources to help locate childcare. Action for Children can assist with learning about child care options and referrals to providers. Sittercity's on-line tools can help connect you with sitters in your area. For additional information about these and other child care benefits, contact the Office of Work/Life Resources at 847-491-3612 or 


For more tips, visit: 

Child Care Aware and National Association of School Psychologists




Finding the Best Time to Attend School Conferences


As children head back to school, it is worthwhile for benefit-eligible staff, when requesting time off to attend a school conference, to be familiar with and follow the University's guidelines for these visits. These are some highlights of the guidelines, which are based on the Illinois School Visitation Act: 


Accrued vacation or personal floating holiday time can be used to attend a school conference. When requesting time off and recording the time away, please follow department and University rules and guidelines. Staff may take up to eight hours during any school year.  No more than four hours may be taken on any one day.


A non-exempt employee who does not have vacation or personal floating holiday time to cover the school conference may take the time for the conference as unpaid, excused time.  Alternatively, the employee can let her or his manager know the preference to make up the time on another day, and the manager may agree to that option, but the employee needs to know it is necessary to make up the time within the same work week.             


Managers may ask for verification of the school conference. If so, the staff member should request a note from the administrator at the child's school to provide verification of the date and time of the conference, along with the name of the child's school.


Questions? Please contact your HR Consultant.


Exempt Staff Time Off Entry Deadlines for Fiscal Year 2013:

Employee Entry by the 6th; Manager Approval by the 12th


Since September 2012, exempt staff have been required to enter and approve time off in Kronos on a monthly basis. As the fiscal year end approaches, exempt staff and librarians are reminded to enter their time off in Kronos.  This includes sick, vacation, personal floating holidays, and bereavement. Time off for each month must be entered by the 6th of the following month.  Managers must approve the Kronos records for exempt staff by the 12th of the following month.


The deadlines for the remainder of this fiscal year are as follows.

  • Time off used in July, 2013 must be entered by Tuesday August 6th. Managers must approve the records by Monday, August 12th.
  • Time off used in August, 2013 must be entered by Friday September 6th. Managers must approve the records by Thursday, September 12th.
As in prior years, exempt staff who fail to report their time off for the fiscal year will have their balances zeroed out as of the end of the fiscal year, August 31st.  Instructions for entering and approving time in Kronos can be found here:  For further assistance, contact the Kronos Help Desk at extension 7-7606 or






I-9 compliance is an important part of the hiring process.  New employees must complete section 1 of the I-9 no later than the end of their first day of employment.  Then they must show their work eligibility documents to an authorized Northwestern representative to complete section 2 of the I-9 no later than their third day of employment. 


To become a section 2 processor for I-9s, please sign up for an upcoming training session via self-service   

The next sessions will be held:

-    Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 2:00-4:00 in G593 training lab in Rebecca Crown on the Evanston Campus.

-    Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 10:00-Noon in G593 training lab in Rebecca Crown on the Evanston Campus.

Temp Center

All Temporary Employees Must Route through the Temporary Staffing Center


All temporary employees should be hired through the University's in-house Temporary Staffing Center. Northwestern provides this service at no-cost to your department. 


In instances where you have already identified the top candidate and you are placing them directly onto Northwestern's payroll, it is still important 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 that they have completed the required DCFS Mandatory Reporter form.  Additionally, the Temporary Staffing Center maintains files on all temporary employees - including temporary employees hired through an outside vendor - 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).


Annual Merit Planning - Online Notification


The performance excellence and merit review process is quickly coming to a close.  Ideally, every staff member will have the opportunity to have conversations with their immediate supervisor to discuss the outcome of the performance review and merit processes. Those conversations are important for understanding the connection between performance and pay, and foster on going dialogue about goals and accomplishments between managers and their staff. When applied consistently and diligently, the results are greater workplace effectiveness, efficiency and engagement. 


Staff members are encouraged to discuss their compensation with their supervisors. Occasionaly those conversations do not occur because of scheduling conflicts, extended absences or other valid reasons.  Beginning this year, staff members will be able to view merit increase information via the FASIS self-service portal.  If you have questions regarding the information in the portal, please notify your immediate supervisor.


For more information, please contact the Compensation Consultant responsible for your area.


Excempt Payroll Deductions


The jobs held by Northwestern University staff members are determined to be exempt or non-exempt in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal act that governs, among other things, minimum wage and overtime.   Staff members who are non-exempt (i.e. subject to the minimum wage and overtime requirements) are paid based on the number of hours worked (including the use of accrued paid time off) during each pay period.  If the number of hours worked fluctuates during the pay period, there will be variations in the amount of pay received.  Exempt staff members (i.e. not subject to the overtime and minimum wage requirements), on the other hand, receive flat salaries for their work.  They work when duty calls; so their pay does not increase or decrease based on the numbers of hours worked during the pay period.  


There are instances when it is permissible to reduce the salary of an exempt employee.  Deductions may occur because of:

  • Absences from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability.
  • Absences from work for one or more full days due to sickness or disability if deductions are made under a bonafide plan, policy or practice of providing wage-replacement benefits for these types of absences.
  • Unpaid disciplinary leaves or suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for violations of serious workplace conduct rules.
  • Full or partial day absences for a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying absence.
  • Partial week worked during the first or last week of the employee's employment.
  • Penalties imposed in good faith for violating safety rules of "major significance," (e.g. smoking in an explosives plant).   

If you believe that an error in your pay has been made due to a deduction taken that is not accounted for in the above list, you must notify your supervisor immediately. If your supervisor is unavailable or you would rather not discuss it with your supervisor, you may contact any of the following:

  • the HR Payroll office in Evanston at 847-491-7362 or Chicago at 312-503-9700;
  • the HR Consultant assigned to your unit; or
  • the HR Compensation Consultant assigned to your unit.

After being made aware of a potential error, the supervisor must promptly elevate the issue to one of the following:   the Human Resources Consultant, the Payroll Manager, the Director of Compensation or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.  The appropriate staff within the Office of Human Resources will investigate all claims regarding possible improper deductions and respond to the employee.  Corrective action will be taken as soon as possible to resolve any identified improper deductions, including reimbursement of the improper deduction.


Retaliation against those making complaints or those involved in investigations will not be tolerated in accordance with the Non-Retaliation policy.  


Introducing Two New Staffing Resource Guides:

Hiring Manager Guide & Interviewing and Candidate Selection Guidelines


The Staffing Division has recently developed two new resource guides to assist departments in the process of recruiting great staff to the University.


The Hiring Manager Guide is a tool designed for the primary hiring manager who is engaged in recruiting a new staff member to the team.  This guide provides an overview of the recruitment process, detailed instructions on how to post the position and review resumes online, information on how to prepare for and conduct interviews and how the Staffing Consultant can support you throughout the search process, and what steps to take once you have selected your final candidate.


The Interviewing and Candidate Selection Guidelines is a tool designed for individuals who are part of a search committee or search process for an open position within a department. This guide was developed with the assistance of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and provides resources to help ensure a recruitment process that is fair and equitable to all applicants, as outlined by the University's Nondiscrimination Policy and Affirmative Action Plan.  This guide provides information on how to prepare for the interview and feedback process, preventing discrimination through interview question preparation, providing criteria-based feedback, and what to do if the interview goes off-course.


Both guides are located on the Office of Human Resources web site under Managers & Administrators à Hiring and Termination Resources.  Please note that the Hiring Manager Guide is password protected and requires that you login using your NetID and password.


If you have questions regarding these new resource guides or the general staffing process, please contact your Staffing Consultant.  For assistance in identifying your assigned Staffing Consultant, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 847-467-3287 (Evanston) or 312-503-1584 (Chicago).


Administrators: Don't Forget to Pre-Print Position/Appointment Forms


Remember that all Position Data/Appointment Forms sent to Payroll for data changes must be pre-printed from FASIS Admin; your request may be denied and sent back to you if forms are not pre-printed. The only time blank forms may be used is when you are creating a brand new position or appointment.


FASIS Admin users with access to print forms can refer to these instructions (PDF) for a quick guide to form printing.  Administrators without access must first complete the HRS401 Position/Appointment Form training course and submit a request for appropriate FASIS Security Access.  Current FASIS Admin users looking for a refresher on the use of Position/Appointment Forms are also welcome to register for the HRS401 training.



Review & Update Your Emergency Contact Information


This is a great time to update your emergency contact information in FASIS Self Service. In the event that something happens to you on campus (for example, an injury or illness) and someone close to you needs to be notified, the information on the Emergency Contact page is used. (Please note, this is not the list of numbers used to notify you personally of an emergency situation on campus). 


Please take an opportunity this month to review the emergency contacts you previously provided and to add any additional contacts. Click here to access FASIS Self Service and update your information (or, log in to and navigate to Self Service > Personal Information > Emergency Contacts). You can also access a Do-It-Yourself Guide to updating your family emergency contact information by clicking here


Health Care Reform


Health Care Reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act, will be effective on January 1, 2014. In the interest of providing general information about Health Care Reform, we partnered with Mercer Consulting to offer a microsite called "Health Care Reform Made Simple". 


You will be required to enter a password which is: WILDCATS


Mercer will provide periodic updates to the content of the site based on additional information that becomes available. You can check back on the site for updates, or you can sign up on the site to receive email alerts notifying you of these changes.


If you have any questions about this site or experience issues accessing it, please contact Lindsay Greco, Supervisor, Benefits Operation at



Staff Absence Management Update

  • As a reminder, the allotment of Incidental Sick Times (IST) will be 15 days for Fiscal Year 2014 (September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014). The IST allowance is intended for employee occasional illness or care during a family member's illness.  In addition, the IST allowance covers the first 5 business days of an Extended Sick Time (EST) absence.
  • Effective September 1, 2013, any employee on an Approved FMLA leave may opt to take the leave as paid or unpaid.  Once Extended Sick Time or all Incidental Sick Days have been exhausted, the remainder of the leave may be paid or unpaid.  This means the University will not require that vacation and personal floating holidays are exhausted before moving to an unpaid status.
  • For those on a term or end dated appointment and approved for an FMLA Leave, job protection and Extended Sick Time pay will end coincident with the appointment end date.
  • For Staff Members requesting a leave, your University Contact is as follows:
    •  Ruthann Cameron, (A-L) Benefits Counselor - Evanston, 1-4019
    •  Sherry Shambee, (M-Z) Benefits Counselor - Evanston, 1-3520
    •  Unia Wilson, Benefits Counselor - Chicago, 3-0494
    •  For more information, please go to

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.


Registration Open for Fall Workshops


Registration is now open for workshops offered in September, October and November. Check your mailbox for our fall catalog or look online to see what's coming up.


Summer workshop highlights include:

  • Positioning Yourself for a Leadership Role on October 24 - Learn More.
  • Transitioning From Peer to Manager on October 24 - Learn More.
  • InDesign: Advanced on November 12 - Learn More.
  • Getting Things Done® on October 11 and November 4 - 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.
Conflict of Interest
Reminder to Managers: Approve Staff COI Disclosures in FASIS by August 5th


If you have not yet reviewed and approved your staff members' COI disclosures in FASIS, please do so by the August 5th deadline.  


If you have employees who are currently on leave, they do not need to complete their COI disclosures (and thus you do not need to review and approve their disclosures) until their return from leave.  NUCOI will contact the employees upon their return from leave, and supervisors will be notified via email to review and approve those COI disclosures at that time.   

View and Approve your Staff Members' COI Disclosure(s) in FASIS:

Log on to FASIS Self Service at

  1. Select the "Managers Conflict" of Interest folder
  2. Select "List of COI Questionnaire" panel and click "Search".
  3. Once you see the list of employee(s) for whom you are the approver, either approve from the "List of COI Questionnaire page" or click the "View" button to view the detailed questionnaire responses and then approve.
  4. If an employee disclosed affirmatively to a question, you are required to indicate a radio button response and type a comment.

Approving a Paper COI Disclosure in FASIS


If a staff member does not have access to a computer, the employee should complete a paper COI disclosure.  A paper version of the COI questionnaire can be accessed and printed at this link: .  When a staff member completes a paper COI disclosure, the supervisor must log into FASIS (as instructed above) and identify those who completed the paper questionnaire.  

Electronic copies of the paper COI disclosures should be sent to NUCOI at or via inter-campus mail to: 

Northwestern Conflict of Interest Office | 720 University Place, Room 108 | Att: Julia Campbell



Tips for evaluating conflicts of interest are available here, and you may also contact the Conflict of Interest Office to discuss concerns or seek guidance.  


If you have questions, please refer here and/or contact Northwestern's Conflict of Interest Office (NUCOI) at or 847.467.4515.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Access

Happy Anniversary ADA


July 26th marked the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)

The ADA shepherded a new era of protections and awareness concerning the rights of differently-abled individuals. Many "qualified" people with disabilities who participate or would like to participate in the US labor force are entitled to protections that allow them to thrive. Employers have learned to remove needless obstacles to access such as restroom stalls too narrow to accommodate wheel chairs, buildings with no ramps, and  job applications with font too small for the visually impaired to complete.

Northwestern benefits immensely from the considerable talent many individuals with disabilities bring to the University, and we salute the Americans with Disabilities Act on its 23rd Anniversary! 

Upcoming Events

Northwestern University Employee Tuition Benefits Information Sessions


Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies (SCS) and the Northwestern Human Resources Benefits Division will host Information Sessions for benefits eligible NU employees on Tuesday, August 13 and Thursday, August 15.


These sessions will explain how to take advantage of your employee tuition benefits through the part-time, evening, and weekend undergraduate, graduate, post-baccalaureate and professional development programs available through the School of Continuing Studies.


Academic, admissions and student services representatives from SCS and the Human Resources Benefits Division will be available to answer your questions.


                  Evanston Campus                                                      Chicago Campus

                  Tuesday, August 13, 2013                                         Thursday, August 15, 2013

                 Noon-1 p.m.                                                                  Noon-1 p.m.

                  Donald P. Jacobs Center - Room 1246                   Wieboldt Hall - Room 408

                           2001 Sheridan Road                                                   339 East Chicago Avenue


Reservations are required. Lunch will be provided. Click here to register online.




Be part of the picture at Northwestern! Send us your Polaroids



Share your instant photos with the Northwestern's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art this fall.


The Block Museum is gathering Polaroid pictures from the Northwestern community to exhibit in Captured in an Instant: Your Polaroid Experiences. Your photograph will be displayed alongside those of your colleagues and students.


Visit to find out how to participate. Then, come to the Block this fall to see your photo and view the new exhibition The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation. Admission is free.


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