March 2012

Mark Your Calendars! SUNY Sustainability Research Workshop


SUNY Sustainability Workshop logo

The RF is joining with the SUNY Faculty Senate and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to host the SUNY Sustainability Research Workshop May 17-18.

The purpose of this workshop is help SUNY faculty develop collaborative research relationships and funding proposals in the research areas ranging from campus sustainability Best Management Practices (BMPs) and materials science and renewable energy to ecological economics and sustainable business practices. Ideally, the outcome of this workshop will be to create at least one sustainability research network and several NSF-type sustainability science research proposals.

Contact: Ivar Strand

March 2012 Effort Reporting Newsletter Published; System Testing Update


The March 2012 Operational Excellence in Effort Reporting project newsletter focuses on the discussion the project team is having about whether or not extra service should be certified. It also includes an updated Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ecrt) timeline. Testers from campuses on the core project team just completed Phase 1 System Testing and will be starting Phase 2 System Testing soon.

“The first round of testing went well,” said Aaron Rosenblatt from Stony Brook University. “It was a good opportunity to become very familiar with ecrt and its functionality.”

Please share your comments and suggestions with any member of the core campus project team or the project manager Anne Connolly.

RF Fringe Benefit Rates for FY 2013


The Research Foundation for SUNY fringe benefit rates have been approved by DHHS for FY 2013 and FY 2014. The rate becomes effective July 1 in conjunction with the beginning of the RF’s fiscal year.

The approved fringe benefit rates must be used in all grant and contract proposals that request salary support. The RF will update the Oracle business system to reflect these rates. The NYS rate applied to our IFR process is expected to be announced in late spring.

Contact: Michelle Aguilar

RF Benefits: Annual Benefits Summary


The RF central office will mail the annual Benefits Summary to all regular employees on March 15, 2012.

This customized statement provides 2011 salary and benefits information to provide employees with the full picture of the value of their RF employment. Based on employee feedback and our efforts to “go green,” benefits elections information for the current year is not included in this year’s statement.

Contact: Christa Taylor

RF Benefits: Long-Term Care Open Enrollment


A reminder that open enrollment for the Research Foundation’s Long-Term Care plan runs from March 1 to April 12. During this period, active eligible employees will not be asked medical questions and their acceptance into the plan is guaranteed.

An employee’s spouse/domestic partner, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law may also apply for this coverage, however, their acceptance is subject to medical eligibility.

CNA mailed open enrollment materials to eligible employees on March 7. These materials are also posted on the Long-Term Care page of the Benefits website, Employees should contact CNA directly for more information or to enroll online.

Contact: Christa Taylor

Update: NYS Financial System Program


The State of New York is implementing a new state-wide financial system that is scheduled to “go live” April 1, 2012. The new State Financial System, referred to as “SFS”, will significantly impact NYS business operations for a short period of time.

Between March 15, 2012 and approximately April 16, 2012, State agencies will not be able to issue purchase orders, process travel vouchers, process any contract transactions, make any vendor payments or any employee reimbursements.

Contracts, modifications, invoices should be submitted to state agencies ASAP to obtain approval before this blackout period. More information about the new SFS can be found at

Contact: Justine Gordon


sfs logo

Going Paperless - RF Employment Application


As part of its ongoing efforts to streamline administrative processes and increase efficiency, the RF created a fillable employment application form and campuses now have the opportunity to add a custom campus email button. This customization will make the entire application process paperless. Contact Aimee Coates to request a customized form.

“Fillable PDF forms are beneficial in so many ways,” said Betsy Colon, assistant research analyst at SUNY Geneseo. “They greatly contribute to the welfare of our environment, they are easy to fill and submit, and, since typing is much easier to read than handwriting, the process is less time-consuming and provides more accurate data.” The RF will continue to convert forms into fillable PDFs as appropriate.

Contact: Rachel Shapiro