Happy Holidays from Human Resources

This holiday season, MSU Human Resources is sharing our holiday traditions with you. Get into the holiday spirit with family memories, matching pajamas, yummy recipes and more, all from our wonderful HR team members! 

Feel free to leave your traditions, recipes, and more in the comments to start a conversation with staff from all over MSU!

Jordan Skjaerlund — HRIT 

Favorite tradition: “My husband and I celebrate Advent from December 1 – December 24. Each day we exchange a small gift and take a picture together with the gifts each person got.”

Jeff Brodie — Benefits

Favorite tradition: “FOOD FOOD FOOD (but I have to limit carbs because of the dastardly Diabetes). Staying home on a snowy day. Seeing friends when they are available!”

A happy memory: “As a child/teenager I remember glorious Thanksgiving dinners. As a child I remember the grandparents and my aunt/uncle bringing in laundry baskets of toys (this was the 1960’s when most folks did not have a lot of money).”

Sheila Chorey — The Leave of Absence Team

Favorite tradition: “In the past, our family would select a country to research for our Christmas celebration. We would use the opportunity to try new recipes and be creative with decorations.”

Some happy memories: “For our French Christmas, we made French onion soup and duck l’orange and hung a banner that said ‘vive la france.’ When we celebrated German style, the men wore lederhosen. My favorite was the Scottish Christmas. The house was decorated in plaid, and attire consisted of kilts and plaid. It is a fun way to get everyone involved, and have the kids do a little research.”

Debbie Hafke — HRIT

Favorite tradition: “We bake sugar cookies and decorate them on Christmas Eve every year. Even though the kids are teenagers, they still leave two of the cookies out for Santa, too!”

Make Debbie’s Santa cookies with this recipe

The Hafke family baking and decorating their favorite sugar cookies for the holidays!

Danielle Hook — Organization and Professional Development (OPD)

Favorite tradition (plans): “Our son will be 18 months old this Christmas so we are most excited about starting new traditions this year!”

Sharri Margraves — OPD

Favorite tradition: “Personally, I always do the Playmakers Holiday Classic 5k and hope to not freeze to death! I cannot convince anyone else in my house to do this with me for some reason…but bundling up in festive attire makes for a good time on campus. My aunt and I both do this and then go out for breakfast.”

Sharri and her aunt preparing to run the Playmaker’s Holiday 5K!

Chris Hanna — Metrics and Data Analytics

Favorite tradition: “Cutting our Christmas tree down on Friday after Thanksgiving. The family is always geared up to do it. However once we get out there it becomes a challenge to make a decision. Everyone has their own opinion of what tree to get. When you think you have found ‘The Tree’ and point it out. You hear from the others: that’s too short or too tall, or too skinny or too fat. Or someone says ‘are you kidding me, that’s the ugliest tree I’ve ever seen, Charlie Brown wouldn’t even want that one.’ But eventually we always find a tree that we enjoy through the holiday season.”

A happy memory: “Cutting our tree down Friday after Thanksgiving started our first year of marriage. We cut down a modest size tree, brought it home, set it up and realized we didn’t have nearly enough ornaments. So I got up early the next morning and decorated it with vacuum cleaner attachments from a shop vac and regular house vac. which were colored gray and light blue (as opposed to generally being black). I thought it was pretty clever and creative. Kathy (my wife) did not… Hence we went ornament shopping.”

Donna Duck — Academic Operations

Favorite traditions: “Going to cut down our Christmas tree with the family. Favorite movie – The Santa Clause movies and Polar Express. Family matching pajamas!”

A happy memory: “I had done matching pajamas one year as a one time thing. The following year, when my son found out that I didn’t have new pajamas he was very upset with me. So, what did I do? Some last minute shopping of course. I was able to find some pajamas at the last minute and saved our new tradition. We have done it every year since!”

The Duck family in matching pajamas in front of their freshly cut and decorated Christmas tree!
Happy Holidays to the entire MSU family! We are wishing you a season full of friends, family, and delicious sugar cookies!

Resources and Upcoming Courses for HR Professionals

Are you a Human Resources (HR) professional at MSU? Whether you handle HR processes in your college or unit on a regular or infrequent basis, the following training opportunities and resources will help you stay up to date on relevant topics.

Upcoming Instructor-Led Courses

Please Note: you may use available educational assistance funds to pay for the following courses through HR Organization and Professional Development (OPD). Take advantage of this year’s educational assistance benefit before it resets at the beginning of fall semester!

  • Certified Human Resources Specialist (CHRS): In this virtual offering of the five-session series, participants will receive fundamental knowledge to be a successful HR professional. Pass a take-home exam to achieve CHRS certification. Course Dates: July 14, 21, 28, August 4 AND 11.

  • Advanced Certified Human Resources Specialist: As a Certified Human Resources Specialist, you know how important it is to stay abreast of changes in employment and labor laws. This CHRS follow-up program has been designed exclusively to help Certified Human Resources Specialists to stay up to date on important employment and labor law changes, discuss hot topics in HR management, learn how to apply best practices, and continue to build your professional network. Attend Advanced CHRS and earn 14 continuing education credits towards CHRS recertification. Course Dates: August 9 AND 16.

Free e-Learning Resources

  • Mitigating Bias in Hiring e-Learning Course: Learn about best practices and procedures for reducing potential bias in the screening and interview process and obtain tools for increasing understanding and self-awareness.

  • elevateU: The free elevateU online learning platform for MSU employees has a variety of resources on human resources topics. After you login to elevateU, select The Library in the top navigation, then Business Skills from the dropdown menu, followed by Human Resources in the sidebar. Subcategories on this page include HR Certifications, Engagement and Retention, Diversity and much more.

    In particular, we recommend the SHRM-CP/SCP: HR Competencies series, which identifies and discusses the eight behavioral competencies critical for HR professionals. These include Ethical Practice, Leadership and Navigation, Business Acumen, Relationship Management, Communication, Consultation, Critical Evaluation, and Global and Cultural Effectiveness. 

CUPA-HR Free Courses

The CUPA-HR website has a variety of free courses available, including a CUPA-HR: Boot Camp self-paced e-learning course that offers a higher education perspective on essential HR topics. Find all the CUPA-HR courses on the Knowledge Center CUPA-HR website.

Not yet a CUPA-HR member? Select Register for any of the linked courses on the CUPA-HR site, then choose Create a New Account in the Sign In section. Be sure to choose Michigan State University as your Organization to enjoy free membership and course access.

Job of the Week – Human Resources Generalist

This week’s job of the week is a Human Resources Generalist (#630228) for MSU Human Resources. This position is seeking an adaptable and self-motivated professional to execute various HR-related duties.

The responsibilities for this role include investigating and responding to inquiries concerning HR issues such as employment, benefits eligibility, attendance and pay, retirement, and internal and external audits. Additional responsibilities of this role include maintaining HR databases and other HR records including payroll system, job posting records in the applicant tracking system, and criminal background check information.

The ideal candidate would possess knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in human resources, a related social science field, business or a related field; six months to one year of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in human resources; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

For more details on the responsibilities of this position, and to view all our current postings, visit careers.msu.edu. Internal applicants should access postings through the Careers @ MSU tile in the EBS Portal.

New Supervisor Essentials Course

Continual learning and networking is the key to supervisory success. Don’t go it alone.Person choosing a path

Are you a recently appointed or newly hired supervisor or manager? If so, or if you are just looking to brush up on your leadership skills as a manager or supervisor, the monthly-held New Supervisor Essentials professional development course is available on Thursday, April 16 or Wednesday, May 13 from 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. in Suite 10 of the Nisbet Building. This session is designed to provide you with support and information to help you get off to a good start in your important role as a leader at MSU. Content includes an overview of leadership skills, administering Employee Relations and a panel discussion with current MSU supervisors. Lunch will be provided and attendance is free. Your presenters will be Jennie Yelvington and Kathie Elliott of MSU Human Resources.

To find more courses offered through the Professional Development Services Department check out their catalog. To register for this course, please log into EBS.

Personalized Cancer Care Webinar: A Look at Targeted Treatments

Are you interested in learning more about some of the recent developments in personalized cancer care? On Friday, March 27, 2015 at 1 p.m. you can listen in on a webinar presented by Best Doctors where you will learn what personalized cancer care is, how it is different from current practices, what types of targeted cancer therapies are available and who can benefit the most. An expert panel of leading specialists in the field of oncology will host the webinar and help you get the most out of your experience.Best Doctors Graphic

You can register for the webinar by visiting this link. View the full release here.


Events Round-Up March 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

Every Saturday and Sunday – 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.

Free Guided Museum Tours @ Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration – Times vary, Grand Ledge.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grand Traverse Pie Company Pi Day – All Day, all locations.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

MSU Wind Symphony – 7:30 p.m., Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Maple Syrup Festival – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fenner Nature Center.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Breakfast with Mark Dantonio – 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center

Development, Training, & Wellness

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Supervisor Essentials – 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Suite 10, Nisbet

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recipe for Health Cooking Series: Olive Oil – 12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m., Brody Square or Online

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Healing Power of Guided Imagery – 12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m., Abrams Planetarium

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Communicating Up – 8:30 a.m. – noon, Suite 10, Nisbet

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boosting Your Career with ElevateU (Lunch and Learn) – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Suite 10, Nisbet

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Managing Confrontational Customers – 8:30 a.m. – noon., Suite 10, Nisbet




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!

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.

New on the Human Resources Website

It’s been a busy month for new items on the HR website.

Regularly visit MSU HR on the web to keep up-to-date with the latest news.

There’s a new university-wide policy on Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct that replaces the policy on Sexual Harassment. Information surrounding Guidelines for Maintaining Critical Functions and Services at MSU is also now available. The electronic I-9 system is fully implemented and a new page with information about the Form I-9 process, compliance training and system access guidelines has been created.

To help new employees understand the benefits available to them, we have created a Benefits Overview toolkit, a quick reference about benefits available to MSU employees. There is also a complete 27-page presentation that provides information previously given at the benefits/retirement orientations.