Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: December 5, 2001
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

BioVenture/Life Sciences Greenhouse Aims to Develop Bioscience Industries

Behrmann Cited for Research into the Mind's "Eye"

Students Get Chance to Impact Public Policy Through Friedman, Johnson Fellowships

HR Launches New Just-in-Time, Self-Service Web Technology

Akram Midani Remembered for His Knowledge, Sense of Humor

Heinz School Appoints William Guttman To Head Software Industry Center

Judith Modell to Direct Center for Arts in Society

Simon Memorial Fund Established

"Strong, Distinctive Voices" Take Circuitous Routes to Poetry, Carnegie Mellon

News Briefs
Historian Manning Marable is Keynoter for Martin Luther King Day

Most Eligible Bachelor Returns

Regina Gouger Miller Gallery Presents...

Entries Sought for Martin Luther King Writing Awards

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hr HR Launches New Just-in-Time, Self-Service Web Technology

HR Connection, a new just-in-time, self-service Web application established earlier this month by Human Resources (HR), allows Carnegie Mellon employees to review and change their personal information and benefits elections via the Internet.

Changes made online are automatically updated in the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and payroll databases. A secure server makes the entire process confidential.

HR Connection, which can be accessed through the Human Resources home page (, was rolled out to the university community during the FlexPlus Open Enrollment period (Nov. 5-16). Employees were able to review and change their benefits elections online.

Beginning Jan. 1, employees will be able to use HR Connection to make changes to their benefits package when they experience a qualified family or life status change, such as marriage or the birth of a child. Employees will also be able to change their basic demographic information, as well as change or add beneficiary/dependant information online.

By mid-2002, employees will be able to make changes to their W-4 form and gain access to pay and taxation information. In addition, by mid-2002 new employees will be able to make their initial benefits elections online.

Faculty and staff may also use HR Connection's various modules to check their current benefit elections and see how changes would affect their monthly contributions.

"The functionality of the Internet has been evolving rapidly in the past few years," said Rick Smereczniak, director of total compensation. "Users want to do more than look at static information on the Web-they want to be able to DO things online. HR Connection meets those expectations, and simplifies HR processes for users."

Barbara Smith, assistant vice president for Human Resources, is excited about the ways that HR Connection will make Human Resources more accessible to the Carnegie Mellon community and improve customer service.

"Employees will be able to use this service 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any Internet-capable computer," Smith said. "They don't need to follow up with paperwork, and they don't need to wait for return phone calls to update records and make changes."

Smith also noted that by automating many processes that had been done manually, benefit specialists can spend more time helping people who have complicated issues and more time contributing to the strategic review of the benefits plans and expanding education for all employees.

"Obviously, this is going to be a win-win technology solution for everyone," Smith said.

HR Connection is among several technology enhancements that Human Resources is planning to implement to improve the functionality of its Web site. Automation of the hiring process and development of online tools to assist in performance management are among the planned enhancements.

"Carnegie Mellon is the gold standard among universities in terms of its technology," Smereczniak said. "It is used extensively in teaching and research. This is an important step in expanding our technological capabilities to support the needs of our most critical resource-our people."

Karen Beaudway

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