News sysem racks up trouble

Peoplesoft, University of Vermont’s new financing and human resources software, has been encountering problems since its initiation last summer. These problems include purchase orders not being dispatched on time, incorrect financial reports, and failure to accommodate last minute actions, said Blanka Caha, financial assistant to the SGA. “There still are definitely processes that aren’t accessible to us, or being used as expected,” Caha said. At the treasurer’s workshop on Sept. 19 SGA Treasurer Jess Banks said that all fundraising funds for clubs have account balances set at zero, despite how much a given club has raised previous to now. Fundraising funds consist of money that clubs have earned on their own through various programs. “We have written record of all accounts,” Banks said. “The funds should be up to date by the end of the month.” Banks also announced that monetary transfers were currently unstable. The effect Peoplesoft has on the University’s clubs is just one instance in which students are involved. “This is the entire University, it’s a huge deal,” Banks said. “I’m not too worried about [Peoplesoft] because it hasn’t really affected me yet,” said first year student Patrick Grant-Musso. The University switched over to Peoplesoft after a team worked for UVM on the software for two years. The deadline for the HR section of Peoplesoft was pushed back from a date set in January 2006 to a date in April 2006. The financial portion came into play on July 1. According to their website, Peoplesoft, “helps you manage the entire student lifecycle seamlessly… in a secure, stable environment.” The system will take at least another two years to work flawlessly, Caha said. In 2004 a previous customer, Cleveland State University, filed a lawsuit against Peoplesoft, charging the company $510 million in damages and costs. The reasoning behind the decision was that the system constantly had to be fixed during the years of use on the university’s network. The University of Vermont is still in a phase of switching over. Training sessions are still taking place and staff members are familiarizing themselves with the new software. All faculty currently use Peoplesoft for managing their personal information, travel and expenses, funds for sponsored projects, and time management. “The administration is just asking us to be patient,” Caha said.