Weekly Web Updates – August 15, 2016

We have removed the PRiNZ themes from being available on our WordPress sites. Sites already using these these should not notice any change, but you will no longer see them in the list on the Appearance -> Themes page in the site dashboard. The themes are no longer supported by the vendor and cause issues with the WYSIWYG editor in recent versions of WordPress.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Fixed an issue where, when fetching the content of gallery captions in our Drupal sites, the results weren’t properly filtered and content from the pages images were embedded in was being displayed instead of the caption field of the image itself.
  • Enabled multi-file uploads for the Museum website.
  • Removed the image tags field from File Uploads on the MIIS website.

From MSA: Back to School Shopping

msa

Time for back-to-school shopping!  Aside from the mid-year field trip or random science project, August is typically the one month where you spend a lot of money on school stuff, which means it could potentially mess up your regular spending plan.  Don’t worry!  We’ve got a few tips to help you stay on track.

Adjust Your Budget for Success

First, you need to assess and modify your spending plan to fit potentially hundreds of dollars into this month’s list of expenses.  Parents spend an average of $630 on back-to-school purchases,1 so planning ahead is essential.

Look at how much money you have available.  How much money in savings can and should go towards education costs?  How much of your discretionary spending can you allocate for your shopping trip?

Make a list of all the supplies you will need to get.  Did the teacher provide a list of books and tools?  Do you need to buy a school uniform?  Check your drawers and closets for supplies and clothing first so you don’t spend money on things you already have available.  And remember to bring your list of items so you can stick to what you need.  (If you don’t have a list, you’re more likely to either buy more than necessary or forget something and have to spend more on gas going back for the items.)

If you still need to make a few extra bucks before you head to the mall, grab any items collecting dust in your back closet and throw a garage sale, then put the proceeds toward your back-to-school fund.

Make a (Thrifty) Fashion Statement

You know your kids will ask for the latest and greatest fashion trends.  Dime-store tennis shoes for the first day of school just won’t cut it – they prefer the hundred-dollar shoes.  Of course, you look at your wallet, remember the mortgage and the backpack full of desk supplies you already paid for, and brace yourself for the tantrum that comes after you say, “No.”

Hold up.  There may be a way.

Before you go shopping, check for coupons, discounts and rebates.  Look at sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, ibotta andRetailMeNot.  These sites give you deals that could make big-ticket items more affordable and budget friendly.  Just remember to peruse their offers before you get in the car so you can plan where you need to go; for example, you might find a coupon for those expensive shoes, but it only works at a particular retailer.

You could also see if there’s an outlet store near you that carries major shoe brands (or other school stuff) at discount prices, and you can look for student discounts on everything from clothes to electronics (just don’t forget to bring a valid student ID).

Protect Your Purchases

Did you know that 85% of parents plan on using their smartphones for buying school materials?2  If you decide to use your phone for shopping online or pulling up coupons, remember to check security before making a transaction.  Look for the lock symbol and https before the web address, which signifies the proper Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protection.

Do not use a random Wi-Fi network while shopping online.  Fraudsters set up fake Wi-Fi networks that look like legitimate business internet connections, and they hack your device when you connect to their phony network.

Also check your receipts and credit card statements for any possible errors, like being charged twice for something or not receiving proper credit for a coupon.

Work with a Professional

Preparing your budget for back-to-school purchases, extra trips to the gas station for driving back and forth from school, and money for field trips and extracurricular activities can seem like a daunting objective.  Your Money Coach and Budget Specialist can help your family start the school year on a good financial foot.  Your Money Coach can provide suggestions and options you may not have considered.  And don’t forget Wallet: our personal financial management software that shows all your account activity in one place, allows you to set spending goals and alerts, and more, which makes it easier to be smart with your money while you shop.  Call 888-724-2326 or visit our website to get started.

Mid-Year Performance Evaluations for Staff Members

Annual written performance evaluations are conducted for staff members between January 1 and March 31 of each year as part of the College’s ongoing performance feedback process.  Also part of this process, informal performance evaluation meetings are conducted at six-month intervals between the annual written performance evaluations.  For most staff, informal evaluation meetings occur between July and September.

The annual evaluation process is designed to give employees and supervisors an opportunity to evaluate work accomplishments and performance during the review period and establish goals and objectives for the future.  The informal evaluation provides a valuable opportunity for mid-year feedback, review of the progress in meeting goals, and plans for any necessary adjustments.

Supervisors should be making plans to meet with their staff members to conduct mid-year performance discussions if not already completed.  Staff and supervisors should contact Human Resources with any questions or concerns about the performance evaluation process by calling x5465, option 1.

To Have Patients

13584911_10154290273964253_2364320571155775360_oWith the Open Door Clinic, I have become aware of a whole new community that exists in Addison County of which I was not previously aware. In Addison County, roughly half of residents are uninsured. While most of us can go into a hospital and show an insurance card to avoid heavy fees, many Vermonters are left staring down big hospital bills with very little means through which to pay them. However, the issue is not even this simple. For migrant workers in Vermont, many do not understand the system and, when they receive their bills, do not quite know what to do with them since they are not in their native language. This is just one issue that I have been confronted with and helped alleviate through proactive communications with patients. While these problems are large scale, and will therefore need solutions on such a scale, I can still feel that my contribution has been worthwhile: helping a migrant worker, who provides for his small family that he started in Vermont, get his bills paid can be an experience that would be far more significant than one had serving my superiors coffee as an intern on Wall Street.
In the future, I see myself doing work that will help people, not because of their economic or social advantages but because we owe people help because of their humanity. At the Open Door Clinic, my coworkers have been consummate professionals in refraining from judging patients. In this line of work, we must become pure assets that always work for the benefit of our patients. In this sense, the job becomes all the more fulfilling through intentional service in which we deny ourselves our own wishes. This type of job has been very fulfilling for me and my coworkers have been role models for me to teach what it means to serve those that are marginalized in our communities.
– JJ Moser ‘16.5

HR UPDATE: THIS WEEK’S EMPLOYMENT SNAPSHOT

There are currently 6 faculty positions, 37 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 5 internal job postings on the Middlebury 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)

Why They Really Support Trump: The View From The Campaign Trail

Last Saturday I attended a Trump rally in Windham, New Hampshire – a relatively affluent town (median income was $127,868 in 2014) of just under of 15,000 people located in the southern portion of the Granite State.  Regular readers will know that I’ve attended several Trump rallies, but this was the first one since I […]