Office of Human Resources                                                        November 2012 



 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information
Kronos Monthly Time Entry for Exempt Staff is Due Nov. 6;
Manager Approval by Nov. 12
Remember: Exempt staff, postdoctoral scholars, and librarians must enter their time off in Kronos on a monthly basis. All time off for October 2012 must be entered no later than Nov. 5. Managers of exempt staff must approve the time off for their direct reports by Nov. 12.  Please note that time must be approved by the employee and manager even when no leave time for the month has been entered.

For detailed instructions on accessing and using Kronos, see the PDF instruction manual or review the Time Entry webpage.
For instructions on changing or delegating the approver for exempt employees' leave time,click here (changes may be entered by your department administrator with FASIS Admin access).

Please note the FASIS Update in this newsletter regarding the correct Java version to use. 
Staff encountering a Kronos-Java compatibility issue should access Kronos using the non-Java URL found here.
For further assistance, contact the Kronos Help Desk at 7-7606 or 
Inside This Issue
Upcoming Events
FASIS Update
Employment Verification
Learning and Organization Development
Work/Life Resources
Professional Development
Service Recognition
Wellness Meetings
Quick Links


2013 Open Enrollment - Re-enroll in FSA and HSA Accounts Through November 9th  OEG


The Health Care, Limited Use, and Dependent Care flexible spending accounts (FSA), and the Health Savings Account (HSA) are valuable benefits because they allow you to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses on a pretax basis. You must enroll or re-enroll during Open Enrollment to participate in these accounts in 2013.  The enrollment deadline is November 9th at 5 p.m.


 2013 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

The Retirement Plan contribution limits for 2013 have been increased to $17,500.  If you will be age 50 by December 31, 2013, you can contribute an additional $5,500.  


HR Benefits Division - Employee Educational Assistance Seminars 

Please join us for two informative seminars explaining the Educational Assistance plans available to full-time Northwestern University faculty and staff. We will provide information and answer your questions regarding the four Educational Assistance plans:

  • Employee Educational Assistance - undergraduate and graduate courses at NU schools - taken by NU employees
  • Employee Portable Tuition - undergraduate and graduate courses at schools other than NU - taken by NU employees
  • Dependent Reduced Tuition - undergraduate courses at NU schools - taken by spouse or dependent children
  • Dependent Portable Tuition - undergraduate courses at schools other than NU - taken by dependent children


Come and learn about these extremely beneficial plans designed to help with college expenses for you, your spouse, and your college-aged children.


Chicago campus:                                                                      Evanston campus:       


Tuesday, November 13th                                                                               Wednesday, November 14th  

                          12:15-1p.m.                                                                              12:15-1p.m.

Lurie - Gray Seminar Room                                                      Norris University Center - Arch Room  



Upcoming Events
Ten Tips for Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility,
Sponsored by the Office of Work/Life Resources
It is never too early to start teaching your kids the basics of finances! Since many school curricula don't focus on this topic, it's important to get started at home. This workshop will provide practical tips on how to incorporate valuable lessons about money into everyday life with your children. Join us for this informative seminar presented by GreenPath, Inc., a not-for-profit credit counseling agency.
Chicago - November 7 - Noon - 1:00 p.m. - Lurie Center, Gray Room
Evanston - November 8 - Noon - 1:00 p.m. - Norris, Chicago Room
RSVP: Phyllis Ellis at 7-1640 or 
FASIS Update
New Data Mart and Employee Search Report
This month FASIS will launch its first COGNOS report to administrative users as part of the Employee-Job Data Mart.  The Employee Search Report is designed to accommodate the data needs of central, school and department administrators by providing the ability to view many employee types such as: faculty, staff, graduate students, research staff, and temporary workers.  This is the first of many COGNOS reports to be rolled out this fiscal year from the Data Mart project. FASIS Query users will be invited to demonstrations early in November, and information will follow regarding report access for new and existing FASIS Administration users.
Phone Number Updates
Have you updated your work phone number recently?  Is your work phone number not appearing in the NU online directory?  To add or update your phone number, simply sign into FASIS Self Service, select the Online Directory page, go to the Phone Number section; here you can add or change your work number and save.  Click the Return to the Online Directory link, and then check the Phone Indicator box to have your work number appear in the Northwestern University Online Directory.  The number will appear the next day.

Employment Verification

At times throughout your employment at Northwestern, there may be instances when you are conducting a personal transaction that requires employment verification. To facilitate this, Northwestern University partners with The WORK Number, an automated service that provides verification for current and previous University employees. The WORK Number can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by telephone or internet, and provides employment and payroll verification in minutes.


If you simply need employment verification and you do not need salary verification, The WORK Number can provide this directly without your authorization. In addition to providing your verifier with contact information for The WORK Number, you will also need to give this person your social security number and Northwestern University's Employer Code (11671).


If you need your salary verification in addition to employment verification, you will first need to contact The WORK Number to create a "Salary Key" that grants your verifier one-time access to your income data. You will need the following:

  • Northwestern University's Employer Code 
  • Your social security number
  • Your PIN to create a "Salary Key" Your PIN is your date of birth (MMDDYYYY)


Once you have created a "Salary Key," be sure to jot this number down, as you will need to provide this to your verifier, along with your social security number and the Employer Code.


To contact The WORK Number:


Internet Access: 


Telephone Access:

(800) 367-5690 - Telephone number for employees to provide to verifiers

(800) 367-2884 - Telephone number for employees to create a salary key


If you have questions or need additional assistance, you may contact The Work Number Client Service Center at (800) 996-7566 (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m).


Additionally, to listen to Northwestern University's pre-recorded message detailing these instructions, you may call (847) 491-7510. 

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 Winter Workshops

Registration is now open for workshops offered in December, January and February. Check your mailbox for our winter catalog or look online to see what's coming up.


New Workshop: Getting Things Done´┐Ż


Are you experiencing a constant deluge of email and phone calls? Do your daunting projects seem impossible to complete? Is the avalanche of incoming information and outstanding action items keeping you awake at night? You're not alone.


Consider joining a session of our newest workshop called Getting Things Done to learn more about a groundbreaking work-life management system that provides concrete solutions to transform uncertainty into stress-free productivity.


Workshop participants will receive a copy of David Allen's bestseller Getting Things Done and several practical resources for future success using the GTD methodology.


January 17 in Evanston

February 7 in Chicago

February 26 in Evanston

8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.




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.


Compensatory Time @ NU is Not Allowed  

Compensatory time off (commonly referred to as "comp time") is a limited provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which provides covered organizations with the ability to compensate employees for overtime (i.e. hours worked above 40 in a work week) with paid time off in lieu of cash. Only under certain prescribed conditions may employees of state or local government agencies receive comp time (at the same rate as regular overtime) instead of cash payments.  


It is NOT permissible for private employers (including Northwestern) to use comp time as a means of payment in lieu of cash for overtime. Employees who are eligible for overtime (i.e. nonexempt or hourly employees) must be paid at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked.   We know that it can be tempting to implement informal comp time practices within a school or department since it's not unusual to have budget shortfalls or for an employee to stay later or come in earlier to complete assignments that creates the need for unanticipated overtime pay. These situations can be difficult to manage. However, the law requires that non-exempt employees who work beyond 40 hours in a week, whether or not approved by the supervisor, must be paid overtime for the applicable hours.

Failure to adhere to the Department of Labor regulations may have negative consequences. Noncompliance may result in criminal prosecution and up to a $10,000 fine for first time offenders (Fair p. 27).


As a reminder, all hours worked by a non-exempt employee must be recorded in the Kronos time tracking system to ensure appropriate handling of regular and overtime pay.


For more information or answers to specific questions, contact your HR Services Consultant. 


Work/Life Resources

Helpful Resources: Hurricane Sandy 


Although the impact of the recent storm in Chicago was mostly limited to significant winds and high waves, many at the University have families or friends who live in areas that were devastated by the storm. Please know that the following resources may be helpful:


  • Perspectives Faculty and Staff Assistance Program can be a useful resource if you have family members impacted by Hurricane Sandy. By calling the main number 800-456-6327, individuals or their family members can be connected to a professional counselor in their area, whether in New York, New Jersey or elsewhere. For those with internet access, a list of helpful resources to assist with access to information, shelter and medical care can be found on their website: The username is NOR501 and the password is perspectives. 
For additional assistance, contact the Office of Work/Life Resources at 847-491-3612.

Aging Parents: Is it Time for Help?


With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday season is upon us. That can mean that many of us will be planning family gatherings. If you are concerned about an aging relative, you may notice subtle, or in some cases, more dramatic changes in your loved one's health. In her Huffington Post blog, Jody Gastfriend from gives some guidance to adult children who may be concerned about an aging parent.


"Holidays can be incredibly stressful. In the midst of all the activity and eating, they can also provide an opportunity to observe our parents as they age.  So this season, here is what to look for to determine if your worries are justified and whether there are real concerns about your parent' swell-being and safety that need to be addressed:

  • Change in eating habits/ weight loss
  • Forgetfulness - out of the ordinary
  • Neglected personal hygiene and cleanliness
  • Decrease in socialization and activity level
  • Significant mood changes
  • Unexplained dents in the car
  • Misuse of prescribed medications
  • Mishandling finances

Many adult children feel they shoulder the burden of worry on their own. Getting siblings on the same page whenever possible is a good place to start. Sharing perspectives on Mom's increasing forgetfulness and Dad's unsteady gait can shed new light on your understanding of the problem.  Has it been an ongoing progressive decline or an intermittent reaction to stress or illness? Gathering information, as objectively as possible is the first step toward being an effective caregiver. You don't have to go it alone."


Through NU Senior Care Connections, Northwestern faculty and staff have access to eldercare support and resources. If you would like to contact NU Senior Care Connections to speak with a senior care advisor, call 855-772-2730.


For additional information about Northwestern University work/life programs, contact the
Baker Demonstration School will be hosting a family open house on Saturday, November 10th  from 2 - 4 p.m. Baker is an independent day school committed to providing an exemplary Preschool, Elementary and Middle School education. Baker's experiential learning approach nurtures the development of the whole child, cultivates students' intrinsic motivation to learn and fosters their active participation in the learning process. Baker Demonstration School is pleased ot offer a tuition discount to benefits-eligible NU faculty and staff members. For more information, please contact Hilary Holder (NU '94 and '99) at


Professional Development

Throughout your career, it is important to continually learn and strengthen your workplace skills. While changing positions is one way to gain new skills, there are also many ways to learn and grow without changing jobs. Listed below are several methods to consider when looking for ways to develop your skills in your current position:


  • Attend courses or workshops through the Learning & Organization Development division.
  • Pursue an academic degree. As you consider this option, you may want to familiarize yourself with Northwestern University's Educational Assistance and Tuition Plans.
  • Read professional articles, journals, and books.
  • Proactively request feedback from your manager and your peers on skills to target for development.
  • Job shadow to learn by observing another staff member. This could be someone within your area, or might even be someone in a different department.
  • Mentor a colleague, such as a junior member of your department, to develop your supervisory and training skills.
  • Ask for more responsibility, such as leading a new project or serving on a University committee.
  • Offer to facilitate a meeting.
  • Identify a mentor who is willing to give you advice and guidance.
  • Share what you learned from a training session with others in your department.


When planning for your development, think creatively about the many ways that you can acquire knowledge and build skills, and keep in mind there is no single path to follow. The most important factor is that you have a desire to learn each day and a plan for doing so. As former U.S. President Harry S. Truman once said, "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

Service Recognition

How to Nominate a Staff Member for NU Employee of the Year Awards 


The Office of Human Resources will be accepting nominations for the NU Employee of the Year awards, starting Monday, November 12, 2012. 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.


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 15, 2013.


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. 



Wellness Meetings

Weight Watchers

Every Thursday, 12:30 p.m. (weigh-ins begin at noon), lower level, 600 Foster St., Chambers Hall/Transportation Center, Evanston campus  

New members can sign up through a NU Employee Portal (company ID: 8908, company passcode: WW8908).
Monthly Pass holders are always welcome.

For additional information about Evanston campus meetings, contact Tamara Rosner at 1-2209.

Every Monday, 1:00 p.m. (weigh-ins begin at 12:30 p.m.), suite 1400, 680 N. Lake Shore Drive, Preventive Medicine Building, Chicago campus 

For additional information about Chicago campus meetings, contact Veronica Jackson at 8-8655.