HR News

Good Health Habits Can Stop the Spread of Germs

Photo: washing hands under running waterAt this time of year, it is more important than ever to continue good practices to help prevent the spread of contagious illnesses, such as the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a list of good habits to protect yourself from the flu and other illnesses, including the following:

  • Get a flu shot! Proper vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Faculty and staff can receive the vaccination at the Barnes Center at the Arch pharmacy until Feb. 28.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often to help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated. Because of this, please avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

“The most common symptoms associated with flu are congestion, fever, headache, fatigue, sore throat, and body aches and chills. If you begin experiencing these symptoms, rest, fluids and fever-reducing medication will help manage the symptoms. While most flu illnesses resolve on their own, if you’re experiencing severe illness or have concerns, seek care promptly,” says Dr. Karen Nardella.

Faculty and staff who experience flu-like symptoms should consult their primary care physician.

Thrive! Well-Being Series Continues with New Sessions Each Month

The Thrive! well-being series for faculty and staff focuses on breaking down the science of well-being and the key elements known to increase happiness, combat overwhelm and move us from simply surviving to thriving!

Upcoming Thrive! sessions—led by facilitator Jaime Weisberg, founder of Northbound Coaching & Consulting—include “Change your Habits, Change your Life” (Feb. 25 and 27) and “Other People Matter: Strengthening the Foundation of Happiness” (March 24 and 26).

More information on all spring semester workshop topics and registration links can be found on the Wellness Initiative website.

Next Round of Crucial Conversations Training Offered to Supervisors and Staff Beginning Feb. 6

Crucial conversations take place every day in our work. They occur when there are differences of opinion, high stakes and strong emotion. Examples include discussions that center on performance, work quality, time management, productivity, customer satisfaction, conflicted or strained relationships, unhealthy team dynamics and competing priorities—just to name a few!

Dialogue is a tested cure for communication problems. By learning how to speak and be heard (and supporting others in the same), individuals can begin to uncover the best ideas, make high-quality decisions and act on those decisions with unity. That’s where the Crucial Conversations program comes in.

Crucial Conversations teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement between parties by committing to open, honest and respectful dialogue. Supervisors and staff are invited to sign up to attend the upcoming eight-week session on Thursday afternoons beginning Feb. 6.

Please note: Advance registration and departmental approval* is required.

Thursdays, Feb. 6-March 26, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Milton Room, Whitman School of Management Building, 4th Floor

Visit the program page to learn more or the registration link to sign up. Space is limited to 24 participants, so don’t delay! Skills learned each week build upon prior lessons, so it’s critical that you can attend all eight weeks. Lessons will include how to:

  • Spot when conversations become crucial
  • Hold the right conversations
  • Avoid repeatedly having the same conversation
  • Understand your style under stress
  • Recognize and diffuse “violence and silence”
  • Clearly identify and express what you really mean
  • Separate facts from stories and emotions
  • Make it safe for others to speak up
  • Make clear decisions and commitments

Here’s what past participants are saying about their Crucial Conversations experience:

  • “These skills will be very helpful in my professional role and supervising staff. They’ll give me a sense of confidence and the ability to keep calm and redirect conversations that are difficult.”
  • “The Crucial Conversations curriculum is thought-provoking and teaches you real-life skills you can use on a day-to-day basis. I’ve already noticed my communication skills adapting based on what I’ve learned!”
  • “The class was very interactive, which helped the concepts stick. We watched videos and then discussed what we saw and how they could improve. Pam was a fantastic leader—she clearly has a great understanding of the material and helped make the class more interesting and fun.”

*There is a $350 cost per participant to cover program materials. This fee will be charged back to your budget center, so approval from your supervisor and budget manager is required.

2019-20 Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days Operating Schedule

The University will be operating under its Orange Appreciation Days format for the Winter Break period from 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, through Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

During the Holiday/Orange Appreciation Days period:

  • All academic and administrative buildings will be locked or closed.
  • Building temperatures will be lowered to 60 degrees, unless prior arrangements have been made.

Requests for Building Access:

If you require your building to be open over the Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days period, please submit a request to your building coordinator, noting the specific dates and times. Requests should be made by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. (Note that faculty and staff will be able to access all buildings, as usual, by swiping their SU I.D. cards, even when the buildings are locked.)

Requests for Adjustments to Temperature and Lighting:

Deans, directors and department heads may submit a detailed request for adjustments to temperature and lighting during the Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days period. Please review the University’s temperature guidelines. We ask that requests be made using the online form by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Requests will be reviewed and approved by either the vice president and chief facilities officer or the provost.

Important: Buildings Not Included in Winter Break Reduced Occupancy Schedule

The following buildings will be excluded from the temperature setback, and will remain on normal access, temperature and lighting settings:

  • Heroy Geology Laboratory
  • Bowne Hall–fourth floor
  • Lyman Hall–fourth floor
  • Sims Hall–Department of Public Safety
  • Center for Science and Technology
  • Bird Library—operating hours are listed on the library website
  • Life Sciences Complex
  • Link Hall
  • Physics Building
  • Ensley Athletic Center
  • South Campus Library Facility
  • Manley Field House
  • Carmelo Anthony Center
  • Tennity Ice Rink
  • Crouse-Hinds Hall
  • Skytop Office Building

Additional information regarding Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days services and resources may be found at:

Questions about building occupancy can be directed to the Department of Energy Systems and Sustainability Management, 315.443.1535 or

Faculty and Staff Discount Tickets Available for Dec. 21, 28 and Jan. 4 Men’s Basketball Games and Jan. 2 and Feb. 20 Women’s Basketball Games

In support of the great work of the University’s faculty and staff, the Office of Human Resources is partnering with Syracuse University Athletics to offer employee appreciation discount tickets to three upcoming men’s basketball games and two women’s basketball games.

Men’s Basketball

  • Saturday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. vs. North Florida, $10/ticket
  • Saturday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. vs. Niagara, $10/ticket
  • Saturday, Jan. 4, at 4 p.m. vs. Notre Dame, $40/ticket (lower level) or $20/ticket (upper level)

Women’s Basketball

  • Thursday, Jan. 2, at 8 p.m. vs. Florida State, $2/ticket
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. vs. Clemson, $2/ticket


Faculty and staff are invited to purchase up to eight tickets for each game at the identified price with their SU I.D.

Tickets for the men’s games may be purchased online, in person at the Dome Box Office in the Ensley Athletic Center, or over the phone by calling 315.443.2121 (option 2).

Tickets for the women’s games may be purchased by calling Bria McLaurin, senior account executive, at 315.443.2434.


A University parking permit will be honored for free game day parking at the University Avenue Garage, Booth Garage and Manley Field House North parking lot. For employees who do not already have a University parking permit, a limited number of parking passes for the Manley Field House North lot will be available for the men’s basketball games. They may be picked up at the Office of Human Resources in the Skytop Office Building on South Campus, with an SU I.D. and proof of ticket for the game, on Dec. 18 or 19.

Parking is free in the lots west of the Carrier Dome for the women’s basketball games.

Dec. 21 Game Giveaway

The first 50 faculty and staff to stop by the faculty and staff appreciation table (backcourt) with their SU I.D. before the Dec. 21 game starts will receive a free hat!

Share Your Orange Spirit

Faculty and staff are encouraged to share game day photos on social media for a chance to appear on the Dome videoboard using #CuseGameDay.


Call HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or email For questions about basketball tickets, call the Dome Box Office at 315.443.2121.

HR Guidance for Supervisors and Staff

We greatly appreciate the ongoing hard work and dedication of both our faculty and staff to support our students during the most recent events. It is through your work everyday that we support our student’s health, safety and education needs.

In light of events on campus, I have received questions about how staff and supervisors should handle requests regarding accommodations for staff who are concerned about their safety on campus.

After talking with their managers or unit leadership, staff who have questions or concerns related to attendance and staff safety should contact the HR Shared Services Center at 315.443.4042 or

We recognize the impact these events can have on our faculty and staff, particularly those from underrepresented communities. There are many resources available to support campus community members, including:

  • For faculty and staff, assistance is available through Carebridge, the University’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Trained clinicians are available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 800.437.0911.
  • For additional support and services, the campus community may contact Hendricks Chapel at 315.443.2901.

Thank you again.

Andrew R. Gordon
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Open Enrollment Ends Today—Reflect. Connect. Enroll.

Each year, Open Enrollment provides eligible faculty and staff with the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on how you can make the most of your benefits through the University
  • Connect with benefit professionals to get your personal questions answered
  • Enroll and make decisions that best meet your needs

Review your benefits on and ensure that your choices are in place for Jan. 1, 2020. Remember, this is the one time of year when you may elect or change your coverage for many benefits, unless you experience a qualifying life event.

Various news items, FAQs and additional information are available on the Open Enrollment website to help answer your questions.

Computer kiosks are available inside the Office of Human Resources, Skytop Office Building, 640 Skytop Road, during normal business hours to provide additional computer access for online enrollment. For other locations, review the ITS website.

If you have any questions about Open Enrollment or benefits, please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.

Open Enrollment Resources and Office Hours Continue Through Nov. 15

Open Enrollment, the annual period when University employees make their benefit choices for the coming year, continues through Friday, Nov. 15. This is the one time of year when you may elect or change your coverage for many benefits, unless you experience a qualifying life event.

In addition the general information available on this website, there are a variety of resources to assist employees during Open Enrollment:

Eligible employees must complete their enrollment by Nov. 15 by logging into Computer kiosks are available inside the Office of Human Resources, Skytop Office Building, 640 Skytop Road, during normal business hours to provide additional computer access for online enrollment. For other locations, review the ITS website.

If you have any questions about Open Enrollment or benefits, please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.

Preparing for Winter Weather: What to Know

As Central New York begins to see the first signs of winter, with cooler temperatures and fluttering snow, it is important for members of the campus community to be aware of how decisions are made and communicated in the instance of a change in the University’s operating status due to inclement weather.

The University is actively monitoring the snow forecast for the next 24 hours and does not anticipate any change in schedules.

Though the University will, in general, remain open for business despite adverse weather conditions, the safety and well-being of campus community members is always a priority when determining the institution’s operating status.

The University works with an independent weather service, Precision Weather Service, to help inform decisions about weather delays, closings or work-schedule changes. Input is also provided by the divisions of Campus Safety and Emergency Services and Campus Facilities, Administration and Services.

In the event of extreme weather and if a change in the University’s operating status becomes necessary, it will be announced via the University’s emergency broadcast notification system and will carry the notice SU WEATHER ALERT. Please be sure your Orange Alert settings are always up to date in MySlice.

SU WEATHER ALERT information will be announced via the following communications methods:

Only Syracuse University’s internal communications and media relations teams are authorized to transmit to the news media and the campus community announcements about closings, work-schedule changes or class-start delays.

Although Syracuse University rarely closes for inclement weather, campus community members should be aware and take precautions when severe weather is in the area. If employees encounter weather conditions that could affect their safety when traveling to/from the University, they should use their judgment as it relates to their travel. Faculty and staff concerned about their safety should contact their department chair or supervisor, respectively.

For information on winter weather preparedness, visit the Department of Public Safety website.