Monthly Archives: March 2020

What about benefits? Coping with stress due to COVID-19

LCC offers an array of benefits to employees, but understanding those benefits can be confusing. Each week, Human Resources hopes to explain the many facets of our LCC benefits. This week: How our free and confidential Employee Assistance Program can help you through this pandemic.

COVID-19 is causing stress, anxiety and fear in lots of people throughout the world. These emotions can be worsened by the social isolation needed to slow the spread of this virus. LCC wants to remind you that you are not alone, and there is help if you or your family members are trying to cope during this time of uncertainty.  
 
Please reach out to our free and confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP), administered by FEI. The EAP can offer professional assistance 24/7 to you and members of your household.
 
FEI has provided some great tips you can implement to support yourself during this situation:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Check out the rest of this article, which offers more information about managing stress and anxiety due to COVID-19, and even has specific tips for parents and responders.

Please contact Mara Fisher at perrym16@lcc.edu with any questions about using the EAP.

A round of Applause! for Ryan Lousma and Rick Enright

This week, we’re applauding the University Center’s Ryan Lousma.

“Ryan was instrumental in the CTE’s temporary move from TLC to the University Center,” Laura Cottrell wrote in the award. “He was very accommodating and welcoming and made the transition extremely smooth and problem-free. We couldn’t have done it without you, Ryan.”

Applause also goes to the Learning Commons’ Rick Enright.

“Thanks to Rick for the commitment and care he has shown helping students succeed in their classes,” the Learning Commons staff wrote in the award.

This regular “Applause!” column features the good work you and your colleagues do around the college. It’s powered by Applause! Awards, an LCC-wide program designed to recognize you for providing excellent customer service. Know someone who deserves to be featured here? All awards are given by employees, to employees, and everyone is eligible.

Scheduled performance reviews can continue remotely

During our period of remote working, performance reviews will generally move forward as scheduled. All required information is available in our Training Management System and required meetings can be held via WebEx.

Faculty teaching online may proceed through the Faculty Performance Review process without interruption. Faculty whose spring semester instructional assignments have been cancelled or suspended should work with their departments/divisional office to determine if the review may require a deadline extension or if it should be scheduled for a future year.

Anyone who believes they require a deadline extension for illness or any other reason should work with their department/divisional office to communicate the request and reason. With supervisor approval, Human Resources can make adjustments to the schedule.

Red Cross requesting blood donations during critical shortage

The American Red Cross is experiencing blood shortages and needs volunteers to donate.  Thousands of blood drives in Michigan and across the country have been canceled due to shelter-in-place orders and other COVID-19 precautions.

Giving blood is considered an essential community service, and therefore is allowed during Michigan’s shelter-in-place order. If you are willing and able to donate, you can schedule an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Appointments are requested to support social distancing.

Many Library resources available remotely

Textbooks 

In response to COVID-19, some publishers are offering free access to online textbooks. Not all textbooks are available, but some may be. Find options on the Library’s Textbooks (Course Reserves) webpage. Check back on this webpage as additional options may be added. 

Returning Library Materials 

Please do not return books or laptops now. There will be no late fees. 

Online Instruction

There are multiple options for online library instruction. The STARS (Students Tackle Academic Research Skills) Tutorial is available. In addition, shorter, interactive tutorials such as How to Find a Topic, Identifying and Evaluating Sources, and Finding an Article in General OneFile are now available on the Faculty Research Guide

Librarians have been working with faculty to create tailored library assignments that teach research skills and incorporate tutorials, videos, and our 24/7 research chat service. You can explore assignment ideas on the Designing Effective Research Assignments guide. We are here to help, so please let us know what your needs are and how we can assist. 

Laptops and Internet Access 

Laptops are still available for check out at Public Safety in the Gannon Building from 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday until they are all checked out. You may call Public Safety in advance at 517-483-1800. They are available on a first come, first serve basis. The Public Safety office is located in the Gannon Building. You will need to enter Public Safety through the “after hours” door, located off the Mall. 

Low-cost options for internet access and information about software is available on our Computers & Software webpage

Streaming Video

Find options for streaming video. You can embed or link to videos in D2L. Kanopy has opened up “Great Courses” for free use through April 12, 2020.

Ask a Librarian – Virtual Research Help 

Ask A Librarian virtual research help is available 24/7. LCC Librarians are available via chat: 

  • Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 
  • Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 
  • Saturday Noon-5 p.m. 
  • Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. 

You can also contact us by email, making an appointment for a phone meeting or calling the Reference Desk at 517-483-1615. Leave a message and an LCC Librarian will call you back. 

Academic Success Coaches ask faculty to fill out Early Alerts for students who need help transitioning online

During this time of transition to online courses, students continue to have the support of their Academic Success Coach. Coaches are available by phone calls, texts and virtual meetings.
 
Faculty, please submit Early Alerts for students who do not successfully transition to online courses or who otherwise show signs of academic or personal distress. This is a trying time for all of us, and our students need as much support as we can give them.
 
Additionally, students can fill out the “Student Needs Survey” located on the Academic Success Coach webpage to receive immediate referrals to essential support services.

Board of Trustees approves emergency preparedness policy and FY 2021 tuition

The Board of Trustees approved edits to the college’s Emergency Preparedness policy during a special meeting held yesterday via WebEx. They approved an addition to the policy that allows the LCC president to take emergency actions to ensure continuity of operations during a college, city, state or national state of emergency. Emergency actions that would ordinarily require Board of Trustees approval can instead by communicated to the chair as soon as practicable. 
 
During the meeting, trustees also approved tuition rates for Fiscal Year 2021. All tuition will increase by 2.8%, bringing in-district tuition to $111, in-state tuition to $222, out-of-state tuition to $333 and international tuition to $389.
 
In addition, trustees approved:

  • Three one-year options to extend the contract with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, to provide internal auditing services that ensure LCC is meeting all government regulations and college policies. The total cost of the three years is $225,000.
  • A five-year extension of the current lease agreement for LCC East. The amount of the lease varies year-to-year, but the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 cost will be $376,530.
  • Agreements with ADN Administrators and Superior Vision Services to provide dental and vision benefits to eligible employees. The agreement period is July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, with three one-year options to extend.
  • A partial replacement of the Gannon Building roof. The one-time purchase order for the project was awarded to Mid-Michigan Roofing, LLC. It will cost $296,485 for all labor, equipment and materials.
  • The Statement of Practice related to COVID-19 sent by email to all employees on March 13.

The Board is next scheduled to meet April 20.

Message from Dr. Brent Knight

LCC is now one week into our transition to fully online learning and working. I know there have been hiccups along the way, and we have all had to pick up new skills quickly.
 
What is amazing to me is that I have not heard too much about trials and difficulties. Instead, people have told me story after story of resilience and success.
 
Employees in our Health and Human Services Division heard about the shortages of medical supplies beginning at Sparrow Hospital, McLaren Hospital and the Lansing Fire Department. They immediately gathered excess supplies our college cannot use this semester and took them to the health care workers and first responders. The division donated more than 60,000 gloves, nearly 8,000 face masks, hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer, and other essential supplies. You are saving lives.
 
Our faculty and students are working hard to ensure they can continue teaching and learning from home. One student from The Early College wrote to his instructor to say he was nervous about the transition to online because it would end hands-on learning. But he was thrilled when he realized his instructor had designed experiments that could be done at home. I am continually proud of the creativity being displayed by our faculty all over this college. You are truly among the best.
 
Staff in Student Finance knew that many students would be laid off from their jobs or unable to continue working due to childcare responsibilities. They immediately designed new payment plan options for students that waive all late fees and delay payments later into the spring. Your resourcefulness in helping students manage their budgets during this time is admirable.
 
Employees in our non-traditional educational areas are also working to help their students adapt. Our Small Business Development Center created a remote triage system to help regional small businesses navigate this crisis, thereby retaining as many employees as possible. Thank you for your dedication to sustaining our local economy.
 
These are just a few examples of the outstanding work happening around this college. I am so proud to be a part of this community, and I ask you to continue working together to bring us through this crisis. Please keep an eye on your email and the college’s coronavirus webpage for important updates. If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to employee.concerns@star.lcc.edu, and encourage your students to use student.concerns@star.lcc.edu
 
Stay home, stay healthy and stay safe. Thank you.

Dr. Brent Knight

What about benefits? 403(b) retirement plan available to all employees

LCC offers an array of benefits to employees, but understanding those benefits can be confusing. Each week, Human Resources hopes to explain the many facets of our LCC benefits.

This notice is to inform you that as an employee of LCC, you are eligible to participate in the college-sponsored 403(b) retirement plan.

Who is eligible?
LCC’s 403(b) Plan allows for all full-time and part-time (non-student) employees to participate in the plan. If you are currently not a contributing member and wish to become one, you must first open an account with one of the college’s approved Investment Service Providers. You may only select an Investment Service Provider that has been approved by LCC.

Who is an approved Investment Service Provider?
Lincoln Financial, Waddell & Reed, and TIAA are all approved providers. Information about the plan and providers can be found on this Tax Sheltered Annuity Program Summary.

How do I make my salary deferral elections?
After opening an account with one of the plan’s approved Investment Service Providers, you will need to complete a Salary Reduction Agreement. You may obtain this form on the HR Benefits website at Tax Sheltered Annuity Program Summary. By completing the salary reduction agreement, you are confirming you have established the necessary accounts with your selected Investment Service Provider(s) to participate in the plan. Your salary reduction agreement also confirms the proper amount of deferral you intend to have withheld from each paycheck.   

The Salary Reduction Agreement form can be faxed to the Payroll Department at 517-483-1844, or mailed to the following address:
Lansing Community College
Payroll Department, WCP254
309 N Washington Sq, Ste 203
Lansing, MI  48933

How much can I contribute?
You may contribute up to $19,500 to your 403(b) account in 2020 through salary deferrals. Additional amounts may be deferred based on your age, years of service or other factors. Please consult with your selected Investment Service Provider for more information regarding contribution limits.

Questions?
If you have any questions, please contact the Human Resources Office at 517-483-1870 or Payroll Department at 517-483-1799.