Office of Human Resources                                                            October 2011



 Your Source for University Human Resources News and Information

Upcoming Workshops


Annual Benefits Fair

Attend the Health & Benefits Fair to learn about upcoming changes and speak with representatives to answer questions on personal health, well-being, healthcare benefits, investment plans, and retirement options.  For more information.


National Work Family Month Workshops 

Join the Office of Work/Life for three informative workshops to celebrate National Work-Family Month.  October has been designated by a U.S. House and Senate Resolution as a month to recognize and celebrate the value of Work/Life Programs in the workplace.  For more information on the workshops.


Annual New Employee Reception

Have you been working at the University for one year or less?  If so, you're invited to the Annual New Employee Reception, an informal event on each campus that gives new employees an opportunity to get connected and involved by building their University network and sharing ideas.  Enjoy snacks & refreshments, make new friends, and enter a free raffle - prizes include a professional development workshop!


November 7 in Chicago

November 29 in Evanston

Free. Pre-registration requested.


Employee of the Year 2012 Nominations Brown Bag

HRD545 Employee of the Year Nominations: How to Write a Clear, Concise, and Compelling Submission


Is there someone in your department who goes above and beyond his or her normal duties, is dedicated and effective, and deserves to be recognized? Has he or she worked full time at Northwestern for three or more continuous years? If you've answered yes to both those questions, then this class is for you. In one lunch-time session, you will learn how to write an Employee of the Year Nomination Form that is both specific and meaningful. 

Registration starts November 1st.  For more information.

Inside This Issue
Upcoming Workshops
FASIS Updates
Benefits Briefs
Work/Life Resources
Learning and Organization Development
Quick Links
Perspectives FSAP - New and improved! 



Vacation and Personal Floating Holiday (PFH) Program Changes

Effective September 1, 2011 the Office of Human Resources announced a number of changes to the staff Vacation and Personal Floating Holiday (PFH) programs. These changes are intended to remove some of the barriers to using the accrued Vacation and PFH time, and allow for easier and more consistent management of these time off programs. For more information.


Employer Assisted Housing Program  

Northwestern University is offering an Employer Assisted Housing pilot program to help eligible faculty and staff take advantage of Live Evanston, a City of Evanston initiative that makes attractive, high quality homes and condos affordable for moderate income families. For more information.


Help the NU Cares Program Grow!

NU Cares offers faculty and staff an opportunity to make contributions to assist fellow employees who may be experiencing a crisis. Thanks to the many generous contributions received to date, we have met our initial goal, and are accepting applications. To learn more about the fund, how you can help, and how to apply, please click here.

FASIS Updates 


Update Your Online Directory Information

As the new academic year begins, we would like to ask current and new employees to review their campus address and phone number using the Online Directory page in FASIS Self Service, available at

When reviewing an entry, please remember that the "Location Address" should be where the department's administrative staff is located and where your mail can be received.  Other locations, such as research laboratories or individual offices, may be entered separately in the "Off Campus Address" section.  If you attempt to update your information but the correct address for your department is not an option in the system, please contact your Department Administrator to update FASIS with the new location.

Please contact the FASIS Help Desk at 7-4800 with any questions or concerns.

FASIS Training

All FASIS training classes have been scheduled for both campuses through December 2011.  Please remember that in addition to the standard FASIS system courses, new employees are now required to take the Position/Appointment Form class (HRS401) before printing, using, or authorizing any Position/Appointment Form submissions.  Additionally, FASIS offers a regularly-scheduled Kronos class (HRS301) for biweekly regular and temporary employees, and their supervisors.

To view a full schedule or to enroll in courses, log into FASIS Self-Service at, navigate to Self-Service > Learning and Development > Request Training Enrollment, click "Search by Course Number", type "HRS", and click "Search."

For questions regarding FASIS or Kronos training, please contact Chris Tondini at

Northwestern Scholars

Phases II and III of FASIS development include the incorporation of faculty data on scholarly and artistic accomplishments (research, publications, grants, patents, professional affiliations, and service). This data forms the basis for the annual activity reports required of faculty as part of the annual review and evaluation process.
Northwestern Scholars, a combination of Elsevier SciVal Experts and open-source VIVO, is a research networking tool, a comprehensive knowledge management system to compile data on faculty members' research and scholarly expertise into searchable, networked profiles that can then be used to facilitate new collaborations. Northwestern Scholars collects publication and research information in an automated way, from verifiable sources, without requiring individual faculty input. Quality assurance and quality control are provided by Elsevier staff members.

Northwestern Scholars may be used to: 

  • Gather references and accompanying data on publications and existing or potential collaborations for individual faculty or whole departments, using automated, quality assured algorithms, all with a minimal impact on faculty members.
  • View comprehensive metrics and analytics on publications and collaborations for individual faculty or whole departments. This may assist in Program Review and other analysis of faculty productivity and interactions.
  • Extract collaboration data for proposals and reports without querying the faculty themselves.
  • Search for faculty members as research advisors or mentors (used by both undergraduate and graduate students).
  • Assist new faculty to find colleagues or collaborators at Northwestern and elsewhere.
  • Serve as a point of data collection, data storage, analytics, reporting, and a source of data to feed to other systems (Enterprise, School, Library, etc.) or web sites on campus.
  • Provide a research network for communities of faculty members, for example within the Chicago Biomedical Consortium or across Illinois or the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).
  • Provide a secure HelpDesk to assist faculty in updating their own profiles.
  • Only publicly available information is stored or displayed through the Northwestern Scholars interface.
In most of the humanities, the arts, and many areas of social sciences, communications, and journalism, the definition of scholarly and artistic accomplishments extends beyond publications and grants. The incorporation of these data is a challenge for the Schools, for FASIS, and for any tool being used to complement FASIS. We understand that we will need to find other ways to meet the needs of these disciplines. Currently Northwestern Scholars has an interface to input these data manually.

Northwestern Scholars can also store data on patents, affiliations, and space utilization; and can collect and display CV data. The intention is to pull this additional data from Northwestern Enterprise sources, local (School) information management systems, and publicly available web resources. The rich information in Northwestern Scholars will be repurposed and shared with FASIS and other institutional web pages and data consumers, including those within the local, national and international Expert Profiles networks, reducing the cost and increasing efficiencies across Northwestern. Private or sensitive information will not be imported into the Northwestern Scholars database.
As part of FASIS we expect Northwestern Scholars to be used internally by individual faculty and researchers, students at all levels; librarians administrators; the Office of the Provost and the Office for Institutional Research; and development staff. We also expect Northwestern Scholars to be a valuable link for those external to Northwestern: research communities, particularly in the Chicago area; external collaboration seekers; funding agencies; research foundations; potential students; donors and potential donors; and the general public.

For the next few weeks Northwestern Scholars is password protected, but soon will be open for use at


Benefits Briefs


Enhancement to Employee Portable Tuition Plan


We are pleased to announce a new option for Northwestern employees to receive education assistance through NU.  The Employee Portable Tuition plan allows full-time Northwestern employees to be reimbursed for taking work-related courses at colleges and universities outside of Northwestern.  To qualify you must be a full-time employee and have completed one year of service prior to the beginning of the term.   The reimbursement amount will be based on tuition and general recurring fees up to $2,500 per calendar year. More information about this benefit and the enrollment form can be found on the Benefits Division website.


Tuition Assistance FAQ's

Some of the most commonly asked questions are about the Portable Tuition and Educational Assistance benefits.  A few of the most commonly asked questions are listed below.  Upcoming seminars are scheduled to address additional questions.


Can you mail my Portable Tuition check directly to the college/university?

No.  On the form you may select to pick up your check in the Evanston Benefits office, or have it mailed to the address indicated. The check can be made payable to the school, or with proof of payment, it can be made payable directly to the employee.


What schools qualify for the Portable Tuition benefit?

U.S. accredited schools qualify. If your child attends a study abroad program, the program must be sponsored by a US Accredited school/university.  


I submitted my Educational Assistance form to the Benefits Office. Now what?

Once the form is received, eligibility is verified and the form is sent to Student Accounts. Student Accounts will create or update your account in Caesar.  When you register for courses you will notice the reduction in the tuition (85% for undergraduate, and 75% for graduate).  If you have any questions about your account, please contact Student Accounts at 847-491-5224. 


Annual Benefits Fair


Open Enrollment is your opportunity to review your Northwestern University benefits and make choices for the year ahead. You will be able to update your benefit elections through Self-Service at Open Enrollment will begin on Monday, October 24, and continue through Friday, November 11, 2011 at 5pm CST.


Attend the Health & Benefits Fair to learn about upcoming changes and speak with representatives to answer questions on personal health, well-being, healthcare benefits, investment plans, and retirement options. There will be raffles, flu shots ($23.75) and giveaways.


This year, the Health & Benefits Fair will be on the following dates:


Evanston Campus

Tuesday, October 18

11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Norris University Center


Chicago Campus

Thursday, October 20

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Lurie Atrium


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

Work/Life Resources 


Striving for a Healthy Balance:

The Northwestern University Office of Work/Life Resources provides programs, services and consultation to enable staff and faculty to effectively balance the competing demands of work and home. 


NSF Work/Life Initiative 

The White House and the National Science Foundation announced new policies that are designed to provide greater workplace flexibility for post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty members, called the NSF Career Life Balance Initiative. For more information.


National Work Family Month Workshops


Eldercare Workshop

A panel of eldercare experts will lead a discussion of the questions and possible solutions for those who are providing elder caregiving.  For more information.


Co-Parenting Workshop 

Learn tips for maximizing differences in your parenting style, how co-parenting benefits your child, how Dads differ from Moms in their parenting, and more.  For more information.


Financial Education Workshop

Learn how to understand and manage your debt, rebuild or establish new credit, develop a healthy savings pattern, or gain access to affordable financial service products.  For more information.



On-Going Programs - New Participants Are Welcome!
Elder Caregiving Support Group
Monday, October 24 - Noon - Norris Center, Alumni Room
For those who are providing caregiving for elders or who anticipate providing care.  For further information or to respond, contact Phyllis Ellis: or 7-1460.


Work/Life Balance Support Group  

Thursday, October 27 - Noon - Norris Center, Alumni Room  

For those who are looking for balance in their work and personal lives.  For further information or to respond, contact Phyllis Ellis: or 7-1460.


Weight Watchers @ Work

A new session of Weight Watchers at Northwestern begins next THURSDAY (10/6) at 12:30 (weigh-in starts at noon). The meeting will be held at Chambers Hall Transportation Center, lower level. For more information, contact Tamara Rosner at or 1-2209.


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 Workshop Highlights


Project Management Essentials

One of our most well-received workshops, Project Management Essentials will help both new and experienced project managers produce realistic and manageable project timelines.  November 2, 9AM-4PM. Register here.  


Microsoft Project 2010 workshop to follow on November 17. Register here.


Managing Up

Learn strategies to improve workplace success and working relationships between yourself and those to whom you report in this highly interactive workshop.  November 17, 1:30-3:30PM. Register here.



We offer a variety of workshops and opportunities to help improve workplace performance. Check them out! Questions? Comments? or 847-467-5081.




Staffing Can Help You Build Your Team 


As the new fiscal year begins, many managers are focused on building an effective team in order to meet the department's goals.  Hiring great talent is one of the most important jobs of any manager. The Office of Human Resources' Staffing Team is dedicated to providing high-quality customer service to the Northwestern community and can support you in the recruitment and selection of diverse and talented employees in a number of ways, including:

  • Partnering with you to determine what skills and competencies the candidate needs and creating a targeted recruitment strategy that will help you find the best talent to fill this need.
  • Creating an interview process and questions that align to the competencies the position requires.
  • Administering software skills assessment tests.
  • Conducting phone screens to help identify the most qualified candidates to interview.
  • Participating in onsite interviews.
  • Developing a staffing plan for multiple openings.
  • Delivering customized interview training for hiring managers.
  • Supplying temporary employees for short- and longer-term assignments (via Northwestern's Temporary Center).
  • Conducting the required background, education, and reference checks, as well as obtaining the necessary releases.
  • Assisting with extending offers and managing salary negotiations.

To learn more about these and other services that the Staffing Team can provide, please contact your department's Staffing Consultant.  For assistance in identifying your department's Staffing Consultant, please contact 3-8481 (Chicago) or 1-7507 (Evanston) for assistance.