True Maroon, True Beginnings
Online Employee Orientation
Welcome to Mississippi State University (MSU). We are pleased that you have chosen to join an outstanding group of faculty and staff whose contributions are vital to the success of our institution.
You will become an important part of the team that works together to meet our mission of teaching, research, and service.
The university community looks forward to getting acquainted with you. We hope that your employment at MSU is fulfilling and that you will take advantage of the many opportunities to contribute and grow, both personally and professionally.
New MSU Employees: At the end of the orientation program, you will be asked to complete and submit an online confirmation form that lets us know you have participated in the orientation. You also have the option of attending an orientation session through Human Resources Management. Please call 662 325-3713, or ask your department to register you for an orientation session.
Visitors and Current MSU Employees: Please feel free to use these resources to learn more about MSU employee benefits and services.
The Online Employee Orientation includes the following sections:
Mississippi State University was founded near Starkville, Mississippi, in 1878 as a land-grant institution dedicated to serving the people of the state and training its youth.
The university has since emerged as one of the region's and the nation's premier research and service universities, but has never wavered from its primary mission. Excellence in undergraduate education remains foremost among the priorities of the state's largest university.
The university offers bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees through the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Architecture Art and Design, Business, Education, Engineering, Forest Resources, and Veterinary Medicine, and our Meridian Campus.
MSU is a member of the Southeastern Conference for intercollegiate athletics.
The campus and adjacent agricultural research lands comprise about 4,000 acres.
For more information, please visit the About MSU page.
It is the responsibility of each employee to become familiar with the policies that govern our institution. Please pay careful attention to the information that follows and read each policy. After reviewing each policy, please complete and submit the Policy Acknowledgment to Human Resources Management.
All University policies are located on the Office of Internal Audit website. MSU complies with federal and state regulations, including, but not limited to:
- Annual Security Report
- Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace (HRM #60-118)
- Drug Free Campus (HRM #60-120)
- Drug Free Workforce (HRM #60-119)
- Equal Opportunity Statement (OP 03.02)
- Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (AOP 10.06)
- Guidelines for Employee Conduct (HRM #60-401)
- Information Security (OP 01.10)
- Misuse of University Assets (OP 01.19)
- Political Activities (OP 01.14)
- Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy (OP 03.03)
- Use of Information Technology Resources (OP 01.12)
- "Whistleblower" Policy (OP 01.07)
Mississippi State University is dedicated to providing resources that support the effective management of work and personal life for all our employees. This section will help you get acquainted with the university community.
MSU offers a unique array of Employee Perks for faculty and staff.
- Statewide Federal Credit Union: MSU employees are eligible for membership in the Statewide Federal Credit Union, which offers a full range of banking services. Statewide has an office on Highway 12 in Starkville, as well as offices in other cities in Mississippi. They offer a full range of services through a secure online service. For additional information on the Statewide Federal Credit Union, visit their website or one of their branch locations.
- U.S. Savings Bonds: Employees who wish to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds can do so through the convenience of payroll deduction.
Health, Wellness, & Recreation
- MSU Sanderson Center: A guest pass allows new employees to enjoy the services of Mississippi State's award-winning recreation facility for 30 days – at no charge. Guest passes are available from Human Resources Management, 150 McArthur Hall. To activate the pass, go to the Member Services Office in the Sanderson Center (open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Faculty and staff can join the Sanderson Center at any time. Fees may be paid by the month, semester, or year.
- Wellness Connection at OCH: A corporate rate is available for MSU employees and their dependents. The full cost of the initial health assessment and monthly participation fee is the employee's responsibility. Visit the HealthPlex, which is adjacent to Oktibbeha County Hospital, 400 Hospital Road, Starkville.
- Student Health Center: University faculty and staff and families (except for children under 12) who do not have a local physician can use the Student Health Center.
- MSU Golf Course: Regularly ranked as one of the nation's best golf courses, the 6,927 yard MSU Golf Course is an 18 hole, par 72, PGA sanctioned, championship course. MSU employees receive discounts on green fees and semester golf passes. The MSU Golf Course is located on Old Highway 82, just east of campus. To learn more, visit the MSU Golf Course website.
- Athletics Tickets: For many MSU employees, Bulldog sports are an important part of campus life. MSU employees can purchase discounted season tickets – 20 percent off baseball, men's and women's basketball, and football tickets. Tickets for each sport are available only during certain times of the year. Tickets can be purchased by using the order forms sent to all MSU employees, at the Athletic Ticket Office in the Bryan Building, or online.
Nissan Vehicle Purchase Program
- MSU is a business associate for Nissan's Vehicle Purchase Program (VPP). This program allows direct, full-time employees to purchase Nissan and Infiniti vehicles at pre-negotiated discounted prices. Dealers are not required to participate, and all vehicles may not be included in the program. Please visit the Nissan Vehicle Purchase section of the Human Resources Management website for detailed information about participation in this program.
You must be in the university's information system before you can use online services, such as registering your vehicle or getting your MSU ID card. Your supervisor or departmental secretary can tell you whether you are in the system.
Once your new hire paperwork has been entered into the university's information system, you will be assigned an MSU Identification Number, NetID, and NetPassword.
- MSU ID Number: A unique nine-digit identification number is generated for each employee. The number will be printed on your ID card. This MSU ID number replaces the use of the employee's Social Security number in most transactions.
- NetID: Your NetID is a unique identifier that is used for accessing a variety of information technology resources and services. It will be generated when your new hire paperwork is entered into Banner, the university's information system.
- NetPassword: Your NetPassword is used in conjunction with your NetID to access MSU online services and resources. You will be required to set up your initial NetPassword in the NetPassword Maintenance application, located at the web site https://ssl2.msstate.edu/NetPassword/Maintenance.
- Email Address: As an MSU employee, you have a university email address, NetID@msstate.edu, where NetID is your unique MSU network identifier. It is also possible that you will obtain other email addresses while at MSU. The NetID@msstate.edu is used by the University as a means of communication with you. Whether you read your email at this address, or forward it to some other address, you should be aware that you have it to ensure that you receive important university email correspondence.
MSU ID Card
To obtain your MSU ID Card, go to the Campus Card Office in 108 Allen Hall and have your photo made. Your card will be processed and printed. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
All vehicles brought on campus must have a current decal, either permanent or temporary – no exceptions. Permits must be purchased and displayed within 24 hours of bringing vehicle on campus, excluding weekends. Once you have been issued a permit, the amount will automatically be billed to your account receivables.
Register your vehicle by going to the Parking Services office, located in the Roberts building on Lee Boulevard next to McKee Hall. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
To register a vehicle, you will need your car's make, model, color, and tag number.
Employees in some positions, such as those of intermittent employees, are not benefits eligible. If you do not know whether you are benefits-eligible, please contact your hiring department.
The University closes its offices and ceases regular business functions and activities in observance of certain holidays, and at other times approved and announced by the President.
All regular employees (except temporary employees, student employees, and rehired retirees) receive their regular pay for scheduled holidays.
To be eligible for holiday pay, employees must be present for work or in an approved paid leave status on the last regularly scheduled day of work before the holiday and the first scheduled work day after the holiday.
MSU employee holidays are:
- One day for Independence Day
- One day for Labor Day
- Two days for Thanksgiving
- Nine days for the winter holiday
- One day for Dr. M. L. King Jr.'s birthday
- One Spring holiday, and
- One day for Memorial day.
MSU Policy: HRM 60-201
MSU leave is based on state law and Board policies. The Leave/Leave Without Pay Policy and Procedure documents an employee's rights under the law and the procedures to follow when applying and processing a leave of absence. Leave accrual rates and eligibility information are detailed in the policy.
MSU's Leave/Leave Without Pay Policy and Procedure covers the following:
- Personal Leave with Pay
- Major Medical Leave with Pay
- Donated Leave
- Leave for Death in the Immediate Family
- Administrative Leave
- Military Leave/Veteran's Re-employment Rights
- Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
- Separation Leave Payout/Transferring Leave
- General Leave of Absence
- Professional Leave of Absence
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential assistance to benefits-eligible employees and their household members covering a wide range of family, marital, work-life challenges, and mental health issues. There is no cost charged to employees to use the EAP. For additional information about the EAP, visit http://www.hrm.msstate.edu/benefits/eap/.
Educational Assistance/Tuition Remission
MSU offers tuition remission to both employees and their dependents.
REGULAR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES are eligible to have tuition remitted for up to six undergraduate or graduate credit hours per semester, with a maximum of eighteen credit hours per calendar year.
DEPENDENT CHILD(REN) of regular full-time employees are eligible to receive undergraduate tuition and required fees remission at 50%. In cases where both parents or legal guardians are eligible employees or employee and retiree, a tuition waiver of 100% shall be provided to the dependent children. A dependent may receive undergraduate tuition remission until the requirements of one bachelor's degree are met, as long as the parent or guardian continues employment with MSU.
Please review the Tuition Remission-Employees and/or the Tuition Remission Dependent Children of Employees policies linked above for additional guidelines and information.
Benefits eligible employees must complete mandatory retirement plan forms within 30 days of date of hire. All completed forms must be returned to Human Resources Management for processing.
Mandatory Retirement Plan
All benefits eligible employees must participate in a retirement plan. Click on the name of the plan for additional information:
- The Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS), or
- The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). However, participation in the ORP plan is only available to employees holding specific positions as defined by state law.
Supplemental Retirement Plan
All benefits eligible employees have the option to invest in the supplemental retirement plans. Contributions for these plans are made by the employee only and deducted with pre-tax dollars. There are limits to the amount of contributions employees can make each year, and other restrictions do apply. Enrollment is available at any time.
For more information about supplemental retirement options, please visit the Retirement section of the Human Resources Management website.
Direct Deposit or Pay Card
All MSU employees are paid on a semi-monthly pay schedule, or twice monthly. You may choose to be paid by Pay Card, or have your pay direct deposited to an account of your choice. MSU employees are paid the 15th of the month (or on the preceding Friday if the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday), and on the last working day of the month.
To sign up for Direct Deposit: (1) Open and complete the Direct Deposit Application, (2) If you want your check deposited to a checking account, attach a voided personal check. For deposit to a savings account, attach a statement from your financial institution that includes the financial institution's routing number and your account number, and (3) Return the completed form and attachments to Treasury Services, mail stop 9602, Room 320 McArthur Hall.
To sign up for a Pay Card: (1) Open and complete the Pay Card Application, and (2) Return the completed form to Treasury Services, mail stop 9602, Room 320 McArthur Hall.
Nine-month faculty members beginning employment on August 16th, have the option of receiving their payroll checks over the course of twelve months or nine months. Please note your on-line election MUST be made by August 16, 2012. If an election is not made by this date, your pay agreement will default to a nine-month (18 checks) pay schedule..
To access the Nine Month Faculty Pay Distribution Agreement web page, please use the following steps:
- Go to https://my.msstate.edu/cp/home/displaylogin
- Log into myState using your NetID and NetPassword
- Click on the Banner tab
- Find the section labeled MyBanner For Employees
- Find the column labeled Pay Information
- Select Nine Month Faculty Pay Distribution Agreement
Please be sure to select Submit after making your election. Please note that all elections MUST be made by August 16, 2012.
Each year from April 1st until August 16th, nine-month faculty members have the opportunity to change the distribution method in which they receive their semi-monthly payroll checks. If you wish to change your method, the Nine Month Faculty Pay Distribution Agreement must be completed and submitted on-line.
If you are scheduled to receive 18 checks (August 31, 2012 through May 15, 2013) and would rather receive 24 checks (August 31, 2012 through August 15, 2013), choose Until Further Notice.
If you are scheduled to receive 24 checks (August 31, 2012 through August 15, 2013) and would rather receive 18 checks (August 31, 2012 through May 15, 2013), you must cancel your existing agreement by choosing Cancel Previous Election.
If you do not wish to make a change to your pay distribution, there is no action required on your part.
If you choose to be paid over nine-months, the University will calculate your premiums necessary to continue your benefits during the summer months and deduct those premiums in addition to the normal premium deductions over the nine-month period you are paid. Contact the Human Resources Management Benefits Office at 662 325-3713 if you have questions about your insurance deductions.
If you have questions or need additional information, please refer to, http://www.controller.msstate.edu/docs/faculty_deferred_pay_FAQ.pdf or contact the Budget Office at (662) 325-8907.
Benefits eligible employees may elect to participate or make changes in the insurance plans due to the following events. For assistance, please contact the HRM Benefits Staff.
- Within 31 days of date of hire
- During Open Enrollment in October of each year for an effective date of January 1 of the following year (Dates for open enrollment are announced prior to October of each year)
- Within 60 days of a family status change, as long as the insurance change is consistent with the status change
Status changes include, but are not limited to:
- Marriage or divorce
- Death of a spouse or dependent
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Employee or spouse employment status change (full-time to part-time or vice versa)
- Refused coverage for self or dependents at time coverage was offered but subsequently lose coverage due to termination of spouse's employment
- Employee or spouse take an unpaid leave of absence
Premiums for insurance coverage elections are payroll deducted one month in advance on a semi-monthly basis.
All completed forms must be returned to Human Resources Management for processing.
Below is a list of available insurance products for benefits eligible employees at MSU. Detailed information and rates are available on the Human Resources Management website. Click on each product for more information.
- Intensive Care
- Long-term Care
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment
- Flex/Pre-tax Plans
There are several tasks that you will need to take care of soon after your hire date. The checklist on the following page is designed as a guide for new employees. Detailed information about each checklist item is found in the following pages.
Employee Orientation Checklist
- Sign up for Direct Deposit or Pay Card
- Confirm Assignment of University Identifiers (9-digit MSU ID Number, NetID, email address)
- Obtain your MSU ID Card
- Purchase a Parking Permit (if you will be parking in university lots)
- Register for In-person Employee Orientation
- Review Benefits Information (benefits-eligible employees)
- Request Certificate of Credible Coverage from previous insurance (if applicable)
- Schedule a Meeting with a Benefits Specialist in Human Resources
- Complete the Paperwork for all Benefits Elections and Submit to Human Resources
- Complete and Submit Release of Benefits Information Form
- Complete Information Security Training
- Register for myBlue (must have insurance card to register)
- Go to http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.state.ms.us/
- Find "On-Line Medical Explanation of Benefits" link
- Complete and Submit Policy Acknowledgment to Human Resources Management
Register for In-Person Employee Orientation
Please contact Human Resources Management at 662 325-3713 to register for an in-person orientation session on campus.
Human Resources Management schedules benefits eligible employees – either newly hired employees or those becoming benefits eligible due to a status change – for an in-person orientation session that includes:
- True Home
- Introduction to Mississippi State University
- True Success
- Overview of key policies and procedures
- True Community
- Discussion of resources offered by the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs
- Procedure for obtaining parking decals, ID badges
- Overview of employee perks
- True Benefits
- Schedule an appointment with a benefits specialist to complete benefits paperwork
- Overview of leave, retirement options, and educational assistance/tuition remission
- True Coverage
- Overview of insurance options
- True Progress
- Overview of training resources
- True Learning (Optional Sessions)
- Information Technology Services offers an overview of their services and resources
- Benefits 101 offers an in-depth overview of employee benefits
Review Benefits Information
MSU employee benefits information is included in this resource – Online Orientation – and can also be found in the Benefits section of the HRM website. Please contact the Human Resources office with any questions about benefit and retirement options.
Schedule Meeting with a Benefits Counselor
Human Resources has knowledgeable Benefits Counselors to help you understand our benefits options and retirement plans. Please call 662 325-3713 to schedule an appointment with a counselor to review the benefits and complete the necessary enrollment paperwork.
Complete Benefits Elections Paperwork and Submit to Human Resources
Insurance Plans: Enrollment paperwork due within 31 days of hire date
Retirement Plan Election: Enrollment paperwork due within 30 days of hire date
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Enrollment Form (PDF)
- Aflac Cancer Indemnity Insurance Application (PDF)
- Aflac Hospital Intensive Care Insurance Application (PDF)
- American Fidelity Group Disability Application (PDF)
- Davis Vision Enrollment Application Form (PDF)
- Delta Dental Enrollment-Change Form (PDF)
- ORP Retirement Plan Election/Vendor Selection (PDF)
- PERS Beneficiary Designation (PDF)
- PERS Membership Application (PDF)
- Release of Employee Benefits Information (requires notary witness for completion outside HRM) (PDF)
- SABC Careflex Enrollment Form (PDF)
- SABC Flex Card Enrollment Form (PDF)
- SABC Flex Direct Deposit Form (PDF)
- SABC Mediflex Enrollment Form (PDF)
- SABC Pre-Tax Benefit Plan Enrollment Form (PDF)
- Salary Reduction Agreement Form - Tax Deferred Annuity 403(b) (PDF)
- State and School Employees' Health Insurance Plan Application for Coverage (PDF)
- State and School Employees' Life Insurance Plan Enrollment/Change Request Form(Evidence of Insurability Form ONLY required if applying after 31 days from date of hire) (PDF)
- UNUM Long Term Disability Enrollment Form(Evidence of Insurability Form ONLY required if applying after 31 days from date of hire or for coverage upgrades) (PDF)
- UNUM Supplemental Term Life Insurance Enrollment Form(Evidence of Insurability Form ONLY required if applying after 31 days from date of hire and/or for coverage amounts over 100,000) (PDF)
Complete and Submit Release of Benefits Information Form
Your benefits records are not accessible to anyone other than yourself without written permission on file in Human Resources Management. There might be occasions when someone else needs to communicate with HRM about your benefits. For example, if you undergo emergency surgery, a family member or friend may need to discuss your coverage with a benefits counselor; however, they will not be able to do so unless you have given Human Resources Management permission to release information to that person. You might want to complete an Authorization for Release of Employee Benefits Information. Once this form is completed and submitted, Human Resources Management can release benefits information to the person(s) you designate.
Please visit the Human Resources Management Release of Employee Benefits Information page for additional information and to access the release form.
Complete Information Security Training
All MSU employees and affiliates must be knowledgeable about effective information security practices. Information security no longer belongs only to a department or IT professionals. It is everyone's responsibility, and therefore, should be incorporated into each individual's daily routine. A secure and aware organization is one where every employee understands that the potential exists for someone to steal, damage, or misuse data that is stored within computers and throughout a department.
The purpose of information security awareness is to help MSU personnel remain informed about safe computing practices and related policies(Information Security Policy - 01.10, Use of Information Technology Resources - 01.12, Social Security Number Usage - 01.23), regulations, and laws. It is also intended to provide individuals with the ability to recognize information security concerns and appropriate responses.
To complete Information Security Training, please log in to the myState portal with your NetID and password, click on the Office tab, and begin with the Information Security Overview.