Editorial: Webster rolls out ADP while underprepared


Clarification:  This editorial originally stated that 330 employees did not receive a pay check in mid January due to a glitch in ADP’s system and that the error was fixed within 48 hours. This information was given to The Journal in a fact sheet during an interview with Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Kenneth Freeman and Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin. The day after publication, Giblin alerted The Journal that the information Webster originally provided was incorrect. The error was actually discovered 48 hours prior to payday and everyone received their checks on time.


Everyone on campus is talking about the same thing — ADP, Autimatic Data Processing Inc. In any building on campus you are bound to hear discussion about Webster University’s newly implemented payroll and human resource system. Questions, confusion and frustration are often strong elements of those discussions.
ADP provides cloud-based payroll, human resource management, benefits administration and time clock services.


The Journal believes ADP is the right move for Webster. It eliminates paper timesheets and makes employment hours and benefit information more readily available to university employees, including student employees — all good things.


But problematically, ADP uses an older version of Java that is not installed on every computer, the new system can be difficult for student employees with multiple on-campus jobs and supervisors don’t always have access to approve all of their student workers’ hours. And a glitch in the system had the potential to result in 330 full-time employees not receiving their paycheck earlier this month.


The Journal recognizes and appreciates the university’s quick response to ensure that employees were paid on time, the glitch was fixed within 48 hours. We understand that it is next to impossible to predict every potential glitch or problem a new system may cause prior to installing the system. But, we feel the university should have prepared more before rolling out ADP and it should be more proactive now post-rollout.


You, our readers, should keep in mind that we are also affected by this rollout. All of the editors who work at The Journal are paid. We as student employees at Webster have struggled first hand with Java-related issues, difficulty logging in and the fear that some of us will not get paid.


After listening to the often frustrated voices that echo in the halls, we don’t believe we are alone in our complications and fears.


We understand there are bound to be glitches and confusion when a university-wide initiative is rolled out. We appreciate that Information Technology, Human Resources, payroll and career services are working to fix those problems that have risen in the system’s infancy. But the university should have begun to address some of those anticipated problems before switching everyone over to ADP.


One of the most reported problems with ADP is that the employee’s computer doesn’t support the correct version of Java. Webster’s IT department will install the correct version on computers when someone reports having issues with a specific computer.


The university should have been proactive. Webster should have started updating computers to the correct Java version before rolling out ADP.


And Webster is starting to phase out the My Webster command center, which receives calls and emails with questions related to ADP. They are beginning to phase it out this week because the command center has received less traffic, fewer than 20 ADP-related calls a day.


The Journal encourages Webster to keep the command center open. People still have questions.


We also encourage full-time employees, supervisors and student employees to call and email the command center every time they have an issue. Webster needs to know the true volume of questions and problems so it can address them accordingly.

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