A New Foundation
There may be a few bumps in the road, but the destination in this long-overdue journey is well worth the trip.
That’s among the key takeaway messages to campus about UCPath, which is scheduled to “go live” at UCSB in September, replacing the 35-year-old Payroll Personnel System (PPS). The modern payroll, benefits, human resource and academic personnel solution that is UCPath standardizes business processes across campus and the entire UC system.
Aiming to engage all employees, UCSB hosted an informational town hall meeting centered on the essentials: what UCPath is, what changes it brings and how best staff and faculty can prepare. UCPath at UCSB will officially launch September 27; the first paychecks issued from the new system will land with UCSB employees in October.
“We can’t claim the transition will be painless … but the level of pain we feel will be manageable, and we will do our best to ease this transition,” said Joel Michaelsen, interim vice chancellor of administrative services, during the Corwin Hall event that also streamed live via Zoom. “UCPath allows us to modernize and standardize a lot of business practices. It allows us to interact more directly with other campuses and learn from them and share information and ideas with them. And it also provides another level of support, both for employees that use the system and the general employee population.”
Much of that extra support comes courtesy of the UCPath Center, a shared services facility in Riverside, run by the Office of the President, that augments existing (and continuing) human resources, personnel and payroll resources at individual campuses.
“This is really supplementing things we do on campus,” Cindy Doherty, director in UCSB’s Office of Academic Personnel, said during her remarks at the recent event. “We have a new player involved in the UCPath Center as an additional resource to employees.”
Jim Corkill, controller in UCSB’s Business & Financial Services unit, and Cynthia Señeriz, director of human resources, also presented at the town hall, highlighting core aspects of the new program, which affects every UCSB employee.
Among the benefits: improved access to employment and benefit information from anywhere, and from any device, via the new UCPath web portal. For most functions, UCPath immediately replaces At Your Service Online (AYSO), though the latter portal will for some time remain accessible for viewing retirement information and previous W-2s, and to update beneficiaries.
All employees are advised to log in to AYSO prior to August 30 to verify personal information, elect to receive W-2s electronically, and to sign up for direct deposit. At least one pay cycle is typically required for direct deposit to take effect, so it is further recommended that employees make those requests as soon as possible.
After implementation, employees will access the UCPath portal to view personal job data and payroll information, enroll in direct deposit, update tax withholdings, view or enroll in benefits, see vacation and sick leave balances and more. Managers will have better tools, data, reporting and decision-making capabilities. Service delivery and reliability are expected to improve dramatically over PPS, which has been in use since 1982.
The new system also means two W-2s for 2018: one for earnings prior to the go-live date, and one for earnings following implementation. For employees not enrolled in direct deposit, paper paychecks will no longer be available for on-campus pickup; checks will instead be mailed to the address on file.
Another change that the shift to UCPath brings to all employees: new employee ID numbers. Everyone will get a new number, though very few people will see a direct impact on their day-to-day.
UCSB and UCLA will both deploy UCPath in September, following successful rollouts at three pilot locations and culminating six years of planning and preparation. They are the first campuses to formally launch the comprehensive tool that is a UC-wide strategic priority.
Part of UC’s broad and long-range Working Smarter Initiative to elevate administrative operations to the same level of excellence as its academic and research enterprise, UCPath will unite every UC location with a single payroll, benefits, human resource and academic personnel system for all employees. With standard technology, consistent processes and a shared services center, UCPath is meant to create a foundation upon which new capabilities and improvements can be developed into the future.