Employee Benefits Plan
Shepherd University provides benefits-eligible employees an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive package of benefits, including health, life, disability, retirement, dental, vision, and medical spending accounts. Employees will learn more about each of these plans from the Human Resources staff. All plans, programs, benefits, services, and other provisions are subject to review and change. All full-time faculty and all staff employed at a minimum of .53 FTE are eligible for employee benefits. Some benefits are pro-rated for staff employed at less than 1.0 FTE.
West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) offers hospital, surgical, major medical, prescription, and other medical care coverage. Employees pay a portion of the premium cost.
New employees should enroll in benefits programs as soon as possible after they are hired into a benefits-eligible position. Insurance coverage will take effect the first of the month following the date of enrollment in the programs. Premiums for the health and life plans are pre-tax, meaning that no federal or West Virginia state tax or Social Security are deducted from the premiums, under Section 125 of the IRS Code.
Guidelines allow existing employees to enroll or change coverage during the open enrollment period each year, which typically occurs in April. If a family status change occurs, employees should read the PEIA Summary Plan Description and contact the Human Resources staff to work through the insurance plan change. Except in cases of status change qualifying events, employees may make changes only during the open enrollment period. Administration of the plan is entirely controlled by WV PEIA.
Mountaineer Flexible Benefits Plan
Various benefit plans are available on a pre-tax basis, including dental and vision insurance. These plans are administered through FBMC.
The basic, no-cost life plan is a $10,000 term life insurance with an accidental death and dismemberment benefit. Employees who do not need coverage under the health plan may elect life insurance only. Additional optional life insurance and dependent life insurance may be purchased by employees for a monthly premium.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Employees may enroll in one of three different Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance plan options through the Standard Insurance Company. The Mountaineer Flexible Benefits Plan provider offers two of these plans – Plan 1 (50% coverage level) and Plan 2 (70% coverage level). The third LTD plan option is a 60% income replacement benefit offered by the Standard Insurance Company through Shepherd University rather than through the Mountaineer Flexible Benefits Plan. Premiums for all three LTD plans are based on an employee’s age and monthly salary. Benefits are payable according to a maximum benefit period as detailed in the plan documents.
Participation by benefits-eligible employees in the tax-sheltered retirement program is required by West Virginia State law. Employees must contribute six percent of their gross pay. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) is the exclusive retirement program for West Virginia public higher education. Shepherd University matches the employee’s six percent contribution. Vesting is immediate.
This is a defined contribution plan. Retirement income is based on the amount of dollars accumulated and the income option chosen. For additional information about retirement programs, please go to the Human Resources website.
403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plans and 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans
In addition to the basic retirement plan, all Shepherd University full-time and part-time employees have the option of tax sheltering additional money through a 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account or 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. Supplemental Retirement Accounts and Deferred Compensation Plans are available through TIAA. The University does not make matching contributions to these optional supplemental accounts.
Employee Tuition Waiver Program
Full-time faculty and staff may apply for a Shepherd University tuition waiver of up to six credit hours. An employee must have completed at least six calendar months of full-time work prior to the beginning of the semester in which he or she is taking classes in order to be eligible for an employee tuition waiver, and must be in active employment status as of the first instructional day of the semester. In order for employees to remain eligible to receive employee tuition waivers, Satisfactory Academic Progress is required, as defined by Federal Financial Aid regulations.
Tuition waiver request forms are available from the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar processes tuition waivers, and questions about the employee tuition waiver program may be directed to the Registrar’s Office.
Full-time regular employees are eligible for time off or an adjusted work schedule to attend classes. Eligible employees may be allowed released time off during work hours to attend up to one, three-hour credit, undergraduate or graduate level class, provided the absence will not unduly interfere with the unit’s operation and is approved by the appropriate department director or vice president. The time for this one three-hour credit class does not need to be made up. If more than one approved class is taken during the work day, time away from work for the additional classes must be made up during the same week. An adjusted schedule may also be approved for the semester. During emergencies, the employee must work as assigned by the supervisor even if release time had been previously granted.
An employee must have completed at least six calendar months of full-time work prior to the beginning of the semester in which he or she is taking classes in order to be granted educational release time. Classified employees must have completed their probationary period.
Before the semester in which classes are to be taken, employees are required to provide their supervisors with written requests for release time. Supervisors will then approve or disapprove the release time and provide a written statement of the decision.
Spouse or Dependent Tuition Waiver Program
Full-time faculty and staff may apply for a Shepherd University tuition waiver for a spouse or eligible dependent. The employee must have completed at least six calendar months of full-time work prior to the beginning of the semester for which the waiver is requested and must be in active employment status as of the first instructional day of the semester. For more information, go to the Human Resources website.
The 1987 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Act (COBRA) mandates employers to offer continuation of group health insurance to certain employees who lose coverage. In the case of employee terminations, the law requires the employer to notify the plan administrator within 30 days after the employee’s termination of employment. The Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) requires that PEIA, not Shepherd University, will notify terminating employees of their COBRA rights. Any employee on a nine-month contract who terminates in May, June, or July, regardless of whether benefits are escrowed, will generally be covered by insurance only to the end of the month in which regular wages are received.
Lactation Privacy Room
A designated location has been created to provide a space for those who are nursing; it is Stutzman-Slonaker Hall, Room 205, which is adjacent to the commuter lounge. This designated area was created in support of Shepherd students, staff, and faculty who have chosen to continue breastfeeding while also working or attending classes. The room offers a quiet area with a chair, table, and privacy screen and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Arts and Cultural Events
Reduced admission rates are offered to employees for many campus events. Examples of such activities include student musical and theatrical performances and events sponsored by Performing Arts Series at Shepherd (PASS) and the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF).
Full-time and part-time employees have free access to Shepherd University athletic events for themselves and one guest. Employees must show their Rambler Cards to gain this access.
The Shepherd University Bookstore offers a complete line of trade books, textbooks, school supplies, office supplies, clothing, imprinted items, and miscellaneous items and sundries. Faculty and staff are eligible for an employee discount at the Bookstore when they present their Rambler Card. The Bookstore is generally the exclusive vendor on campus of products sold in the bookstore. Any request for authorization to sell or otherwise distribute comparable products should be directed to the Office of Campus Services.
Employees may use library facilities, collections, and information services. Contact the Scarborough Library for information about accessing these services.
For current information on parking rates and locations, please click here or contact the Shepherd University Police Department at 304-876-5374. All employees are expected to have a valid parking permit on their vehicles each year and may not park on campus without one. Employees who usually work during evenings or weekends still are obligated to fully comply with all parking regulations.
The Shepherd University Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art facility which includes a swimming pool, exercise equipment, and a running/walking track. Employee discounts are available for Wellness Center memberships.
Other Special Employee Benefits and Discounts
For information about other special employee benefits and discounts, click here.