To: Faculty, Other Academic Appointees, and Staff
From: Melina Hale, Vice Provost, and Mark Weber, Chief of Staff and Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives for Finance & Administration
Subject: Autumn Quarter Update on Administrative Modernization
Date: November 30, 2020
We write to share an update on efforts to improve administrative systems, processes, and services across campus as well as information to support you in the current remote work environment.
Your engagement is important to ensure our efforts are serving core academic and administrative needs. We particularly want to thank the Faculty Working Group on Administrative Service Improvements for contributing to a number of projects and systems described below. Information about the working group is available here [expired link removed]. We welcome ideas for improving administrative systems and processes; please feel free to contact us with input or questions here.
  • Financial Systems Transformation (FST): The FST program, a campus-wide initiative to implement a modern financial system and associated processes, remains a priority. During Summer Quarter the FST program completed an analysis of the University’s current finance landscape, identified the preferred ways processes should work in the future, and developed the requirements for the future financial system in collaboration with participants across campus. The FST Software Selection Committee is evaluating software vendor proposals in conjunction with community feedback. The program remains on schedule for the revised timeline, which has a phased rollout beginning in July 2023. Project leaders will hold virtual forums to share information about the software selection process and general program updates. Use the links below to register [expired links removed]. If you have questions or feedback, please email

    • Wednesday, December 9, 1 p.m.

    • Thursday, December 10, 9 a.m.

    • Friday, December 11, 12 p.m.

  • Academic Recruitment and Careers System (ARCS): Use of Interfolio’s suite of academic affairs software continues to grow. All academic divisions and several schools use the Review, Promotion and Tenure module to facilitate academic hiring and review processes remotely. In addition, academic units can configure and implement the optional Academic Career Activities module for annual activity reports, and use it at any time to generate biosketches for grant proposals and other needs. Log into your account here, and contact with questions.

  • Teaching and Learning Support: IT Services has updated video conferencing equipment in Registrar-scheduled University classrooms that are in use for in-person classes this quarter. Instructors may reference this list of rooms to see the equipment that is installed and review instructional videos and instructions for more information. To request adapters or other AV equipment, please contact AV Services at 773.834.4499 or

  • Research-Related Contracts: As of September 14, Automating University-wide Research Administration (AURA) Agreements has replaced ServiceNow as the system of record for all research-related contracts. AURA Agreements is a contract management system offered in the same software suite as the other AURA products and will be integrated with the AURA Grants module. The AURA Agreements module offers a single point of entry for all research-related contracts and streamlines the process for routing contracts for negotiation and signature. It also offers complete transparency of the status of the agreement and terms that are under negotiation. To access the AURA Agreements system, as well as additional guidance and training resources, please visit

  • Shared Services Office Portal Update: The Shared Services Office portal, where faculty, students, and staff can submit their requests for assistance on a variety of finance and administrative areas, such as questions about payroll, payment or purchasing, has been updated. Now requesters have the option to accept or reject completed tickets. If the resolution is accepted, the inquiry will be closed. If the resolution is rejected, the ticket will be routed to the appropriate team for further action. If the resolution is neither accepted nor rejected within seven business days, the inquiry will automatically close. For more information, visit the Shared Services Office Portal or call the Help Desk at 773.702.5800 from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

  • Student Reimbursement Payments: To provide transparency to students on the status of their reimbursement requests and improve workflow between requesters, approvers, and the Payroll department, the Shared Services Office portal has been updated to include two new forms: a student reimbursement form for travel or other business-related reimbursements, and a form to request a stipend, prize, or award payment to a current student. For more information, visit the Shared Services Office Portal or call the Help Desk at 773.702.5800 from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

  • University Intranet: Over the last year, IT Services and the Office of Communications have been developing a University intranet to be a central place for news, announcements, resources, and tools. Among the new features, the intranet will include a customizable homepage; improved people search; a directory of University tools and applications; streamlined access to administrative information and resources, and pages for each School and Division. The intranet is scheduled to launch this winter.

  • Workday Performance Management: University HR, with support from IT Services and HR administrators of participating units, is piloting Workday Performance with nearly 50 percent of all staff employees. Workday offers a streamlined performance management process. The process is designed to provide clarity around goals and role expectations, encourage continuous feedback, and support building skills to support career aspirations. Additional information and resources are available at (Log-in required: Training > Performance Management). Contact your unit's HR administrator or if you have questions.

  • LinkedIn Learning: Through a partnership with LinkedIn Learning (formerly, all UChicago faculty, students, staff, and UCMC employees with a valid CNetID and password have access to more than 16,000 video-based courses to build their business, technology, and creative skills.

  • Academic Impressions: UChicago academics and staff now have access to Academic Impressions, an organization that provides online leadership and professional development for university staff and faculty. To start accessing its free resources, login or create an account on the Academic Impressions website using your UChicago email address.


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