Author Archive for ucUserz

CSS teams winners at May’s RAC Forum

May 18, 2018

The second annual Research Administration Community (RAC) Poster Session event was held on May 8th at the UC Berkeley Alumni House. This year, posters focused on the topic, “Research Administration Today and Tomorrow.” This event provides research administrators across campus with an opportunity to display posters illustrating an idea, process, policy, tool, and/or job aid that they believe has or could improve research administration on the UC Berkeley campus. Various research administration “communities” were invited to display posters at the event, represented by CSS RA, departmental RA, SPO, CGA, and IAO.

Nine (9) posters were showcased and winners chosen in three (3) categories: People’s Choice, VC Research Award, and VC Administration Award. Two of the three awards were won by Campus Shared Services:

Poster Title: The ERSO Intranet – The Gears That Connect Us and ERSO Systems Mapping postcard (People’s Choice Award)
Contributors:  Miriam Kader, Research Support Officer, ERSO  (Presenter); TK Chen, Application Programmer, ERSO;  Mark Bell, Shipping & Receiving Supervisor, ERSO; and Diane Howe, Reimbursement Services Supervisor, ERSO.

Poster Title: Pathway to Research Administration (PTRA) Internship Project: A Journey Through Steps to Build a More Robust RA Workforce (VCA’s Award)
Contributors: Artawood Chitamitara, Senior Research Administrator (Presenter); and Campus Shared Services.

To learn more and see all the posters, check out the RAC Forum website.

Congratulations to all our CSS poster contributors!

Campus System(s) Planned Outages-5/18/18 – Impacts for CSS Customers

Updated May 15, 2018

(NEW!) Another planned scheduled maintenance day is schedule for Friday, May 18th, affecting the enterprise systems of BearBuy and BFS. There will be some impacts to services that CSS provides the campus as a result of these outages:

Upcoming BearBuy Outage Friday 5/18, 6:00AM – 6:00PM

BearBuy will be down while BFS undergoes system maintenance on Friday, May 18th from 6:00AM – 6:00PM.
See below for impacts to CSS services while these systems are unavailable.


CSS has learned that scheduled maintenance work (1-day) for the enterprise systems of HCM and Blu will occur on Friday, May 11th. There will be some impacts to services that CSS provides the campus as a result of these outages:

HCM unavailable Friday May 11 from 6:00am – 6:00pm

Maintenance work will be performed on all modules of HCM including Workforce Administration, Talent Acquisition Manager (recruiting), Candidate Gateway (Berkeley Jobs applicant portal), and Self Service. They will all be unavailable during this time.

  • Separations and Funding Change requests in ServiceNow: Because HCM is integrated  with these request types, you’ll be able to submit these ServiceNow tickets when the system is back online on May 12th. (Or, you can submit them prior to 5/11 but please know that CSS too, will not have access to HCM until after 5/12.)

Blu will be down from Friday 5/11 from 6:00am to 2:00pm

HCM modules accessed via Blu (including Employee and Applicant Self Services) as well as BFS and BearBuy modules accessed via Blu will not be available during this time while maintenance work is being performed. Plus:

  • BearBuy: Because campus purchasing requests and voucher payments/approvals will be unavailable, this will delay regular processing time.
  • BFS: Access to  financial journals, budget uploads, closeouts, and chartfield validations will also be unavailable. CSS’ ability to process financial transactions will be briefly postponed until the system is back online.
  • T&E:  This will have a similar effect to processing time. CSS will ensure that the processing of T&E transactions resumes once the system is back online. Note: check out the CSS B&FS main webpage to see what processing date the teams are currently working on.

Related outage messages and details appear on the Blu home page, the Information Systems & Technology Service Status page,and Berkeley Jobs page.

We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any specific questions, you may contact your respective CSS HR Partner or CSS Business & Financial Services (B&FS) supervisor. Don’t know who your key CSS contacts are? Find your department name in the FIND YOUR UNIT PROFILE PAGE in the far-left panel on the homepage of the CSS website.

Faster Travel Reimbursements with Direct Enter

May 3, 2018

The Controller’s Office is officially introducing Direct Enter, a new travel reimbursement process that is intended to streamline data entry, shorten processing time to payment from weeks to days, and put more control of the process in the hands of employee-travelers. Faculty and staff who travel in the course of their work are now able to request travel expense reimbursements by entering their travel expenses directly into the Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Reimbursement System. This eliminates the need to fill out multiple forms to request reimbursement and will make the university more efficient. Plus, travelers can upload photos of receipts directly to the system and all certifications/approvals can now be completed electronically, rather than collecting paper signatures.

This week, a joint email from Paul Alivisatos, (EVCP), Rosemarie Rae, VC Finance, and Marc Fisher, VC Administration was sent throughout campus on May 1st, expressing the need for all departments to fully transition to this new process by Monday, July 2, 2018. To learn more about this new process, visit the Direct Enter page on the Berkeley Travel website, to find helpful information as well as a plethora of training materials and videos to help navigate through how to submit trip expenses into the travel reimbursement system and how to differentiate between CSS forms/process and Direct Enter.

The Travel & Entertainment team has been partnering with early campus adopters to pilot this new Direct Entry process beginning last year as part of a process improvement effort. Feedback so far has been positive and more than two-thirds of campus departments are realizing benefits from using it.

Campus Shared Services (CSS) will continue to be available to assist with processing more complex reimbursements, if necessary, that involve extensive foreign currency transactions or multiple destinations and with travel reimbursements for students and visitors. After July 2, CSS will partner with Accounts Payable to work with Chief Administration Officers (CAOs) and Control Unit Administrators (CUAs) to help transition (requests) for their departments who have not yet done so.

Departments who are interested in having the Accounts Payable team attend staff meetings or request a demonstration, or to provide any additional support, should contact them at:


Summer & Fall 2018 ASE/GSR Hiring Improvements

April 30, 2018

CSS Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support (HR/APS) and Research Administration (RA) teams are currently working with campus departments for their Summer & Fall 2018 Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) Hiring requests. (The ASE category includes titles such as Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs), Acting Instructor-Graduate Students (AI-GS), Graduate Student Readers, and Student Tutors.)

The overall process remains the same: Graduate Student Affairs Officers (GSAOs), or any other department personnel authorized to coordinate graduate student hiring, are responsible for initiating the request (and track the progress) via the online Smartsheet tool for their department.

What’s Changing for 2018 Summer and Fall ASE/GSR Hiring Smartsheets?

The ASE/GSR Smartsheets have had some updates, including the addition of a new (optional) Intake Form, new columns, and a new filter. For instructions on the new Intake Form and filter, check out the Smartsheet Information and Training Resources section of the CSS ASE/GSR Hiring page on the CSS website using this link. Plus, there is also a new Data Dictionary for additional support.


To initiate appointments for ASEs/GSRs that start on May 1, 2018 or beyond, use your department’s new Grad Hiring Smartsheet for 2018 Summer and Fall. (GSAOs/initiators were provided access to this Smartsheet beginning on May 7, 2018 at 1:00 PM. After logging in with your CalNet ID, navigate to your specific department Smartsheet from the “Home” tab).

For questions or to request access to departmentmental Smartsheets, please contact your department’s CSS HR/APS Service Delivery contact via the HR team contact information listed on your unit profile page on the CSS website.


FY2017-18 Fiscal Close deadlines announced

April 26, 2018

Fiscal Close deadlines and information for FY2017-18 is now available on the Vice Chancellor Administration website. This year’s fiscal closing steps mirror those in previous years for the  VCA divisions of Campus Shared Services (CSS), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Central Human Resources (CHR), and Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP). Please review the information to ensure that all relevant steps are taken according to the schedule.

Note: For systems related close information, please refer to the BFS General Ledger Monthly Close Schedule for June and July on the Controller’s Office website.


CSS COO gives overview of CSS Regional Restructuring

March 27, 2018

More than 350 leaders, managers, and directors from across UC Berkeley came to Pauley Ballroom on March 15th for the Spring 2018, Vice Chancellor for Administration (VCA) Campus Town Hall meeting for networking and updates from administrative leaders.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Paul Alivisatos shared his priorities for Berkeley and gave updates on the current strategic planning process and the fiscal year 2019 budget outlook. Vice Chancellor for Administration, Marc Fisher shared his observations from his initial six months at Berkeley and introduced several members of his executive leadership team for brief updates, including:

  • Peggy Huston, Chief Operating Officer, Campus Shared Services
  • Jo Mackness, Interim AVC and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Margo Bennett, Chief, UC Police Department
  • Larry Conrad, AVC and Chief Information Officer
  • Kira Stoll, Director of Sustainability

Peggy presented a short overview of the current CSS Regional Restructuring effort, which is just one component in the overall Improving Research Administration Initiative at UC Berkeley. The goal of this initiative is to provide effective support to faculty and PIs; ensuring the University is using resources safely, ethically, and efficiently; and to foster a high-performing culture and integrated network of continual process and systems improvements. You can check out Peggy’s presentation here.

Upcoming outages for various campus systems-HCM

Updated February 22, 2018

When Campus Shared Services (CSS) learns of outages for various campus systems due to technical maintenance, we will share those details here:

  • The next HCM outage will occur on (Fri) March 23rd from 6:00AM until (Sat) March 24 at 10:00PM. Nightly batch interfaces that normally run between HCM and other systems will not run on that Friday.

This scheduled outage supports the campus’ ongoing security improvements to critical enterprise applications and critical to maintaining system security.

CSS Assisting Campus with 2018 Spring/Summer Activities

Updated – May 23, 2018

Continuing to capitalize on the successes in previous years, Campus Shared Services (CSS) has partnered with several central campus units for many activities and programs that support the Berkeley campus. As we continue through the summer months, here is a snapshot of the work that is currently being done. Check with your colleagues in CSS Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support (HR/APS) or your CSS Service Director if you’d like further information. Please note: Some activities may not apply to your unit — if you have questions, contact your CSS HR Partner accordingly.

Summer Session Hiring

Partnering with Summer Sessions and Study Abroad (SS)

Not much changed for this year’s processes. On March 6, 2018, campus units/department managers received an initial email directly from Summer Sessions outlining what they need to know for 2018. CSS HR/APS Managers/Partners will also be following up with the applicable campus units they support for any additional questions. On March 15th, in order for teaching positions to have access to bCourses sooner, a follow-up email from Summer Sessions was sent with revised onboarding deadlines for Sessions A and B.

Summer Salary

Partnering with the Academic Personnel Office (APO)

CSS HR/APS and Research Administration (RA) teams will again be partnering with APO to retain succinct processes to support Summer Salary Efforts. SmartSheets will continue to be the mechanism used to process 2018 Summer Salary and communications to campus and PIs from CSS RAs began in earnest the week of April 2, 2018. Concurrently, CSS HR Service Delivery Managers are working with non-CSS RA supported departments who have Summer Salary budgets. As with previous years, CSS RAs will continue to work with their PIs throughout the summer months and CSS HR Service Delivery Managers will ensure departments have the support they need.

ASE / GSR Hiring

Partnering with the Graduate Division and the Academic Personnel Office (APO)  

Work is currently underway for the  Summer and Fall 2018 ASE/GSR Hiring efforts. The ASE/GSR Smartsheets have had some updates, including the addition of a new (optional) Intake Form, new columns, and a new filter. For instructions on the new Intake Form and filter, check out the Smartsheet Information and Training Resources section using this link. Plus, there is also a new Data Dictionary for your convenience and support. Departments should initiate appointments for ASEs/GSRs that start on May 1, 2018 or beyond, using the new Grad Hiring Smartsheet for 2018 Summer and Fall. (GSAOs/initiators were provided access to this Smartsheet beginning on May 7, 2018 at 1:00 PM.)

CSS and the Academic Personnel Office (APO) recently partnered to update the Bridging Guidelines. This and all the details for Summer/Fall 2018 efforts are available on the GSR/ASE page of the CSS (HR) website.

Fiscal Close

Partnering with the VC for Administration and the Controller’s Office

This year’s strategy will differ slightly from previous years. While still capitalizing on successes by making the Fiscal Close information more succinct, The Vice Chancellor Administration (VCA) website will house the applicable deadlines related to VCA departments; most significantly, CSS, and a campus message was sent on April 25, 2018.  The Controller’s Office website will continue to feature the usual General Ledger Monthly Close Schedule(s) and a link to the VCA website for deadlines. Note: The Controller’s Office will not be publishing a deadline “Checklist” this year.

STAR Awards Processing

CSS continues to routinely process awards for campus units based on the deadlines featured on the CSS Calendar-Timesheet Deadlines which can be found on the HR/APS section of the CSS website. Processes will remain the same; just submit a “Compensation” ServiceNow ticket and if you’re submitting a group of more than 6 awards, you can use this STAR Award Batch Request spreadsheet. CSS can also assist with award letters/certificates as well as eligibility reviews; contact your respective HR Partner for questions.

New Bridging and Grace Period Guidelines for GSR/ASE Hiring

February 5, 2018

The Academic Personnel Office (APO) and Campus Shared Services (CSS) Human Resources collaborated to clarify the guidelines regarding Bridging and Grace Periods.  With the goal of minimizing the impact of onboarding for our student hires, these guidelines have been reviewed and input gathered from a number of campus units including Central HR, Office of General Counsel (OGC), Graduate Division, Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA), RAs, Budget Office, Controller’s Office, and various department units.  Here are updated, fully vetted guidelines, a list of FAQs, and a quick summary of what is and is not changing.

What is NOT changing:

  • Student employees will continue receive pay on their next available MO pay cycle.

  • In order to keep in compliance with I-9 legal requirements, a new hire should NOT begin working until they successfully complete onboarding.

What IS changing:

  • No more recalculations are required to ensure students are eligible for fee remissions.

  • Employees will be paid via a retroactive pay process for all time worked prior to onboarding in the next available MO cycle payment.

  • The hire date on the I-9 will not drive the appointment start date in HCM.

You will find the complete bridging policy document HERE as well as bridging FAQs HERE.

If you need further assistance, you can contact your CSS HR/APS Service Delivery contact or your CSS HR Generalist.

Heather Archer, Assistant Vice Provost, Academic Personnel

Janet Speer, Director, CSS Human Resources and Academic Personnel

Newly added! ServiceNow for HR/APS Training Videos

December 21, 2017

To help campus customers better navigate the Approvals and Staff Hiring processes in ServiceNow, three (3) new training videos have been developed and now available on the Training Resource Library page(s) of the ServiceNow for CSS HR/APS page of the CSS website:

Staff Hiring:

  • Searching for a Hiring Job Title & Code 
  • Searching for a Hiring Department Name 


  •  Managing Approver Delegations

In a partnership between CSS Learning & Development and the CSS ServiceNow Project Team, the topics for these training videos were developed based on feedback and frequent customer questions. Are there other helpful topics that we should consider for future videos? Send a note to Lyle Hendricksen ( and let him know the details.