The long-awaited campus-wide information technology overhaul known as the Mosaic project is finally nearing completion — at least in part. In the coming months, much of the behind-the-scenes computing that allows an enormous and complex institution like the UA to function will be updated to meet the demands of a university in the 21st century. In part one of a two-part series, the Arizona Daily Wildcat examines the changes university employees can expect to see. Check back tomorrow for information regarding changes for students.
Get ready, UA employees: you're in for a raise.
A more efficient payroll processing system is just one of the advances that UA employees can expect to see as a result of the new information technology infrastructure known as the Mosaic project.
New software for employees will open Sept. 28. Payroll, benefits and time recording are all systems that will be affected by the change.
""(The UA is) one of the few universities in the United States that has not upgraded its system, so that puts us at a competitive disadvantage,"" said Kay Beasock, manager of organizational communications for Mosaic.
""Our current system is really old,"" Beasock said. ""We have to do a lot of manual work because of the lack of effective integration with these systems.""
After 20 years with the current system, it's time for an update, added Tom Bourgeois, co-director of student administration for Mosaic.
PeopleSoft, the new software, is one of the leading software providers for universities, said Hank Childers, Mosaic project director. Both Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University use this system. After the system goes online, employees will see immediate changes including a new look for paychecks starting Oct. 9.
Personnel information, payroll and benefits are three systems that work together and must go live at the same time, said John Wilson, campus community team leader in the Department of Institutional IT Applications.
One visible change is that there is a new system for recording time, Childers said. Instead of filling out paperwork, managers will enter their employees' times electronically.
Payroll changes will be visible to employees via the amounts on their paychecks due to new methods for implementing withholding and other deductions, he said.
""Someone with $532.35 on his or her regular check might get $532.80 on the next,"" he said. ""It will be small but visible.""
Another change will be that the UA will no longer print direct deposit advices, which Childers said is a source of considerable paper waste.
The system is geared toward using less paper, but will also be more efficient and should work better overall, said Susan Silverberg Koerner, a family and consumer sciences professor and an overseer of student employees in her college.
""When people get hired there's usually a day or so lag that happens when all the systems finally get the information,"" she said. ""One of the things we've spent some money on, is changing employment status so the systems can respond more effectively and quickly.""