Support by UW Leadership

August 19, 2014

Executive Sponsors share messages of support in the August 2014 UW@Work newsletter.

April 4, 2014

As part of the University of Washington's vision to be "Tomorrow's University Today," we have made the decision to move forward with HR/Payroll Modernization – an exciting and much-needed project. Why? Because we can't be tomorrow's leaders if we're using yesterday's technology and work practices. HR/Payroll Modernization is an investment in our technology and, more importantly, in our people. Our University is world-class in research, teaching, and scholarship. This modernization effort will complete the circle and give our employees the tools and best practices they need to operate at that world-class level.

An image of V'Ella Warren, Senior Vice PresidentThis spring, after a couple of years of planning and preparatory work, we have reached an important milestone – the start of implementation of our new HR and payroll system. We will have a new system and new ways of handling work in the HR and payroll areas. With the quick implementation timeline, this project requires agility, determination, and cooperation. We must work hard to change "the way we've always done it" and pave the way for how such efforts will be done in the future. The benefits to be realized are substantial. We will be able to standardize our processes, eliminate a high error rate in our HR and payroll functions, become more sustainable by reducing paper use, and gain the ability to focus on strategic planning instead of administrative intervention.

I share with you the words of Henry Ford, "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." We look forward to this success and many more.

V’Ella Warren
Senior Vice President

December 4, 2013

Provost Ana Mari Cauce sheds additional insight on the project:

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August 29, 2013

In the last several years, we have focused extensively on positioning the University of Washington as the model for public higher education. Working cooperatively across the University, we created a vision in which the University of Washington is more competitive, collaborative, and nimble, incorporating technology that effectively enables that vision.

Michael Young, PresidentWe must lead change in higher education not only through our teaching and learning, but also administratively. HR/Payroll Modernization is a significant initiative supporting this latter objective and helping make our vision a reality. An updated technology platform will support modern practices for Human Resources and Payroll, creating efficiencies within those systems, providing comprehensive data for strategic planning, increasing compliance management, and facilitating accountability at every level of the University. These efficiencies will enable better recordkeeping, ensuring that employees can be confident in the reliability and accuracy of individual benefits accrual and the payroll process.

I'm extremely excited about the many benefits we'll realize from this important effort and wholeheartedly support the investment of time, expertise, and resources. This collaborative initiative is just another example of how the University of Washington is Tomorrow’s University Today.

Michael K. Young
President, University of Washington

May 16, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Constant change seems to have become our new normal. It can be both exciting and create disruption.   It can also inspire action. We do know that to move forward, change is a necessity. As we wrap up the academic year, I want to bring you up to date about a change that is on the horizon – one that will help us work smarter to remain a strong and competitive University.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier communications, HR/Payroll Modernization is a major initiative to replace our existing payroll system and implement a modern human resources and payroll system. The impacts and benefits from this modernization will touch every member of our workforce.

I am writing to update you on three key accomplishments this year: the system procurement, the redesign work on key HR and payroll processes, and the benchmarking effort.


More than 30 years ago, we implemented the Higher Education Payroll Personnel System (HEPPS), which was a technologically advanced payroll system at that time. In the intervening years, we've added two campuses, seen our research enterprise grow tremendously, watched the demand for our medical services skyrocket, and as a result, have doubled our workforce.

While the technology around us has changed dramatically from year to year, our payroll technology has remained the same and without companion human resource functionality. As a result, the existing payroll system has significant operational inefficiencies and service deficits, and it is increasingly difficult to keep pace with ever-changing regulatory requirements. This, along with the absence of an enterprise-wide HR system, has resulted in significant gaps that are being plugged by hundreds of specialized unit and departmental systems around the University, requiring daily heroics and more work for over-burdened and scarce resources – our people.

Expected Outcome

The HR/Payroll Modernization effort will transform the infrastructure supporting our workforce. It will significantly improve critical HR and payroll functions for the entire University (including recruiting, payroll, time and leave management, compensation and benefits management), strengthen regulatory compliance, deliver better information for decision making, and produce substantial efficiencies and productivity gains throughout UW units. As a result, it directly aligns with our Two Years to Two Decades Initiative to operate more effectively and efficiently while providing improved services.

University Involvement

While this is a multi-year project, we've taken significant strides in FY2013 to advance this very complex effort. A staged procurement process has been underway since September to help us identify the technology solution that will best meet our needs. I appreciate the work of the 75 subject matter experts and technical and functional advisors who have been involved in this strenuous and detailed system selection process. As the academic year draws to a close, we are about half way through the process.

This summer, two vendors will provide open demonstrations of their solutions on the Seattle campus, which will help us better envision our future state. A recommendation for a final vendor will be submitted to the Board of Regents in October and, if approved, routed to the State of Washington Office of the Chief Information Officer for approval shortly thereafter.

At the same time we’ve been advancing work to select a technology solution, some 300 representatives from the University's three campuses have worked tirelessly over several months to redesign key HR and payroll processes, using best practices as the starting point. This effort will conclude next month, and will help inform the selection and subsequent configuration of the new system.

Ana Mari Cauce, Provost and Executive Vice PresidentAnd finally, just this week we wrapped up an extensive data collection effort that will help us create a baseline of UW's current costs for supporting HR and payroll functions. Sample data was culled from 50 units that are representative of our diverse community. The data will now be validated, and then used to provide a benchmark against relevant peers and help support the need for change. This data will be an essential part of our business case to the Board of Regents for moving forward with this project.

You will receive more information about the HR/Payroll Modernization over the next several months to help you understand the proposed changes, opportunities for involvement, and any impact you may experience.

Remember that change is necessary to progress. It may be hard and painful at times, but we're in this together. And together we'll create a stronger and more competitive UW of the 21st century.


Ana Mari Cauce
Provost and Executive Vice President