By Jyllian Roach, Editor-In-Chief
Instructors were recently asked by the Marketing and Communications Department to take a survey regarding past payroll difficulties in an attempt to streamline the payroll process.
The online survey was available to part and full time instructors from Feb. 11 to Feb. 22 as a way for instructors to give their opinions and ideas on how to better handle faculty payroll, said Director of Marketing and Communications Brad Moore.
Faculty members’ pay can be tricky because of added or dropped classes, special projects and added assignments, which have caused errors on some paychecks, he said.
“The project team is looking into the payroll process for possible areas for improvement to make sure all paychecks are accurate the first time to avoid having to make adjustments on the next paycheck,” said Moore.
Part-time Reading Instructor Joseph Combs said he was happy to take the survey since instructor pay can be complex.
“It’s especially complicated when you’re teaching classes that aren’t full term. It gets even more difficult since we have a one month delay in payment and classes don’t begin or end within one pay period,” he said.
While Combs said he has not noticed any errors on his paycheck, it is common to hear about instructors who have had trouble.
Combs hopes that any new process would include specific explanations, rather than just abbreviated codes, for each deduction on his check, he said.
“Frankly, I may have had errors in my paycheck and never knew about them,” said Combs.
Full-time Sociology Instructor Patricia Seitz said that she did not take the survey because the language in the email made her feel unsure about her privacy.
The email promises both confidential and anonymous reporting, two things that cannot be done at the same time, she said.
“They’re promising both confidentiality and anonymity and you can’t promise both – so I decided not to take it. I made the decision not to take the survey,” said Seitz .
Seitz said she has not had any trouble on her paycheck, but has known other instructors who have.
Those instructors were left waiting a long time before the error was corrected, she said.
“Errors have been caught early by faculty and the correction to their paycheck has taken significant time to fix,” said Seitz.
According to an email sent to instructors, a third party vendor has already been contracted to make changes to the payroll system.
Seitz said she is not sure why opinions are being sought after changes seem to already be underway.
“To my knowledge, the software has been purchased so I didn’t quite understand why they were doing a survey. Then again, I didn’t see the survey so I didn’t know what the questions were,” she said.
Moore said this survey is just to get ideas regarding the changes to the payroll process and no changes will be implemented at this time.