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HR Monthly Bulletin October

Please welcome our new bearcat!

 

 Cody Hayes
Dispatcher
University Police

Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service in October 2020!

5 Years
Nikki Falcone Custodian Custodial Services
Rachel Mayfield Counselor Wellness Services
Kristen Peltz Assistant Director, Wellness Services Wellness Services
15 Years
Scott Shields Assistant Director, Auxiliary Services & Operations Auxiliary Services
20 Years
Leslie Abarr-Cuenca Associate Director, Academic Success & Retention Academic Success and Retention
Ahmed Malkawi Professor Chemistry
John Viau Sustainability Coordinator Facility Services
30 Years
Lisa Crater Office Manager Natural Sciences

 

Open Enrollment

2020 Open Enrollment Period

The open enrollment period to change or update 2021 insurance plans will begin on November 2, 2020. Details and 2021 benefit materials will be sent campus-wide on opening day. If you are not making any changes, no forms are needed for medical, dental, vision or supplemental life insurance.

Holiday Schedule

2020 Holiday closings and 2021 Holiday Schedule

To express the gratitude for excellent performance and give all of our employees a chance to relax and celebrate with friends and family, Northwest will be closed on the following holidays.
Please contact the payroll office at 660.562.1108 with questions regarding timesheet entry.

2020 Holiday Closings:
November 25-27, 2020           Wed-Fri           Thanksgiving Break
December 23-31, 2020           Wed-Thurs      Winter Break

2021 Holiday Schedule:

January 1, 2021                       Friday              New Year’s Holiday

Please plan to return to work from break on Monday, January 4, 2021.

January 18, 2021                     Monday           Martin Luther King Day
March 8, 2021                         Monday            Spring Break Holiday
May 31, 2021                          Monday            Memorial Day
July 5, 2021                            Monday            Independence Day
September 6, 2021                  Monday            Labor Day
November 24-26, 2021            Wed-Fri            Thanksgiving Break
December 23-31, 2021            Thurs-Fri          Winter Break
January 3, 2022                      Monday            New Year’s Holiday
Please plan to return to work from break on Tuesday, January 4, 2022
We would like to thank you for your endless contributions and dedication to Northwest and wish you the best of breaks and a great 2021!

Policy & Required Training Updates

All Employees: The Safe Colleges mandatory training for all full time employees is due on October 31stPlease make sure you and your direct reports have completed both of the following assigned trainings:

  • Sexual Harassment: Staff-to-Staff
  • Title IX: Roles of Employees

Once completed, your supervisor will be notified on their individual reports and you will receive a certificate of completion.

Additional courses will be assigned starting in November.

Employees will be required to complete the following trainings annually (deploy dates listed):

  • FERPA - 11/01/2020
  • Diversity Awareness: Faculty & Staff - 08/01/2021
  • Active Shooter: Run, Hide, Fight - 01/01/2021
  • Sexual Harassment: Staff to Staff - 09/15/2020
  • Title IX - 09/15/2020
  • Hazard Communications - 11/01/2020
  • Drug Free Workplace - 11/01/2020
  • Cyber Security - 11/01/2020
  • Email & Messaging Safety - 11/01/2020
  • Password Security Basics - 11/01/2020

Northwest is revising its process for email access after employees separate employment from the University. Email access will be terminated at the end of the employee’s shift on the last day of employment. The last day of employment can be defined as last working day, resignation date or end of contract.  This process change will be effective August 31, 2020.

Northwest has also developed a Staff Remote Work Policy. For more information, click here. If you have questions, please contact Krista Barcus at x1128 or via email at kbarcus@nwmissouri.edu.

Diversity & Inclusion Training

Power, Privilege and Oppression: What is it? And What does it look like at Northwest
November 11, 2020
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This presentation is a continuation of cultural competency and cultural understanding. In this session, Dr. Mallett will define and openly discuss race, oppression, power and privilege and describe what these concepts look like at Northwest and how we can all work together to develop an inclusive campus environment. Participants in this session will engage in open and honest dialogue with colleagues around how these concepts affects us and our work with students. This session will provide ways to reduce and attempt to eliminate various attitudes which exist at Northwest.

LOCATION: Union Ballroom
Limited to 30 people per session so we can allow for more sharing and individualized learning.

Times:
9:00am-10:30 am
11:30am-1:00pm
1:30pm-3:00pm
3:30pm-5:00pm
6:00pm-7:30pm (via zoom)

The signup sheet is located at: http://cite.nwmissouri.edu/Workshops/Login.aspx.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Mallett at jmallett@nwmissouri.edu.

COVID-19 Federal Leave Policies

Federal leave still available to Northwest employees

Federal leave options are still available to Northwest employees who need to use time off as a result of COVID-19 until Dec. 31, 2020.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), effective April 1, 2020

Employers must provide 80 hours of paid leave to full-time employees (or the respective number of hours a part-time employee works on average during a two-week period) for qualifying purposes. These provisions apply to all employees of a covered employer, regardless of how long they have worked for the employer.

EPSLA qualifying conditions:

  • The employee has been placed under a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to coronavirus.
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine for reasons related to coronavirus.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and seeking medical diagnosis.
  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine for reasons related to Coronavirus.
  • The employee is caring for a child under the age of 18 because the child’s school or place of care has closed, or because their child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to coronavirus. A “child” follows the same definition as the FMLA guidelines. Please note, the school or place of care must be CLOSED due to COVID-19 in order to qualify. If there is an option available for attendance either in-person or online, federal leave does NOT apply.
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

EPSLA details

  • Employees will complete an application form to qualify for EPSLA and submit the form to Wendy Berthiaume (wendyb@nwmissouri.edu) in the Office of Human Resources for approval.
  • Employees will record approved hours in the new Federal Leave code on their Northwest timesheet.
  • This leave is required in addition to an employer’s current leave policies, and EPSLA does not relieve an employer of its duties to provide leave under existing laws or policies.
  • Leave entitlement is immediate as of the effective date, with no unpaid waiting period.
  • An employer may not require an employee to use his or her accrued leave under another policy before taking EPSLA leave if the employee qualifies for EPSLA leave.
  • Employers cannot require an employee to provide or attempt to provide coverage for the hours he or she takes under this leave.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), effective April 1, 2020

EFMLEA qualifying leave

Up to 12 weeks of EFMLEA leave may be taken by any employee who has worked for a covered employer for at least 30 days for the purpose of caring for a child under the age of 18, if the child’s school or place of care is CLOSED due to coronavirus. A “child” follows the same definition as the FMLA guidelines.

EFMLEA details

  • Employees will complete an application form to qualify for EFMLEA and submit the form to Wendy Berthiaume (wendyb@nwmissouri.edu) in the Office of Human Resources for approval.
  • Employees will record approved hours in the new Federal Leave code on their Northwest timesheet.
  • Employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of EFMLEA leave within one calendar year.
  • The first 80 hours of leave will be covered under EPSLA.
  • After the first 80 hours, the remainder of the EFMLEA leave must be paid.
  • Part-time employees are entitled to the respective number of hours a part-time employee works on average during a two-week period.
  • EFMLEA leave is considered to be job-protected as are other types of FMLA leave; an employee who takes leave under these provisions is entitled to job restoration upon the conclusion of his or her leave.

Benefits that are no longer in effect:

  • Northwest 80
  • The option for employees to go into a negative Vacation Balance
  • The ability to use Vacation Leave and Sick Leave interchangeably

Important COVID-19, Payroll & Human Resources Reminders

Employee Performance Reviews were due to the Office of Human Resources Oct. 1st, 2020. If you have not yet completed your performance reviews, please do so as soon as possible. Please contact the Office of Human Resources if you have any questions.

All of the below procedures will be evaluated in January.


Hiring Freeze (Does not apply to student and/or GA positions)

Northwest will freeze all academic and non-academic staff positions for hire until further notice. All faculty and staff positions will be reviewed by the team noted below. Exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the President. All reviews for exceptions will be evaluated by the Provost, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, the Vice President of Culture and the requesting NLT member prior to forwarding a recommendation to the President. Fully funded grant positions are automatically approved as an exception. 

Process:

All request should be submitted to JHENRY@nwmissouri.edu by noon on Wednesdays for review. Please allow for a 10 day review. 

Considerations to address:

  1. What is the rationale for filling the position? (i.e. student demand, viability, enrollment, workload, etc.)
  2. What are the unintended consequences of not filling the position?
  3. If you fill the position, are you comfortable with reducing salaries across the campus?
  4. Are there alternatives? (i.e. consolidate/merge work, reduce process, stop doing, etc.)
  5. Is the proposed position funded within the current budget? If not, what is the proposed funding source?

Travel Restrictions

All University-related/funded travel, both international and domestic, is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled at this time. This applies to all University community members— (students, faculty, and staff). Northwest encourages individuals and teams to explore creative options for alternative study, research, work, and collaboration. Exceptions will be granted for recruitment of students and donors, athletic team travel, and fully funded grant-required expenditures. Additional exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the President. All exceptions will be evaluated by the Provost, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Vice President of Culture and the requesting NLT member prior to forwarding a recommendation to the President. 

All international travel granted will require a 14 day quarantine following return (CDC Guidance). 

Fleet vehicle rentals are unavailable until further notice. 

Process:

All request should be submitted to the respective NLT member. The NLT member will evaluate and forward to JHENRY@nwmissouri.edu by noon on Wednesdays for review. Please allow for a 10-day review. 

Considerations to address:

  1. What is the purpose of the travel?
  2. Length of stay and location of the travel?
  3. What alternative options have been explored?
  4. Are meals needed for students if travel is approved?

Travel (meals)

All University-related/funded travel, both international and domestic will prohibit the use of institutional funds for the purchasing of meals until further notice. This applies to all Northwest community members—students, faculty, and staff. Exceptions will be granted for donors and athletic team meals.


Human Resources

Fillable Forms & Electronic Signatures
In an effort to streamline processes and assist in easing our paper processes while working remotely, our IT team has been working to make many forms across campus fillable or electronic. The Bursar's office has updated the Tuition Waiver form to be fillable. You can access this form here.

Additionally, Adobe does have the capability for electronic signatures. If you need support regarding signing electronically, please let us know.

Finally, we have just a few friendly reminders when completing and submitting Personnel Action Forms:

  • Please complete all fields electronically. This will prevent confusion and provide the best legibility.
  • Please include all information requested on the form, including 919 number. This is crucial to our team to enter all information properly.
  • Please be as timely as possible when submitting these forms for processing so that we can apply compensation prior to payroll processing deadlines.

Should you have any questions or need support in any of these areas, please contact Human Resources at hrwebpg@nwmissouri.edu. As always, thank you for all you do!


Payroll

All employees, please enter your time for payroll on your timesheet at the end of each scheduled shift.
This will allow Human Resources and Payroll to track the COVID-19 Leave codes correctly and timely.  Make sure you are using code Federal Leave for any of the 6 Federal Leave options that you are specifically approved to use.  Please continue to use personal Vacation and Sick Leave after the approved leave hours are exhausted.

Federal W-4 Forms
The Internal Revenue Service, IRS, has released a 2020 Federal W-4 form that is different from previous versions. The IRS is not requiring all employees to complete the 2020 Federal W-4 form, but advises all employees to review their paycheck and evaluate the need to make adjustments to tax withholdings. If employees do not complete a 2020 Federal W-4 form, withholding will continue based on the most recent W-4 form completed.  Effective January 2020, all new employees and employees making withholding changes must complete the 2020 Federal W-4 form.

We encourage all employees to consult their tax advisor to review existing withholding status, evaluate the impact and make any corresponding changes using the 2020 FederalW-4 form on MyNorthwest. Employees should complete the form online, print, sign and submit to payroll. Forms received by the 10th of the month will be included in the respective month’s payroll.

Contact the payroll office at 660.562.1108 if you have questions.

Health Risk Assessments With Blue Cross Blue Shield

The Health Risk Assessments will begin Thursday, Oct. 22. This is a free event for all Northwest employees and spouses covered by the University health insurance plan. Both employees and spouses on the plan are required to complete the Health Risk Assessment. The Health Risk Assessment consists of two parts, the biometric screening and the online health risk assessment. For your Health Risk Assessment to be complete, you must participate in both activities. The online health risk assessment can be completed at anytime prior to your scheduled biometric screening and through November 27.

The Health Risk Assessment will be offered on the following days and times:

Thursday, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 26 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Northwest employees and spouses covered by the health insurance plan who choose not to participate in the Health Risk Assessments will experience a premium differential of $20 per month for health insurance starting in January of 2021 (premium differential will begin on your December 2020 paycheck). For employees and spouses, that will be $20 each for a total of $40.

How to Register for Your Health Risk Assessment
Employees and spouses must register through Blue Cross Blue Shield for an appointment to attend the Health Risk Assessment. There are multiple options available to register for an appointment. For more detailed information and ways to register, please visit: https://www.nwmissouri.edu/hr/bulletin/events/2020wellness.htm

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

The Office of Human Resources would like to highlight the following resources that employees can use if needed. The EAP and TAO are completely confidential:

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Blue KC Virtual Care App

If you download the Blue KC Vitual Care app, you will have affordable access to virtual behavioral health care. You can schedule a visit with a board-certified behavior health therapist right from your smartphone tablet or computer. Click here for additional information. 

Employee Assistance Program

All Northwest employees are eligible to utilize Ability Assist Counseling Services sponsored by The Hartford. Please click here to read about the many benefits this program provides.

TAO-Therapy Assistance Online

This is a private online library of behavioral health resources. This is a free and confidential resource available to faculty and staff as well as students. Please click here for more information. Additionally, if you sign up with Be a Better Bearcat you will be eligible for prizes while also reducing your stress.

Wellness Services is offering a variety of on-line programing while we are all social distancing.  Make sure to follow us on social media @nw_wellness for all the updates. 

Personal and Professional Development Webinars

All BCBS members have access to free live webinars available through New Directions each month. Several topics are available for employees, leaders and parents.  

To register for a live webinar:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register for Live Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box

You can also view a number of archived webinars. To view:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “View all Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box
  4. Once in the Webinar Center, click "Live Webinars Archive" at the bottom of the screen
  5. After you register for the webinar, you will need to download Adobe connect to be able to view the webinar

 If you have any questions, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.

Student Employment

Student Employment Fall Reminders

Fall student employment eligibility dates (must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours for the fall): August 1, 2020 – December 11, 2020

In an effort to improve the student employment experience, supervisors will now be expected to contact the Office of Human Resources any time a student employee resigns from their position, for any reason other than graduation. We will be contacting those students for an invitation to participate in an exit interview. You will need to email me directly their name, 919 and position. We appreciate your support in assisting us with opportunities for improvement.

Contact Student Employment with any questions at 660.562.1140 or contact Paula McLain at pmclain@nwmissouri.edu.

Career Pathing is Back!
Staff may register for Career Pathing opportunities on the Human Resources website at the following link:  http://www.nwmissouri.edu/hr/trainingopps.htm

Northwest Affinity Groups

Affinity groups are designed to create safe spaces for members to share and process experiences. As allies, our affinity group also allows participants the opportunity to identify ways in which we can appropriately use our privilege to bring about social change.

ERG-flyer-002.jpg
For more information please click here!

Benefits and Wellness Information

Dietician Services

Dietitian services with Aramark Registered Dietitian Nathan Slinkard are provided as a free resource for faculty and staff. Click here for latest newsletter.


MOSERS - Annual Benefit Statements Now Available

Annual Benefit Statements for active members are available online. You can access your Annual Benefit Statement today by logging in to myMOSERS. Click on Online Documents then on Document Express. Explore your benefits with this tool along with the Highlights of Your Total Compensation brochure.


MOSERS Virtual Counseling Sessions

Virtual Benefit Counseling is now available through the GoToMeeting app. Please contact MOSERS to speak with a benefit counselor by phone or to make a virtual counseling appointment. You will then receive an email confirmation followed by another email closer to the date with instructions on how to attend the virtual meeting.


MO Deferred Compensation

The MO Deferred Comp plan is a retirement savings plan for state of Missouri employees, include faculty and staff. Click here to find important deferred comp information pertaining to your retirement savings including new videos, valuable surveys, participant updates, and more!


Blue KC Virtual Care App

If you download the Blue KC Vitual Care app, you will have affordable access to 24/7 health care. You can schedule a visit with a board-certified doctor or behavior health therapist right from your smartphone tablet or computer. Blue KC Virtual Care is convenient for everyday medical and behavioral healthcare. Click here for additional information. 


Changes to Prescription Drug List

Effective July 1, 2020, Blue KC will make updates to its Prescription Drug List, affecting group members in Blue-Care® (HMO), BlueSelect Plus (PPO), Preferred-Care® (PPO) and Preferred-Care Blue® (PPO) plans. Please click here for a PDF that summarizes the PDL changes effective 7/1/2020. 

Blue KC is taking proactive steps in order to limit member and physician disruption, including the following:

    • Impacted members will be notified via letter.
    • Blue KC will also notify impacted members by email and/or phone, and are available to answer questions about medication alternatives, step therapy and how to request a change from a physician.
    • Contracted providers in the Blue KC service area will be notified by letter in the event their patients contact them to discuss alternative medications.

Personal and Professional Development Webinars

All BCBS members have access to free live webinars available through New Directions each month. Several topics are available for employees, leaders and parents.

To register for a live webinar:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register for Live Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box

You can also view a number of archived webinars. To view:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “View all Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box
  4. Once in the Webinar Center, click "Live Webinars Archive" at the bottom of the screen
  5. After you register for the webinar, you will need to download Adobe connect to be able to view the webinar

 If you have any questions, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.


Campus Recreation Offerings 

The Foster Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Center and the Hughes Fieldhouse walking track are free for all employees and spouses to use. Please complete the assumption of risk and waiver of liability form on CatPAWS in advance of Foster Fitness Center use https://www.nwmissouri.edu/recreation/memberships.htm.  

The Mozingo Outdoor Education and Recreation Area (MOERA) is located nine miles from Northwest at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park. It offers a variety of outdoor programs, including a high ropes challenge course with a Carolina climbing wall, Alpine obstacle tower and TDC team-building course as well as a shotgun range, and canoes and kayaks on the lake. Contact Chase Hall at crec@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1759 for information and reservations. 

For a complete listing of campus recreations hours of operation, please visit https://www.nwmissouri.edu/recreation/Hours.htm


Mosaic Offerings

Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville is offering a personalized weight management program called Healthy Lifestyles. The program is designed to help people of all ages and sizes achieve an improved quality of life through medical nutritional counseling, teaching and lifestyle changes. For additional information about the program, click here.  

Staff Council

Thank you to everyone that attended and helped with the Walk Out Day Employee Appreciation Event. It was a huge success thanks to all of you. Also, thank you to Blue Cross and Blue Shield for providing the meal and door prizes. Stay tuned for what’s next!

Staff Council members serve two-year terms that follow the university fiscal year schedule. To find contact information for all current council members visit the Staff Council website at https://www.nwmissouri.edu/staffcouncil/council.htm.

The 2020-2021 Staff Council will start in July and your representation may have changed from last year. Look for an email from your new representative soon. Questions are always welcome to staffcouncil@nwmissouri.edu.

Northwest Staff Council represents a unified voice for all Northwest Staff. To learn about the staff, upcoming events, or if you have any concerns please visit us at https://www.nwmissouri.edu/staffcouncil/index.htm

Employee Discounts

HelloFresh

HelloFresh is celebrating all educators and school employees with a private offer for 10 free meals! Available to new members only.

If you haven’t yet tried HelloFresh, now is the perfect opportunity to destress your evenings with fewer trips to the grocery store, pre-planned meals, and little cleanup. Simply visit their website to select your meal plan according to your family size, recipe preferences and budget. HelloFresh will deliver the ingredients straight to your door. Each weekly box includes:

- Easy-to-follow recipes with clear nutritional info
- High-quality ingredients straight from the farm
- Convenient meal kits that fit perfectly in the fridge
- A cooking experience that makes you feel like a chef
- No strings attached - skip a week or cancel at any time

Get your 10 free meals at //hellofresh.com/landing/myeducation


State Employee Discount

The State Employee Discount Website provides Missouri State Employees and Retirees opportunities to purchase deeply discounted tickets for events the whole family can enjoy. In addition to Attractions and Entertainment, the website also offers year round savings for Education, Products and Services, and Technology.  

Use this link to find more information on other products and services available on the State Employee Discount website.


Interstate All Battery Center $10 Off Coupon

Interstate All Battery Center in St. Joseph is offering a $10 off coupon for any mobile device repair. Click here to access the coupon. This is only valid at the St. Joseph location.

Verizon Wireless Personal Account Discount
Verizon Wireless is offering employees of the University an 18% discount on their personal Verizon Wireless accounts. Employees will need to go to www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/employee/eleLanding.jsp to get the discount set up. You will use your work email address as verification of employment.

Miscellaneous

Reminder: Bearcat Food Pantry

The mission of the Bearcat Food Pantry is to provide a source of food and necessities for Northwest students and employees experiencing food insecurity and hunger. The food pantry is located in the J.W. Jones Student Union and is accessible from 8 am to 5 pm. Northwest accepts food donations for the pantry at the Student Engagement Center and the Student Affairs office both located on the 2nd floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union. For a list of most needed items, click here. Monetary donations to support the food pantry should be directed to the Northwest Foundation and are tax deductible.


"We Gotchya!"

"We Gotchya!" is supplying feminine products in high-traffic ladies’ rooms on campus. For more information about “We Gotchya!” visit wegotchya.org.


Friends of International Students

Friends of International Students (FIS) is a community-based organization established to match interested area individuals and families (friends) with international students at Northwest. The program goals are to provide support to the students as they become adjusted to their new home and to promote friendship and understanding between people of different nationalities.

FIS is currently recruiting more friends to connect with international students. Friends are asked to make contact with assigned students at least once a month during their year-long commitment to the program. Contact can take many forms including family dinners, attending sporting events, pumpkin carving, and various other activities involving two-way cultural tradition sharing. For more information or to apply, please contact the board members at FIS@nwmissouri.edu or check it out online https://www.nwmissouri.edu/international/services/friends/index.htm.


Does your department need office supplies?

Please check the “How to Purchase Office Supplies” guide here: https://www.nwmissouri.edu/services/purchasing/pdf/How%20To%20Purchase%20Office%20Supplies.pdf. There are various binders, hanging file folders, and other office supplies available at no cost to departments at the Materials Distribution Center.


Purchase Requisition Training Videos

The Purchasing Department has created two instructional videos that explain how to create a purchase requisition and a Central Stores purchase requisition in Banner/INB. The videos are available here: http://www.nwmissouri.edu/services/purchasing/videos/index.htm