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Campus & Community

Heard Around Campus — November

November 27, 2018

Heard Around Campus

Now that the Thanksgiving break is over and the end of the term is quickly approaching, take some time to catch up on any news or deadlines that you might have missed in this busy season. Here’s what was heard around campus this month.

Last Day for Open Enrollment is Nov. 30

Now is the time to enroll in new benefits or make changes to your existing coverage for 2019 with our new benefits administrators’ team, Benefitexpress. Please review this Open Enrollment webpage for more details.

You must actively update your Life Insurance beneficiaries for 2019. In addition, Jan. 2019 commuter orders need to be placed by Dec. 10.

To complete the Open Enrollment process:

1. Log in to DrexelOne and select the Employees tab

2. In the bottom right corner, click on the link to the 2019 Benefitexpress Open Enrollment

3. Click the Enroll button to review your current elections and/or to make changes for 2019

Please contact Benefitexpress with any questions about your Open Enrollment: 1.844.690.3992 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, or email help@mybenefitexpress.com.

Note, for the remainder of 2018’s benefit inquiries, please contact Benefits Service Center at 1.888.971.0101.

You’re Invited!

Drexel will celebrate the holiday season and gather in the spirit of community this Christmas — and you’re invited. Join your fellow Dragons on Dec. 17 at the Behrakis Grand Hall at the Creese Student Center (3210 Chestnut St.) for a breakfast from 7:30–9 a.m. or a reception from 5:30 p.m. RSVP here.

Help Drexel Become More Efficient

In an email sent to Drexel faculty and staff on Nov. 27, President John Fry announced the creation of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee to “foster a culture of continuous improvement and to reduce inefficient and redundant activity.”

“This committee was created as part of the University Strategic Planning process, based on my belief that Drexel's future progress is being impeded by our self-imposed bureaucracy and often nonsensical rules and processes,” he wrote in the email.

To share your frustrations, as well as offer solutions, you can complete an anonymous survey discussing your experiences at the University. You can leave your name and contact information in case the committee would need to follow up or invite you to participate in a focus group, but it’s optional. The survey needs to be completed by Dec. 21. Once all of the responses are collected, the committee will create teams and analyses to move forward. 

You Can Now Complete Tuition Remission Applications Online

Drexel Human Resources announced in an email earlier this month that faculty and staff can now apply for Drexel University Tuition Remission online through the DrexelOne portal (instead of the paper forms of yesteryear). With the change in application, the process for full-time benefits eligible faculty and professional staff members has also changed. Now, applications must be submitted for every term that the tuition remission benefit is going to be used.

Additionally, the tuition remission policies for faculty and professional staff and their family members has recently been revised.

Want to learn more? Visit an upcoming tutorial session to how applying for tuition remission works. Visit Career Pathway for more information about upcoming sessions and to register to attend. And contact hr@drexel.edu with any questions.

Remember Drexel’s “Gift of Time”

If you’re already looking ahead to the winter break, then don’t forget that the University will close at the end of day of Dec. 21, remain closed on Dec. 24 and reopen on Jan. 2.

It’s That Time of Year Again for Drexel’s 22nd Annual Holiday Toy Drive

Every year, the University hosts a toy drive to spread holiday cheer to children, with donated funds and toys going towards organizations including homeless shelters, youth centers, social service agencies and more. This year, over 70 organizations are looking to Drexel for help.

From now until Dec. 18, you can drop off toys at collection boxes located on the University City, Center City and Queen Lane campuses at the following locations:

  • Office of the President, Main Building 
  • Office of Government and Community Relations, Left Bank, Suite 102 
  • 3201 Arch Street, First Floor
  • Recreation Center, Lobby 
  • Bellet Building, Lobby 
  • New College Building, Lobby 
  • 3 Parkway Building, 10th Floor 
  • Queen Lane, Lobby 

Members of the University community can also participate in toy bagging parties (with eco-friendly materials) that will be held in the Great Court of the Main Building on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch and refreshments will be served.

You can also make a gift by donating here instead of bringing in a toy.

For more information on the Holiday Toy Drive, contact the Office of Government and Community Relations at 215.895.2109.

Drexel and Other Philadelphia Anchor Institutions Join Forces to Boost Local Purchasing

The University is joining other Philadelphia-area colleges, universities and hospitals in a citywide initiative to increase local purchasing. Philadelphia Anchors for Growth & Equity (PAGE) launched Wednesday evening with an event in Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Student Center, on Drexel’s University City Campus. Drexel’s Assistant Vice President of Procurement Services Julie Ann Jones participated in a panel on the challenges and opportunities associated with purchasing from diverse and local vendors. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that PAGE’s “initial aim is to localize $500 million in contracts at 13 city hospitals and universities for goods and services — such as office supplies, lab equipment, food, video production, and web design — and create as many as 5,000 living-wage, middle-skill jobs for Philadelphia residents in eight to 10 years.” Read the full story here.

Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight: Institutional Advancement

Drexel University strives to be a welcoming and inclusive environment throughout the student lifecycle: from admission through graduation and continuing into Drexel’s vibrant network of alumni. Institutional Advancement’s (IA) Office of Alumni Relations hosts and supports alumni shared interest groups that promote Drexel University as an inclusive and diverse community. Active groups include Drexel Hellenic Alumni Network, Drexel LGBTQA Alumni Network, Drexel Muslim Alumni Network, Drexel University Black Alumni Council, Drexel University Newman Alumni Council and Drexel Veterans Alumni Network.

In addition, IA leaders and development officers champion the values of diversity and inclusion in their efforts to fundraise for diverse populations and initiatives, including Women in Computing, Black Men in Medicine and Women in Engineering, among other groups.

This past year, IA began participating in in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute’s Project SEARCH program, which pairs a student with autism spectrum disorder with the office in order to provide them with transferable work experience and skills. IA is thrilled that their inaugural intern has secured permanent employment within the community!

This Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight was excerpted from the Inclusive Community Review: FY2017 Accomplishments (formerly called the Diversity Achievement Plan Accomplishments Supplement), an annual report celebrating the diversity and inclusion-related achievements of each of Drexel’s academic and administrative units. For general questions about diversity and inclusion initiatives at Drexel, please contact the Office of Equality & Diversity at oed@drexel.edu.