HR Newsletter - April 2024


Welcome to the April Edition of the HR Newsletter.

As we step into April, we're met with the promise of warmer weather and the blossoming of new opportunities. As the campus continues to come alive, its with great enthusiasm we welcome you to another edition of our monthly newsletter.

As we navigate the remainder of the academic year, let us continue to support one another, foster collaboration, and embrace the spirit of innovation that defines our institution. Together, we can continue to inspire excellence and make a positive impact on the lives of our students and the broader community.

Direct questions about anything in this newsletter to hr@cwu.edu


  • Welcome to the Wildcat Family!

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  • Wildcat Way - Nominate Someone Today

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    Recognize an Employee for Exemplary Service

    Consider nominating an employee for a Wildcat Way Spotlight Recognition. This is a way of thanking an employee for a job well done and sharing their story with the CWU community. All Spotlight nominees will be recognized at the end of the academic year for their Spotlight Recognition nomination.

    WILDCAT WAY NOMINATION FORM

  • Meet with a Retirement Plan Representative

    Our Fidelity rep will be on the Ellensburg campus April 29 & 30, and May 29 & 30 for in-person meetings.

    Sign up online for an appointment: Meet with Us > Schedule a meeting > Enter employer name: Central Washington University.

    An in-person consultation with a Fidelity Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant provides you:

    • Guidance to help you maximize retirement savings and achieve other goals
    • Face-to-face planning from a seasoned investment professional - at no cost
    • A convenient time and location to meet - right at work

    Fidelity is the plan administrator for the CWU Retirement Plan (CWURP) and the Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP). The CWURP is the mandatory faculty and exempt retirement plan and the VIP is an optional retirement savings plan available to all non-student employees.

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  • First Friday Leadership Talk

    May 3, 2024 | 11 AM | Shaw 115
    Dynamics of a Team

    Take a deep dive into the creation and development of a cohesive and effective team. What characteristics and team processes should you look for when building and managing a team.

    Dr. Erica Holley, Associate Professor of Management (CWU-Lynnwood): Erica completed her PhD at the University of Washington in 2012, and currently teaches organizational behavior and human resource management at Lynnwood, Des Moines, and Ellensburg.For Leaders at all levels: staff, faculty, and students

    Register: MyCWU > Learning > ‘Search for Learning’ enter “First Friday”

    Direct questions to cla@cwu.edu

  • First Choice Health

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    Access Employee Assistance Program resources with username ‘CWU’ to login. Available to CWU faculty, staff, and their family members. Or call 800-777-4114 for immediate assistance.

  • Virtual Mental Health Services

    Learn What is Available to You Through Your Uniform Medical Plan Health Insurance

    When struggling with mental health issues, it can be difficult to leave home. Virtual therapy can be an option. Find additional Behavioral Health Services available through your PEBB medical insurance. Members of the Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) have access to the following:

    • AbleTo Therapy+ provides eight-week virtual therapy programs with a licensed therapist.
      866-287-1802
    • Talkspace provides virtual mental health treatment and includes online therapy, coaching, self-help tools, psychotherapy, and medication management.
      312-766-6780
    • Doctor on Demand offers scheduled appointments with a psychiatrist or therapist over live video chat.
      800-997-6196
    • Charlie Health offers virtual and in-person mental health treatment for those 12 to 30 and their families.
      541-230-3696

    UMP Customer Service: 1-800-628-3481

    Need help right away? If you are having a mental health or substance use emergency, you may text or call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The lifeline provides free and confidential support anytime to anyone who’s depressed, needs to talk, is thinking about suicide, or is worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

    5 Minute Mental Health Check

    • Am I getting enough sleep?
    • Am I eating a well-balanced diet?
    • Am I getting enough exercise?
    • Have I connected with someone I love?
    • How am I doing?

    Additional Wellbeing Resources
    Employee Assistance Program (EAP) | 24/7 | 800-777-4114
    Counseling for employees and family members

    Local Helpline | 24/7 | Master's-Level Counselors | 509-925-4168 

  • Retirement Preppers Sleep Better

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    April is Financial Literacy month and that means it’s a great time to look at your budget and set some financial goals now, so you’re prepared for the future.  Start planning now, no matter what life stage you’re in, have fewer worries, less anxiety, and sleep better at night. Find more information on the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) webpage.

    If you’re thinking about retiring in the next few years, now is the perfect time to dig in and find out more. Sign up for a free webinar this April. Find specific information for your plan, including how to withdraw from your DCP savings and how to pick a benefit option.

  • Updates on Performance Review Cycle

    As we continue to align our daily activities with our Vision, Mission, and Values, we’re also working to improve performance reviews. Our goal is to focus on regular feedback, coaching conversations, and development planning. To better meet individual and team needs, we are working on system enhancements with more flexibility.

    • Inform your team that performance reviews are moving to the fiscal year.
    • Continue regular coaching and feedback conversations.
    • Review the latest information on changes on the Performance Reviews webpage.
    • Share feedback or questions by emailing HR@cwu.edu.

    Together let’s build a performance management culture that reflects our values and the needs of our employees.

  • Employment Verification

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    Need to verify your employment when renting an apartment, applying for a mortgage or auto loan, or for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program?

    Direct inquiries to: employment.verification@cwu.edu

    Webpage: Employment Verification

  • SmartHealth

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    Wellness Incentive

    SmartHealth is a voluntary wellness program that supports your journey toward living well.

    You can earn $125 off next year’s medical deductible or a $125 contribution to your Health Savings Account if enrolled in a CDHP. 

    For additional information, watch the SmartHealth experience presentation or SmartHealth overview.

  • Did You Know?

    More than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes.

    If you’re enrolled in a PEBB medical plan, you may be eligible to participate in a free diabetes prevention program which includes a professional health coach, wireless smart scale, supportive peer group, and more.

    Complete the 1-minute screening test to determine eligibility.

    Learn more in the Welcome to Omada video.
  • Employee Engagement Survey Reminder

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    Thank you again to those who participated in the 2023 Employee Engagement Survey. We had a 50% participation rate. Our highest scores indicated strong, positive relationships with immediate supervisors. Areas needing attention included creating opportunities for advancement and support during organizational changes.

    During 2024 we plan to focus on enhancing career advancement opportunities, improving work satisfaction, and change management. Full results are available at the WA State 2023 Employee Engagement Survey webpage.

  • askHR

    Q:  Where can I find a list of required training?

    A:  Required training is listed on the HR website under Central Learning Academy.

    Direct questions to cla@cwu.edu.

  • CLA Online – April Learning Focus Sustainability

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    Sustaining the ability of natural systems to continue providing our natural resources has become more important than ever. Sustainability refers to “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” CWU and CLA Online offer useful resources and advice on “Sustainability” to help us make informed decisions.

    Questions? Contact Central Learning Academy at cla@cwu.edu.

  • You may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

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    As you may know, working at Central Washington University means you can join a federal program that could forgive your federal student loans. The U.S. Department of Education can forgive your student loan debt after 10 years of making 120 qualifying payments while working for a state agency or a qualifying public sector employer. To qualify, you must have Federal Direct loans. If you have Perkins or FFEL loans, you must consolidate into a Direct Consolidation. If you have Direct Parent PLUS loans, you may also need to consolidate. If you consolidate between now and April 30, 2024, you will not lose PSLF qualifying payment credit due to the IDR Account Adjustment.

    Time-sensitive tip: Certain periods you spent in forbearance, deferment or non- qualifying repayment plans may count towards PSLF due to the IDR Account Adjustment. Action MAY be needed before April 30, 2024, for you to benefit. Visit the payment adjustment page to learn more.

    Get Started: Use the PSLF Help Tool to complete a PSLF form and submit an employment certification request. Your form will be submitted to the PSLF servicer (MOHELA) for processing, which may take up to 90 business days. Create a MOHELA account to check on qualifying payment count. If MOHELA is not your current servicer, submitting a PSLF form will initiate a loan transfer from your current servicer to MOHELA, which can take an additional 90 business days.

    If you haven’t signed up for PSLF yet, you still can. One important step is working with our agency’s PSLF contact each year to submit a PSLF form. Although the path to loan forgiveness can seem complicated, you could save thousands on your student loans.

    CWU Employer Identification Number (EIN): 91-6000618
    CWU contact email: employment.verification@cwu.edu

    Submit questions about Public Service Loan Forgiveness on the Washington State Student Loan Advocate’s website.

  • Lemon Bars Recipe

    lemon bars

    Ingredients:

    Crust:

    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • ¾ cup cold butter (1 ½ sticks) – diced
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar
    • Zest of 1 lemon
      (zest is the yellow outer layer of the lemon – use a microplane [long skinny grater], vegetable peeler, or knife to cut off and cut into fine pieces)

    Filling:

    • 2 Tablespoons flour
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • ½ cup lemon juice

    Instructions:

    • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Line 8 x 8” glass pan with parchment paper or grease with butter.
    • Crust: Stir together flour, sugar, and zest.
    • Cut butter into small pieces with a fork and knife into the flour mixture until crumbly.
    • Sprinkle crust into pan and press evenly.
    • Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.
    • Filling: Stir together flour and sugar and then eggs and lemon juice until completely combined.
    • Pour filling into baked crust.
    • Bake 18-20 minutes until center is set and does not jiggle.
    • Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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