In late September, UCLA will roll out UCPath, a University of California initiative that will make it easier for employees to view and manage their human resources, payroll and benefits information. The integrated, self-service online portal is already being used by ASUCLA as well as by the UC Office of the President, UC Riverside and UC Merced. All remaining UC campuses are planning to implement UCPath within a year.

In an interview with UCLA Newsroom, Omar Noorzai, executive director of UCLA’s business transformation office, explained UCPath and what its implementation means for UCLA faculty and staff. He also outlines what employees should do by Aug. 1 to prepare for the transition. The interview has been edited for brevity.

What is UCPath?

Omar Noorzai: UCPath will provide our campus — and the entire UC system — with new, integrated technology to link payroll, HR and benefit information. It will replace At Your Service Online for viewing and managing that information. UCPath features a self-service portal that will be available to employees 24/7 and it is mobile-friendly, so employees can use it on their cell phones and tablets. UCPath also establishes a shared service center, which is a new model for UCLA and all of the UC organizations.

It’s important to note that UCPath is not replacing the time and attendance systems that are currently in place. Employees will continue to use whichever system they are currently using to report their absences, including Kronos, TRS and HBC.

Why are we introducing this new system?

UCPath is replacing a payroll and personnel system that is more than 35 years old. While our current system works, the cost to maintain it and the ability to update it are increasingly challenging.

UCPath is much simpler and cleaner than what we have today. It’s intuitive, it flows well and it’s easy to use. In addition, we’re going to have a lot more self-service and mobile capabilities. It’ll make navigating and getting information and data — such as your vacation time, accruals and pay stubs — easier. We’re going to have stronger work flows and simpler processes. Systemwide, there are also massive advantages in reporting.

Can you share more about the new shared services center?

Located in Riverside, the UCPath Center is a customer-service center that provides personalized customer support for all UC employees. Currently, if employees have payroll, human resources or benefits questions, they go to their local campus department representative or human resources office.

Moving forward, after UCPath goes live, if an employee has questions or issues related to a paycheck, benefits or leave information, they will contact the UCPath Center. Any question that can’t be addressed in the self-service portal can be answered by a live person from the UCPath Center. And if they can’t resolve it, they’ll contact whoever knows the answer and get back to the individual. The center will be very responsive and the service will be seamless. This centralized model is more robust than what we have now.

What do faculty and staff need to do to prepare for UCPath?

All employee information will be transitioned to the new system in September, so employees will not have to take any kind of action in that regard. But employees who do not have a single sign-on and/or have not enrolled in multi-factor authentication need to do so in order to access the UCPath portal.

In addition, we are encouraging employees to go into the At Your Service Online portal to verify that we have the correct address, phone number, email address, spelling of name, spelling of dependents’ names, and so on, because that information will be converted into the new system. We’re encouraging everyone to do this by Aug. 1.

Are there special considerations for employees who receive paper paychecks?

Yes. For employees who receive paper checks, beginning with the Oct. 1 check for employees who are paid monthly, and the Oct. 3 check for those who are paid bi-weekly, paychecks will be mailed directly to their home address. Employees will no longer be able to pick up their paychecks at work. We are encouraging employees to sign up to receive their pay electronically through direct deposit to their bank accounts. This should be done as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition to direct deposit.

What about employees who use the University Credit Union?

For employees who have payroll deductions to the University Credit Union, the payroll deduction in its current state is going away. The payroll deduction will need to be converted to a direct deposit, so we’re strongly encouraging employees to do that by Aug. 1 as well. Employees who have direct deposit to the UCU and who have a payroll deduction do not need to take action. Those who only have a payroll deduction should have already received notification by mail and email from both UCLA Payroll and UCU, and have been directed to download and complete the transfer form. People who are unsure about their status or who have other questions about this should contact UCU.

Where can I learn more about UCPath?

The UCPath website has additional details about the project, the portal and the UCPath Center, among other things. Other questions may be emailed queries to