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Human Resources & Payroll Newsletter - March 2024

Challenge Accepted

by Dr. Anthony Casas, AVP & Human Resources Officer

For a moment, I had considered starting with a related quote about change, but after reviewing more than a few, I realized none were right and many were over shared. This quarter’s newsletter starts then by simply saying HR and Payroll continue to evolve with the primary focus being to improve services while also navigating the change.

In writing this, we are aware that we are not alone in dealing with on-going challenges related to turnover, budgets, added taskings and the like. We all share in this, though it is very easy to forget as we go about the important work that each of us does on a daily basis. The challenge for us is to try and keep that in mind as we interact with each other. Doing this will not solve the challenges we have, but it may make them a bit easier to work through!

One thing that we have identified that will assist in a small but significant way, is to help you more easily determine who to contact for HR or Payroll related assistance. This link will take you to our enhanced organization chart, which now includes added details to help you do just that.

Thank you,


Payroll Updates

By Alexis Collins, Director Payroll Services


As promised, April 1st 2024 will mark our official “Go Live” for self-service entry for all hourly professional staff. For those departments who manage this population of employees, we encourage you to attend the next round of meetings we have scheduled mid to late March. We also highly recommend utilizing our weekly Zoom drop-in session for all your payroll needs. You can find those dates and times on our payroll website.   We would also like to take a moment to remind departments of the following. 

Pay Period Beginning and End Dates

Please reference the campus Green & Gold calendar when entering and approving absences and when approving student time entry. For example, the February 2024 pay period included January 31st. We have several months throughout this calendar year that do not align with the traditional monthly calendars.

February 2024 Payroll calendar

Docking Pay 

If there is a need to take unpaid time off in any given month, you will want to make sure to self-report this time as “Dock” in the absence management system by the 15th of each month. We do recognize that oftentimes these are unplanned and unexpected events but if you know about them in advance we ask that you report them as soon as possible.

HR and Payroll Org Charts

by Anthony Baker Ortiz, Director of Recruitment, Training and HR Compliance

Stick figure org chart

To help the campus identify who to contact in Human Resources and Payroll, we have developed an expanded organizational chart. This chart covers the major functional areas and activities and provides contact information for those people having the knowledge to help.

HR Resource Areas
HR and Payroll Staff Chart

Emergency Hire Changes

by Michael Figlioli, HR Representative - Recruitment Specialist

We are hiring

The emergency hire process has been shifting a lot recently, and these changes into and through CHRS/PageUp provides the university with a means to  maintain consistency and accuracy in our hiring practices.

To better align with HR and Payroll processing timelines, anticipated start dates could be 7 business days after the offer letter is sent for signature. This will also create a smoother onboarding experience for new employees.

While truncated, emergency hires have the same parameters and requirements as a full recruitment search. Each requires a completed position description, applicant documents (including resume and cover letter), reference checking and background checks. Hiring administrators should expect a similar experience and procedures between the two. At this time a 4 week turnaround time is expected for emergency hire appointments.

Search Committees

by Shakeh Giragossian, Sr. HR Business Partner - Recruitment Specialist

Group meeting

Without Search Committees, we would not be able to hire anyone. Thank you to all who have and are currently serving! Search committees are required to submit finalized interview and reference check questions to the HR Representative for review and approval. Sample questions and guidelines are included in the shared Google folder of the relevant recruitment. Don’t forget to always include the six-digit job number on all emails and documents.

NEW DROP IN HOURS: If you have questions or need help, please join Shakeh’s CHRS PageUp Search Committee & Job Card Experience Tour! on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 832 6696 6779
Passcode: 961665 

Tips for Positive Communication in the Workplace

by Joe Witherspoon, HR Systems Analyst

Group of people holding colored thought bubbles
  1. Always smile. A friendly smile puts people at ease and clears the way for intelligent, peaceful, and constructive conversation.
  2. Active listening. Showing interest in what people are saying makes them feel understood, respected, and important.
  3. Compliments. Pointing out the positive attributes in a person helps them to be more open and receptive.
  4. A gentle demeanor. Being gentle helps people to feel relaxed, and it allows them a chance to think through their thoughts in a clear, positive way.
  5. Face to face. Being face to face, and mindful of body language, is always better than a quick email, text, or phone call.

Cross Campus Collaboration Webinars

by Alfredo S. Corral, Senior Learning & Technology Consultant

Person attending virtual meeting

This month take any of the interesting classes available from several CSU campuses:

  • How to be an Effective Virtual Team Member
  • Negotiation by Any Other Name
  • Breath and Health
  • Facilitating Challenging Conversations: Preparing Others
  • Self-Coaching 101
  • How to Get Your Child to College
  • Using Inclusive Language
  • the Performance Diagnostic Checklist
  • Facilitating Challenging Conversations: Facilitation Basics
  • Navigating Challenging Conversations
  • Generational Diversity

Visit the Training and Professional Development website to register for the courses and to learn about the ones coming in the next months.

Cal Poly Humboldt Training and Professional Development Website


An Ode to DEV (Dependent Employee Verification)

by Kristin Buck-Tierney, Administrative Coordinator

Picture of a family

Oh Dev, Oh Dev, where have you been?
Three years have flown by with your next of kin!
We want to ensure that your loved ones are covered.
This is why - HR tends to hover.
Every three years, we verify with docs.
When the deadline hits, we connect the dots.
MOVEit on through and just hit send.
Until 2027 when we do it all again! 

Dependent Employee Verification
April Deadline 04/30/2024
Questions? Concerns? Contact Kristin Buck-Tierney t X5090


by Michelle Caisse, Director Campus Human Resources

People with backpacks

Ariel Aaron
Ariel departed Cal Poly Humboldt effective Friday, January 19, 2024. After over 10 years of service, Ariel decided to take a promotional opportunity with the Humboldt County Office of Education as their Director of Human Resources. Thank you, Ariel, for your years of dedication and service to campus. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

Adrianna Kaplan
Adrianna will be departing Cal Poly Humboldt effective Thursday, February 29, 2024. We appreciate Adrianna’s hard work and dedication, and she will be missed. Thank you, Adrianna! 

New Employee Announcements

Kristina Hunt
We are pleased to announce that Kristina joined the Benefits team on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. Kristina has agreed to serve in an emergency hire role to support the recent transition in Benefits and to serve as a mentor to our new HR Generalist. Kristina has several years’ experience working in the Human Resources department, and we are thrilled that she is joining our team again.

Laura McKasson
We are pleased to announce that Laura will join Human Resources serving as HR Generalist on the Benefits team effective Monday, March 4, 2024. Laura will work closely with Kristina Hunt, who will serve as her official mentor. Laura has extensive experience in Human Resources, and we are delighted to welcome her to Cal Poly Humboldt.

Please see the Human Resources organizational chart for updates to the Benefits Team.

Compensation and Classification FAQs

by Trysta Hays, Sr. Human Resources Partner

Groups of Statues
  1. Employee initiated requests should be routed to the (non-bargaining unit) manager (MPP) for signature. 
    1. A manager should complete their review of the request within 30 days.
  2. Employee and management initiated requests are reviewed in HR within 90 days of receipt of completed submissions (incomplete submissions will not be accepted).
  3. Approved changes are normally effective the first day of the pay period following the date a completed submission is received in HR.
    1. Changes can have later effective dates, but retroactive requests will not be approved.
  4. Completed submissions include: 
  • Compensation & Classification Request Form (signed by supervisor and employee if employee initiated)
    • Justification for the request. For reclassifications or position changes, include a brief statement regarding what changes are being made to the responsibilities of the position.
  • Current organizational chart
  • Current position description
  • Proposed position description to be reviewed and approved by HR for the following request types:
    • Classification review 
    • In-class progression
    • Reassignment
    • Position description review

We are going to launch the use of Maxient to support compensation and classification tracking and management soon.  Stay tuned!

Second Annual Health and Wellness Series 

by Torie Mather, HR Generalist

Apple shaped word cloud with wellness related terms


We will be holding our second annual Health and Wellness series again this year. We’ve decided to split the six sessions into two; Spring and Summer. As we did last year, everyone who registers and attends the wellness series will be entered into a drawing to win a Cal Poly hoodie! 

Registration links are below

Spring Session

3/19/24: Mind Body Wellness 12-1pm PST with Cindy Sayani 

3/26/24: Managing Multiple Priorities 12-1pm PST with Jessica Coats

4/2/24: Assertive Communication 12-1pm PST with Jessica Coats

Summer Session

6/4/24: Personal Resilience 12-1pm PST with Norm Arslan

6/11/24: Expanding your Sphere of Influence 12-1pm PST with Norm Arslan

6/18/24: Creating Healthy Mind 12-1pm PST with Norm Arslan

Do You Have an Influx of Student Employees Onboarding?

by Shaurya Rana, HR Representative

Person wearing headphones and holding a sheet of paper

Our Human Resources team works strategically to ensure a smooth onboarding process for all of our employees. Occasionally departments on campus will have an influx of student assistants that need to be hired by a specific date. We have created an efficient process that will satisfy our new hire requirements for a large number of students. If you are a department that will be hiring a substantial number of student assistants by a specific date, please reach out to me, Shaurya Rana at, and we will create a custom process to meet your on-boarding goals.