ARS FAQs

Overview

Why do we need to complete activity reports?
What reports are produced from the activity system database?
How are staff appointments selected for the reporting system?
What information will I find on academics in my unit?
How do I distribute Activities in the reporting system?
What are the activity categories and how are they defined?

BASIC PROCEDURES

What is the calendar for the activity reporting system?
When do I report activities for academic staff in my office?
What if a new person is hired during the year in my department?
Who is authorized to enter data into the Activity Reporting System?

ACTIVITY DISTRIBUTION

How can I add or delete employee information in the Activity Reporting System?
Will the ARS show labor redistributions (earnings transfers) if they occur after a payment has been made?
What is Cost Sharing?

RULES AND PROCEDURES

What are the rules for reporting activities by source of funds?
What should I do if a person is performing activities that do not fit with the guidelines for that source of funds or program function?
What if a faculty member or academic staff person receives a 0% administrative stipend?
What should I do if I think that data are missing for one of my staff or if the pay is incorrect?
Where can I check again for definitions of ARS activities?


OVERVIEW

Why do we need to complete activity reports?

The University of Illinois at Chicago is required by both state and federal regulations to complete activity reports. The Office of Institutional Research [OIR] collects that data that is used to complete the reports. Data from the reports is shared with the OBFS Office of Grants and Contracts.

Auditors from both state and federal agencies will periodically audit the data for consistency and accuracy. It is most important to accurately reflect the distribution of time and effort for each staff member in your unit.

What reports are produced from the activity system database?

There are three major reports that are completed for the Illinois Board of Higher Education: the Discipline Cost Study, the Program Cost Study, and Faculty Credit Hour Study. The IBHE uses the Cost Study reports to compare costs of instruction at the state universities in Illinois. There are numerous internal reports that use the data from the Activity Reporting System and data from these reports are used in the Resource Performance Measures report (RPM) that is found on the OIR website.

How are staff appointments selected for the reporting system?

Regulations require that we provide activity reports for all academic staff with paid appointments. The data is captured and an appointment line is generated in the report system. The appointments are sorted by Banner sub-organizations within department. If your department does not have any sub-organizations, then all academic staff appointments will be listed in alphabetical order under your single Banner organization code. If you have subdivided your unit, then appointments will be sorted at that level.

Each appointment for a staff member will show the position number, the fund type and the account as it is recorded in Banner. When salary is paid to the individual, this will be displayed in the Year-to-Date pay box on the report.

What information will I find on academics in my unit?

The reporting system will have an appointment line for every position that a person holds and for each source of funding that is used to pay that position. For example, if a faculty member in a single position is paid half of her salary by state funds and half of her salary by grant funds, then two lines will display on the report to show her appointments. In addition, if a faculty member in a department is paid in two different positions, then both of those appointments will be displayed in the report. Finally, if an individual has a split appointment in two different departments, then the two lines will be separated and each appointment will be displayed in the appropriate unit. To see all appointments for an individual in your unit, select the person from the menu at the top of the page.

How do I distribute activity in the reporting system?

The reporting system will have an appointment line for every position that a person holds and for each source of funding that is used to pay that position. For example, if a faculty member in a single position is paid half of her salary by state funds and half of her salary by grant funds, then two lines will display on the report to show her appointments. In addition, if a faculty member in a department is paid in two different positions, then both of those appointments will be displayed in the report. For each appointment that is listed for an individual, it is necessary to distribute 100% across the available activity categories on that line.

What are the activity categories and how are they defined?

The activities that you will find on the activity reports are standard categories that define the type of work that is done at the University. For most faculty members, effort is reported in the three main areas of instruction, research and service. Since UIC Medical Center is a primary health care facility and UIC colleges offer a number of health education programs, there are categories for health science units that relate to clinical activities and patient care.

Click here for the definitions for activities.


BASIC PROCEDURES

What is the calendar for the activity reporting system?

Appointment data for academic staff is selected from the Banner HR and Payroll system at the start of the contract year. The Office of Institutional Research will notify Departments each term when appointment data for the academic staff has been loaded to the ARS system. At the same time, OIR will load data from the Banner Student/ Schedule to the ARS so that Departments can see the assigned sections for faculty and teaching assistants. The section assignments for the term are taken directly from the Banner database as they are entered by the Schedule Planner in each unit. Beginning Fall 2009, section assignments and instructor changes must be made in Banner by the department Schedule planner, and will load automatically to ARS nightly until finalized each term.

When do I report activities for academic staff in my office?

Reporting by authorized department staff begins in the mid-fall and continues to the end of the academic contract year. Institutional Research will capture appointment data after the academic payroll in October. The course assignment data for the fall term will be captured at the same time and will include information on all sections with registrations as of the 10th day of the fall term. Departmental users will be notified when fall data are available and activity information can be entered. The reporting system will then be open to units for activity reporting, updates and changes until the academic year ends in mid-August of the next calendar year. Over the course of the year, departments will have to assure that all instructor assignments are correct for courses that are offered in Fall, Spring and Summer terms.

What if a new person is hired during the year in my department?

Any new or changed appointments will be added to the reporting system every month. In addition, Summer appointments will be picked up when those appointments are processed in Banner. The time period for reporting begins in the fall and ends at the end of the next summer term. Users will be reminded throughout the year that reports must be completed or that new data has been added to the Activity Reporting System.

Who is authorized to enter data into the Activity Reporting System?

The Department Head or Director designates the person who is responsible for entering data into the activity reporting system. OIR will maintain a signed authorization form for each unit which shows authorized persons who are responsible for data entry. The Department Head or Director is responsible to assure that the distribution of effort for each person in his or her unit is an accurate reflection of how the individual spends his or her time. See the ARS Contact Directory on the left of the ARS home page.


ACTIVITY DISTRIBUTION

How can I add or delete employee information in the Activity Reporting System?

The data in the ARS is taken directly from the Banner HR/Payroll system. Payments are added or deleted from ARS with each paymaster calculation. You will see the year-to-date payment dollars change with each payroll that is run. New appointments will be added for staff when a new CFOAP record is created in Banner. You cannot add or delete appointment data from the system. If you find questionable data for an individual, please check with your HR coordinator to see if a change has been made to how a person is paid.

Will the ARS show labor redistributions (earnings transfers) if they occur after a payment has been made?

Yes, the ARS will pick up all labor redistributions. As an example, if a staff member receives payment from a state account for a certain period of time and then your department processes a labor redistribution to transfer those payments to a different fund and account, the ARS will redistribute the person's appointments to reflect those changes.

What is Cost Sharing?

The Activity Reporting Systems shows historical cost-sharing information. For specific questions about cost sharing beginning Fall 2009, please check with the OBFS Office of Grants and Contracts, who will handle Effort Certification beginning Fall 2009.


RULES AND PROCEDURES

What are the rules for reporting activities by source of funds?

The University assigns a NACUBO function to each fund and to each account that is established for units to use. The program codes in Banner are used to assign the NACUBO function and the program code is then associated with all expenditures that are made by departments and colleges. The NACUBO function determines the primary purpose for the expenditures from that fund and account.

OBFS accounting
NACUBO codes
Source of Funds

What should I do if a person is performing activities that do not fit with the guidelines for that source of funds or program function?

If you find that an individual has responsibilities that are not allowed under the fund and program code from which he or she is currently paid, it is necessary to change the source of funds that is used to pay the individual. Your department should change the person's labor distribution in Banner to a correct source of funds and if necessary, do an earnings transfer for previous payments from the wrong source. The changes will be captured after the next payroll is processed and will be reflected in the Activity Reporting System.

What if a faculty member or academic staff person receives a 0% administrative stipend?

Beginning Fall 2009, ARS includes 0% FTE appointments in its reporting. The campus has established a policy that Notice of Appointment (NOA) is the official record of an individual's Institutional Base Salary (IBS). Administrative stipends (at zero percent FTE) are an internal processing mechanism used to distinguish and maintain a faculty member's base professorial salary as separate from any administrative salary and to reflect the increased level of responsibility assigned to the administrative appointment. This process is consistent with the University's Administrative Salary Policy.

What should I do if I think that data are missing for one of my staff or if the pay is incorrect?

Please be sure to check with HR in your unit to see if there have been any changes to the appointment for that staff member. The staff appointments included in the ARS are taken directly from the Banner system after each payroll. If someone is missing, it could be that the appointment was not processed in time for the payroll calculation - and we will catch them after the next payroll. You should also check if the labor distribution for that person matches your CFOAP to be sure that they have been paid from the correct source. It might be possible that the appointment has been assigned to a different CFOAP. If you are still uncertain about the data for an individual in your unit, you can send an e-mail to us at OIR-inquiry@uic.edu.

Where can I check again for definitions of ARS activities?

Definitions for the activities that are used in the Activity Reporting System can be found here.



NACUBO Function Codes and Banner Program Codes


Every transaction in Banner must have a program code to describe the purpose of expenditures. The 6-digit program code in Banner is part of a "program hierarchy". You can see the program code used on a payment if you list the appointment lines for a person or a department.
 
Level 2 of the program hierarchy is called a NACUBO function code; it is a national coding system established by the National Association of College & University Business Officers.

(Prior to Banner, each account set up in UFAS was assigned a NACUBO code)

Nacubo Description
1000 Instruction
1100 Organized Research
1200 Public Service
1300 Academic Support
1400 Student Services
1500 Institutional Support
1600 Operations & Maintenance
1700 Scholarships & Fellowships
2000 Auxiliary Enterprise
3000 Hospital
4000 Independent Operations

Because the university is required to keep special records of fund raising and other development activities, accounts used for those purposes are given a special set of NACUBO codes which end in "99":

Nacubo Description
1099 Instruction Fund Raising & Development
1199 Organized Research Fund Raising & Development
1299 Public Service Fund Raising & Development
1399 Academic Support Fund Raising & Development
1499 Student Services Fund Raising & Development
1599 Institutional Support Fund Raising & Development
1699 Operations & Maintenance Fund Raising & Development
1799 Scholarships & Fellowships Fund Raising & Development
2099 Auxiliary Enterprise Fund Raising & Development
3099 Hospital Fund Raising & Development
4099 Stores and Services Fund Raising & Development



Source of Funds


The "Source of Funds" ranges used in the Activity Reporting System are:

Source Of Funds Fund Ranges Description
State (S) 100000 - 199999 State General Revenue Appropriations, Tuition Income Fund
Institutional (I) 200000 - 299999 Institutional Costs Recovered (ICR) Unrestricted Gifts
Auxiliary (A) 300000 - 399999 Auxiliary and Self-Supporting Activities
Sponsored Programs (S) 400000 - 499999 U. S. Governmental Agencies Grants and Contracts
  500000 - 509999 Other Governmental Agencies Grants and Contracts
  510000 - 559999 Private Agencies Grants and Contracts
  560000 - 599999 State of Illinois Grants and Contracts
Trust 620000 - 699999 Medical Service Plan, Dental Service Plan, Nursing Service Plan, Restricted Gifts
Courtesy Used for Courses Only Courtesty Instruction - Instructor Not Paid

These funds are categorized this way because the funds received by the campus from different sources have restrictions as to the type of activities they can support. We must follow the same restrictions in the Activity Reporting System.

As part of the procedure required by the granting agencies, we must report the activities performed for each of these fund sources. We must be very careful that only permissible activities are reported for each type of fund.