Tag Archives: Institutional News

Middlebury-Wide FY19 and FY20 Holiday and Floating Holiday Schedule

Beginning in fiscal year 2019 all US-based Middlebury operations will adhere to a single holiday and floating holiday schedule. In order to make departmental and personal planning easier, going forward Human Resources will publish a 2-year holiday calendar near the beginning of each academic/fiscal year. The first of these calendars is included below and will also be available on the Human Resources website.

Holiday/Floating Holiday Schedule

 

Observance

Type July 1, 2018

to

June 30, 2019

(FY19)

July 1, 2019

to

June 30, 2020

(FY20)

Independence Day FH Jul. 4, 2018 Jul. 4, 2019
Labor Day FH Sept. 3, 2018 Sept. 2, 2019
Thanksgiving Break H Nov. 22 – 23, 2018 Nov. 28 – 29, 2019
Year-End Holiday Break H Dec. 22, 2018 –Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 24, 2019–Jan. 1, 2020
Martin Luther King Day H Jan. 21, 2019 Jan. 20, 2020
Memorial Day FH May 27, 2019 May 25,2020
Total Floating Holidays

Total Regular Holidays

3

10

3

10

Holiday Breaks and Floating Holidays begin at close of business the day before the designated holiday (or holiday break) and end at 11:59 pm on the designated holiday (or holiday break).

Holiday (H) – On designated Holidays all Middlebury operations are closed, except for a small number of mission-essential functions such as Public Safety, the heating plant, etc., which may run on reduced capacity. The actual total number of Holidays may vary slightly from year-to-year depending on whether or not year-end holidays fall on a weekend day. Benefits-eligible staff employees record “Holiday” on their timesheets for designated Holidays which occur on days on which they would otherwise have been scheduled to work. Most non-exempt, benefits-eligible employees who are required to work on a designated holiday are eligible for Holiday Premium Pay in addition to regular and Holiday pay. (Employees who are not eligible for Holiday pay due to their non-benefits-eligible status may nonetheless be eligible for Holiday Premium Pay if they are required to work on a designated holiday.)

 

Floating Holiday (FH) – On designated Floating Holidays most administrative and some operational departments are closed, however certain academic areas are open as are departments providing direct support to those academic areas. Area VPs (or their designees) will determine which departments or functions may close in observance of the holiday and which must remain open and be staffed. Employees who do not work on a designated Floating Holiday record time away as “CTO” (note: time is built into CTO accruals to cover these days).  Employees who are required to work on a designated floating holiday earn regular (not premium) pay and do not record CTO.

 

—Cheryl Mullins

 

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Becomes an Official Middlebury Holiday!

The Administration is pleased to announce that Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day will be recognized as an official Middlebury holiday, beginning in 2019. This means that all US-based operations will be closed (except for essential services) on MLK Day, in the same manner as operations are closed for the Thanksgiving and Year-End Holiday Breaks, and that benefits-eligible staff employees will be paid “holiday time” for the day.  (Detailed information regarding recording and approving staff time will be provided closer to the holiday. Middlebury faculty will receive information about how the addition of the MLK holiday will affect J-term from the Dean of Faculty’s Office, near the start of the fall term.)  With the addition of this holiday all Middlebury (US) operations are now operating on a unified holiday and floating holiday calendar (see next article for the full FY19 and FY20 holiday schedules.)

Employee Benefits: Private Exchange Update

Early last spring, during a series of open meetings on financial sustainability, the community was introduced to the concept of a “private health exchange”, which Middlebury had planned to implement in 2019. As a reminder, under a private exchange our current one-size-fits-all medical plan will be augmented by at least two new medical plan options, giving employees the ability to select a plan that best meets their needs. In addition, a private exchange will likely include an optional employer-funded health reimbursement account or a health savings account* (both quite popular with employees), as well as additional dental and vision options and new voluntary benefit choices. Implementing a private exchange will allow Middlebury to continue to improve our excellent health benefits while at the same time managing ever-rising healthcare costs.

Our update today is that this benefit change will be postponed until January 1, 2020. The reason for the change in timing is that the institution needs to prioritize the implementation of the Oracle ERP (Enterprise Resource Platform) project—Project Ensemble. That work is underway and is going well, but will extend through the spring of 2019.

While the delay is unfortunate, it has the upside of allowing Human Resources more time to work with our Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium partners to design a program that will best meet the diverse needs and preferences of our community and ensure that we have the support needed to minimize uncertainty and anxiety that often accompany changes of this kind.

For example, as we learn more about best practices we are strongly leaning toward a set of tiered plans that will cover the identical services, procedures, and prescription medicines, with the difference being in the share of the cost covered within the chosen tier. This model reduces the complexity of decision-making and concerns about equity between tiers of coverage.

Even with a simplified tier approach we remain acutely aware that adding multiple benefit plan options will require comprehensive support for employee decision making. The GMHEC partners have continued to explore sophisticated software options that are available to help employees navigate the benefit selection process. In addition, we have learned that the newly emerging best practice is to employ not only software, but to contract with a benefits consulting company to provide a team of highly trained professionals to temporarily supplement the employer’s benefits department during the critical decision-making period. In this way the institution can ensure that anyone who wants one-on-one support will be able to get a timely appointment. Our thinking, at this point, is that such a model could be highly useful, especially during the first year of the private exchange.

As we look forward toward the private exchange, we want to emphasize one important institutional commitment: regardless of the composition of the benefits program, Middlebury will continue to maintain its income-sensitive approach to employee contributions in which lower-compensated employees pay a significantly lower percentage of the premium cost.

Because the private exchange implementation is now over a year and a half away, we do not anticipate having large open meetings over the next few months. However, HR remains committed to keeping the community apprised of the project status and to that end has recently visited Senior Leadership Group, Staff Council, and met with representatives from Faculty Council to provide in-person updates.  As we get closer to January 2020 you can expect communication and engagement efforts to intensify. In the meantime, we are happy to meet with other stakeholder groups who may be interested in learning more about our current thinking on private exchange design and support of the new program.  Please email questions or invitations to cmullins@middlebury.edu.

 

–Karen Miller

–Cheryl Mullins

Latest News from the Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry

Photo by Mark Koch on Unsplash

The Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry (DLINQ) has an active blog and website. Catch up here on recent news and updates in case you missed them:

A Few Evergreen Posts

DLINQ posts a weekly blog series published on Tuesdays newly re-launched as “The Dirt!” where you will find updates on the projects, news, and developments from staff in our Middlelbury, Vermont and Monterey, California based offices. We invite you to subcribe to blog updates, visit our “About” page to learn about our mission and our January 2018 launch. Explore our “People” and “Projects” pages where you will find descriptions and links to our areas of work, and learn how to connect with us.

Travel Resource for Middlebury Staff and Faculty

About the Middlebury Travel Exchange

The “Middlebury Travel Exchange” is a newly created resource to offer useful information that will help staff and faculty prepare for travel between Monterey and Middlebury. It’s especially for people who have never traveled between the College and Institute before, but may be helpful for seasoned travelers as well.

It is created on Middlebury’s Canvas platform, and functions like a very short course with three modules:

  • General Travel
  • Travel to Monterey, CA
  • Travel to Middlebury, VT

Staff and faculty with Middlebury credentials can log in and “enroll” in the course to view the resource. The link to join is here: https://middlebury.instructure.com/enroll/TXDYC3

Background

This informal resource comes out of a recommendation from the Institute campus’s Organizational Transparency and Information Sharing (OTIS) task force.

More About Travel

Please see the link for “Travel, Entertainment, and Expense Policy and Procedures” on this Middlebury Policy Page for official guidelines from the Controller’s Office – Accounts Payable Department for reimbursement of travel, entertainment, and business expenses.

Questions or Suggestions

Questions about how to navigate this resource? Got something useful to add? Feel free to contact Evelyn Helminen with general suggestions to make this guide better.

Annual Performance Summary Process for Staff Members

The annual performance evaluation process for staff members takes place between January 1 and March 31 of each year.  The APS form for 2018 remains the same as in previous years.

Below, please find a link to the form, helpful tools and guides to support the APS process, and an on-line audio training presentation that will help you prepare whether you are a supervisor or individual contributor.

http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/evals

For those who have attended the training sessions offered in past years, you may find the recorded presentation to be a convenient refresher.  In addition to the on-line tools, we are offering two APS workshops for new employees and supervisors undergoing the APS process for the first time:

Tuesday, February 6 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Mitchell Green Lounge)

Thursday, February 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Mitchell Green Lounge)

For those who have already attended a live or recorded workshop, additional question & answer sessions are available to provide support for supervisors, managers and staff as you prepare your performance documentation:

Wednesday, February 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Marble Works)

Tuesday, March 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Marble Works)

Thursday, March 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Marble Works)

Please email lcaroten@middlebury.edu or call x2012 to register.

In addition, individual support is available to staff and supervisors and department specific training and consultation is available upon request.  Feel free to call the Human Resources APS answer line with any questions – extension 5465, option 1.

Workplace Etiquette – Holiday Tipping and Solicitation

The holiday season is right around the corner and as certain to appear as wreaths and menorahs are the perennial issues of workplace tipping and the solicitation of donations for office parties or gifts. While no doubt tipping and soliciting for gifts or parties are both prompted by good will and the desire to share the joy and bounty of the season such practices can (and sometimes do) inadvertently have the opposite effect.  In fact, each year the Administration, Middlebury Staff Council and the Human Resources Department receive feedback from numerous members of our community who feel uncomfortable about one or both of these holiday practices. Because of the inherent inequity in tipping, and of perceived pressure to contribute to office parties or gifts the Administration, MSC and the Human Resources Department discourage tipping of individual employees and urge caution when soliciting for parties or gifts.

Instead of cash tipping, employees who would like to recognize individual staff are encouraged to do so with a thank-you and/or a card, and if there is a strong desire to do more, to consider a non-monetary treat that can be shared among co-workers. For example sending in sweets or bagels and coffee to share at a December staff meeting can be a great way to express your appreciation.  (Consider contacting the employee’s manager to discuss what might work well in the specific workgroup.)

Employees (especially managers) are asked to be sensitive when organizing holiday gatherings and/or soliciting donations for gifts. Please keep in mind that not everyone celebrates the same holidays (or any holidays), that not everyone is equally in a position to make a donation (either of money or goods) and that some people are simply not interested in doing so. While the myriad of year-end holidays can provide a wonderful opportunity for workgroups to come together socially – and such gatherings can be completely appropriate in the workplace – please do be sensitive to the varying beliefs, interests and resources of ALL of your colleagues as plans are made.  With a little care and planning celebrations and get-togethers can be fun and comfortable for any and all employees who choose to participate.

Best wishes for a happy – and stress-free – holiday season!

-Cheryl Mullins