Office of Human Resources                                                                                              June 2013



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Kindermusik at Northwestern offers Kindermusik classes for ages 0 - 5 on Monday afternoons and Saturday mornings on the Evanston campus.  The program is currently enrolling children for its summer classes.  There are two 6 week summer sessions. The Saturday classes begin on June 8 and the Monday classes begin on June 24.   Kindermusik offers age appropriate early childhood music and movement classes and are taught by licensed Kindermusik educators who also have degrees in music. Full-time Northwestern employees who receive benefits are eligible for a discount of 25% off Kindermusik tuition.  For further information on Kindermusik, please visit and click on Kindermusik or email Pat Heineman-Vernon, Coordinator, Kindermusik at Northwestern at

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

Summer Camp Tips

School's out, and like most parents of young children, you are likely thinking about ways to make this summer a positive and enriching experience for your child(ren).  

Summer camp can offer experiences for your child to build positive 

self-esteem, make new friends, experience a new environment and build new skills.

The key question for many parents is: day camp or overnight camp?

Here are some considerations:

  • Most overnight camps do require that children be at least age 7 - 9 years old.
  • What is your child's level of independence, maturity level?
  • Does your child make friends easily?
  • Does your child like new challenges?
  • What is your budget? Overnight camps are typically more expensive.

Has your child spent the night away from home? Can they handle being away for one to two weeks? Have a conversation with your child to see how he/she feels.

If you are researching camps for the first time, you may find the following quality indicators helpful.

  • Good adult to child ratio.
  • A director with a solid camp administration background.
  • Diverse and well run activities that appeal to children.
  • Warm and friendly staff who are consistent.
  • Clean and safe environment.
  • Accreditation by the American Camp Association.

Costs can range from between $75 and over $800 per week. When talking with the Camp director, you may want to consider the following ways to cut costs.

  • Ask if there is a refund policy.
  • Find out whether there is a financial assistance fund.
  • Inquire about other discounts for full season enrollment, multiple family members enrolled, or early registration.

Camp Options at the McGaw YMCA 

Summertime at the Y offers a range of opportunities for children to engage in adventure and new learning. There are camps for all ages, including Camp Echo, an overnight option for the whole familyFor more information.

Elder Care Tip of The Month: Summer Heat Safety Tips for Seniors


Summer is coming and the heat is on! Unfortunately fun in the sun comes with added worry for many family caregivers since hot weather can be particularly dangerous for seniors. Learn more about why seniors are more vulnerable in the heat and signs for concern, or call NU Senior Care Connections at 1-855-772-2730.



The Center For Talent Development is hosting the Opportunities for the Future Conference on Saturday, June 29th! 

The conference will include stimulating workshops and presentations designed to help gifted students and parents plan for the future. Adults enjoy the keynote address and subsequent sessions led by experts in gifted education. Students in grades 4 through 12 attend age-appropriate workshops that provide new perspectives on current areas of study as well as future career opportunities. Children age 4 through grade 3 are invited to participate in supervised activities while family members visit sessions.

Update Your Mailing Address

If you will be returning home for the summer, graduating, or otherwise leaving the University, don't forget to update your address in Self Service! Any time you switch residences, including student housing, you need to update your home address on file with Human Resources. This is important to ensure future tax documents and other necessary communications reach you. To update your address, log in to FASIS Self Service and navigate to: Self Service > Personal Information > Home and Mailing Addresses (or click here). Click the pencil "edit" icon next to an existing address to edit it, and save your changes.

NOTE: Address changes on SES do not automatically change your FASIS address. The FASIS change must be done separately.


You must edit your address before you leave the University.  Once your job ends, you can no longer access Self Service to make address changes.


Terminating Temporary Employees


As the academic year draws to a close, please ensure you terminate the temporary employees in your department who will not work at the university during Summer 2013.  The employees' job records can be terminated in FASIS by administrative users with access to the Temp Panel, when the Temp Panel is open for editing. 
The Temp Panel is found under the following path in FASISProduction Database/Workforce Administration/Job Information/Maintain Job Information-Temps/Temp Panel.


Terminating the employees will help prevent unapproved/unauthorized payments to the employee.  If the temporary employees will return to your department for the 2013-2014 academic year, the employees can be rehired upon their return.  


Summer Hires


summer hire

As the summer hiring season approaches, please keep these important compliance issues in mind.  Hiring paperwork for temporary employees must  be submitted within 5 business days of hire to comply with Illinois labor laws.  Please send paperwork as soon as possible to the Payroll Office.  Please refer to the biweekly cut-off schedule for submission deadlines to assure employees are entered in time to enter their hours in Kronos.


To comply with I-9 and E-Verify laws, section 1 of the I-9 must be completed no later than the first day of employment (this is done by the employee and can be done from any computer).  Section 2 of the I-9 must be done no later than the third day of employment (employee must show their documents in person to a NU representative).  If an employee cannot do section 1 or section 2 by these deadlines, they cannot begin working.  Holding hire paperwork until the I-9 is completed is still a violation of the law and can result in non-compliance penalties. 


Self Service Changes to Protect Your Sensitive Information


Thursday morning, April 25th, some members of the Northwestern community received a scam email that appeared to be from Northwestern University asking employees to change their NetID password.  As a precautionary measure in response to this scam, the Self Service links to direct deposit, dependent/beneficiary changes, and electronic W-2 were locked.


Additional changes have now been made to further protect the visibility of your sensitive information in Self Service:

  • On the Direct Deposit page, the first 6 digits of both your routing and account numbers will appear as "XXXXXX".  The full numbers will display only if you edit or add bank account information.
  • On the dependent/beneficiary page, the first 6 digits of Social Security Numbers will appear as "XXXXXX", becoming visible only if you choose to edit or add a dependent/beneficiary.

With these modifications, the Self Service Direct Deposit and Dependent/Beneficiary pages will re-open to all employees soon.  The Electronic W-2 page will remain locked; please contact Payroll at 847-491-7362 to obtain a copy of your W-2 form.

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.


New Workshop: Crucial ConversationsĀ® for Managers


For managers, many of the common obstacles that can hinder a team's success stem from conversations that are either not being handled-or not being handled well.


To increase your skills in holding difficult conversations with your staff, we encourage managers (who have at least one direct report) to consider attending an upcoming session of the new Crucial ConversationsĀ® for Managers two-day workshop on August 8 & 15 (register). The workshop specifically focuses on the challenges managers face when collaborating within and across units and provides an open, supportive forum for peers to learn from each other.


Workshop participants receive the New York Times bestselling book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High and several practical resources for future success, including a six-CD audio companion and a toolkit. Learn more about key workshop topics from the course description.


Online Training for Microsoft SharePoint Available at No Additional Cost

As part of the Northwestern Collaboration Services initiative, Microsoft SharePoint will become available to University faculty and staff through a phased rollout that begins this month. To learn more about how to use SharePoint, you're invited to view training available from at no additional cost.

To access the training module (and ensure that there is no additional cost), be sure to log in through the Northwestern web site. You'll just need to enter your NetID and NetID password.


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.


This is a reminder that effective January 1, 2013, two new programs were implemented to our prescription drug plan administered by ExpressScripts.


Generics Preferred


Under this program, if a brand-name drug is dispensed rather than an available chemically- equivalent generic drug, an ancillary charge is applied in addition to the member's generic coinsurance. Ancillary charges are the responsibility of the employee, regardless of whether the "Dispense as Written" box is checked by your doctor. The ancillary charge is 50% of the difference in cost between the brand and generic product. Ancillary charges do not apply towards the maximum cost per prescription or the $1,500 per person out-of-pocket maximum. It is important to remember that this program still allows you the choice between treatment options but not at an increased cost to the plan and its participants.


If you have questions about the ancillary charge for a particular brand medication you are prescribed, contact ExpressScripts.


CuraScript Exclusive 


Under this program, all specialty medications must be filled exclusively through CuraScript mail order.  This means specialty medications attempted to be filled at the retail level will be rejected. 


CuraScript is a wholly owned subsidiary of ExpressScripts and is a mail order specialty pharmacy, whose sole purpose is patient management with  specialty medications.  CuraScript provides specialty prescriptions, defined as injectable, oral and infused medications.  As one of the nation's leading providers of specialty medications,  CuraScript nurses and pharmacists are able to support patients who need to take these complex and expensive medications.   Since many specialty medications require refrigeration, CuraScript takes every precaution to ensure that medications are packaged in temperature controlled materials to ensure preservation.  Because the medications are dispensed by mail order, CuraScript will work with you to make arrangements to receive the package.  If you will not be home to receive your medications, you can request that they be mailed to your office, doctor's office or a family member's address.


As always, please contact the Benefits Division with any questions about our benefit programs.


Utilizing Unified Messaging (the New Voice Mail System) to Maximize Productivity


The latest phase of Northwestern's Collaboration Services, Unified Messaging (UM), is now in place, and with this implementation, those who have opted in to the service have the capability to manage their communication and calendar more effectively than ever before.  UM brings together your email, calendar, and voice mail into a single "inbox", making it easy to stay connected and mobile from anywhere.  Below are just a few of the things you can do: 


  • Access your voice mail by email.

In addition to being able to listen to, or forward, voice mail messages from your phone, you can also now do this from your smartphone or laptop computer.  The recipient will be notified they have a new message both by email and on their phone. 


You can read the transcription of the voice mail within your email, or click on the "play" button to listen to the voice mail message directly from your email.  And if you don't want to listen to the entire message again, just move the slider button back to replay only a portion of the message.


You even have the ability to reply to, or forward, a response via email.  When you are done, you can leave the message in your inbox or file it away.

Retain voice mail messages for longer than five days.

When you receive notification by email that you have a new voice mail message, you no longer have to worry that the message will be deleted within five days.  Messages can now be saved as long as any other email in your inbox, so they are there when you need them.


  • Access your email and calendar by voice mail.


In addition to checking your email on your computer, you can now have your email read to you over the phone.  And if you need to know when your next meeting is, but don't have your calendar handy, you can use voice or touch-tone commands to have your schedule read to you over the phone.


Unified Messaging enables you to manage your communication and schedule seamlessly across your phone, email, smartphone, or tablet - making it possible to be in touch and productive in new and different ways.


There are many useful resources available to navigate you through the new tools and features of Unified Messaging.  For more information, visit Northwestern University Information Technology's (NUIT's) Unified Message Support Tools or access the archived Tech Talks on Unified Messaging and Collaboration Services (from March 5 and April 23). To order Unified Messaging voice mail, contact your University work order contact to submit a request using the CONDUITS Online Order Form.

Tips When Applying for Northwestern Positions


At some point during your career at Northwestern, you may find yourself conducting an internal job search.  While you may already be familiar with the University, it is important to prepare for your internal job search much the same as you would for an external search.  Following are some helpful tips to keep in mind when seeking another position internally:

  • Given the broad and diverse activities Northwestern is engaged in, it's important to learn about the specific department or school to which you've applied.  Become familiar with the research they are working on, what initiatives or projects they have underway, and any current news that may help you to understand their business better.
  • Be aware of general University news and read a local daily newspaper.  Regularly visit the home page for Northwestern University and its schools.
  • Carry your business cards at all times and always be prepared to meet new people and make new connections.
  • Take advantage of Northwestern seminars and associations that provide opportunities for networking with other members of the University.
  • Since you never know when you'll have an opportunity to "sell" yourself, prepare an "elevator speech" (a brief, compelling summary of your professional skills, interests, and goals).  The idea is you should be able to "sell" yourself in the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator with someone.  Speak with confidence when sharing your professional background and goals with others.
  • Set up informational interviews with contacts in your field of interest.  Use these interviews to gather valuable information regarding the industry, career planning, and job search strategies.
  • Ensure that your email signature block and outgoing voice mail message project a professional image.
  • List accurate job titles and work dates in your application and resume.  If you include more descriptive titles on your resume than those formally approved by the University, acknowledge your official titles in parentheses.
  • Identify professional references who can attest to your work history.  It is Northwestern's practice to notify you if your references will be contacted.  However, it is a good idea to let your references know ahead of time they may be contacted so they are not surprised if they receive a phone call.  If you are selected as the candidate of choice, two references are required normally including your current supervisor.

Also, as a reminder, if you are selected as a final candidate for a staff position, you must successfully complete a background check prior to beginning employment in the new role.


Utilizing the simple tips above will help you capitalize on the many diverse and rewarding opportunities that Northwestern University offers.  For a list of current, open positions, visit the Careers home page.


Writing effective job descriptions, improving their quality and usability requires having a sound understanding of the critical components and receiving guidance on the best practices in constructing them.  As with the last article, highlighting the importance of essential functions, we continue an in-depth review of the sections of the job description now focusing on the job summary; what it is, is not and why it's important. 


The job summary provides an overview of the role and responsibilities of a particular job within the University. Given its prominent position on the job description page, the job summary is usually the first section of the document read and therefore should be considered to be the "advertising" or "first impression" section of the job description.  This section is meant to highlight the key features of the role and concisely convey why the job exists at Northwestern.  Effective job summaries provide enough information to adequately define the role without restating the essential functions or list of other responsibilities.



Though first on the page, it is often helpful to make this the last section that is written.   Identifying the essential duties, responsibilities and other accountabilities first can simplify the task of writing the summary because it focuses your thoughts on highlights since the details have already been written.  


When writing a good summary, it is important to include:

  • whether or not the job is a leadership/management or individual contributor.
  • if the incumbent has budget and/or signature authority and at what level.
  • the amount and type of supervision required ( e.g. minimal supervision, direct supervision, general supervision, etc.).
  • the breadth of the role (e.g. responsibility across multiple university schools and/or departments versus a single school, unit or department).
  • identifying the main collaborators, especially when at a high level.
  • the location of the job (e.g. the Evanston Campus).

The length of the summary is irrelevant.  Generally speaking, however, the job summary section should contain no more than three paragraphs to accurately describe the key features of the role.  The summary should be fact based and not include subjective phrases (e.g. "thoughtfully and carefully considers"), performance measures (e.g. "pays attention to detail, on a weekly basis ensures"), nor desired qualifications (e.g. "the incumbent is a self-started with a Master's degree and 10 years of experience").


Though not required, it is recommended that an overview of the unit, project or program be included in the job summary section.  Such a paragraph provides context, further defines the nature of the work and the relationship of this work to other units/work within the University.  This information is extremely valuable to those reading the description or considering applying for the role.


An example of a good job summary follows:


"The Office of Planning and Resources is charged with ensuring that effective business processes are created and implemented across the University to ensure overall efficiency and best use of resources within the University.  The Office is located on the Evanston Campus and has a staff of approximately 25 professionals including faculty, staff and students.  The newly adopted strategic plan has created a need for further expansion of the office. 


Under direct supervision, this individual contributor role coordinates all administrative operations and internal activities of the Office of Planning and Resources.  Facilitates the creation, maintenance, revision and implementation of operational procedures, policies and checkpoints to ensure the unit's operational efficiency.  The incumbent routinely partners with administrators and staff in other units between the schools at NU.  The incumbent has no budget making or signature authority but regularly monitors the unit's expenditures and reconciliation processes within the unit. "


Writing effective job descriptions can be challenging.  The Compensation Consultants are here to assist you so feel free to call with any questions related to the content of this article.

Conflict of Interest

Annual Staff COI Disclosure and Disclosure Reviews Underway 


Staff Disclosers


The annual staff conflict of interest (COI) disclosure process opened in FASIS on May 23rd, and all staff are asked to complete their disclosure by June 28th.  You can access and complete your COI disclosure by clicking the Conflict of Interest Disclosure link in FASIS Self-Service.  


Staff COI Approvers


For those managers reviewing and approving staff members' COI disclosures, we ask that you review and approve your staff members' COI disclosures no later than August 5, 2013.  When a staff member's COI disclosure has been completed, you will receive an email message asking you to review and approve the COI disclosure.   


If a manager determines that the outside interests and activities disclosed by a staff member do not interfere with or detract from their University responsibilities or present any potential or actual conflict of interest, note this determination and the rationale for your determination in your approver comments and approve the individual's COI disclosure in the system. 


If you determine that the outside interests and activities disclosed by a staff member are of potential concern or you need further information to make a determination, you may want to have a conversation with the individual about the activity and identify ways to mitigate any potential or actual conflicts of interest. 


Please provide some explanation for your determinations - simply noting "not a conflict" is not sufficient.  Below are some examples to demonstrate that thoughtful consideration was given by the manager in reviewing a staff COI disclosure:

  • "I am aware of this outside activity and it does not interfere with or detract from this employee's NU responsibilities. The work occurs outside of NU work hours and NU resources are not utilized in any way for this outside work."
  • "This employee's spouse works for ABC Company, an organization that provides services to NU.  However, this employee is not involved in any way in selecting this vendor or involved in any administrative activities of paying this vendor."  [if applicable]: Selection of this vendor occurred through the appropriate bidding process involving Purchasing."    
  • "This employee was given a gift of sporting tickets by a vendor.  This vendor has not provided sporting tickets to this employee in the past.  The 2 tickets were to a night Cubs game outside of work hours and had a value of approximately $50 per ticket.  A representative from the vendor was present with the employee at this event." 

Tips for evaluating conflicts of interest are available here, and you may also feel free to 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.