UCPath is the University of California’s critical project to implement a single payroll, benefits, HR and academic personnel solution for all UC employees.
- Replace UC’s 35-year old Payroll/Personnel System (PPS) with a single new payroll and HR technology system
- Standardize and streamline payroll and HR processes systemwide
- Centralize certain HR/APO and payroll transactional processes within the UCPath shared service center
UC’s 35‐year old Payroll/Personnel System (PPS) is difficult to use, expensive to maintain, doesn’t meet the needs of UC’s complex and diverse employee population and requires redundant data entry, manual calculations and significant paper processing. PPS cannot meet the needs of the UC system going forward.
UCPath will roll out as a three-stage pilot, starting with the UC Office of the President (UCOP) in November 2015. Go-live is a series of events that take place over several weeks. Dates for these activities will be worked out on a location-by-location basis.
Replacing the 11 versions of PPS and several other stand-alone human resource information systems with a single payroll and human resource information system for all UC employees means having unified systems and data across the University. The new UCPath Center will efficiently support payroll and human resources transaction processing and also support UC faculty and staff with high-quality service and improved access to job information. Standardization of business practices UC-wide will streamline processes and enhance productivity. (Working Smarter, UCOP)
In 2009, the Campus and Medical Center Controllers, Campus and Medical Center Human Resource Officers, and Academic Personnel Directors completed an initial assessment of PPS and recommended planning for a more modern replacement and agreed to work toward conforming business practices. The project began in the fall of 2009 with the creation of a governance structure comprising a Sponsor Group and Management Workgroup for executive leadership and cross location/functional representation. The project fully ramped up in early 2010 with the engagement of a full-time project director. (Working Smarter, UCOP)
The goal of the UCPath Project is to be more effective and efficient in managing payroll and human resources. Operational changes will take place over several years, giving UC campuses time to plan for the transition, including implementation of process improvements and proper alignment of job activities and responsibilities to better leverage the new technology and UCPath Center. It is expected that fewer positions systemwide will eventually be required, but is too soon to know when or how many positions will be affected. As such positions are reduced over time, UC intends to minimize involuntary layoffs through attrition (retirements), re-training and realignment of staff responsibilities. Employees in the most directly affected units may have opportunities to learn new skills and take on new roles. (Working Smarter, UCOP)
After months of discussion and analysis, UC leaders, managers and staff throughout the system concluded that UC, like other higher education and public sector institutions, would benefit from:
- Streamlined processing of routine transactions
- Economies of scale in administrative operations
- Consistent, trackable, responsive service
- Additional hours of support and staff coverage
- There will be a single, integrated payroll and HR solution for all UC employees
- Payroll processing will be automated, efficient and accurate
- Consistent, quality data will be readily available to improve analytical reporting and decision‐making
- Staff and faculty will have direct access to more of their personal employee information online and be able to make changes themselves
- Specialists at the UCPath Center will provide accurate and timely information and issue resolution
- Transactional processing will be streamlined and more consistent
- Faculty and staff will have frequent feedback opportunities
Lower Cost Over Time
- Experience at other institutions has demonstrated that, over time, UC can expect to deliver payroll and HR services at a lower cost
Extensive preparation and testing are being conducted prior to launch to ensure that UCPath technology works. UCPath is dedicated to continually improving the UCPath technology and services. As with any technology project, updates and adjustments will continue to be made after launch.
Each location will have a training lead responsible for the coordination and deployment of UCPath training. Training will be available 4‐6 weeks prior to launch and, depending on responsibilities and roles, may include town halls, webinars, instructor-led training, labs and automated simulations.
The UCPath Center is a systemwide shared service center that will provide routine transaction processing for HR/AP and payroll for UC’s 10 campuses and five medical centers.
The UCPath Center will handle routine and transaction processing for the areas of:
- Workforce administration (including tasks like employment verification, new hires)
- Benefits (including tasks like COBRA notices, open enrollment)
- Payroll (including tasks like payroll adjustments)
- Absence management (including tasks like direct billing, leave administration, managing accruals)
- Compensation (including tasks like additional/supplemental pay, mass pay changes)
- Finance/GL integration (including tasks like salary cost transfers)
The center will provide easy and efficient customer service through:
- Online access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Telephone assistance 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday
After UCPath goes live, campus and medical center human resources and academic personnel departments will continue to provide a variety of important services on‐site. For example, services that will continue to be performed on-site include:
- Staffing and recruitment activities
- Employee and labor relations
- Talent and performance management
- Employee counseling
Many campuses and medical centers already have shared service initiatives. Such efforts are important steps toward achieving administrative and operational efficiencies. UCPath will work with local shared services organizations to further streamline processes and deliver consistent, high-quality service. UCPath leaders are working closely with campus and medical center leaders and experts to draw on lessons learned, identify best practices, and plan for how shared service centers and UCPath will work together.