College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

CHSS Finance and HR Newsletter ; July 23, 2014



Its that time again, the summer heat and humidity is here and so is our newsletter.

Read to the end for a tip for staying cool!





  • Budget Tracking System( BTS) is open for input of the GTA,GRA,GL and adjunct( Part- time) assignments.
  • Thursday, July 31st at Noon-Set up hires that are new to Mason with a SPAIDEN record in Banner (i.e. not a student, no prior work history). In addition, enter an EZ-EPAF in BTS for an affiliate placeholder. If you have problems or questions, please contact Shirley Steppe.
  • Friday , August 1st at Noon-GTA/GRA/GL contracts are due to the Dean's Office. The database will lock once these dates/times pass and you will no longer be able to input data in BTS for upload.
  • Monday, August 4th at Noon-Adjunct contracts are due to the Dean's Office. The database will lock once these dates/times pass and you will no longer be able to input data in BTS for upload. After receipt and review of contracts, the file containing the assignments you have entered into BTS will be sent to HR on August 13th for both GTA/GRA/GL and Adjuncts.
  •  New Adjunct Orientation for Fall- Saturday, August 16, 2014, 9:30am-12:30 pm. Research Hall, Rm 163. Parking is available in Shenandoah Parking Deck, breakfast & refreshments provided. CHSS will email the department admins with  information to provide to your New adjuncts.

  •  Save the date: CHSS Finance and HR Fall Info Session will be held Tuesday, Sept. 23,2014. Lunch will follow the presentation. Please mark  your calendars and watch for an invitation in your e-mail in the near future.




New requirements from OSP

 The following scenarios will require that a guarantee org. is provided in the Notes section of the EZ-EPAF (they will be included in the Comments section of the EPAF submitted):

  • Begin and/or end date of the grant/fund is outside the Period of Performance for the grant. (e.g. fund start date is 07/01/14 and start date of the position is 6/25/14)
  • Insufficient funds on the fund to be charged.  
  • If there are insufficient funds in the Labor Budget line for that fund; provide which budget line item this will be re-budgeted from.
  • If for any reason the fund number indicated by the position number does not match the fund /org. indicated for the timesheet. Please include an explanation in the Notes section of the BTS EZ-EPAF that can be included with the EPAF.

 Reminders- Before submitting a EZ-EPAF

  • New hires to Mason must have a SPAIDEN record completed in Banner prior to accessing or completing their I-9 form, visiting the HR office for ID’s or being assigned as instructor of record for a class.
  • Please be sure to verify that the student is active and carrying enough credits prior to hiring under a student wage assignment.
  • Verify that the position you are requesting has been set-up on the org. or fund paying for the labor.  If not, contact either OSP ( funds) or ( orgs) and request the needed position. Be sure to also request that the base date of the position is before the start date of the employment.
  • Affordable Care Act and its impact on WAGE employees. As you know from previous communications from HR, Mason is required to limit wage employee hours to an average of 29 hours per week and no more than 1500 hours per year for all jobs at Mason. The wage year ( standard measurement period) will run from May 1 to April 30. Each year on May 1, wage employees’ hours will reset to zero. These limits are for student and non-student wage employees. Time sheet approvers should now be able to verify total hours worked by accessing the employee’s leave balance screen. HR now includes an entry for ACA total hours worked on campus.




Effective July 1,2014 Travel Authorizations for domestic or international travel no longer require Senior Approving official signature. All overnight travel that exceeds $500.00 or travel that includes lodging costs over the basic rates must be approved in writing in advance by the traveler’s first line supervisor and a fiscal office with signature authority for the fund/organization being charged if the traveler or his/her supervisor does not have signature authority for that org. /fund.


CHSS will still require Senior Level approval for the following:

  • Department chairs and center directors
  • All travel either domestic or international that will post to Dean’s Orgs. or the Start-up account.




Tuition support for graduate assistants submitted through Workflow cannot be approved by OSP unless there is a corresponding position in Banner. Because many of these positions won’t be in Banner until the upload in August, please make sure to note that the person will be hired via Upload in the comments section of the Workflow submission. This will decrease questions from OSP and will expedite the Workflow approval.




 Please remember that reconciliations for sponsored programs should be completed Bi-monthly. University Policy #2114, Reconciling Department and sponsored Fund Accounting Records, has been effective since December 2010.

Please forward the budget summary and certification pages for each grant to Frah Abdi.  The expectation is that it will be signed by both the Reconciler and the PI.  If the PI is physically unavailable to sign, an approval e-mail indicating that they have reviewed the reconciliation and approve it will suffice.




 Please submit funding change forms for any fall salary re-allocations as soon as possible. The money saved from faculty charging to grants is very important to the college and we should be proactive about submitting forms to correctly charge these projects.




 Annual Enrollment Premium: $2,512.00

 $139.56 per pay period over 18 pays, Aug. 25 – May 24)

 Fall Only Enrollment (for students graduating in the fall semester): $981.00 ($122.63 per pay period over 8 pays, Aug. 25 – Dec. 24)

Enrollment period began July 15, 2014.

 It is important to note that students must meet all eligibility criteria by the first day of classes in order to be allowed to enroll in the subsidy. This means that all tuition support (waiver or grant) must be submitted, all EZ-EPAFs must be processed (if not included in fall upload), and all class registration must be complete by August 25, 2014.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Students must be enrolled in a doctoral or MFA program.
  2. They must be full-time students (taking at least 6 credits per semester) and supported by a tuition waiver or grant covering enough credits to support the student’s full time course load.  Exception: Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy and have completed the minimum number of credits required by the university and their degree program, including the minimum number of credits of 998 and 999, are considered full time if they are registered for at least 1 credit of 999 and the student along with their advisor and department chair certify each semester that they are working full time on the dissertation.

  3. Students must have a full-time assistantship (20 hr./wk.) and be assigned to a full year assistantship with an assigned term of August 25, 2014 – May 24, 2015.  A student may meet these criteria by having more than one assignment but the assignment period of all positions must cover the FULL academic year without breaks            

  • Fall semester assignment: August 25, 2014 – January 9, 2015
  • Spring semester assignment: January 10, 2015 – May 24, 2015
  • Students must have a stipend of at least $10,000 per academic year


Fall graduates’ Eligibility:  Students who intend to graduate in the fall of 2014 are eligible for only that semester. The fall semester assignment dates should be August 25, 2014 – December 24, 2014. Students must meet all above eligibility criteria with one exception – their stipend must be at least $5,000 for the fall semester.

Additional information regarding eligibility requirements can be found at: .


Budget Tracking System: Use BTS to indicate if a PhD or MFA student is eligible for the Subsidized Graduate Health Insurance (SGHI). Graduate assistants indicated by the department as “GA Benefit” eligible will be sent to the Provost’s office and coded for insurance eligibility and in-state tuition benefits. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for subsidized health insurance, WHETHER THEY WANT TO ENROLL OR NOT, meet the eligibility to be assessed tuition at in-state rates.

Students who have used their 3 years of coverage have been marked by the Dean's office as "SGHI Ineligible" in BTS, but if they still meet the eligibility requirements, departments MUST mark them as "GA Benefit" eligible. Your unit is responsible for the health insurance costs associated with graduate students in year four and beyond.

Remember, the Graduate Assistants screen in BTS will lock after noon on Friday, August 1st. For any additional GAs you are hiring via EZ-EPAF, please make sure to EMAIL Nicole Narkiewicz separately if they are eligible for the graduate health insurance.




 Our office will track usage and communicate with departments individually to manage the overall CHSS work study budget and balance. Please contact Nicole Narkiewicz via e-mail for additional Federal Work Study budget requests.




Most E&G orgs do not carry forward unspent balances from one fiscal year to the next.  However, overspent orgs generally do carry forward a negative balance into the following fiscal year.

Some E&G orgs are self-funded with course share and other operating revenue generated by departments and programs.  These do carry forward positive balances from the prior fiscal year end to the next.  The university implemented a 15% tax on carry forward orgs two years ago, and FY14 will be the first year that the tax is passed along to departments.

 The Banner system does not handle E&G carry forward balances automatically so you will not yet see those balances in your FY15 reports.  This is a manual process that will be completed during the last week in July, and you will receive the normal email notification when it is completed.






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