You are here: American University Human Resources HR Newsletter March 2018 Newsletter

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Introducing AsuccessfulU - Recruiting Join the AU Talent Community

As a part of its new recruitment strategy, the Office of Human Resources has replaced the old online application system (OLA) with AsuccessfulU - Recruiting, an enhanced recruitment platform designed to better serve our departments, candidates and recruiters. AsuccessfulU - Recruiting streamlines the hiring process by making it easier to identify highly qualified internal and external candidates for full-time and part-time staff and student positions. As of March 5, 2018, all staff and student positions are posted in the new system. Applicants cannot submit applications for jobs posted in the old system.

Platform Features

  • Allows candidates to easily find and apply for open positions
  • Provides easy access on desktop and mobile devices
  • Supports a more effective workflow requiring fewer stops for review and approvals

New AU Talent Community for Staff

The AU Talent Community connects current staff to new career opportunities at American University. Upon joining, you can receive notifications about jobs that match your interests, learn about growth and promotional opportunities from HR recruiters, and apply for jobs exclusively available to internal AU applicants.

Join the AU Talent Community by creating a profile on AsuccessfulU Careers, accessible through the myAU portal.

Enhanced Capabilities for Hiring Managers & Search Committees

  • Post jobs, build an applicant pool, communicate with and schedule candidates easily, and start interviewing sooner
  • Reach more potential candidates with automated posts to job boards, such as HigherEd Jobs, Indeed and LinkedIn
  • Review applicants faster with automated background checks and search closures
  • Learn insights and analysis into hiring trends If you have any questions about using the AsuccessfulU - Recruiting platform, please email

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Performance Management Update Set Your Goals & Check-in

2017-2018 Performance Management Timeline

This month, be sure to input your goals, if you haven't already, and make progress notes in AsuccessfulU. Now is the time to check in with your manager and/or staff and work collaboratively to identify the measures needed to help you achieve those goals. Looking forward, the Performance Management redesign team will soon announce its two-year implementation plan to enhance performance management through a simplified process that fosters ongoing performance development and enhances the university's culture of appreciation. The following timeline outlines important benchmarks and upcoming deadlines in the performance management process.

The Performance Management redesign team has worked for over a year to redesign the performance management process in such a way that changes the university's approach to staff-manager relationships and fosters a new culture of excellence in achievement and staff engagement. In the design phase, the team reviewed national trends and best practices, vetted through focus groups, and gathered input from campus leaders. They concluded this phase with a simpler program that focuses on coaching, development, continuous feedback and strategic teamwork.

Performance Management Redesign Goals

  1. Shift the PMP purpose
  2. Shift from an annual evaluation to continuous performance management
  3. Set shared expectations of continuous performance management
  4. Simplify the year-end process
  5. Build a culture of appreciation and recognition

Stay tuned for rollout details including ways to connect and engage in goal development and goal sharing, and simple ways to best approach these changes based on your role.

Have questions about AsuccessfulU, goal-setting, or the PMP redesign process?

Send an email to or schedule a coaching session with our Performance Consultant Colin Gerker at

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Need Help Filling Out Your 2018 W-4 Form? Try the Updated IRS Tax Withholding Calculator

Are you filling out a W-4 form or do you have new staff filling out W-4 forms? The 2018 W-4 form is now available. You can find the updated IRS Tax Withholding form, calculator and more information on the IRS website to help you determine the correct 2018 tax withholding amount to put on your W-4 form. The calculator helps users estimate their 2018 income and other items that affect their taxes and provides instructions on how to fill out the W-4 form based on your financial situation.

Given the recent tax changes passed in December 2017, we encourage you do a “paycheck check-up” to see if your tax withholdings are appropriate for your personal situation. Tax changes include increasing the standard deduction, removing personal exemptions, and increasing child tax credit. In addition, any changes in your financial situation, such as a change in income or a new dependent, can possibly affect your withholding amount. Checking your withholding amount can protect against having too little or too much tax withheld that could lead to an unexpected tax bill or penalty in 2019. The withholding changes do not affect 2017 tax returns due this April.

Contact the AU Payroll Office via email at with any further questions.

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Apply for Summer Tuition Remission by Monday, May 14

Are you planning to take classes this summer? AU offers tuition remission for eligible faculty, staff, spouses and same-sex domestic partners at AU and Wesley Theological Seminary. Online applications must be submitted every semester that you plan on using AU's education benefits.

Summer Tuition Remission applications must be submitted through the myAU Portal by Monday, May 14.

Have Questions? Attend a Tuition Remission Workshop in April

Learn more about tuition remission benefits at an upcoming brown bag workshop. Find out what's covered, what's taxable, how to apply, and important deadlines. See the workshop dates below:

Workshop Schedule

April 12 and 19
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: MGC 330N

Registration is requested, but not required. Walk-ins are welcome. To register visit AsuccessfulU on the myAU portal. For updated session information, follow us on Twitter @AUemployees.

Important Facts about AU's Tuition Remission

  • Applications must be submitted each semester that you use tuition remission.
  • Summer 2018 tuition remission online applications are due Monday, May 14; applications received after May 14 will be denied.
  • Flex Work Arrangement and/or Work Schedule Exemption forms are due Monday, May 14. Allow sufficient time for manager and department approvals.
  • Full-time faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission benefits if they started employment on or prior to January 14, 2018.
  • Tuition remission for eligible courses is covered for 8 credits for each semester, and up to 20 credits per academic year.
  • Some courses are not covered. See the ineligible programs list.
  • Graduate level courses and same-sex domestic partners' undergraduate courses are 100% taxable.
  • Application, exam, matriculation, course and lab fees are not covered.
  • The last day to drop a class/make changes for 100% refund varies. Check the Office of Registrar's registration webpage for information on AU's summer sessions.

Tuition Remission Taxation Reminder

All graduate level courses are 100% taxable, although faculty and staff receive annually the first $5,250 of their tuition tax-free. Same-sex domestic partners are taxed 100% on undergraduate classes.

When you receive a taxable tuition benefit for you, your spouse or same-sex domestic partner, or your dependent, the value of the benefit is imputed as taxable income. Imputed income taxes are paid through payroll deductions scheduled during the semester the benefit is issued.

Taxation on remitted tuition can significantly reduce your net (take-home) pay!

Use the Symmetry® calculator on the myAU portal to estimate your take-home pay if you will be taking courses that are subject to taxation. Because there are many factors that may affect your individual situation, you may want to consult a tax advisor.

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

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Q & A with Staff Council Chair Keesha Ceran

Want to learn more about Staff Council’s activities and ways to get involved? We sat down with Staff Council Chair, Keesha Ceran.

Keesha is the Associate Director of One Card & Dining Programs. A longtime member of the AU community, she is proud to be a double alumna; she received her BA (2010) and MA (2012) from the School of Public Affairs studying Political Science and Applied Politics. Keesha started working at the university as a student staff member in former Housing & Dining programs and went on to serve as the Resident Director for Letts, Clark, and Roper halls, where she helped grow multiple learning-living communities. In being a student, staff, and Staff Council leader, she has gained a multi-faceted perspective of AU and applied that insight to creating community at American University.

Keesha shares her experience working at AU, her leadership role in Staff Council and what it means to be a leader on campus.

You are an AU double alum, and now work as a staff member. Tell us about how these experiences have shaped your time at AU?

“I transferred to AU from a community college in California in 2008. In the almost 10 years that I have been on campus I have had the best opportunity to see the university through different lenses: transfer student, student leader, graduate student, staff member, and now Staff Council. Seeing the university through these lenses has given me a deeper appreciation for the institution. As my roles have shifted in my many years at AU, I’ve gained a greater insight into the pulse of the AU community. I get to be the AU Historian, as some of my colleagues like to call me.”

It’s Women’s History Month, can you talk about the importance of being a woman in leadership at AU?

“It’s been a great experience being a part of this class of esteemed women leaders, such as the former AU SG President, Taylor Dumpson, current president Yamilet Payano, the current Faculty-Senate Chair, Andrea Pearson, Mina Kato of the Graduate Leadership Council, and being in the company of President Burwell, to name a few. I don’t know what this time in our leadership history means for this campus, but I will say that the relationships that I have built with these talented women have encouraged me. My hope is that our organizations continue to find ways to connect with each other for the sake of our efforts and the support of our constituents. I hope that the foundation that has been set through my leadership with Staff Council will continue beyond my time as chair.”

What is Staff Council? How do they help AU staff members?

“Staff Council is a council of currently 20 elected members who represent staff needs and interests through engagement with Human Resources and other levels of the university. We serve to support advocacy needs of staff by serving on various campus committees, such as Board of Trustees Committee representation, the Benefits Advisory Committee, and more. We also support initiatives that bring staff together for social engagement, such as our Annual Fall Reception, our After-Hours events during Staff Appreciation Week, service activities and our Annual Personnel Conference.”

Why should someone join staff council?

“If you want to broaden your experience at AU and get a sense of how the institution truly runs, I recommend joining the Staff Council. My time with Staff Council has been the best experience. I have had the opportunity to meet colleagues from all over this campus and better understand departments that I might not have before, through the members on the council and through connections with constituents. It has given me more pride in the university because I get to see the care and efforts that everyone has in AU.”

What does Staff Council have in store for the community the rest of this semester?

“As we prepare to close this term, it’s surreal that it’s coming to an end! We are preparing for some of our biggest events. We are gearing up to participate in the Staff Appreciation Week events and will be hosting our annual after hours social. We will be preparing for our annual personnel conference-- I really want to encourage staff to participate. It’s a great way to celebrate the talent that are the #ProfessionalEagles of this campus.

Internally, Staff Council is preparing for our election season, stay tuned for more information. We’re also voting on a few amendments to our bylaws so that we can set a future foundation for Staff Council. It’s a great time to be part of Staff Council and I am so grateful for the folks that I get the pleasure of serving with.”

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AhealthyU Recognizes Staff Healthy Habits with the Catching Healthy Habits Award

Your healthy habits in the workplace have the power to inspire others.

As a part of its mission, AhealthyU strives to create a culture of health and wellness in the AU community. A key part of creating this culture is recognizing and sharing AU faculty and staff's healthy habits to inspire others. To support this mission, the AhealthyU Wellness Council nominates AU faculty and staff for their Catching Healthy Habits Award every month. Each office/building is assigned a different month.

February Catching Healthy Habits Award Winner: Laura Neal of the University Library

Last month, the Council recognized Laura Neal, Assistant to the University Librarian, for her daily walking routine. Laura walks around campus more than 30 minutes every day during her lunch break. On the weekends, she enjoys hiking trails in the DC area, and on bad weather days, she does Pilates at home. Laura's healthy habits are an example of how one can fit a variety of activity into a busy week.

"Forming healthy habits makes you feel better and gives you the strength and energy to keep up with life," said Laura. "It requires patience but seeing improvements over time makes it easier to keep up with the habit."

Do you know a colleague with an inspiring healthy habit? Contact your AhealthyU Wellness Council representative from the list below or contact the AhealthyU office at


Wellness Council Representatives
Department Building Contact Name Contact Email
Department of Health Studies Gray Hall Stacey Snelling
Department of Health Studies Gray Hall Amy Trietiak
General Counsel 3201 New Mexico John O'Malley
Housing & Dining Programs East Campus Kimberly Araya
Human Resources 3201 New Mexico Shelly D'Amico
Office of Enrollment Asbury Building JV Kirkland
Office of Sustainability Spring Valley Hannah Debelius
Office of University Registrar Spring Valley Paula Palhus
OIT Spring Valley Arthur Frey
RecFit Sports Center Robert Beahm
RecFit Sports Center Lauren Kline
SIS SIS Marianne Norman
SOC McKinley Building Chris Palmer
SPExS Spring Valley Jennifer Arnold
SPExS Spring Valley Iris Krasnow
Student Health Center McCabe & Hughes Halls Kelli Karacki
Student Wellness Center McCabe & Hughes Halls Abby Wolfe
University Center Mary Graydon Center Angelica Villegas
University Library University Library Donna Femenella
University Police East Campus Kevin Barrett
University Publications 4401 Connecticut Ave Michelle Fleitz
WAMU 4401 Connecticut Ave Berta Najera
WCL Tenley Campus Shira L. Cohen

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HR Events & Announcements

April Training Calendar

Influencing Without Authority: Choosing Your Style
Tuesday, April 3
MGC 247, 1 - 5 pm

Tips and Tools for Networking
Wednesday, April 18
McDowell Formal Lounge, noon - 2 pm

Making the Most of Working with Difficult Behaviors
Thursday, April 26
MGC 200, 9 am - 1 pm

Staff Annual Leave

Use It Or Lose It by April 30

Work with your supervisor to plan and schedule your use of annual leave by Monday, April 30, 2018. Only 15 days of earned annual leave carry over, meaning:

  • 35-hour workweek, max carry over = 105 hours;
  • 28-hour workweek, max carry over = 84 hours;
  • 40-hour workweek, max carry over = 120 hours.

2017 FSA Deadline to Submit Claims

Submit Claims by April 30

Submit claims against your 2017 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) balance for any eligible expenses you incur from January 1, 2017 - March 15, 2018. The deadline for submitting 2017 claims is Monday, April 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm.

To submit claims electronically
Visit the Payflex website. You will need to have an online account. New registrants, please note that your Member ID = your Social Security Number.

To submit claims by fax
Download and print a claim form on the myBenefits site via the myAU portal. Fax your completed claim form toll-free to PayFlex at (888) 238-3539.

For questions, please contact the HR Benefits Team at x3400.

One-on-One Investment Counseling Sessions

One-on-one financial planning consultations for Fidelity and TIAA are available at the following dates. All meetings will take place at the 3201 New Mexico Ave office between 9 am - 4 pm in Room 258, unless otherwise noted.


  • Tuesday, April 17
  • Thursday, April 19

To schedule a consultation, please visit


  • Wednesday, March 21, Room 280T
  • Wednesday, April 4
  • Wednesday, April 18

To schedule a consultation, please visit

Staff Council Announcements

Join a Staff Council SubCommittee


Staff Council Elections