Month: November 2014

Spotlight on HR Information Systems

Below are a couple of questions that I asked our Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) team. Often unknown to many HR visitors, their services are vital for many processes and project in HR and on campus.

What services/product do you provide to HR?

HRIS provides data reports (historical and current), secures employee data within Banner by granting and revoking access, and provides technical documentation and support related to HR processes. Data provided to HR has been used in regular union contract negotiations, benefits reporting, training administration and payroll processes, to name a few.

What services/product to you provide to campus?

To campus, HRIS provides

  • Current and historical data via a report or file for department specific needs;
  • EPAF training and support;
  • Mass email processing;
  • Access to Banner and Banner related products (EPAF, WTE, etc)

What major projects have you supported HR/campus last academic year?

A big HR/campus project is our collaboration with the Benefits Office for Open Enrollment. A smaller project would be collaborating with Institutional Analysis on data integrity and implementing electronic processes including the ability for employees to update their campus directory information within Banweb.

HR is currently collaborating with IT and all departments on campus to implement the Identity Management (IDM) to change how building, printer and drive access is granted to employees through their employment.

Payroll Deadlines altered for Thanksgiving Holiday

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday on November 27th and 28th, for the pay period ending 11/22/2014, deadlines for payroll forms will change.  Please note the changes below and review the Payroll Calendar to see all Payroll deadlines.


  • Status Forms & EPAF Submissions: Wednesday 11/12/14 at Noon
  • Time Cards Sent to Departments : Wednesday , 11/19/14 at 9AM
  • Paper Time Cards Due to Payroll: Friday, 11/21/14 at Noon
  • Electronic Time Submission: Monday, 11/24/2014 at Noon
  • Electronic Time Approval: Monday, 11/24/2014 at  5PM



SWEAT Wellness Program Challenges Employees

Michigan Tech’s SWEAT Program recently launched a new challenge, Lucky 7, to university employees. Employees were asked to form 4-7 member teams and tackle a 7 week series of exercise challenges.  SWEAT Program Coordinator, Shannon Brodeur, explains more:

The SWEAT Lucky 7 Challenge is based on the idea that variety and social support are key elements of exercise adherence.  The goal of the challenge is to have teams of up to seven employees inspire and support each other to complete a variety of cardio exercises with the goal of making it a regular habit.  Each week, teams are provided a list of 7 cardio exercises, from hula hooping to salsa dancing to playing kickball.  Each exercise must be completed by at least one team member during that week to earn bonus tokens.  Along the way, team members may earn additional tokens by completing any cardio activity of their choice.  Incentive prizes are given out randomly each week with a grand prize given to each of the winning team members at the end of the challenge.”

The challenge was accepted by 16 teams of over 100 employees.

At five weeks into the challenge, SWEAT Lucky 7 participants have voiced that the challenge’s goal has been met and that they are not ready to let up. “I had several employees stop at the SWEAT table [Health Fair] to tell me how much exercise they have been getting in because of the challenge.” said Brodeur.

The competition has also peaked. Two Human Resources teams set aside a lunch hour, competing against each other in a game of kickball.  Both teams earned their weekly challenge point, but only one left the game with bragging rights.  Another Lucky 7 member organize a dodgeball challenge for interested participants and their family members earlier this week at the Houghton Elementary gym.  Pictures of each of these challenges are below.

The SWEAT Lucky 7 Challenge will conclude on November 23rd and the winning teams will be announced the following week.

Human Resources Kickball Competition
Lucky 7 Participants at the Dodgeball Challenge
Lucky 7 Participants at the Dodgeball Challenge

Benefit Open Enrollment Now Open

Open enrollment is your opportunity to assess your individual and family needs and make changes to your benefit package selections. This would include changing health plans, adding/removing a dependent, electing to contribute to a health savings account or flexible spending account or changing any other benefits such as life or disability benefits. If you want to continue your current elections in 2015, you do not need to take any action.

Here is a brief summary of 2015 benefits:

  • There is no change in retirement benefits for 2015; Michigan Tech will continue to match up to 7.5% of your salary that you decide to save for retirement. Tax deferred as well as Roth options for 403b and 457b plans are also available without a match should you wish to save more for retirement. Keep in mind there are IRS maximums you are allowed to contribute.
  • There is no change in life insurance, dependent life insurance, voluntary accidental death and disability, short term disability and long term disability.
  • Tech will continue to offer both the PPO and HDHP health insurance plans. For the PPO plan, the premium will increase from $112 to $114 per person per month.
  • The HDHP will continue with no monthly premium, but you will need to decide what amount if any, you put in your tax sheltered Health Savings Account to cover health care deductibles and co-pays. Keep in mind that any amount you save in your HSA that is not used, is carried over to future years, even into retirement.
  • Eyecare and Dental coverage remains unchanged.

Please plan to explore and evaluate your benefit options and cost during at an Open Enrollment educational session.