Human Resources Newsletter

July 2013

Newsletter Masthead


Welcome to the July issue of the HR newsletter. Featured in this issue:

  • Changes to the compensation program – how the merit increase process has changed and what it means to you

  • Introducing Start@AU – a program designed to acclimate new employees to their work and environment faster and easier Staff

  • Council Update – a new feature in the HR newsletter Staff

  • Appreciation Winners announced Important Form I-9 Information

  • August 2013 Professional Development Calendar

AU's Updated Compensation Program

AU has updated its staff compensation program to improve the link between pay and performance, provide greater career advancement opportunities, and continue to offer competitive pay and benefits. 

The changes to the program are in effect during this merit increase cycle which immediately follows the submission of completed Performance Management Program (PMP) Year-end Appraisals affecting pay increases beginning September 2013.

To learn more about the changes to the compensation program at AU, take the online training course, Compensation at AU, available on AsuccessfulU.

Why has the Compensation program changed?

AU updated its compensation program, introduced in 1999, because the university had outgrown the pay structure as our staff has grown in number, knowledge, skills, and responsibilities. Staff members also wanted more transparency in understanding how pay decisions, particularly those related to merit, were made. Additionally, staff perceived that there was a lack of promotional opportunities at AU.

What changes were made?

The compensation structure was modified by creating an additional pay band. Now there are eight bands, rather than seven. Each pay band was split into at least two groups, called clusters, to offer greater career growth opportunities and better align positions and pay to similar jobs and experience outside the university. In addition, job competencies were mapped to specific pay bands.

You will receive a letter from the university in late July/early August that advises you where your job has been slotted within the new pay band structure.

The other significant change is that merit increase guidelines were created based on the merit pool, placement in the pay band structure, and performance rating, linking pay to performance. These guidelines are uniform throughout the university.

What do I need to do?

If you haven’t already done so, it’s important that you complete your self-appraisal as soon as possible. The PMP year-end process takes time – your manager reviews your appraisal, has a one-on-one meeting with you to discuss your performance and sets the foundation for next year’s goals, and then adds their comments and assessment. They will send the PMP form back to you to acknowledge that you had your meeting and understand their assessment. After your acknowledgement, the manager signs and submits your completed Year-end Appraisal. Ideally, the PMP process should be completed by July 31. 

If you are a manager, planning pays off. Encourage your staff members who have not completed their PMP Year-end appraisals to do them as soon as possible and schedule your one-on-one meetings with them, especially if you manage a group of people. Completed PMPs should be submitted in AsuccessfulU by July 31. The merit increase process is also time sensitive as it has several steps of recommendation, review, and approval. All steps in the merit increase process must be completed in AsuccessfulU by August 16 to ensure that increases are in effect in September.

Learn More

The online training, Compensation at AU, available through AsuccessfulU, details changes to the staff compensation program and provides some context for those changes. We strongly encourage everyone to take the online course. In addition, there will be supplemental live compensation sessions for managers through the end of July. Register on AsuccessfulU. If you need more information, email

Important Dates in the Merit Increase Process

Jul 31
PMP Year-end Appraisal forms due
Aug 7
Manager merit recommendations due
Aug 13
Department/school merit review due
Aug 16
Division merit review due
Aug 26
Managers communicate pay decision to staff
(Individual Compensation Statement)
Aug 31
New payrate in effect for non-exempt staff
Sep 1
New pay rate in effect for exempt staff
Sep 27
First paycheck reflecting new pay rate for non-exempt staff
Sep 30
First paycheck reflecting new pay rate for exempt

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Start At AU

On July 22, American University’s Human Resources department introduced the Start At AU program. 

Start At AU is designed to help new staff become acclimated to their new environment faster by providing information, training, mentoring and coaching during the staff member’s first few months at the university.

Successful integration requires the constructive participation of the existing members of the team. Start At AU also provides resources and tools to managers and existing staff to help new staff assimilate quickly and productively.

Start At AU’s onboarding materials focus on four aspects of starting a new job at AU:

  • Get to Know AU
  • Get to Know Your Unit
  • Get Started
  • Get Involved

For more information or questions about the new program, please visit: or contact Cathleen Williams

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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.

Welcoming Staff Council to the HR Newsletter

The Staff Council Update is becoming a regular feature in the HR monthly newsletter. As the voice of the university’s staff, we will share our initiatives, highlight our achievements, and announce our activities and events.

Staff Council's mission is to serve the interests and needs of American University staff pertaining to their daily activities and work conditions as they support the university's strategic goals. Staff Council promotes understanding and cooperation by facilitating communications among campus constituencies, serves as an advocate for staff issues, and provides leadership and support for all staff members of the university to enrich community spirit.

Comprising 20 elected full-time and permanent part-time staff across departments at AU, Staff Council meets bi-weekly and invites all staff members to join in the discussion of timely staff-related issues and initiatives. 

Visit our webpage at to learn more about Staff Council and meet our Council representatives, or ‘like us’ at

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Staff Appreciation Winners

What a week! This year’s Staff Appreciation Week held May 20-23, came and went in a blur of activities: games, desserts and of course, Red, Hot and Blue’s barbeque. It’s a great way to celebrate the contributions of our staff.

Congratulations to all of our winners of the many activities throughout the week. Here are the winners of some of the larger competitions.

Annual Staff Volleyball Tournament

Athletics won the annual staff volleyball tournament this year and the engraved trophy was presented to them a few weeks ago. 

Cupcake Bake-Off

More than 150 staff participated in the tasting event and voted this year! The winners of the bake off this year were:  

1. Fan Favorite: Caroline DeLeon, Green Monster Cupcakes  

2. Most Creative: Ashley Cole, Red, White, and Blue Snowcone Cakes

3. Best Taste: Katie Kassof, Banana's Foster Cupcake

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Important Form I-9 Information

Summer is here, but the start of a new semester is just around the corner! Our I-9 certifiers around campus are gearing up for a swift start to a new semester as new faculty and employees are hired and students return and seek on-campus jobs. If you're an I-9 certifier, and have not already done so, please take some time to take this free webinar on the new I-9 Form with important information and tips to keep AU in compliance during one of our busiest hiring seasons!

Take a Free Webinar

For any questions about Form I-9, don't hesitate to contact Heather Smith at x2578 or Roberta Goldstein at x2548 of the Employee Relations team.

Happy Hiring!

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