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Campus & Community

Heard Around Campus — November

November 23, 2020

Heard Around Campus

It’s an understatement to say it's been a busy month, with a lot happening in this country, your neighborhood and your place of work. Make sure you’re aware of events and deadlines to benefit your personal and professional experiences through Drexel, from self-care seminars and opportunities to payroll and tuition remission reminders.

Last Call for 2020: Wellness Incentive Program; FSA Funds

Nov. 30 is the last day for the 2020 Wellness Incentive Program. Be sure to log all of your points by that day. The program relaunches for 2021 on Jan. 1, and the format will remain unchanged. If you have any questions, please contact Wellness Administrator Monica Fauble at mef55@drexel.edu.

And don’t forget that healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are “use it or lose it.” You can carry over up to $550 of unused funds into 2021. You have until March 31, 2021, to submit for reimbursement claims that were incurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. For more information, please review the feature on FSA funds in last month’s HR @ Your Service newsletter.

Dec. 7: “Self-Care Strategies to Face the Ongoing Uncertainty”

There is so much going on in our world right now: the global pandemic, social unrest and the stress that the holiday season can bring. We know the role of those supporting others can be rewarding, challenging and exhausting, even before COVID-19. It is more important than ever that we practice self-care and reap the benefits of community. You are invited to join the Drexel Administrative Professionals Learning Community on Dec. 7 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for 90 minutes of “Self-Care Strategies to Face the Ongoing Uncertainty.” Registration is required in Career Pathway. Please visit the event page for more details.

Dec. 8: “The Science of Mindfulness”

On Dec. 8, join mindfulness expert Tuere Sala for an hour-long talk in which she will discuss some of the science around mindfulness, how and why it works. Sala will also offer a short guided meditation and some practice tips for beginning and/or maintaining a daily mindfulness practice. “The Science of Mindfulness” is open to all faculty and professional staff; registration is required via Career Pathway. December points will apply to the 2021 Wellness Incentive Program. Get a head start on your 2021 wellness journey! To browse all HR and Wellness events, please visit: drexel.edu/hr/about/calendar-events.

Meet With a Registered Dietitian via Zoom

Drexel Nutrition Sciences Services’ dietitians are now offering individual nutrition counseling via telehealth. Meet with a registered dietitian from the comfort of your own home to discuss topics such as general health and wellness, weight loss, topics related to COVID-19 or any other nutrition-related subjects.

Nutrition Sciences Services accepts most major insurance plans so that sessions come at no cost to you. Drexel employees can earn 15 wellness incentive points per visit through the Drexel Wellness Incentive Program. Dietitians are offering sessions between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To schedule an appointment, please email nutritionappts@drexel.edu.

Drexel Gives Back: The 2020 Dragon Drive

One of the most exciting expressions of Drexel's mission of civic engagement is the annual Dragon Drive campaign. The University comes together to raise funds for worthwhile charities and help lift up communities throughout the region that desperately need our support. During the 2020 Dragon Drive that ran throughout the month of October, the Drexel community raised $83,246 from over 400 faculty and professional staff members — double what was raised in 2019. This achievement is a testament to the character of Drexel faculty and professional staff, whose generosity and empathy endure even during this difficult year.

Peer Ambassador Program: Volunteers Needed

Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be stressful due to the uncertainty that comes with acclimating to a new workplace culture. Drexel’s Peer Ambassador Program offers a proactive way for new hires to become acquainted with life at Drexel, while providing a familiar face outside of their immediate department. The program pairs each new hire with a peer ambassador, who will meet with the new hire regularly during their first few months (in person and/or through phone and email) to:

  • Provide information on where to find policies/procedures.
  • Answer questions and refer the new hire to the appropriate resources.
  • Familiarize the new hire with Drexel’s culture and norms.
  • Introduce the new hire to others at Drexel.

If you are interested in becoming a peer ambassador, please supply your contact information via this link. A peer ambassador must receive supervisor approval to participate in the program and must attend training before they are paired with a new hire. If you have any questions about the Peer Ambassador Program, please email Lindsay Norlen at les37@drexel.edu or visit the HR website for more information.

New Webpage: COVID-19 Essential Travel Guidance

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University prohibited all University-related domestic and international travel. The University Travel Task Force was commissioned by the Return Oversight Committee in August to develop guidelines for the resumption of University-related travel and a process for review and approval of travel deemed essential to the operations of the University. These guidelines apply to travel for Drexel University, the Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University Online, and Academic Properties Inc. To view essential travel guidance, please visit the Procurement website.

Update From the Payroll Department

This year and going forward, faculty and professional staff on monthly payroll will receive their final pay of the year on Dec. 31 instead of the day before Winter Break. Please feel free to contact payroll@drexel.edu with any questions.

Annual Security Report

In compliance with The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and The College and University Security Act of 1988, Public Safety has released its 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. A copy of the 2020 annual report is available at drexel.edu/cleryreport [PDF], or you may request a printed copy by emailing Public Safety at dps@drexel.edu. A five-year archive of these reports is available on the Public Safety website.

Tuition Remission Benefit Reminder

As a reminder, Drexel University has a tuition remission benefit for those who satisfy the eligibility requirement and have been accepted into the University. Full-time benefit-eligible employees can enroll in a matriculated or non-matriculated program for themselves or spouse/domestic partner and/or dependents. Drexel employees and their eligible family members must be accepted into Drexel University before applying for the tuition remission benefit.

After you have registered for the course, you can submit a tuition remission online application through the employee self-service portal in DrexelOne. To submit your tuition remission application:

  • Log in to DrexelOne.
  • Click on the Employee tab.
  • Under "My Benefits," select "Tuition Remission."
  • Select "Tuition Benefit Form Entry."
  • Choose either "Applying as an Employee" or "Applying for my Dependent/Spouse/Domestic Partner” and follow the system prompts to successfully submit.

Employees submitting their own applications are required to indicate the student level and the academic year in which they are enrolling. An application submitted on behalf of a family member must be submitted as its own separate entry, with uploaded dependent verification documents upon submission. A list of acceptable documents is provided in the employee self-service portal.

For policy and timeline details, please review the HR-22 Tuition Remission Policy for Employees or the HR-23 Tuition Remission Policy for Qualified Family Members.

The 2020 Performance Development Process: Share Your Thoughts!

HR is committed to an ongoing effort to develop a new performance process that is primarily focused on professional staff members’ development. To help us understand your experience and needs regarding performance development, we are requesting your feedback on the fall 2020 performance process. If you have already provided your feedback, thank you. If not, please use the anonymous survey links below to provide your feedback on the process, once you’ve completed it.

  • To share your experience with your own performance development process, please use this link.
  • To share your experience as a manager using the process, please use this link.

Retirement Contribution Limits for 2021

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the employee retirement contribution limits for 2021 will be same as they were in 2020. These limits apply to both pre-tax and post-tax (Roth) contributions. You can view plan limits and more information about the plans on the 403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan webpage and the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan webpage (the latter is limited to faculty and professional staff whose annual salaries exceed $150,000).

Reminder: Flu Shots Are FREE on All of Drexel’s Healthcare Plans

Getting a flu vaccine is especially important this season to protect yourself and our healthcare system from being overloaded by cases of flu. Drexel HMO, POS, and Keystone 65 health plan members can receive the flu shot at any eligible in-network provider; PPO health plan members can receive the flu shot at any eligible provider both in and out of network. To find a location for your flu shot, please visit ibx.com/findadoctor and search “flu.”

Drexel Ranked No. 5 in Campus Safety

Security Magazine ranked Drexel University No. 5 in the nation for campus safety among colleges, universities and technical institutions in its 2020 Security 500 rankings. Congratulations to Drexel Public Safety on this achievement! You can view the full rankings at this link.

Sign Up for City Alerts With ReadyPhiladelphia

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management has an alert system called ReadyPhiladelphia, which anyone can sign up for to receive updates and advisories about emergency updates, road closures, severe weather advisories and transit delays for the city overall. To receive text alerts, simply text “ReadyPhila” to 888-777. You can also read more information and sign up on the City of Philadelphia website.

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Heard Around Campus