Getting Started

There is a lot to do and learn as you prepare to join the university - but don't let that intimidate you. VCU Human Resources is here to support you through your first days, weeks, months... and your entire career at VCU.

Please note: You must enroll in health coverage in the first 30 calendar days of your employment (starting with and including your hire date) or your health coverage will be waived. 

VCU Culture

Our organizational culture is the tie that binds our common and uncommon features together.

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The Richmond Community

VCU’s urban roots go deep, with plenty of opportunities to explore the communities around both the university and health system campuses. Here are a few places to start:

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The expansive array of benefits available to VCU employees is unparalleled. Take some time to learn about your benefits options so you can make timely decisions when required. Begin by:

  • Reviewing ALEX for VCU, which is an interactive benefits counselor for faculty members and University and Academic Professionals. You can chat with ALEX about health coverage, flexible spending, retirement benefits, life insurance, and disability coverage.  
  • Reviewing your Benefits orientation video series. Note: This resource is only viewable to those with a VCU email login - please wait until you have received yours to view the videos.
  • Visiting the Benefits FAQ webpage and opening the I’m new! How do I sign up for benefits? tab.
  • Registering for Cardinal. Starting on the day following your registration, begin to manage your health coverage and flexible spending account elections.
  • Returning enrollment/election forms and supporting documentation by creating a service request at, by emailing, or faxing (804-827-4728), or by uploading to VCU Filelocker. If you choose to use DocuSign to return your forms, VCU Human Resources automatically receives these documents when you click Finish.  You will also receive a copy of your completed form by email for your records.

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New Employee Required Forms

You have likely been in communication with your HR Professional or a member of their staff about required new employment forms. This is a courtesy reminder of the essential documents you will need to complete and return.

Complete new hire forms including but not limited to:

New Hire Forms

Due Date

Personal data

Start date

State and federal tax forms

Start date

Direct deposit authorization

Start date

Selective service

Start date

Child support disclosure

Start date

Bring original I-9 documents on your first day of work. Documents must be original or certified copies. Photocopies cannot be accepted. Here is a list of Form I-9 Acceptable Documents 

No later than your 3rd day of employment

Account summary statement from VRS, if you are a state agency transfer or a VRS participant

Start date

Form DD-214, Form NGB-23, or Form NGB-22 to request inclusion of military service to your annual or university leave accrual, if applicable

No deadline, but recommend as soon as possible

Benefits Forms & Actions

Due Date

Health coverage

Enroll during the first 30 calendar days of eligible employment or waive coverage

Acknowledgement of Health Benefits Enrollment and Retirement Plan Selection

Must be submitted within 30 calendar days of hire

Flexible spending

Enroll during the first 30 calendar days of eligible employment

Election of Retirement Plan (ORP) form (under Retirement forms)

  • If you elect ORP, open your ORP account online with TIAA or Fidelity Investments
  • If you elect VRS, VCU will enroll you in VRS.  No further paperwork is required

Complete during your first 60 days of eligibility to elect VRS or ORP, or default to VRS if no plan selection is made

New faculty, University and Academic Professionals, and postdoctoral employees are automatically enrolled in the VCU 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity plan with TIAA on the 60th day of employment unless they actively enroll in voluntary retirement savings before that date

Notice of Automatic Enrollment and Default Investment (TDA Auto Enroll Opt-out form) must be completed prior to the 60th day of employment (under Retirement forms)

You will be auto-enrolled in VCU 403(b)/TDA program for $20 savings per paycheck unless you opt-out or make a voluntary contribution election

Basic life insurance is automatically provided by VCU through the Virginia Retirement System policy for state employees.

  • Complete your beneficiary designation online using the myVRS portal on the Virginia Retirement System website. 

You may enroll in additional coverage under the Optional Life Insurance Program at any time, however approval is guaranteed only within the first 31 days of eligible employment

Voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance (Employees working 20 or more hours per week)

  • Employees age 65 and under may apply for coverage with limited underwriting within the first 60 days of eligible employment. 
  • All other eligible employees, and their eligible family members, may apply at any time with full underwriting

Transferring between Commonwealth of Virginia agencies that participate in the state health benefits program is not a qualifying mid-year event to change health benefits or flexible spending elections

Elections in force at your previous agency must continue at VCU until your next opportunity to make changes during open enrollment or with a qualifying mid-year event

VRS members can purchase VRS service credit for active military duty and eligible public employment

Purchasing during the first 2 years of VRS membership is the lowest cost

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Your First Day and Week

Avoid the unexpected by preparing for your first days on the job.


  • Know where you’re going to park for the first day and week. Learn your way around campus by viewing campus maps
  • If you plan to park in university owned lots, you’ll need to purchase a parking permit by contacting the appropriate Parking Office. Have your license plate number handy in order to complete the application. 

Campus Card

Email and other systems access

Paydays and holidays

What else?

  • Interested in continuing your education? Read how VCU’s tuition benefits can help. 
  • Review the employee discounts section for select codes on a variety of services.
  • Learn how to maintain a safe and healthy work/life at VCU.
  • Become RamStrong. Access resources and make connections to build your wellbeing through multidimensional programming unique to VCU.

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VCU Employee Information Systems

Confront the unfamiliar. The links below include information about VCU systems that you will use frequently. 

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