Author Archive for ucUserz

Campus system(s) planned outages-August 2018- Impacts for CSS customers

Updated August 6, 2018

(NEW!) Additional planned scheduled maintenance days are scheduled for Friday, August 10 and August 17, 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:

BFS Outage Friday 6/10, 6:00AM – 6:00PM – BFS will undergo an upgrade and will be unavailable. When BFS is down, access to BearBuy is also turned off as user roles, transactions and COA validations are all dependent on BFS.

BLU Outage Friday 6/17, 6:00AM – 6:00PM – BLU will undergo an upgrade and will be unavailable. When BLU is down, there is no way to login to BearBuy.
These outages will impact CSS’ ability to process financial transactions. Work will be postponed until the system(s) are back online and it will delay regular processing time.
Related outage messages and details appear on the Supply Chain Management (SCM) website as well as the Information Services and Technology (IST) Service Status page on the IST website.


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.

SCM announces new/enhanced BearBuy forms

July 6, 2018

Supply Chain Management (SCM) announced today that the BearBuy Team will be updating Non-Catalog and Service Order forms on July 9th to make them easier to use. The team is eliminating the Independent Contractor form and asks Campus to instead, use the Service Order form for these transactions. They are also asking Campus to use a separate form for BluCard Tracking requests. Information on the changes can be found on the SCM website at:

This news was published in their BearBuy Newsletter for July. To subscribe to future newsletters (or see the library of previous issues), use the link on this page.



Faster travel reimbursements with Direct Enter

Updated July 3, 2018

In a recent memo to campus, EVCP Paul Alivisatos introduced the new travel reimbursement process called Direct Enter, which is  intended to eliminate duplicate data entry and shorten processing time for  payment from weeks to days, in most cases. Faculty and staff who have business travel were directed to self-process travel reimbursements by entering requests directly into the Travel & Entertainment Reimbursement System (TRV) by July 2, 2018.

Campus Shared Services (CSS) will begin returning non-complex travel reimbursement requests (see original message below for definition of “complex” requests) that are dated July 2, 2018 and after and ask travelers to self-process via Direct Enter – at:, as CSS no longer processes these types of requests.  There are many resources available to help with Direct Enter at:

Divisional Finance Leaders (DFLs) can also offer additional support and guidance regarding Direct Enter for campus departments. The list of DFLs are listed here:


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 for multiple request forms and will make the university more efficient. Plus, travelers can upload photos of receipts directly to the system and all certifications/approvals can be completed electronically, versus 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, 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.

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 and multiple destinations as well as travel reimbursements for students and visitors. After July 2, CSS will partner with Accounts Payable, 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 their Divisional Finance Leaders (DFLs) to help coordinate that or contact the team directly at:


Nine CSS recipients honored with Excellence in Management Award

June 8, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that Campus Shared Services has NINE (9) recipients of this year’s Excellence in Management Award, sponsored by the Berkeley Staff Assembly.

The theme for this year’s award is, “Building Pride and Trust in Our Changing Community.” This highlights leadership which encourages respect, dignity, confidence, inclusion, and empowerment amid changing times. Our recipients were nominated by their staff who exemplified this theme in one or more ways:

  • Honest and Conscientious – manager/supervisor builds trust, models integrity, and instills pride within the team.

  • Consistent Intentional Engagement around Diversity, Community and Collaboration – manager/supervisor is always cognizant and respectful of cultural distinctions, and promotes an environment of inclusion.

  • Empowering – manager/supervisor provides team members with the tools to succeed at work, through mentorship, coaching/motivating, and leadership by example.

This year’s recipients were recognized in the annual awards ceremony on May 31, 2018. Join us in congratulating our recipients:

  • Robin Baca, Business & Financial Services

  • Micah Bot-Miller, Information Technology

  • Jenny Dizon, Research Administration

  • Summer Garcia, Research Administration

  • Naseem Ghaffari, Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support

  • Rosalyn Kilbourne, Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support/Payroll

  • Cassandra Lumsey, Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support

  • Sue Logan, Research Administration

  • Linda Marmolejo, Human Resources/Academic Personnel Support/Payroll


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!

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.