This semester, Saint Mary’s introduced a new payroll system for student employees. The new system, Oracle, replaced the Banner system which the College has been using since 1999.
This system change comes after several student employees had issues last semester with not receiving their wages. Morgan Martin is a resident assistant and hall director assistant in Le Mans Hall and she did not receive payment for either of her jobs until late in the last semester.
“So as paychecks were going through, I just wasn’t getting paid anything. So I contacted payroll about it.” Martin said after she spoke to payroll it was supposedly fixed but she had to wait a month until her next paycheck and when it was supposed to come, she still didn’t receive anything.
“Eventually I just went into payroll and talked to a lady and she was very nice about it and very understanding,” she said. Martin said that the payroll employee helping her just seemed to hit a button and it was fixed, a seemingly too simple fix after months of issues.
While she did eventually get paid, this had happened to her the year before as well. “This was an issue the year before too. I didn’t get paid until March last spring,” she said. Martin joked that there must be something wrong with her and her account but this has happened to other resident assistants as well.
Chief information officer Todd Norris explained that issues like these will become a rarity with Oracle in place.
“Oracle provides some automation and data transfer automation that allows for the process from once the time has been approved until the money arrives in your account,” he said.
However, Norris also said that this transition was in the works before these problems arose last semester.
“The reason for making the change has to do with modernizing the campus,” he said. “While the Banner system was great in 1999 and has made many improvements over the years, it maybe didn’t keep pace with what we’d hoped and expected.”
Norris continued to highlight features of Oracle that students can be excited to see, including a mobile app expected to be launched within the coming weeks.
“The Oracle app will allow students to be able to clock in and out from their jobs using an app on their phone instead of logging onto a computer,” Norris said.
Oracle was chosen over other similar systems for several reasons, one being its security. “The enhanced security that Oracle provides made it our number one,” Norris said. “From my perspective, I will say as the chief information officer who is primarily tasked with information security, that the security of the Oracle network is world-class.”
The system as a whole was also considered, as the payroll change is one of three modules that the College plans to switch to Oracle within the next few years. The recently active module is called Human Capital Management (HCM).
June 1st will mark the launch of a finance module called ERP. Norris said that students will not engage with that as much as the recent one that involves the payroll switchover.
The final module is still up in the air as a contract has not yet been signed. The last module would be a student information system, housing things such as class schedules and times, transcripts and registration. Norris said it could be compared to what PRISM does right now. “The timeline for the student information system is still a bit up in the air as it’s a product that’s still in development by Oracle,” Norris said.
“I am watching the product very closely for features and functionality to make sure that it does what we need to do and that improvements are worth all the bother and expense.”
Norris said if a contract is signed, it will still be another two years before the system would go live at Saint Mary’s. He predicts registration for the fall of 2025 as the earliest possible date students here could see this new system, but more realistically it will be seen fall of 2026.
While as of right now, they have only seen one of a few changes to come, students seem to be somewhat unsure of the new payroll system. “It seems fine I guess. It’s just harder because you can’t go in and put in the time that you worked. You have to do it right then,” Martin said.
Martin also talked about the inconvenience of putting in a time change if you clock in late or jobs like her Hall Director’s Assistant one where she does small tasks in her free time and now has to clock in and out for small chunks of time, instead of just being to compile it all as she did with the old Banner system.
While hesitant, Martin is excited to learn the new system. “It’s just learning something new,” she said about navigating the new system.
Contact Katelyn Waldschmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.