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The HR Technologies team is here to support campuses with the tough challenges

This year, the global COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges for the campuses, their employees and the System office. Joshua Navarro, assistant director for Human Resources Information Services (HRIS) for Employee Services, and his team have worked to build and deliver a host of constructive responses by Employee Services during this season of disruption.

Above all, the pandemic’s demands provided an opportunity for greater communication and collaboration between the campuses and Employee Services.

Read the 2020 Impact Report, today!

Read the Employee Services Impact Report

Take a peek behind the curtain at Employee Services and see how we're working to support CU faculty and staff with human resources, payroll, benefits, professional growth and more.. Inside, the impact report you’ll:

  • Explore the changes and adaptations Employee Services made to keep vital services accessible during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Learn about benefits and services available to you.
  • Find interactive graphics about all HCM, payroll, your benefits and more!

Check it out



One impactful solution was delivered by systems analyst, Jennifer Bosma. She coordinated with campuses to process bulk data uploads needed to update position data or pay rate changes en masse as a result of COVID-19.

Campus HR offices were able to provide a spreadsheet of updated personnel data, which was then reviewed, approved and uploaded by Bosma.

This removed the need for hours of manual data entry by campus HR.

One such example: The need for campuses to designate critical services positions for employees who had to be on-site to perform their duties. The Anschutz Medical Campus, in particular, had complex position designation needs.

“We partnered with them to get an understanding of the various codes they needed,” Bosma said. “We added those codes into the system and then I’ve done a series of uploads for them to help attach the appropriate code at the individual position level.”

The COVID-19 pandemic also identified a need for the Employee Services Payroll team to partner closely with campus HR offices to implement changes to the HCM payroll module.

Justin Loiselle, payroll functional analyst, lead efforts to reconfigure existing payroll earnings codes and create new earnings codes as a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Loiselle worked closely with payroll manager Diane Wiederspahn and principal payroll processor Melissa Kent to ensure codes were available in HCM to meet the needs of all campuses and the System office.

Payroll created nine new earnings codes and reconfigured three existing codes, which then had to be properly documented and tested to ensure they issued pay and deducted taxes correctly and didn’t interfere with any other earnings codes. Some changes were federally mandated – for example, there’s a code for parents to take federally protected time off (up to 12 weeks at 2/3 their regular pay) for anyone employed longer than 30 days, if they’re unable to find child care.

However, CU chose to offer broader options. While the federal mandate requires only 2/3 regular pay for COVID-related childcare leave, CU created two codes that enable employees to use their vacation or sick leave to make up the difference. 

“During these difficult times, it was discussed that paying an employee 2/3 of their wages may cause a hardship for some employees. HRIS, in collaboration with ES Payroll, UIS, and campus HR created a method that enables the employee to use their vacation and sick time to make themself whole. The payroll team is proud to be a part of the solution in offering the campuses payment options for their employees,” Kent said.

Even as campus operations were undergoing sudden and substantive disruption, the daily operations of job recruitment continued. While CU initiated a hiring “chill,” certain critical roles still needed to be filled. 

HR Analyst Joyce Gamboa is the subject matter expert for CU Careers. She was leading a recruitment software platform upgrade, with all the required updates to training videos and step-by-step guides, while also fielding campus questions about CU’s revised hiring criteria in light of the pandemic. Like many others, she’s found increased opportunity to collaborate with the campuses. 

One sticking point with the CU Careers upgrade was the job description templates. Gamboa assembled a guide for creating and formatting the job descriptions in response to the specific difficulties users were reporting.

Overall, Employee Services embraces the opportunity to strengthen its partnerships with all four of CU’s  campuses. 

They hope to encourage campus HR departments to reach out to Employee Services, not just when they’re in a corner, but anytime they have questions or would like to request training or assistance. 

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