Glitch delays pay for some U of Iowa staff : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

By ANN McGLYNN Register Staff Writer 09/25/1999 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa City, Ia. - A new computer system at the University of Iowa is causing headaches for some graduate students and forced other employees to work long hours.

The biggest problem with the PeopleSoft system, which is used for payroll and benefits, has been a delay in issuing some paychecks.

The U of I student government sent a letter Friday to the head of payroll requesting help for students who weren't paid when they were supposed to be during the switch.

The problems especially affected international students, the letter said, because they are not eligible for financial aid and most likely live solely off their university check.

Student leaders cited the case of Jung-Bong Choi, a communications studies graduate student and instructor, to illustrate the problem.

Neither Choi nor his wife received a paycheck on Sept. 1. He has $50 in overdraft charges because of bounced checks and has received only 70 percent of the money owed him.

"For the few remaining employees who suffered additional hardships, such as overdraft charges, we would expect that the university could offer assistance or reimbursement," the letter said. "While the amounts of $25 or $50 are not significant to this large university, it is significant to student employees."

University payroll manager Joseph Joynt did not return telephone calls seeking comment about the letter.

Larry Meyer, co-director of the project to convert from a 25-year-old computer to PeopleSoft, said the worst of the problems were over.

"The rest isn't as complicated," he said.

The university decided to change systems for two reasons, Meyer said. The first is that the 25-year-old mainframe system was vulnerable to the Year 2000 computer bug. Second, employees requested a more user-friendly system.

U of I officials said problems here haven't been as severe as at other colleges and universities converting to PeopleSoft.

Several schools have experienced major problems with the software, a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education said. Cleveland State University's financial aid was delayed and bills from last fall were wrong. Spring grade reports at the University of Wisconsin at Madison couldn't be printed. Ohio State University will spend $30 million more than it planned.

PeopleSoft, based in Pleasanton, Calif., makes software for businesses and higher education. Liz Dietz, a vice president for PeopleSoft, said the company is working to help those with problems.

She believes the U of I fared better than some other schools because it installed software that had been on the market for a while and it did not opt for many changes.

The U of I spent slightly less than $5 million on installation - $1 million under budget. The university didn't have as many problems as other schools, the co-directors said, because it used its own people to complete the project. A team of eight worked nights and weekends to meet the deadline.

Staff members - including those who do not normally work on data entry - have typed in more, said Elaine Haddy, the other project co-director.

Tests on the system began in February, but some problems have occurred since PeopleSoft started issuing checks.

-- y2k dave (, September 25, 1999


My alma-mater have problems-Ha. I'm not surprised that they have not been responsive. It is just their culture.

-- rcw (, September 25, 1999.

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