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Human Resources Newsletter

December 2014


In the December issue of the HR newsletter, read about:

  • upcoming tuition remission workshops where you can view a demo of the PaycheckCity® Calculator to help you estimate the impact of taxable education benefits and be advised of the spring 2015 deadline;
  • the status of tuition exchange applications;
  • electing you 2014 W-2 format;
  • new required training for all faculty and staff;
  • SPExS courses on leadership, empowerment, and development;
  • goal setting for staff;
  • group meditation on campus;
  • AhealthyU’s fall programs;
  • Staff Council’s activity schedule for December and January

To go directly to an article, click on the Quick Links on the right.

Tuition Remission Deadline and Workshops

The AU tuition remission online application deadline for spring 2015 is January 16, 2015.  

Tuition remission is offered to eligible faculty and staff, spouses, and same-sex domestic partners at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.  

New Resource – PaycheckCity® Calculator

Some educational benefits are taxable and taxation on remitted tuition can significantly reduce your net (take-home) pay. Your net pay may also be impacted by personal exemptions, pre-tax benefits, federal and state filing status, gross income, etc.  

We have a new resource available through PaycheckCity to offer you a payroll calculator that can estimate* your net pay if you receive taxable education benefits. The PaycheckCity calculator is accessible through the myBenefits site.

Step 1: Get your current payroll information to use with the calculator. Log on to the myAU Portal > My Bookmarks (on right navigation) > HR Payroll Connection > Payroll tab > Pay Advices tab.

Step 2: Log on to the myBenefits website through the myAU Portal > Work@AU > Benefits (myBenefits). Next select: Education > Faculty/Staff, Spouse, and Same-Sex Domestic Partners > PaycheckCity Calculator link.

Step 3: Enter your information into the calculator. Select the “Calculate” button to estimate* your net (take-home) pay.

*The PaycheckCity calculator is meant only to provide general guidance and estimates about the payroll process. It should not be relied on to calculate exact taxes, payroll, or other financial data. It may not match your American University results precisely and is not intended to provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with a professional advisor or accountant to address your specific concerns. 

Tuition Remission Workshops  

To learn more about the tuition remission benefit and to view a demo of the PaycheckCity calculator, register for an upcoming tuition remission workshop on AsuccessfulU.

The tuition remission workshops will be held in MGC Room 200, 1 to 2 p.m., on:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 17
  • Wednesday, Jan. 7
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13

Please contact Dave Null at 202-885-3400 or at if you have any questions.

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2015 Tuition Exchange Applications Have Been Processed

The Benefits Team has completed processing the Tuition Exchange applications for AY2015-16. If your child applied for a Tuition Exchange scholarship, you should have received an email confirmation from The Benefits Team when you completed your application. If you have not received confirmation, please call Dave Null at x3575 to ensure that your application is received and processed before the deadlines.

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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.

Elect Your 2014 W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Format

Did you know that you can elect to receive your W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) either electronically or as a hardcopy through the mail?

The electronic version of your Form W-2 offers instant access to your payroll information in mid-January without the wait and delays associated with print and mail. This can be advantageous for faculty and staff who wish to submit their tax returns early. Electronic access to Form W-2 also helps AU to achieve its sustainability goals. Mailed Form W-2s will be distributed by mid to late January.  

Employees have the option to declare their election through the MyAU portal, by selecting:

  • OPT-IN for electronic distribution via MyAU, or
  • OPT-OUT for paper forms mailed to your residence. If you wish to receive a paper Form W-2, be sure to verify and update your home address.

NOTE: If you made an election last year, it is still in effect for this year.  

To make your first election or to review your current active election:

  1. Go to the myAU portal.
  2. Under the Personalized Links heading, select the Work@AU drop-down list.
  3. Click the link named “W-2 Electronic Consent” at the bottom of the list.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Payroll Office at 202-885-3520 or

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New Required Training for All Faculty and Staff

American University is committed to diversity and inclusion. The university expressly prohibits any form of discrimination or discriminatory harassment in its employment and education programs and activities, both on or off campus.  

AU requires all part- and full-time staff and faculty to complete two new online courses by February 27, 2015 and supervisors are required to complete a third course. The first course is a new requirement under Title IX, while the others address harassment prevention. 

  1. Preventing Discrimination and Sexual Violence: Title IX and the SaVE Act – This 60-minute course educates faculty and staff members about sex discrimination and sexual violence, how AU prohibits such offenses and an employee’s responsibility to respond. The training meets requirements mandated by the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act), which is part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), and Title IX whose training mandate applies to schools, such as American University, that receive federal funding for education programs or activities.
  2. Unlawful Harassment Prevention for Higher Education Staff – In this course, you will learn more about American University’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment policy and procedures as well related local and federal laws and how they impact you as an employee. The course runs approximately 45-60 minutes.
  3. Unlawful Harassment Prevention Supervisor Supplement for Higher Education Staff – If you are a supervisor of other employees, you will view an additional online course. It runs approximately 30 minutes and provides information on your specific roles and responsibilities as a supervisor at the university.

The training modules are accessible through AsuccessfulU, American University’s learning management system for faculty and staff. For more information on using AsuccessfulU to take online training and register for professional development courses, contact  

The Employee Relations Team in Human Resources can serve as a resource to you when you have questions or issues that arise in your workplace. Contact Employee Relations at x2607 or

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SPExS Offers Courses on Leadership, Empowerment, and Development

This fall the School of Professional Extended Studies (SPExS) launched the non-credit Leadership, Empowerment And Development (LEAD) program that offers women in transitional stages of their lives valuable life-skills, increased self-esteem, and improved career-advancement competencies. 

Regardless of their current financial status and educational level, women participate in this comprehensive program to live better, write better, master digital and social media skills, and gain the confidence, leadership skills, and strategies to get better jobs and/or switch careers. Courses include:  

  • Voices of Women
  • Women and Leadership
  • Mastering Digital and Social Media
  • Write Well
Each of the six-week courses meets one evening a week on campus and also is offered in Annapolis.

Program Director Iris Krasnow said of the courses, “This is an excellent opportunity for AU staff members to focus on their personal and professional development.” Several AU staff members in LEAD courses have been sponsored by their respective schools as part of their professional development. 

Course descriptions and registration instructions can be found on the LEAD web site for classes beginning in mid-January:

Iris Krasnow is a SPExS professor and best-selling author of books on the stages of a woman's life. She also teaches two of the LEAD courses, Voices of Women and Write Well.

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Goal Setting for Staff

By now, staff should have three to six performance goals for the 2014-2015 performance year in AsuccessfulU. Performance goals play an important role to keep staff and managers on track to accomplish department and university initiatives.  

Starting in January, the Mid-year Discussion process will begin and staff and managers will meet to discuss progress towards goals and review core and job competencies.  

Make sure you are tracking your goals now! Contact with questions regarding PMP.

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Group Meditation on Campus

Current research shows that meditation benefits both our minds and bodies. Meditation can help us to counter the stresses of life by developing greater calm, concentration, emotional balance, and increased joy. 

AU now hosts a meditation group on Tuesdays from 12 - 12:45 p.m. in Kay Spiritual Life Center, Main Chapel, led by Professors Cathy Schaef and Celine-Marie Pascale. The meditation group is on hold currently through the end of the year, but will begin again next semester. Meditations are based on a Juniper model and include a brief talk about meditation and a short discussion. The group is an easy place to be regardless of whether you are building a regular practice or you just want a place to drop into during the stress of mid-semester. There is no fee to participate and all levels of experience are welcome.

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Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K participant, Grace McKinnon (right)

AhealthyU Fall Wrap-Up

AhealthyU kept AU faculty and staff moving this fall. In addition to the popular ongoing group fitness classes, AhealthyU got people running in their Couch to 5K program and organized a fall MOVE Cardio Fitness Challenge to keep people active.  

The Couch to 5K participants trained for six weeks beginning on September 23 and culminated in the Rockville 5K run held on November 2. Twenty-five AU staff and faculty trained twice a week at the AU track starting with intervals of walking and jogging to increase endurance, gradually building the amount of time spent jogging and incorporating strength training to prevent injury.

Grace McKinnon, a first-time participant in the Couch to 5K program said, “It was an awesome experience. From the first meeting where they focused on preventing injuries and building our confidence to the day of the race when our coach was on the sidelines cheering us on, it was amazing. I think that everyone should do it, but especially people who are contemplating running a 5K. There were people at all different levels based on the coaches evaluation as well as your personal preferences. I was so well prepared and conditioned by the time of the event, I did not experience any pain associated with the run and finished the race smiling.” 

Congratulations to all of our Couch to 5K runners.

The MOVE Cardio Fitness Challenge was designed to complement the spring pedometer challenge keeping activity levels up throughout the year. Seventy-five participants logged all of their activity, which included biking, swimming, gardening, and even vacuuming, throughout October using the American Heart Associations’ Activity tracker.  

Steven Taylor, the winner of the MOVE challenge, logged more than 529 miles and won the grand prize of $250. As a group, MOVE participants traveled more than 6,100 miles in October – that’s equivalent to traveling across the United States twice! Participants were invited to join AhealthyU at the Greater Washington Area Heart Walk as part of the American University team and to celebrate the conclusion of the program. Learn more about the MOVE Cardio Fitness Challenge at:  

AhealthyU focuses on your total well-being and offers programs that not only support your physical fitness, but also addresses nutrition and diet, stress management, and financial education and wellness. Join the AhealthyU mailing list by emailing for upcoming brown bag wellness workshops, group fitness class schedules, cooking demonstrations, seated massages, and more. 

Please note that the annual weight loss challenge is being retooled and will be offered in January 2015.

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Focused Learning Certificate

Workplace Learning & Development January 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.
Tuesday, January 6
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Managing Multiple Projects*
Thursday, January 8
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. People Management Basics
Monday, January 12
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Personal Empowerment
Wednesday, January 14
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Exploring Intercultural Communication
Thursday, January 15
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Leading Effective Meetings*
Tuesday, January 20
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Managing Life/Work/Email Effectively*
Wednesday, January 21
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Coaching for Improvement
Thursday, January 22
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Generations in the Workplace
Monday, January 26
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Introduction to MBTI
Wednesday, January 28
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Situational Leadership
Friday, January 30
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Collaborating with SharePoint*

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

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*Improving Productivity

Managing Multiple Projects
Tuesday, January 6th from 12-2pm, MGC 200 

Leading Effective Meetings
Thursday, January 15th from 12-2pm, MGC 200 

Managing Life/Work/Email Effectively 
Tuesday, January 20th from 12-2pm, MGC 200 

Collaborating with SharePoint 
Friday, January 30th from 12-2pm, MGC 200

Complete at least 3 of the 4 offerings to receive an AU Workplace Learning and Development (WLD) Professional Development Focused Learning Certificate.

Remember to bring your lunch and enjoy during the course.  

Staff and faculty may register for the courses above by logging into AsuccessfulU, AU's online training registration system via the myAU portal.

Workplace Learning and Development

Staff Council is Service

Staff Council

The annual Staff Council winter clothing drive is scheduled for December 11 and 12, and January 7 (see schedule below for locations). Jackets, gloves, scarves, and hats will be collected and donated to A Wider Circle [link to], a non-profit organization that fights poverty by providing basic need items, education, and long-term support.  

December/January Staff Council Activity Schedule  

Thursday, Dec. 11, 1 – 3 p.m.
Staff Council will be at the university holiday party in the Bender Arena to collect winter clothing donations for A Wider Circle. Staff Council also will host a Dollar Drive to support Martha’s Table that engages the community to develop sustainable solutions to poverty through healthy food, affordable clothing, and education. Every dollar helps!  

Friday, Dec. 12
Clothing donations may be given to your Staff Council member.  

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
MGC 245

Please join us at our Staff Council meeting the first and third Tuesday each month to learn more about what we do and what we are working on. Contact if you are interested in attending.  

Tuesday, Jan. 6, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
MGC 245

Please join us at our Staff Council meeting the first and third Tuesday each month to learn more about what we do and what we are working on. Contact if you are interested in attending.  

Wednesday, Jan. 7
Ring in the New Year at the second Staff Council Meet and Greet of the academic year from 9:30 - 11 a.m. (location TBD). This also will be the last collection date and location for the winter clothing drive.

We appreciate your support of our service engagements. Stay connected with us at

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