One Purdue

Academic-year Pay Schedule FAQs

In November 2005, the faculty was given a survey to evaluate academic-year payroll frequency options and express a preference. Below are responses to the questions received from that survey, along with others that arose after the survey.

Questions

  1. I prefer the current academic pay arrangement that provides 10 equal payments. Why not continue just like we do today?
  2. Why is a 10-equal-pay schedule so difficult for a sophisticated new computing system?
  3. I am interested in being paid 12 times per year for my academic-year assignment.
  4. Does this indicate a fundamental change in current contracted rates? Will summer pay/academic pay ratios change? Will this change the academic year/fiscal year ratios cited in C-26?
  5. How will summer-session pay work as we move to this new arrangement?
  6. I currently hold a 12-month, or fiscal year, appointment. Will this change apply to my pay schedule?
  7. If the spring 2007 semester can be paid to us using the current 10-equal-pay schedule, why can’t this just continue?
  8. When will this change actually take effect?
  9. Along with summer-pay changes, will there be any difference in how TIAA-CREF contributions will be paid on summer session compensation?
  10. Graduate assistants, lecturers, and visiting faculty are sometimes offered teaching positions very close to the start of a semester. Creating payroll records in time to receive an August paycheck may not be possible. Would these staff members have to wait until the end of September to be paid?
  11. Who will be impacted by the academic-year payroll changes that OnePurdue will bring?
  12. How will these changes affect faculty and staff paid under an academic-year calendar?
  13. What are the benefits and tax implications of these changes? Who can help me with this?
  14. Why can’t we continue to get paid May 15?
  15. How will I know if my salary is correct after we switch to OnePurdue?
  16. What about academic-year employees holding additional biweekly positions? Will they continue to be paid biweekly and monthly?
  17. What support is in place to help with this transition?
  18. Will I receive hard copies of my payroll statement (direct-deposit notice) after July 1, 2007?
  19. Will I need a Purdue career account to access the new employee self-service features and online payroll information?
  20. Are other universities using this system? Are they doing the same thing as Purdue?
  21. What are the benefits of these payroll changes?

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Answers

  1. I prefer the current academic pay arrangement that provides 10 equal payments. Why not continue just like we do today?

    With different academic calendars in place at each of the four Purdue campuses, the current payroll is manually calculated and quite complex to administer. Continuing our current practices in a new software environment designed to calculate and automate high-volume transactions would perpetuate inefficiencies and errors linked to manual processes. Of even greater concern, replicating the current schedule would require so many payroll “runs” per year that it would pose a risk to meeting deadlines and transmitting funds on time.

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  2. Why is a 10-equal-pay schedule so difficult for a sophisticated new computing system?

    SAP’s payroll-processing capability is ranked high among ERP vendors because it has the capacity to calculate partial payments, deductions, and retroactive transactions. To utilize this functionality, payroll must be based on commonly recognized time units (e.g., weeks or months). The academic pay calendars Purdue currently uses equalize pay over 10 pay periods, but these periods do not correspond to 10 calendar months. This disparity makes every payroll computation more complicated. Adding to this complexity, semester start and end dates vary across the four Purdue campuses. In the current system, there are no standard time units (days, weeks, months) in a pay period. The only option available for administering this kind of a schedule requires manual calculations and staffing to audit, adjust, and correct errors that are inherent in such a system.

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  3. I am interested in being paid 12 times per year for my academic-year assignment.

    The OnePurdue systems will facilitate the offering of a “summer savings” option to provide payments 12 times per year. This program will be launched for summer 2008; those interested in participating need to enroll fall 2007. If you choose this option, you should be aware that the University would not be able to pay interest on any funds that are withheld for the purpose of equalizing your compensation payments. Some financial institutions may offer automated savings/checking arrangements that would allow you to receive 12 monthly payments.

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  4. Does this indicate a fundamental change in current contracted rates? Will summer pay/academic pay ratios change? Will this change the academic year/fiscal year ratios cited in C-26?

    The academic-year contract spans a period from mid-August to mid-May. This will not change. Our current practice is to pay salary 10 times over the nine-month period. This nine-pay arrangement simply matches the number of paydays to the calendar months. The new pay plan will do this as well, but it divides the budgeted annual salary by nine and distributes a full payment from September through April, while a half payment is made in August and May.

    There will be no changes to contracts for faculty; the difference relates only to the pay schedule. Faculty members will teach the same periods as today and receive the same amount of pay over the course of the academic year. Conversion rates are a matter of policy and not system-related. There are no plans as part of this pay-schedule change to adjust the conversion rates for those changing from fiscal- to academic-year appointments.

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  5. How will summer-session pay work as we move to this new arrangement?

    Summer pay is shifting from biweekly to monthly. To make this transition, the June 22, 2007, payroll included a pay advance for the last five workdays in June. The regular month-end pay schedule began July 1, when annual pay increases also took effect.

    The new summer payroll schedule did not impact the amount those with summer contracts make. The summer rate policy of paying 2.5% of annual salary per week did not change. Any summer work completed in August has been combined with the first academic-year paycheck August 31. (PDF)

    See a sample summer pay illustration (PDF)

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  6. I currently hold a 12-month, or fiscal year, appointment. Will this change apply to my pay schedule?

    No. The change is only applicable to academic-year appointments.

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  7. If the spring 2007 semester can be paid to us using the current 10-equal-pay schedule, why can’t this just continue?

    When a new payroll system is implemented, it is considered “best practice” to match the new payroll results to the old payroll results. This is a reliability check that is important to both employees receiving the pay and the payroll administrators producing it. During the spring transition semester, the automation and partial-pay calculations will not be functioning for the academic-year faculty and staff. There will be significant manual efforts required to adjust transactions that will become automated with the fall 2007 semester.

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  8. When will this change actually take effect?

    Here is a draft of the 2007 “transition year” academic pay schedule dates:

    AY January 31, 2007
    AY February 28, 2007
    AY March 30, 2007
    AY April 30, 2007
    AY May 15, 2007

    Transition begins with the summer session:

    SS May 25, 2007 (transition year only)
    SS June 8, 2007
    SS June 22, 2007 (pay advance to June 30)
    SS July 31, 2007

    Purdue moves to the new OnePurdue payroll system July 31.

    AY August 31, 2007 (SS and AY August 31, 2007; this payment combines any August summer session pay due with the first academic-year Aug. 31 payment.)
    AY September 28, 2007
    AY October 31, 2007
    AY November 30, 2007
    AY December 28, 2007

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  9. Along with summer-pay changes, will there be any difference in how TIAA-CREF contributions will be paid on summer session compensation?

    University contributions to TIAA-CREF will be made just as they are today. The policy states that contributions are calculated based on a two-tiered formula: 11% on the first $9,000 of earnings and 15% above $9,000. Summer session contributions are figured at 15% of those earnings.

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  10. Graduate assistants, lecturers, and visiting faculty are sometimes offered teaching positions very close to the start of a semester. Creating payroll records in time to receive an August paycheck may not be possible. Would these staff members have to wait until the end of September to be paid?

    The fall semester is a unique period of intense activity for all involved in staffing. As business processes are established for the new system, payroll staff can work in conjunction with their colleagues in academic business offices to select a date to run an “off-cycle” payroll to produce payments for individuals set up in the system after the August 31 run. This allows us to pay sooner than Sept. 15.

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  11. Who will be impacted by the academic-year payroll changes that OnePurdue will bring?

    Faculty and staff members and graduate students currently paid under the academic-year calendar (mid-August through mid-May) will be affected by the new payroll system. This does not include anyone paid under a 12-month calendar year (fiscal year or biweekly).

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  12. How will these changes affect faculty and staff paid under an academic-year calendar?

    There will be no changes to contracts for the faculty; the difference only relates to the pay schedule. Right now, anyone working under an academic-year calendar receives 10 equal payments, and this will continue for all faculty and staff members and graduate student employees working under an academic-year payroll. The frequency and amount of the disbursements, however, is what will change.

    From September through April under the new system, disbursements will be paid in eight equal payments totaling 1/9th of one’s annual salary at the end of each month. To more closely align August and May with the start and stop of an academic semester, two “half” payments, totaling 1/18th of one’s annual pay, will be disbursed at the end of both August and May. (Beginning in 2008, mid-May disbursements will no longer be paid.)

    For example, if you currently receive $4,500 per month, your eight larger disbursements will now total $5,000 per month. Therefore, your August and May disbursements will total half that amount: $2,500. To facilitate a smoother transition to these cash-flow changes, Business Services is currently exploring ways to establish an advance payment program and prepare for additional fee deferment requests from graduate student employees.

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  13. What are the benefits and tax implications of these changes? Who can help me with this?

    Health and other insurance premiums will only be deducted from the September-April disbursements, when pay will be highest. The August and May disbursements will not include deductions for medical, term life, and long-term disability; personal accident insurance; dependent life insurance; and flexible spending.

    Tax deferred annuities will continue unless you ask for them to be adjusted; Human Resource Services will help you make any necessary changes. Purdue’s contributions to your retirement program will be made during all 10 months of this schedule.

    Deductions that are not part of the HRS flexible benefit program (parking, athletic ticket purchases, voluntary dental, other voluntary benefits, Purdue Enrichment, United Way, etc.) will be taken from all academic-pay periods.

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  14. Why can’t we continue to get paid May 15?

    After the initial transition, faculty and staff members should find that a consistent end-of-month pay schedule will be simpler to understand. Aligning Purdue’s payroll practices with more standardized pay calendars will allow the system to calculate partial pay periods, process retroactive transactions, and tax correctly. Since May payments could include both academic-year effort and summer session pay, Purdue has adopted the May 31 schedule.

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  15. How will I know if my salary is correct after we switch to OnePurdue?

    Since your first monthly disbursement generated by the new system will include your 2007-08 salary increase, a side-by-side comparison with a prior pay statement will not be possible. Faculty and staff members will, however, be provided easy-to-read guides to help them understand and validate key pay figures.

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  16. What about academic-year employees holding additional biweekly positions? Will they continue to be paid biweekly and monthly?

    No. Those with multiple positions will receive one consolidated disbursement at the end of the month. That payment will reflect work done at both biweekly and monthly positions.

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  17. What support is in place to help with this transition?

    Medical and insurance premiums will not be taken from May or August to maximize the net pay available. In addition, Business Services is currently exploring ways to provide pay advances as well as gearing up for more graduate student employee requests for fee deferment. Finally, for those wishing to distribute their cash flow over 12 months, a summer savings program was launched in fall 2007.

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  18. Will I receive hard copies of my payroll statement (direct-deposit notice) after July 1, 2007?

    No. Those using direct deposit will be notified of their payments via e-mail (instead of campus mail, the current notification process). This e-mail will point the recipient to OnePurdue’s Employee Self-Service (ESS) Web site, where individual payment information will be password-protected.

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  19. Will I need a Purdue career account to access the new employee self-service features and online payroll information?

    Yes. Just as with today’s online payroll information, you also will log in to the OnePurdue ESS using your career account name and password. At the West Lafayette campus, the same career account information that you use for access to Purdue Web Mail, SSINFO, SIS, and other systems will be used to access ESS functions.

    All faculty and staff members at Calumet, IPFW, and North Central also have career accounts established, although they may not have received information necessary to use it. Each campus has instructions and support available to help familiarize its employees with their Purdue career accounts.

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  20. Are other universities using this system? Are they doing the same thing as Purdue?

    Yes. More than a dozen other universities have already implemented SAP software on their campuses to run financial and/or human resource operations. In fact, Purdue is one of the last Big Ten universities to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Pay schedules for faculty and staff members working during the academic year vary among other schools. Purdue’s academic calendars and regional campus system, which don’t fit other university models, were factors in shaping the design of the OnePurdue pay schedule.

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  21. What are the benefits of these payroll changes?

    Short-term improvements you’ll see will include a more detailed display of pay types (salary, overload, administrative adjustment, etc.), specific deduction information, and year-to-date totals. OnePurdue’s Employee Self-Service (ESS) will go beyond the current view-only self-service options. For example, Purdue employees will be able to update their own demographic information in order to keep their records up-to-date and correct. Using ESS, they’ll also have the ability to manage their own tax withholdings.

    In the near future, benefit information will be added to ESS, with the goal of having online benefits enrollment. With an integrated system, we expect these self-service transactions to cut down on “lag” time. The annual open-enrollment window for flexible-spending accounts, for instance, may not need to be open as early as October; by being able to open it closer to January, employees might be able to better estimate how much they want withheld for this account the following year.

    With OnePurdue’s flexibility to later add benefit options, the University will be able to review and consider such possible features as consumer-driven medical accounts, additional University-funded retirement options, and changes to leave programs. Purdue also will be able to stay current with technology changes and security enhancements.

    In short, the foundation provided by OnePurdue will be much more upgradable, configurable, and expandable, thus allowing the University to change its delivery of business services.

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