Student Employees’ Time Sheets Go High-Tech

Student employment time sheets will be converted to an electronic time keeping system in the spring of 2014, according to Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment.

Students and faculty will be trained to use the new system prior to the implementation in 2014.

“A new system will provide us with many efficiencies that come with an electronic system,” said Parks. “It will allow us to more accurately calculate pay with fewer errors occurring due to student employees with multiple jobs on campus …or simply from human error due to the manual calculations. It will also allow us to be more efficient in maintaining payroll records.”

Alfred Tillerson, a senior communication major and information technology lab assistant in Howard Hall, said he has not heard many details concerning the electronic time keeping system. “It was brought to my attention earlier this week, but I like the idea. There have been a few instances of employees falsifying their times on their sheets and it cost them their jobs, so this new software will bring more accuracy.”

According to Parks, the University has been talking about implementing an electronic time keeping system for students for over 12 years. This system will be more environmentally friendly, saving over 1,000 paper time sheets per pay period. It will also save time in the Student Employment office and allow for more training on student employees’ career development.

In order to continue working next semester, student employees must activate their Ultipro account with a Student Employment or Human Resources staff member. This will ensure that students’ jobs are loaded correctly in the system. Training times will be available for students and supervisors in the spring, or this Thursday, Dec. 12 in the Student Employment office. The process takes about ten minutes.

Junior Kevin Holton, an English major and writing center assistant, has gone through the training offered by Student Employment and said it was very simple to complete, though he had some concerns. “What bothered me about training is that they’re extremely strict about where you punch in and out. They made it very clear that they [student employment] not only can but will trace our punches to see if we use a mobile device and that we may face repercussions if we do,” said Holton.

Parks said that students must punch in and out at the beginning and end of each shift on electronic punch pads. Before the end of each pay period, students must approve their time card by logging on to the Internet. The information will be pulled directly into the payroll system for approval.

Students’ work schedules will not be affected by the electronic time keeping system. However, students still cannot work during their scheduled class time, according to Parks. Responsibilities for students and employers remain the same as well. The biggest difference is that overrides and signatures will be done electronically.

Holton thinks that the electronic system would be more efficient if thumb scanners, like the other employees have, were used instead. He also believed that more issues could arise from the new routine.

“I think it’ll be more problematic for us. Admittedly, it’s much more efficient for the accounts and billings offices, and can save them a lot of time and effort. I appreciate and understand that, but my boss is already spending hours a day fixing incorrect time sheets because the online system doesn’t let us fix our own hours,” said Holton, “In short, I don’t think this will function effectively unless we can correct our own timesheets and punch in from mobile devices or dedicated servers.”

Rebecca Zidik, a junior communication major and Peer Learning Advisor for a freshman first year seminar also worries about the complexities that the new electronic system might bring. “I feel like I’ll forget to do it even more. I think they should keep it the way it is. It sounds convenient but very complicated,” said Zidik.

Federal work study students and Student Help employees will follow the same process for electronic time keeping according to Parks. “If a student earns all of their Federal work study award and the department can continue to pay them out of Student Help wages, they will just punch in as Student Help as opposed to Federal Work Study. Right now they just switch the color of their time sheet,” said Parks.