Annual Giving Trees! (go/givingtrees)

Please note: The process is much earlier this year AND we are converting to an e-sign up system! While you’ll need to return gifts to Community Engagement, as usual, you can now sign up to participate online!

Help sponsor a local child whose family cannot afford to buy presents for the holiday season through the Giving Trees program, in collaboration with the local organization H.O.P.E (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects). Each “tree” gives ideas of possible gifts to help you with the selection process. HOPE then invites participating parents to make selections among donated items in a “Holiday Shop” so that they may best match gifts with their own children’s interests.

Here’s how to participate:

• Sign up for an “e-tree” through the Community Engagement office by visiting go/givingtrees beginning Monday, October 27th, 2014. You can sign up any time between October 27th and November 10th.

• You can sponsor a “tree” by yourself, with a friend, as a department or in another type of group collaboration!

• We ask that you consider spending a minimum amount of $50 per “tree” – but please don’t let this discourage you from participating! We strongly encourage you to team up with friends and co-workers to maximize the fun and impact of each Giving Tree!

• Please do NOT wrap gifts (so parents can see what they are), but you are welcome to donate wrapping paper if you wish.

• Gifts must be brought to Community Engagement at 118 South Main Street by Wednesday or Thursday, November 12th or 13th between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Please note a few key changes to this year’s Giving Tree program, in collaboration with HOPE, (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects):

• HOPE is creating a “Holiday Store” that will enable parents to come in and make their own selections. To accommodate this approach, the “Giving Trees” will still work as they have, in that you’ll have a child (boy or girl with corresponding ages), etc., but we won’t be matching specific gifts with specific children.

• The store will open at HOPE for parents on Nov. 17th, so we need to collect the gifts before that time (see dates above)!

• Finally, remember that the Community Engagement office is now at 118 South Main St., on the corner of South Main St. and Storrs Ave., behind the Library!

If you have any questions, please e-mail qtennyson@middlebury.edu. As always, take care and thank you for your support and participation.

Quanteshia Tennyson ’14
AmeriCorps VISTA Member / Poverty Initiatives Coordinator
Community Engagement
118 South Main Street
Middlebury College Ɩ Middlebury, VT 05753
802.443.5113

Save the Date: Open Enrollment Nov 1st-14th

Benefits open enrollment is being conducted electronically again this year.  You will be receiving an e-mail (ooa Oct 31st) detailing our 2015 benefits as well as step-by-step instructions on how to enroll using BannerWeb.  Human Resources will gladly help you through the process; if you have questions please call x2320.

All benefits eligible Faculty and Staff are required to complete Open Enrollment between November 1st & 14th.

Flexible Spending Accounts – it’s not too early to start calculating your 2015 annual election.  Per federal law, this year’s annual limit is $2,500 (plus you may roll up to $500 of unused 2014 Health Care FSA funds into your 2015 account).  If you will have large medical expenses next year (orthodontist work, laser eye surgery, etc.) you should make sure you know how much your out of pocket cost will be for these services before Open Enrollment starts.

For additional information on Flexible Spending Accounts, including a Planning Worksheet visit the Flex Spending webpage.

For Questions and Answers regarding the Health Care FSA rollover click here

HR Update: This Week’s Employment Snapshot

There are currently 17 faculty positions, 44 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and no internal job postings on the Middlebury College employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/administration/prospective_faculty/employment

Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs (on campus),http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus),http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs-sh (off campus)

MIDDLEBURY SHUTTLE

 Introducing the Middlebury Shuttle

The Department of Operations is pleased to announce a new transportation service for faculty, staff, and students. The “Middlebury Shuttle” is a pilot program now available to facilitate transportation to and from departments that have recently moved off campus. The shuttle is available between campus and Marble Works and 700 Exchange St., and by request to Painter House or 5 Court Street.

Starting at the Adirondack Circle and ending at Marble Works, the shuttle is a white Middlebury College seven-passenger minivan with signs on both sides and the back that say “shuttle.” The shuttle parks as closely as it can to the entrance of each building for pickup/drop-off, waiting four minutes at each stop before departing. Hours of operation are Monday–Friday, from 7:45 a.m. to 5:40 p.m., beginning Monday, November 3, 2014. The schedule for the pickup/drop-off locations can be found at http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/487140/original/shuttle_schedule.pdf.

In the event the shuttle is not at the pickup location at the time expected, you are welcome to call 443-5472, option 2, the Facilities Customer Service Desk, and a customer service coordinator will make radio contact with the shuttle to determine the ETA (estimated time of arrival).

This pilot program will provide service, while the College is open, unless it is determined that the ridership does not support it, at which time it will be canceled.

 

The Week’s Headlines

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

Lecture Will Explore the Life and Work of Frederick Douglass

Fall Family Weekend is Oct. 24-26

Middlebury Alum who Cofounded Awkward Family Photos to Give Talk

Nobel Prize Winner Encourages Persistence in the Lab

Middlebury Celebrates Homecoming 2014

View past stories by visiting the News Room page.

IRS Announces 2015 Plan Contribution and Benefit Limits

On October 23, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. See the chart below for further details.

2014

2015

RETIREMENT PLANS
Annual Compensation Limits For Retirement Program Purposes 260,000 265,000
Elective Deferrals 403(b) – (for under age 50) 17,500 18,000
Catch-up Contributions For 403(b) Plan Participants age 50 and over 5,500 6,000
457 (b) Elective Deferrals 17,500 18,000
457(b) Catch Up Contribution (Subject To Age And Other Restrictions) 17,500 18,000
Defined Contribution Limits On Maximum Combined Employee/Employer Contributions To Defined Contributions Plans 52,000 53,000
OTHER
Social Security Taxable Wage Base 117,000 118,500
Medicare Wage Base No Limit No Limit

All figures in US dollars.

Sources: www.tiaa-cref.orgwww.irs.gov

Follow @franklindaniel_ on Twitter for up to date information on retirement benefits.

 

Key Survey Scheduled Downtime on Nov 22 for Upgrade to version 8.6

KeySurvey LogoThe following information is important only for individuals having a Key Survey account used to create, distribute, and work with surveys and response data.

WorldAPP (our Key Survey host) is excited to announce that your Key Survey / Form.com account will be upgraded to the new software version 8.6. on  Saturday, November 22nd, 2014, between the hours of:

EST:   1 AM and 10 AM / GMT:    6 AM and 3 PM

Loaded with variety of new features, this latest software update introduces many of the advanced task management and workflow capabilities that you, our customers, have asked us for.

Please note that your account may be unavailable during the system upgrade. Your respondents attempting to access surveys, forms or reports will receive a friendly notification of the system maintenance in progress. Once the maintenance has been completed, the application and all survey/form/report links will be accessible.

To learn more about version 8.6 software release ahead of time, visit the Fall ’14 Release Promo page.

If you have any questions about this update please feel free to contact support@worldapp.com.

Sub Sandwich? No, Try a Subpage or Sidebar Instead! (Updated Drupal/Work Session Schedule)

Sub SandwichDo you need to learn how to edit your department’s website?  Would you like to know how to add sub pages, pictures and sidebars?  Our intro class will give you what you need to get started.  We’ll cover the basics of Drupal so you’ll be able to add links, pictures, and a host of other cool things to your site right away.

For you more advanced users who may be tackling needs beyond the basics (such as converting your forms), join us for a work session or two.  We’ll help you get the job done and you’ll leave with the “know how.”

Visit go/techworkshops/ to view the updated tech workshop schedule and sign up for the classes that fit your needs.

Carol A. Moore Scholarship–applications now being accepted!

Vermont Women in Higher Education annually awards a $1,000 scholarship to a woman working in higher education, either faculty or staff, who is successful in her campus role. The scholarship must be used to engage in professional development or academic pursuits in order to further her career. Candidates must also demonstrate a commitment to supporting women’s leadership on campus. For further questions, please contact Shannon Bohler-Small at bohler@middlebury.edu or extension 2961.

Application deadine is November 30, 2014.

For the form and more information please go to www.vwhe.org/index.php/scholarship .

 

New Mac OS 10.10 (“Yosemite”) Released

Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.x), released on 16 October 2014 and is available as an upgrade for faculty and staff who are currently running Mavericks (10.9.x).  If your machine is running Mavericks (10.9.x) or Mountain Lion (10.8.x) the upgrade will appear automatically in Software Updates under the Apple Menu.  If your machine is running Snow Leopard (10.6.x) or Lion (10.7.x), you will need to contact the Technology HelpDesk to discuss upgrade options.

As with all operating system upgrades, there are potential issues of compatibility with applications and services and we are currently neither promoting nor discouraging the upgrade.  New computers provided for faculty and staff will continue to have 10.9.5 (Mavericks) installed for now; public labs are not scheduled to be updated to Yosemite at this time.  Knowing that there will be “early adopters” who opt to upgrade right away, we have created a site to share known issues and areas of concern.  Visit go/yosemite/ to view — or add to — this work-in-progress.

Yosemite has several improvements, including better support of multiple monitors, handoff capabilities between Yosemite and iOS8 devices, and enhanced iCloud Drive capabilities.  See Apple’s complete list of what’s new in Yosemite or take a personal tour using lynda.com’s new, hour-long course, Mac OS X Yosemite New Features.