Measure Value with These Courses!

How do you know the functions and services you offer are providing what your “customer” needs? And, if so, do you have the data to back that up? MSU leadership is promoting and supporting data-driven decision making. How do you know what to measure and who to ask? Attending two upcoming Professional Development Services (PDS) courses offered will help you decide what you should measure and then create a plan to do it.

Business Presentation
Assessments and surveys can help you better present your programs and services’ value to MSU leadership!

On Wednesday, March 25, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. you can attend Proving Value: Introduction to Assessments, for free. How do you know the programs you offer are adding value? Assessments provide a method for determining what to measure, how to measure and who to ask. This session will cover a wide range of assessment topics such as, developing an effective assessment plan, collecting data, and interpreting and reporting your results.

The second class, Proving Value: Designing Effective Surveys,  will be held on Monday, April 20, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and is also free. This course will discuss the best ways to get feedback from your customers to ensure your programs and services are adding value. This interactive session will help you in developing surveys that are useful, informative, and contribute to data-informed decision making. You will also discuss how to make your surveys user-friendly and increase survey response rates. The presenter for each of these courses is Paul Goldblatt of the MSU Residential and Hospitality Services Assessment Office.

For more information about these courses please visit the PDS site or download their catalog which details many more professional development courses offered throughout this year!

Electronic I-9 Tips: Hiring International Employees Correctly

Our electronic I-9 system is now fully-operational and has made on-boarding duties much easier for the MSU community. In order to keep the I-9  procedure running as smoothly as possible, please keep these tips in mind when processing international employees:

  • International employees cannot use an “unclean” social security card. “Unclean” social security cards will display the phrase “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION”.  Do not accept “unclean” social security cards as valid documentation.
  • Very few employees fall under the non-citizen U.S. national category. Only those born or with ties to the outlying U.S. possessions of American Samoa and Swains Island are born as non-citizen United States nationals. Verify if these characteristics apply before accepting an I-9 with non-citizen U.S. national citizenship.
This social security card cannot be used as a supporting document for the I-9 form.
Unclean social security cards CANNOT be used as a supporting document for the I-9 form.
  • Employees must present one piece of documentation from List A or one piece of documentation from List B accompanied by one piece of documentation from list C. The following List-A documents are typically-accepted for international employees:
    • Foreign passport with I-94 or I-94A and I-20
    • Foreign Passport with I-94 or I-94A and DS-2019.

Job of the Week 2/20/2015

This week we are highlighting an Information Technology Professional (Posting #0876) in Residence Education and Housing Services Administration. The successful candidate will serve within the Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) Information Technology and Facilities Office to support all technology related needs. Provides independent, general (first level) diagnostic support to customers for a broad range of technical areas. Will be responsible for resolving routine technology related problems or questions from faculty, staff, and other parties within the college. Additional responsibilities include: managing inventory systems; assigning tasks to, training and managing student technical staff; assisting with network systems, computer labs, and classroom A/V systems. The organization supports 300+ individual users and 650+ computer systems in addition to college-managed video and audio production systems, and technology assisted instructional spaces.

For a complete description of this position, and to view all of our current postings, please go to and select Support Staff under the Fast Jobs Search.MSU Jobs Icon

Beat Cabin Fever

With temperatures crawling below zero, it can be easy to feel stir crazy during winter’s most brutal months. Luckily, there are many activities that you can do in order to defeat the dreaded symptoms of cabin fever.

Although the weather is chilling, campus venues, such as Abrams planetarium, provide an escape.
Although the weather is chilling, campus venues, such as Abrams planetarium, provide an escape.

Get lost in space at the Abrams Planetarium. 

The Abrams Planetarium plays shows featuring the Digistar 5 Project. The planetarium is open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday afternoons. All tickets are $4 or less, however, electronic payment is not accepted. Stop by to marvel at One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure or Ice Worlds.

Enjoy live entertainment at the Wharton Center.

The Wharton Center is a beautiful venue that hosts a wealth of interesting acts. Performances are eclectic and include plays, dance and concerts. Watch the Phantom of the Opera, The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet or 2 Cellos, among other talent.

Learn how to cook, relax and more with MSU Health4U classes.

What better way to spend a chilling day than to improve your skills? Health4U can teach you how to make breakfast for dinner or show you the calming nature of acoustic flamenco music.

Enhance your professional skills using elevateU.

Available in EBS for all faculty and staff, the elevateU platform offers a sweeping array of classes for your benefit.

Drink in some culture at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

The Broad is a wonderful museum specializing in modern and contemporary art. Take advantage of the free admission and view stunning exhibitions including modern art from China and an artful display about student loan debt.

Take the edge off at the State Room.

The Kellogg Center’s State Room often has events, such as wine tastings, that are sure to entice you to leave the house. Keep up-to-date with the latest events.

Your FSA Receipts Deadline is Approaching!

The deadline for turning in 2014 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) receipts is quickly approaching! Here are the FSA important dates to remember for your Dependent Care Spending Account (DCSA) and Health Care Spending Account (HCSA):

  • The deadline to use your DCSA funds was December 31, 2014
  • The deadline to submit receipts for your DCSA is April 30, 2015
  • The deadline to use your HCSA funds is March 15, 2015
  • The deadline to submit receipts for your HCSA is April 30, 2015

Important to note: The 2014 Program Year is working in coordination with Meritain Health. You will work with CONEXIS from 2015 forward.

Please remember, if you do not use all of your funds and submit your receipts by the required deadlines, IRS code requires the remaining funds be forfeited. If you still have remaining 2014 HCSA funds you’d like to use, you need to pay for eligible items or services out of pocket and then submit receipts along with a reimbursement request form. If you use your HCSA debit card, it will draw from your 2015 account funds.

Helpful Links:

FSA Information

Meritian Health – Reimbursement Request Form

Meritian Health – HCSA Debit Card Substantiation Form

A Day in History @ MSU – Martin Luther King Jr. Visits MSU

On Thursday, February 11, 1965, more than 4,000 students and community residents attended a campus visit and lecture by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The large crowd packed themselves into the Auditorium and an overflow spilled into the nearby Fairchild Theater where they could hear the civil rights leader’s speech. King came to MSU to kick off a fundraising drive for the  university student government-sponsored Student Education Program (STEP). STEP was the first all-student-administered educational outreach program of its kind in the country. It involved sending student and faculty volunteers to assist Rust College of Holly Springs, Mississippi during the summer of 1965. It evolved out of MSU students’ desire to help others and gain educational experience. The program focused on eight areas that emphasized improving education, which can be found on the MSU Archives page located here.

Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at Michigan State University
Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at Michigan State University on February 11, 1965. Photo courtesy of MSU Archives.

In his speech, King issued three challenges to the audience:

  1. People must achieve a world brotherhood perspective.
  2. The notion of superior and inferior races must be abolished.
  3. Massive action programs must be developed to rid the world of segregation.

King also called for new Civil Rights legislation pertaining to voting rights in his speech and made reference to the recommendations of the Civil Rights Commission and MSU President John A. Hannah, who was appointed chairperson of the Civil Rights Commission in January, 1957, by President Dwight Eisenhower. The work done by the commission on voting rights became the Title I section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In honor of Black History Month, we honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the many others that have made such a deep historical impact on American culture and our university.

Heart-Healthy Habits

The American Heart Association has dubbed February as American Heart Month. There are several things that you can do to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle:

Eat heart-healthy foods.

A nutritious diet plays a vital role in heart health. Fruits, veggies, fibrous whole grain foods and fish are best for your heart. Be conscious of food labels in order to limit your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar. Additionally, eat only as many calories as you need and drink in moderation.

Are you doing what it takes to maintain a healthy heart?


The American Heart Association suggests moderate activity for 2 1/2 hours a week to keep your heart healthy. Your exercise regiment can vary based on a number of factors. Talk to your doctor and set a target heart rate to exercise safely. Choose an activity that you enjoy.

Implement therapeutic lifestyle changes.

While diet, exercise and weight loss are all self-explanatory and fundamental pillars of a heart-healthy lifestyle, there are certainly other therapeutic lifestyle changes to consider. For example, quitting cigarettes and reducing stress are affirmative actions that aid in overall heart health.

The MSU community will recognize heart health in a variety of ways. Consider buying your Valentine’s Day sweets from MSU Bakers. Patrons can donate money to the American Heart Association with the purchase of baked goods.

To learn more about American Heart Month, visit the American Heart Association at


Job of the Week 2/6/2015

This week we are highlighting a Residence Education & Housing Services Outreach Assistant (Posting #0803) in Residence Education and Housing Services Administration. The successful candidate will plan, coordinate, assemble, and distribute information pertaining to a department or program in order to develop strong connections and achievement between departmental goals and alignment with globalization and international goals. Also, develops and implements programs and materials in order to inform participants of department and/or university’s innovations, resources, and offerings.

For a complete description of this position, and to view all of our current postings, please go to and select Support Staff under the Fast Jobs Search. MSU Jobs Icon

Events Round-Up February 2015

Here are some events happening over the next month that may be of interest to MSU faculty and staff. Please visit the links for more information. Many events require registration.

Community Events

Friday, February 6

Mid-MI Women’s Expo begins, times vary, Lansing

Saturday, February 7

Free Family Moonlight Sledding, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Williamston

Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea, 2 p.m., Kellogg Center

Friday, February 13

2015 Field and Stream Deer and Turkey Expo begins, times vary, Dimondale 

Saturday, February 14

A Valentine’s Day Soirée, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., Lansing

Thursday, February 19

Festival of Listening, 7 p.m., East Lansing

Friday, February 20

46th Annual Spartan Stampede Begins, times vary, MSU Pavillion

Sunday, February 22

MSU Museum Chocolate Party Benefit, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Kellogg Center

Development, Training, & Wellness

Thursday, February 12

Active Directory Manager With Quest, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Computer Center

Tuesday, February 17

Processing Student Awards and Financial Aid, 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Nisbet

Wednesday, February 18

PC Maintenance and Security, 8 a.m. – noon, Computer Center

Thursday, February 19

Culinary Concepts “Breakfast-for-Dinner Meals”, noon – 1 p.m., University Club

Tuesday, February 24

The Spartan Experience, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Nisbet

2015 Founders’ Day Awards Convocation

Upon Governor Kinsley S. Bingham’s signing of state legislation on February 12, 1855, Michigan Agricultural College was founded. The Agricultural College of the State of Michigan became America’s first agricultural college and “mother” of all land-grant colleges in the United States. The college became a university on July 1, 1955, and received its last of six name changes on January 1, 1964, becoming Michigan State University.

MSU Laboratory Row in 1912
MSU’s Laboratory Row in 1912: Horticulture, Bacteriology, Botany, Dairy, Entomology, and Agriculture. All but Agriculture Hall have since been renamed.

In honor of Michigan State University’s founding in February of 1855, the university honors its faculty and staff in a yearly awards ceremony around the time of its original founding. This ceremony, known as Founders’ Day, recognizes the hard work, dedication and achievements of its faculty and staff. The primary focus of this event is on the people and the accomplishments of this great university. Thus, Founders’ Day provides us with an opportunity to highlight our strengths, particularly the academic strengths of the institution. In past years, students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, private sector partners and other constituents, along with representatives from communities, government and other universities from across the state and around the country, have all been a part of this university event. The 2015 Awards Convocation ceremony, along with President Simon’s State of the University address, will be held on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Pasant Theatre of the Wharton Center. For more information about this event, please visit this website.