The following FAQ addresses questions received from employees at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (OCPM). The information addresses the planned collaboration to create the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine on July 1, 2012.
If you would like additional information on any of the topics listed, please refer to the website links, or contact the Kent State Division of Human Resources at 330-672-2100 or email@example.com.
Look for more questions to be added as more information becomes available. If you have a question you would like to see answered, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: When will health insurance benefits coverage begin for Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (OCPM) employees?
A: KSU health insurance benefits coverage will be effective July 1, 2012 for eligible OCPM employees and their dependents. Employees who elect health coverage through Kent State University (KSU) will receive their new ID cards prior to July 1. Members of the Kent State Benefits staff will be at OCPM prior to the effective date to explain the various benefits packages and to answer questions.
Q: Where can I find information about the health insurance plans offered to Kent State employees?
KSU offers medical, dental, prescription, vision, life insurance and other benefits. Health insurance is available through two providers: Medical Mutual of Ohio and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Members of the KSU Benefits staff will be on-site at OCPM several times prior to July 1, 2012 to explain the various benefits packages and to answer questions. Information on the benefits plan is also available online at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits. Just look on the left-hand menu and click on any of the topics listed.
Q: How much will I have to pay for health insurance as a KSU employee?
A: Benefits-eligible Kent State employees contribute to the cost of their health care premium according to a tiered system based on salary. In other words, university employees who earn a higher salary will pay a larger portion of their health care costs than their colleagues who earn less. As an aggregate, Kent State employees contribute 13.74 percent towards the cost of their health care premium.
Full-time employees can view the 2012 contribution table at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/open-enrollment.cfm. Contribution rates will be established for part-time, benefits-eligible employees who were hired by OCPM prior to June 30, 2012. That information will be made available when it is completed.
Q: What happens to my Flexible Spending Account/Section 125 plan?
A: KSU offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through a Medical Mutual of Ohio company called FlexSave. Both a Health Care and a Dependent Care FSA are available.
OCPM employees who currently participate in an FSA will be able to continue with their current plan for 2012; you will receive more information close to July 1.
Employees who do not currently have an FSA may enroll in the FlexSave program. This can be done through the KSU new hire orientation sessions, which will take place in the coming months.
Q: Will I be eligible for the KSU tuition waiver?
A: Yes. After a 120-day waiting period, all general and instructional fees are waived for full-time faculty and staff members, their spouses/domestic partners and qualified dependent children.
Part-time unclassified administrative staff that have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours within the previous 12 months prior to the start of the semester are eligible for a four credit-hour waiver. There are no tuition waiver benefits for dependents of part-time employees.
For employees who take advantage of the tuition waiver there is no impact on your salary or potential salary increase. There is also no negative impact on the employee’s departmental budget.
Q: What type of retirement plans does Kent State offer?
A: New KSU faculty have the option of joining one of two retirement systems: the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) or an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). All other new employees may join the Oho Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or an ARP. As state employees, KSU faculty and staff do not contribute to Social Security.
You will have 120 days from July 1 to choose a retirement system. You can read more about both options at www.kent.edu/hr/benefits/retirement.cfm. Representatives from both state retirement systems will be on-site at OCPM on April 23 for informational sessions on retirement.
KSU employees are also eligible to voluntarily participate in supplemental 403(b) and 457(b) retirement savings programs. Information on both programs can be found at the above website. OCPM employees currently participating in a 403(b) should consult their 403(b) administrator regarding termination and rollover options.
KSU does not make a matching contribution to the supplemental retirement programs, because the institution contributes to the employee’s state retirement program (OPERS or STRS) or the ARP.
Q: What happens to any leave time (sick and/or vacation) I have accumulated as an OCPM faculty or staff member?
A: As of July 1, 2012, all OCPM will be hired as KSU employees. As such, all eligible employees will begin accruing vacation and sick time as outlined by university policy.
While prior sick and vacation accruals will not be "carried over" from OCPM, an employee’s years of service will be used to determine each employee’s Kent State vacation accrual rate. For example, if you have 20 years of service at OCPM, you will accrue vacation at the same rate as a 20-year KSU employee.
Q: When are KSU employees paid?
Unclassified employees and faculty are paid semi-monthly, on the 15th and the last day of the month. Unclassified, hourly employees and student employees are paid biweekly. If the payday falls on a weekend or a holiday, employees are paid on the preceding Friday. The payroll schedule can be viewed at www.kent.edu/about/administration/business/business/payroll/pay-schedules.cfm.
Q: Will my job title change?
A: Some job titles may be similar to current titles at KSU, while others may be unique to OCPM. The KSU Compensation staff will review each job description and title to determine if any changes are needed. In cases where a job title will change, the employee and his/her supervisor will be notified.
Q: How does Kent State conduct job performance evaluations?
A: Job performance evaluations for unclassified employees occur annually between June and mid-July. Performance evaluations are done online. To be eligible for a pay increase, unclassified employees must have a current, signed evaluation on file with Human Resources, with a rating of satisfactory or higher. Employees who receive an overall rating of "unsatisfactory" will not receive any pay increase.
For OCPM faculty, the intent is to maintain the performance evaluation process currently in place at the college.
Q: Will I have a different email address?
A: Yes. As a new employee you will receive a KSU email address that will end in @kent.edu. You will receive information on the email transition closer to July 1.
Q: Will KSU be on-site to assist faculty and staff with the transition?
A: Yes. Beginning in April, HR representatives from KSU will be on-site at OCPM to provide information and answer questions. There will also be several New Hire Orientation sessions that employees are encouraged to attend.
You can also find out more about your employment at Kent State through the online Employee Resource Manual, at www.kent.edu/hr/handbook.
Q: Will I need a KSU ID? If so, how do I get it?
A: OCPM employees will need a new, Kent State faculty/staff ID. These will be available at the college and will be issued by Dan Ridgway.
Q: Is there an employee handbook?
A: Yes. In a large organization, it is often difficult to know where to look for information regarding policies and procedures, employment, and other resources that employees may need. The Employee Resource Manual provides general information and guidelines on a variety of topics related to employment at Kent State. You can access the manual online at www.kent.edu/hr/handbook.