Dec. 18, 2020

Dec. 18, 2020

Presidential message

I am grateful for the many and creative ways our faculty and staff excelled in meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 spring and fall semesters, and I am excited to announce that we will be partially restoring employer contributions to the Retirement Plan of Creighton University, effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, we will restore a Qualified Non-Elective Contribution (QNEC) of 2% – meaning Creighton will contribute 2% of an employee’s annual salary toward her or his retirement plan. These contributions come directly from Creighton and are not deducted from an employee’s salary. The amount an employee can defer (including pretax and Roth contributions) is $19,500 for 403(b) contributions and $6,500 for 403(b) catch-up contributions.

Each month, a review of the University’s financial status will be conducted to assess our ability to begin restoration of the matching contributions, including the potential for a phased-in approach, until we reach our goal of restoring a 5% dollar-for-dollar match – above and beyond the 2% QNEC.

Creighton University is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive retirement package, and restoring the employer matching contribution is essential to that commitment.

As I have announced previously, undergraduate courses for the spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 27. Plans are being finalized for a staggered, coordinated move-in for students living in our residence halls. We also plan to require all students who are coming to campus to be tested for the virus; however, we are still working out the implementation details.

Faculty and staff coming to campus for the spring semester are strongly encouraged to get tested before returning in January.

While our COVID-19 on-campus testing center in the Kiewit Fitness Center is currently closed, it will reopen on Jan. 4. From Jan. 4-22, the testing center will be open Monday through Friday (no weekends), 9:30 a.m. to noon, in KFC Suite 225.

In preparation for the spring 2021 semester, all members of the Creighton community must complete two forms in the BirdHouse by Feb. 1, 2021:

  • HIPAA Authorization for Use and Disclosure (this allows Creighton University to receive your COVID-19 test results from TestNebraska and the Douglas County Health Department)

  • Text Message Opt-In/Opt-Out (this informs the Student Health Education and Compliance team of your preference to receive important immunization deadline reminders)

Additionally, we are requiring that COVID-19 vaccination records are uploaded to the BirdHouse. This will allow for an accurate indication of the percentage of the community vaccinated.

Later today, I look forward to calling some of our freshman students as part of our new CURA Calling initiative, developed by the Office of Student Retention. I would like to thank Creighton colleagues who are making calls to each and every one of our freshmen to engage them in genuine conversation, see how they are faring over this extended break, and get feedback on their fall semester experience. We will be doing a similar calling campaign with sophomores in January.

I am confident they will be appreciative of the exceptional work of our faculty and staff over these past many months of the pandemic to stay cura and stay Creighton. Thank you for all that you do, and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

Sincerely,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD