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Human Resources Newsletter - August 2015

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Tuition Remission Benefits at AU

Fall 2015 Tuition Remission Deadline - Friday, September 4, 2015

Here are a few important items regarding the fall 2015 tuition remission benefit.

  • Applications must be submitted every semester that you plan on using AU's education benefit.
  • The fall tuition remission application deadline is September 4; applications received after the due date will be denied.
  • Documentation proving eligibility and requests for flexible work arrangements are also due September 4.
  • Full-time faculty and staff who have been employed with AU prior to May 4, 2015 are eligible for tuition remission benefits for themselves and their spouses/same sex domestic partners.

Tuition Remission Taxation Reminder - Fall Tuition for Graduate Level Courses May be Fully Taxable

If you received tuition remission in the spring and/or summer for graduate courses, most or all of your fall tuition remission may be taxable which will result in greater tax implications than in prior semesters. The PaycheckCity calculator can help to estimate your net (take home) pay. Please visit the Education Benefits page for Faculty, Staff and Spouses/Same Sex Domestic Partners on the myBenefits site for access to the PaycheckCity calculator and for instructions on how to use it. The myBenefits site is accessed through the myAU portal, under Work@AU.

Upcoming Tuition Remission Workshops

Attend the workshop for an overview of the tuition remission benefit and to answer questions about the benefit. Please note that there will be separate sessions on education benefits for dependents in September and October.

Wednesday, August 26
12 - 1 p.m.
MGC 245

Please register on AsuccessfulU.

If you have any questions or need assistance with tuition remission, please contact the Benefits Team at or x3400.

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AhealthyU Calendar

Online Health Assessment

Take your online health assessment by October 31 and receive $50* in EagleBucks or $50* towards an AU Recreational Sports and Fitness membership.

Weight Watchers®

Thursdays | 12pm | MGC 203

From the Farmer

Tuesdays | Afternoons MGC, WCL, & 3201 New Mexico Ave.

Group Exercise Classes for Faculty & Staff 

Starting Monday, August 31
Monday – Friday

Farmers Market

Returns to the Quad on Wednesday, September 9

*Prizes and $50 reward are subject to tax. Faculty and Staff members are only eligible to receive the $50 reward once during 2015.

HR Newsletter Archives

Read past issues of the Human Resources Newsletter

How to Contact Us

Human Resources
(202) 885-2591

PMP and AsuccessfulU Questions?

Do you have a question about the revamped PMP? Having trouble finding or logging in to set up your goals in AsuccessfulU? Email and a member of the HR team will help you.

Follow us on Twitter @AUemployees

American University Merit Program

2015 Merit Process

In March of this year, the Board of Trustees approved the university budget which stipulated that this year’s merit would be paid as a one-time, lump sum payment, rather than as an increase to employees’ pay. At that time, they approved a merit pool of 1.5 percent to be allocated for performance-based payments.

A separate pool of funds has been established for 2015 to provide a supplemental payment of one-half percent (0.5 percent) for eligible staff earning less than $50,000 per year. This supplemental payment will be added to the merit payment recommended by managers in the department.

Eligibility for merit consideration remains unchanged from previous years. Staff must be hired, promoted, transferred into a new position or received a pay increase for any other reason prior to May 1. Managers will recommend a merit award for each staff member based on an eligibility range determined by the staff member’s overall performance rating and where their pay falls within the pay range for their position.

Unlike previous years, the full amount of the merit payment will be issued as a separate payment from employees’ regular pay. Regardless of whether an employee is paid monthly or bi-weekly, they will receive the merit payment on September 30 by whichever method (e.g., direct deposit, pay card, etc.) they have elected to receive their pay. Only payroll taxes and legally required deductions will be withheld from this payment. No benefit deductions will be withheld, including retirement contributions.

As in previous years, we have shifted the pay structure to allow our pay ranges to remain competitive. Staff whose salaries fall below the new minimum of the pay range as a result of the shift will receive an adjustment to bring their base pay up to the new minimum. For bi-weekly paid staff, the adjustment in pay will be effective on August 29 and reflected in the pay on September 25. For monthly paid staff, the adjustment will be effective on September 1 and reflected in the pay on September 30.

If you have any questions, contact the compensation team in human resources at

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Performance Management Program - Set Your Goals by September 30

It’s Time to Set Your Goals for the Next PMP Cycle

Now that you have had your year-end discussion with your manager and reflected on your accomplishments of the past year, it’s the ideal time to figure out what goals you’d like to set and achieve going forward.

As you set your goals for the 2015-2016 cycle, spend some time considering what is expected of your position and what your daily, weekly, and monthly activities might be to achieve those expectations. Then set three to five ambitious but achievable goals based on your job duties as well as ones that align with the goals of your manager, department, and AU’s strategic plan. Also, be sure to describe how they will be measured in terms of quality, quantity, time, and cost, as applicable.

Here are some additional goal-setting tips:

  • To help you “Create a New Goal” you may use and edit the PMP Goal Library’s pre-written goals.
  • The “Goal Wizard” can help you develop SMART goals to meet your specific position.
  • The “Copy from Other Goal Plan” allows you to copy any unfinished goals or goals that continue from last year into the current goal form.

Access your 2015-2016 Goals form on AsuccessfulU. It is recommended that you set your goals by September 30, 2015. For more information about goal setting, development goals, or the PMP process, email

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McKinley School of Communication

AU Receives Second ‘LEED Gold’ Distinction

American University’s McKinley Building earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification recently. It is the second new construction on AU’s campus to receive the Gold distinction. The first building to receive the LEED Gold certification was the School of International Service in 2011.

According to sustainability manager Megan Litke, “Washington D.C. has more LEED-certified square footage per person than any state in the country, and we at American University are excited to contribute to making the Capitol City the greenest in the nation. The McKinley Building has many features that embody what a green building is and we are excited to use it as an educational resource on campus.”

To achieve Gold status, the McKinley Building, which houses the School of Communication (SOC), met a number of rigorous LEED-specified environmental and human health-related standards. The building’s green features include:

  • Green roofs (viewable from the third floor);
  • Water-efficient landscaping that features native and adaptive species;
  • A location that is walking distance from numerous community resources including a bank, pharmacy, church, convenience store, and restaurants;
  • Easy access to the MetroBus and the AU shuttle to the Tenleytown Metro-station;
  • Toilets and sinks that are low-flow, water-saving fixtures;
  • Energy efficient design that uses 22 percent less energy than a traditionally built building;
  • The purchase by AU of 100 percent renewable energy credits;
  • Lighting level controls at work stations and shared spaces; and
  • Usage of a green cleaning plan.

This LEED certification comes as a result of AU’s concerted effort to adhere to the university’s Green Building Policy which states that all construction implemented on campus must meet or exceed LEED Gold status. To meet that self-imposed standard, AU followed strict green practices whereby nearly 30 percent of building materials, by cost, contained recycled content; 26 percent of the building materials were local, and manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the building site; all adhesives, sealants, carpeting, and paint used contained low or no levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC); and more than 96 percent of construction waste was recycled.

School of Communication Dean Jeff Rutenbeck said, “At the School of Communication we seek to instill a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit in our research, teaching, and creative work, and the LEED gold designation celebrates those sensibilities. We are grateful to both the university as well as the donors and partners who have made this possible.”

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Students on the amphitheater.

Dates and Resources for Managers of Student Employees

As the new semester begins in August, many students will apply and be hired for available job positions at American University. If you are a hiring manager, be sure to keep the following resources in mind, and dates on your calendar:

HR Room on Campus
Date: Monday, August 31 through Friday, September 11
Time: Noon – 2 p.m.
Where: MGC 245

For your convenience, we have arranged a room on main campus for new hires (students, faculty and staff) to complete their new hire paperwork (I9, tax papers, etc.). Be sure to instruct your student employees to come to work with the appropriate documents to complete the forms.

Federal Work Study Job Fair
Date: Wednesday, September 9
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: MGC 2-6

Be sure to register to participate in the fair by Friday, August 28. Contact Ganiat Harris ( if you need a registration form or for additional information.

Remember to post available student job positions via the OLA system. Inquiries regarding how to post jobs or other student-related hiring questions can be sent to

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Where to find time sheets on the myAU portal.

Changes to Accessing Time Sheets and Leave Reports

Time sheets and leave reports have moved from HR/Payroll Connection directly on to MyAU, effective August 12. To access time sheets and leave reports, login to MyAU, expand the Work@AU menu, and select the sub-menu "Time Sheets." Only the steps to access the time sheets and leave reports have changed. The actions to submit and approve them remain the same.

The Time Sheets tab is the only item moving from HR/Payroll Connection to MyAU. The To-Do list on the Home tab of HR/Payroll Connection no longer will be available. Pay advice and all other information remain on HR/Payroll Connection.

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This Summer Dive into Workplace Learning and Development's Professional Development Courses.

WLD September Training Calendar

Register for the instructor led courses listed below by logging into AsuccessfulU, AU's online training registration system via the portal. 

How to Access the Learning Module in AsuccessfulU:

  • Click here to access AsuccessfulU’s portal page.
  • Click the "Go to AsuccessfulU" button in the middle of the page.
  • From the "Home" tab on the top left of the page click on "Learning" from the drop down menu.
  • This will launch your personal profile in the “Learning” tab. You can search and register for training sessions here.
Thursday, Sept 10
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. People Management Basics
Friday, Sept 11
9 a.m. – 1 p.m Giving and Receiving Ideas
Wednesday, Sept 16
1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Setting Performance Expectations
Thursday, Sept 17
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Personal Empowerment
Tuesday, Sept 22
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Presenting with Impact
Wednesday, Sept 23
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Leading Change
Thursday, Sept 24
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Maximizing Meeting Effectiveness
Thursday, Sept 24
1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
5 Secrets of Resilience
Tuesday, Sept 29
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Coaching for Results
Wednesday, Sept 30
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Service Plus

Please contact the Workplace Learning and Development team at with any questions.

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Workplace Learning and Development

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