News Briefs


Return to Issue of July 20, 2009


Participants Needed to Help Drive Kent State University Web Site Redesign

To remain competitive in the higher education market, Kent State University is redesigning its Web site. As a result of e-mail feedback, usability studies and benchmarking of other university sites, the redesign team has prepared several designs on which we’d like to collect your feedback.

You can participate in one of these ways from Wednesday, July 22, through Tuesday, July 28:
  • Take an online survey, which will be accessible from the university’s home page.
  • Participate in a 45-minute usability test or a focus group by scheduling a time slot with University Communications and Marketing’s Jody Kovolyan (jkovoly1@kent.edu).
The divisions of University Relations and Information Services will use the data to make necessary tweaks and advance the strongest design.

For more information about the latest home page redesign, contact Tom Neumann at tneuman1@kent.edu.

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Discount Tickets to Cedar Point and Geauga Lake Available
Discount amusement park tickets are available to Kent State employees.

Kent State University employees now have the opportunity to purchase tickets at a discount for Cedar Point and Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom.

Tickets can be purchased here. Scroll down to “Corporate Partners” and enter wildcat3799 as the company password. This will allow you to purchase and print the discount tickets online.

Each employee may purchase up to eight tickets per day, per credit card. If you are unable to print the tickets at the time of purchase, bring the confirmation number to the Guest Services window at Cedar Point or Geauga Lake, and they can print the tickets for you.

If you have any questions, contact the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 or benefits@kent.edu.










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Legal Brief: Appropriate Use of Independent Contractors

“Legal Briefs” is a monthly article from the Office of the University Counsel designed to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online. If you have an idea for a Legal Brief topic, send an e-mail to legal@kent.edu.

The university is often approached by hiring officials to engage in an independent
contractor relationship with a small organization or an individual. It is in the university’s best interest to evaluate the proposed agreement to ensure compliance with university policy and federal tax guidelines. An independent contractor relationship cannot be entered into without approval from Human Resources. Engagements that have been entered into prematurely may not be in adherence with university policy, and therefore payment to the individual may be denied.

The definition of an independent contractor, according to administrative policy 3342-6-04.3, is “a n individual who performs a service for the university, but is free from immediate control or direction in the performance of his or her work under a contract of service.” This type of employment relationship is determined by the key question, “ Who has control?” A worker is an employee if the person for whom he works has the right to direct and control him concerning when and where to do the work.

Individuals currently employed by the university may not be paid as an independent contractor. Individuals who have been employed by the university may not be paid as an independent contractor in the same calendar year that they were an employee holding the same position, with the same duties. The policy provides more detailed information on eligibility and definitions.

In addition, former university employees who have retired in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) and are hired back as independent contractors are subject to the limitations imposed by section 145.38 of the Ohio Revised Code. If the retiree is retained as an independent contractor within two months of retiring, the retiree forfeits their OPERS retirement allowance for any portion of time worked at Kent State prior to the end of the two-month period.

There are also implications for the university since it is required by law to notify the retirement board when an OPERS retiree is hired as an independent contractor; the notification must be done no later than the end of the month in which the independent contract begins. Any OPERS overpayment of benefits to a retiree resulting from failure of the employer to give notice must be repaid to the retirement system by the employer.

To begin the process of entering into an independent contractor relationship, the requesting department representative must complete the HR Independent Contractor Determination form and forward all documentation to Human Resources for approval. The requesting department representative is responsible for obtaining any supporting documentation and attaching it to the form. The form is located in the HR Forms Library in the Miscellaneous section.

For questions, contact a member of the Talent Acquisition team at 330-672-2100.

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Staff of Fusion Win Finalist Spot in 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards

Kent State student journalists are once again recognized by a national organization.

Fusion, a student magazine at Kent State, was awarded second place in the category for Best Student Magazine in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) national 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards.

The awards recognized collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2008. Student journalists submitted more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories.

"These Mark of Excellence Awards winners are some of the best journalists coming out of colleges today,” says Neil Ralston, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs. “I believe they represent a lot of hope for the future of journalism in America, and SPJ is honored to recognize them for their excellent work."

Fusion placed first for Best Student Magazine in the Region 4 Mark of Excellence competition. Each first place regional winner advanced to the national competition.

Student journalists will be recognized Friday, Aug. 28, at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon, during the 2009 the Society of Professional Journalists Convention and National Journalism Conference in Indianapolis.

For more information on the Society of Professional Journalists, visit www.spj.org.

Fusion magazine can be found online.

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Reminder for Faculty Regarding Final Grading of S1 Summer 2009 Courses

Online final grading of S1 Summer 2009 courses began on July 16 via FlashFAST. The deadline for final grade submission is midnight on Tuesday, July 21.

FlashFAST is accessible from any Internet-capable computer that has the cookies function enabled. To access FlashFAST, login to FlashLine and click on the Faculty and Advisor Tools tab. The link to your grade roster(s) is located in the Faculty and Advisor Toolbox, under the Submit Grades heading.

Grade processing tips and deadlines may be found on the Registrar’s Office Web site. Any faculty member requiring personalized instruction on submitting grades should contact their campus Registrar’s Office during normal business hours for assistance.

Also, as a helpful tip, it is recommended that you clean out your cookie and cache files regularly to help your computer run faster, and to potentially restore and/or improve your access to FlashFAST and/or FlashLine by improving your connection to the server. The Helpdesk is prepared to offer assistance with these issues. Please contact them at 330-672-HELP (4357) for assistance.

For additional information, contact Jeff Gardner, associate registrar, at 330-672-1615 or jgardn11@kent.edu.

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Ashtabula Campus Associate Professor Sees Work Published in Bulgarian
Roger Craik

In addition to teaching, Roger Craik, associate professor of English at Kent State Ashtabula, has a passion for writing poetry. His second to last volume of poetry, Those Years, was recently translated into Bulgarian and published by Altera Press of Sofia, Bulgaria.

Craik first traveled to Bulgaria in the summer of 2005. He was invited to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship, and in spring 2007, he taught at Sofia University in Bulgaria for five months. Craik taught modernism to undergraduates and contemporary British poetry to graduate students.

In March 2009, over spring break, Craik returned to Bulgaria to launch the translated version of Those Years.

Those Years was originally published by the Cleveland-based van Zeno Press. Craik’s first book, I Simply Stared, was published in 2002 and was followed by two other books of poems. However, Craik has been writing poetry since 1992.

Craik has been teaching at the Ashtabula campus for 18 years. He came to Ashtabula after an extensive academic career overseas. Most recently preceding his time with Kent State, he was awarded a Beineke Fellowship in 1990 at Yale.

Craik says he loves teaching at Ashtabula and hopes to continue writing poetry in the future. He has just published a small book of poetry, Drawn from Art, in England, and a chapbook of poems, Of England Still, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

More information about Kent State Ashtabula can be found online.

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Business Launch Training Sessions Offered

Want to start a new buisness? Learn how at the Kent Regional Business Alliance.

The Kent Regional Business Alliance (KRBA) Small Business Development Center will offer monthly workshops for Portage County residents interested in starting their own businesses. The “New Business Start-Up Orientations” training classes began in May and continue to be held on the second Monday and third Wednesday of each month throughout 2009.

The Monday sessions will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and registrants are invited to bring their own lunch. The Wednesday sessions will take place in the evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The training classes are free and open to Portage County residents but pre-registration is required. The classes cover basic elements of starting a business in Ohio including legal forms of ownership, business planning and financing options.

All classes will be held at the College of Business Administration building.

For more information or to register for an upcoming session, call the KRBA Small Business Development Center at 330-672-1275.

 

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