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A Monthly HR Publication

Designed for all benefits-eligible employees on all campuses.



  • January

    January Newsletter

    This is an archived newsletter.  Some links within the newsletter are no longer active.  See below to learn more about each article:


    Are your beneficiaries up-to-date?

    If you have recently had a major life event, (marriage, divorce, birth or adoption), please review and update your beneficiary information. If you are unsure of your current beneficiary, you may stop by OSU Benefits, 106J Whitehurst, with your OSU ID or another form of identification, as this information cannot be provided over the telephone.


    Employees should ensure they have beneficiary forms on file for the following:

    1. Basic and/or Supplemental Life Insurance:  Eligible employees, working 30 hours per week (.75 FTE) or above, are provided Basic Life insurance, paid by OSU, of two times your annual salary up to $200,000. Employees may also be enrolled in Voluntary Life Insurance.  You can submit a new beneficiary form by completing this form.  


    2. ​TIAA and/or Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System

      1. TIAA –login to your TIAA account at to view and make beneficiary changes, or complete and submit this TIAA Beneficiary Form.

      2. OTRS Beneficiary Form


    Outstanding Wages

    OSU employees have the option of designating a beneficiary to receive their final paycheck in the event of death while employed with OSU.  If you wish to name a beneficiary, you must complete an Outstanding Wages Beneficiary Designation Form, and submit to Human Resources, 106J Whitehurst.  


    If you choose not to name a beneficiary, the OSU Payroll Office will issue the final paycheck, including any pay for unused annual leave, in accordance with Title 40, O.S., Section 165.3a, Payment of Wages to Surviving Spouse and Children. If your final check is processed without the naming of a beneficiary, your surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, your dependent children, or their guardians or the conservators of their estates, will receive in equal shares a total up to the maximum $3,000 allowed by law. Any remaining payment would go into the estate and go through probate. Access to the funds processed to an estate may be delayed due to the probate process.


    Should you desire to change your beneficiary at some point in the future, please complete and submit another Outstanding Wages Beneficiary Designation Form to Human Resources.


    MD Live Virtual Visits

    Virtual visits through MDLive allow you to speak with board-certified providers with an average of fifteen years of experience over the phone, through online video or mobile app.  You can utilize the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Private, secure and confidential appointments and prescriptions will be sent to your pharmacy of choice.  Average wait time for a virtual visit is 20 minutes.  


    For those enrolled in BlueOptions, PPO, your co-pay will be $10.  If you are enrolled in the BlueEdge, High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), your co-pay will be the full cost of the visit, $44, until your deductible is met.


    When to use MDLive:  


    Non-Emergency Medical Conditions (examples)






     Sore throat


     Cold and flu


    Behavioral Health (examples)

     Depression and anxiety

     Marital problems

     Child behavior and learning issues

     Coping with loss and grief

     Stresses and challenges of everyday life


    Call BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma MDLive at 1-888-970-4081 and "Sophie" will walk you through the registration process! 


    Benefit Value Advisor

    All OSU/A&M Medical plan participants have access to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) Benefits Value Advisor (BVA), to help you maximize your benefit plan. Through the BVA program, when you are in need of healthcare services, you will have the opportunity to speak with a specially-trained advisor about your options for receiving care. These advisors will help you and your covered family members better understand how your benefits work, provide you with a cost estimate for specific health care services or procedures, assist you with pre-certification of your benefits, and even schedule appointments with your selected provider for your upcoming services or procedure.How can a Benefits Value Advisor save you $100 and lower costs to the OSU/A&M Medical Plan?The OSU/A&M Medical Plan includes a $100 surcharge for MRI and CT scans (for non-emergencies). You can save the $100 surcharge for MRIs and CT scans by speaking with a Benefits Value Advisor before getting an MRI or CT scan to learn about your benefits, review the difference in estimated costs of several different in-network providers. If you choose to have the BVA customer service representative do so, they can schedule your appointment for you. You will save money, and by selecting a provider who delivers the same treatment at a lower cost, you will be doing your part to save the OSU/A&M Medical plan money.  Saving the plan money will help keep the OSU/A&M plan financially healthy which keeps your cost-sharing (premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) as low as possible going forward.How much do costs really vary for the same procedure?Here is one example:*

    BRAIN MRI  Stillwater Med Ctr Cushing Edmond OKC
    COST $1,150 $898 $750 $455

    In addition to MRI and CT scans, what other services should I call BVA about?BVA Customer Service representatives are available during regular BCBSOK customer service hours to help you and your family members plan for health care services such as:

    • CAT or CT scans
    • MRIs
    • Endoscopy procedures
    • Colonoscopy procedures
    • Back or spinal surgery  
    • Knee surgery 
    • Shoulder surgery
    • Hip replacement or joint replacement surgery

    Please remember, if you do not call and speak to a Benefits Value Advisor prior to a non-emergency MRI or CT Scan, you will incur the $100 surcharge.Member Rewards Program!Call BVA for any procedure you plan to have and see if you qualify for a Member Reward.  Member Rewards are possible for those participants that shop through BVA for lower costs facilities.  For example, in the illustration above on Brain MRIs, if you call BVA and choose the lowest cost facility, you may qualify for $150!  Member Rewards are determined by the facility you choose.  Member Rewards vary from $0 - $500. Member Rewards are checks mailed directly to the home address of the insured.How can I talk to a Benefits Value Advisor?It’s easy! Just call the Customer Service number on the back of your BCBSOK ID card and ask to speak to a Benefits Value Advisor or BVA*Rate estimates provided by BCBSOK


    Department of Wellness Faculty and Staff Free Spouse Membership

    Faculty & Staff Spouse Memberships

    • Spouses of Faculty and Staff at OSU Stillwater, OSU Tulsa, and NOC Gateway may have an automatic "free" membership to the Department of Wellness as part of their benefit package. OSU pays for your membership.

    • For a spouse to qualify for the benefit of a "free" membership, employee must have an active, full-time (> 0.75FTE),  continuous employment status. This includes:

      • Employment Action (EA) form must be completed, approved, and posted to HRS.

      • Current date must fall between your assignment's start date and end.

      • FTE of all active assignments should be 0.75 or greater.

      • Job Code (as determined by a single letter in HRS) should reflect a permanent, continuous employment. Your job code should be either an A, B, E, G, I, J, P, Q, and R.

    • If employee's full-time university appointment ends, membership privileges are lost. You would be eligible to purchase a community membership.

    • Spouses of faculty and staff that do not meet the qualifications of 'free" benefit membership are eligible to purchase an affiliate membership.

    To obtain a membership please visit the Colvin Business office or Seretean Wellness Center, 405.744.9355.


    Meet One-on-One with a TIAA Financial Representative

    Need Financial Planning and Retirement Advice? TIAA representatives are available for financial planning and retirement advice to meet one-on-one with employees:

    • Stillwater Campus

      • January 16

      • February 11, 27

      • March 5, 11, 19, 26

    Appointments fill up fast! To make an appointment, schedule online at or call TIAA at 1-800-732-8353.

  • February

    February Newsletter

    This is an archived newsletter.  Some links within the newsletter are no longer active.  See below to learn more about each article:


    Appointments Are Still Available for Catapult Health Screenings

    Catapult conducts free, confidential health screenings on campus for benefits-eligible employees and their covered spouses enrolled in one of the OSU BCBS health plans. The screening will consist of a diagnostic blood test, measured biometrics, a printed personal health report and a consultation with a nurse practitioner. 

    Employees who complete a Catapult Health Screening will receive a $20 credit toward their premiums each month!  (Premium credit becomes effective the first of the following month after your screening.) For screenings completed on or after July 1, 2019, premium credit incentive will apply to 2019 and 2020 plan year premiums.  Schedule a Catapult Screening


    Complete an OSU Degree Online – 50% Stillwater Employee Tuition Waiver

    OSU Online provides flexible and convenient online college credit courses for today’s busy student. Start or finish an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or earn a graduate certificate. OSU Online brings OSU’s tradition of excellence to students online anytime anywhere. 


    Dependent Care Accounts

    The Dependent Daycare Flexible Spending Account (DCA) allows you to use tax-free dollars to pay for the care of children up to their 13th birthday and other dependents who are unable to care for themselves as defined by the IRS.


    These expenses must occur while you and your spouse are at work, looking for work or attending classes as a full-time student.


    The money you choose to put into your Dependent Daycare account is taken from your paychecks throughout Oklahoma State University’s defined plan year and added to your balance. The plan works like a checking account in that you can only spend up to the amount you have in your account at the time.


    DCA’s are not used for medical expenses for your dependents.  If you enrolled in a DCA for that purpose, please contact OSU Benefits at 405.744.5449 or


    OSU Received an Excellence Rating as a Certified Healthy Business

    Oklahoma State University has met the criteria to become a Certified Healthy Business. Certified Healthy Business recognizes business sites that make a positive impact on the health of employees and patrons. Your contribution in creating a healthy environment is important to the future of Oklahoma!


    For information about Certified Healthy Oklahoma, click here.


    OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements


    Recordkeeping Requirements: Employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. Minor injuries requiring first aid only do not need to be recorded.

    This information helps employers, workers and OSHA evaluate the safety of a workplace, understand industry hazards, and implement worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards -preventing future workplace injuries and illnesses.


    Maintaining and Posting Records: The records must be maintained at the worksite for at least five years. Each February through April, employers must post a summary of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. Also, if requested, copies of the records must be provided to current and former employees, or their representatives.


    Energy Leadership Award at OSU

    WE LOVE WHAT YOU DO! We can’t let February go by without recognizing the contributions of those who have earned the Energy Leadership Award at OSU.


    The EL awardees have demonstrated their love for OSU by working to reduce their energy consumption in the workplace and serving as leaders on campus. If you would like to know how your department or organization can earn the coveted Energy Leadership Award, please visit the Energy Leadership web page and download an application today!


    Healthy Lifestyles: Changing the Way You Think About Diet and Exercise

    Register here

    It seems that every week a new study is published on the best way to control weight and increase fitness through changes in diet and exercise. It can be tough staying on top of the latest recommendations, especially when the studies sometimes seem to contradict one another! This workshop provides an overview of safe and effective strategies to improve overall fitness through manageable changes in diet and exercise. Of course, before beginning any changes in diet and exercise, it is best to first consult with your doctor.


    Meet with a TIAA Representative on the Stillwater Campus

    Need financial planning and retirement advice? TIAA representatives are on the Stillwater campus for financial planning and retirement advice to meet one-on-one with employees.  


    TIAA Events and Meetings

  • Special Edition

    Special Edition Newsletter

    This is an archived newsletter.  Some links within the newsletter are no longer active.  See below to learn more about each article:


    Student Pay

    OSU will continue to provide hours of work for students who are willing and able to work in positions that meet the needs of social distancing requirements. To support those who are unable to work during this time, the university will provide administrative pay through the end of the semester (5/2/2020).  Please contact your supervisor for assistance or contact OSU Human Resources at 405.744.2909 for assistance in locating work on campus during this semester.

    • If students are not able to work, or are not able to work their anticipated regular schedule, pay will be provided up to their regular schedule for the pay period, or up to the average pay earned by the student employee for the Spring semester, whichever is greater.  This information has been provided to the appropriate college/division fiscal officer for review. Some exceptions may apply. Please consult with your Human Resources Consultant.
    • For federal work-study students, pay will be provided up to their regularly scheduled hours for each pay period in accordance with work-study guidelines.
    • The employee will not enter administrative leave hours.  Banner entry for administrative pay will be made by the supervisor and/or SUPERUSER on the biweekly timesheet for each student employee. Click here for instructions.
    • Administrative pay will be secondary to time credited under the FFCRA beginning April 1.
    • Student positions will end on or before 5/2/20.  If the student wishes to file for unemployment in their home state, a resignation will be needed to terminate the appointment on the Banner system prior to 5/2/20.

    If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor or your Human Resources Consultant.


    Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

    Congress enacted the Families First Response Act (FFCRA) which allows for paid leave for employees who are unable to work or telework due to the various circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Beginning April 1, 2020, all employees (faculty, regular employees, student employees, temporary employees, work-study employees, GRAs and GTAs) regardless of length of employment with the university, are eligible for paid leave. 


    Current page needs to be re-created in Omni:


    Telecommuting Resources

    OSU wants you to be successful by providing technology resources, services and necessary equipment to enable you to be successful in accomplishing your job.  Current page needs to be re-created in Omni: Read More 


    2020 Fostering and Promoting a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion at OSU

    As one of the premier land-grant institutions in the nation, OSU embeds within its pursuit of excellence a significant and sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a recognized national leader and a role model, we seek to identify opportunities that enrich our overall commitment to advancing a culture of inclusion at OSU. 2020 Fostering and Promoting a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion at OSU encourages every member of the OSU family to broaden our knowledge and engage in meaningful actions, behaviors and conversations that reflect a commitment to recognizing, understanding and respecting the differences among students, faculty, staff, and visitors throughout the OSU system.  

    Access the course:


    Take a Relaxation Break

    Research shows that simple tools such as deep breathing and visualization can help us relax and gain control of our stress, making us feel happier and perform better. That’s why we have created this Relaxation Break, which provides a hands-on way to learn simple relaxation techniques.


  • May

    May Newsletter

    This is an archived newsletter.  Some links within the newsletter are no longer active.  See below to learn more about each article:


    COVID-19 Webinar Series

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents a range of challenges and stressors in our personal and professional lives. ComPsych trainers have designed a series of webinars to offer guidance and best practices to help you navigate the unique situations that many people will encounter over the coming weeks.

    Click on the title of the webinar to register. 


    Wellness Resources at OSU

    Looking for ways to stay happy and healthy while social distancing? OSU has many resources to help keep you on track throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, mental health, nutrition and physical activity are incredibly important. Read More 


    Fraudulent Unemployment Claims During COVID-19

    The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) has experienced a significant spike in fictitious unemployment claims due to COVID-19.   Fraudsters are taking advantage of many state unemployment systems, including Oklahoma, that due to the COVID-19 crisis, have waived a mandatory one-week waiting period before benefits can be claimed. 


    If you receive a Wage Review for Monetary Determination for Unemployment Benefits or are mailed a benefits debit card from the OESC and did not file for unemployment benefits, please contact your Human Resources (HR) Consultant.  Your HR Consultant will work with you on notifying the OESC of a fraudulent claim along with providing information on filing a police report and contacting the credit bureaus. 


    Human Resources is reviewing every unemployment claim received from the OESC.  If there are concerns the claim is fraudulent, the HR Consultant will make contact with the employee to confirm if the employee did in fact file for unemployment.  If the employee indicates they did not file for unemployment, the HR Consultant will work with the employee to take the necessary steps in reporting the fraudulent claim. 


    Unemployment insurance is a temporary income intended for individuals who have experienced a loss of work due to no fault of their own when suitable work is not available.  It is an insurance paid by employers. 


    Please visit for information related to unemployment. 


    The Oklahoman published an article related to fraudulent unemployment claims related to COVID-19.


    Cybersecurity for Remote Workers

    Due to an unprecedented amount of people currently telecommuting for the first time, we are seeing a tremendous spike in cyber threats worldwide. With this rapid increase in remote working in mind, European cybersecurity agency ENISA has set out a series of recommendations for companies moving to teleworking as a result of COVID-19. ENISA said it had already seen an increase in coronavirus-related phishing attacks. The agency recommends, as far as possible, that workers try to not mix work and leisure activities on the same device and be particularly careful with any mails referencing the coronavirus or economic stimulus. "Attackers are exploiting the situation, so look out for phishing emails and scams," ENISA said.


    There are some things that we need to remember to safeguard ourselves, the university and all of our partners.

    • Beware of emails asking you to check or renew passwords or login credentials, even if they seem to come from a trusted source. If you receive an email from Tech Support, The Helpdesk, OSU IT, social media, an email provider, the IRS, or your bank. DO NOT click any links. They WILL NOT send you a link to reset your password or verify your credentials. If you receive an email like this from anyone, verify it through other means such as a phone call. You can always go directly to the site using a browser. When you attempt to login, that site will notify you of any problems should they exist.

    • If you receive an unexpected attachment from a coworker or your supervisor, verify that they actually sent it before you open it. A common way to infect machines and networks it to send a specially crafted attachment like an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF that will compromise your computer and or network. If they were not the sender, forward the email to

    • Many people have to share computers with family members who are also at home, log out of any work activity and close your browser every time you are not using the computer and lock your computer any time you leave it. (The Windows Key and L on the keyboard does this instantly.

    • Enable 2 factor authentication everywhere you can. All major social media networks and email providers have that option. Please access instructions for deploying multi-factor authentication at the website. If you experience issues, please contact the IT Help Desk at or 405-744-HELP.

    • Only access work related functions or information on computer or devices that are university property or that you personally own. Never, never conduct any university business at a public computer or kiosk e.g., email, time-clock, Banner, O-Key etc. They can be infected with malware or key-loggers that can steal your credentials.

    If, at any time, you think you may have been compromised, immediately notify Time is critical in the event of any security incident. 


    Online Learning Opportunities

    OSU’s Talent Development office has created online training playlists for employees participating in any of our certificate training programs. A playlist is a curated collection of courses specifically geared toward a particular topic or audience. Each certificate program’s playlist contains courses specific to that program’s content.

  • June

    June Newsletter

    This is an archived newsletter.  Some links within the newsletter are no longer active.  See below to learn more about each article:


    Documentation Required for FFCRA Leave Effective June 1, 2020

    Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on April 1, 2020, which allows for paid leave for employees who are unable to work or telework due to various circumstances surrounding COVID-19 through December 31, 2020. FFCRA Information.

    Effective June 1, all employees who need to use FFCRA leave will submit appropriate documentation to substantiate the use of this type of leave. A request can be made to for the appropriate paperwork. Our team will process these requests and filter information out to employees and departments as appropriate upon approval. If you exhausted all of your FFCRA leave prior to June 1, you will not need to complete a form for the leave previously taken.

    If you need an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to COVID-19, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at 405.744.7607 or A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done.


    Employee Dependent Tuition Waiver Forms – Due Aug. 14 2020

    Dependent children of OSU employees are eligible to receive a 100% undergraduate student resident tuition waiver for OSU-Stillwater and OSU-Tulsa courses. This benefit applies to employees of OSU-Stillwater, OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences and includes OSU Cooperative Extension and OSU Experiment Station employees. Read More


    Use of Administrative Leave

    As OSU continues its phased in reopening of campus, each department or division has determined business essential positions that require employees to report to work on campus. The phases were established to enable a safe and thoughtful approach to the increased campus operations over the summer as we prepare for the return of students in the fall. Departments will continue to have the flexibility to make adjustments based on specific departmental and position needs.

    In the event of temporary suspension of services within a department or division, impacted staff may be asked to work in another area within the university.  Staff must be prepared to do work that may be different than that for which they were originally hired, in some cases. If work is available and you are asked to support that department or division while work is not otherwise available in your regular position, admin leave will no longer be available for use. 

    If you are unable to work due to outside obligations or planned absences, then you should utilize annual leave. If you are in a highly vulnerable category (age 65 or older or have a serious health condition), caring for a highly vulnerable person, or childcare disruptions due to COVID-19, please contact your HR Consultant or your supervisor to discuss.

    If you need an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to COVID-19, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at 405.744.7607 or A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done.

    Individuals hired by Oklahoma State University are employees of the university. OSU reserves the right to assign or reassign any employee to any approved position for which the employee is qualified and which is deemed to be in the best interest of the University.


    Manage Your Benefits Throughout the Year with Benefitfocus

    You can use your mobile device or Self-Service Banner to manage your benefits throughout the year. Read More


    Schedule a Virtual Appointment with a TIAA Representative

    You may be wondering what impact the recent market activity has had on your retirement plan or perhaps it is time for a little budgeting advice or getting serious about building up that rainy day fund. Make an appointment for a virtual counseling session with a TIAA representative.

    TIAA Events and Meetings

  • July

    July Newsletter

    This is an archived newsletter.  Some links within the newsletter are no longer active.  See below to learn more about each article:


    Employee Dependent Tuition Waiver Forms – Due Aug. 14, 2020

    Dependent children of OSU employees are eligible to receive a 100% undergraduate student resident tuition waiver for OSU-Stillwater and OSU-Tulsa courses. This benefit applies to employees of OSU-Stillwater, OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences and includes OSU Cooperative Extension and OSU Experiment Station employees. Read More


    Safe and Sound Week, Aug. 10-16

    Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is asking for submissions on the topic "Find and Fix Hazards." A submission will be highlighted each week during the campaign. All entries shall be mailed to by August 6. We need a simple write-up of what was found and how it was fixed and a picture, More information on Safe and Sound can be found here.

    Find & Fix Hazards: At the core of every effective safety and health program is a systematic process for identifying and controlling (i.e., finding and fixing) workplace hazards.

    Why Is It Important?

    Traditional approaches to finding and fixing workplace hazards are often reactive. Actions are taken only after a worker is injured or becomes sick, a new standard or regulation is published, or an outside inspection finds a problem that must be fixed. Finding and fixing hazards using a proactive approach, before they cause injury or illness, is far more effective. Workplaces are always evolving as new technologies, processes, materials, and workers are introduced. By adopting a systematic approach, businesses can stay on top of emerging hazards that could lead to injury or illness.


    A systematic find and fix approach means:

    • Involving workers, who often have the best understanding of the conditions that create hazards and insights into how they can be controlled.

    • Reviewing all available information about hazards that might be present.

    • Conducting inspections to identify new or emerging hazards.

    • Investigating incidents to identify root causes and potential solutions.

    • Evaluating options using the "hierarchy of controls."

    • Considering how to protect workers during emergencies and non-routine activities.

    • Checking that existing controls are intact and remain effective.


    Free Webinar – When Mom and Dad Move in with You, 1 p.m. July 31

    Register here.

    You hear a lot about parents taking in adult children who are out of work. What’s much less noticed is a new trend— adult children taking in parents who are finding it financially hard to make it on their own. In 2008, a little over 4 million parents were living with an adult child. By the end of 2011 the number had risen to 4.6 million—a 15 percent increase.

    Friday, July 31, 2020 - 13:00



  • August
  • September





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