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Davis, California

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

UC Davis offers Visa gift cards as compensation to those affected by UCPath payroll problems

Students must contact Central Payroll to confirm addresses by April 17 and receive the money 

Students who lost pay during UC Davis’ implementation of UCPath this past Fall Quarter were informed via email on April 9 that they will receive either $50 or $100 Visa gift cards to recognize the “time and effort spent on resolving the issue” with the UC Davis administration.

UC Davis will send $50 Visa gift cards to students who lost around $100 from their checks during the UCPath implementation. The 296 students who missed $1,000 in payment during the UCPath rollout will receive $100 gift cards, according to Kelly Ratliff, the vice chancellor of UC Davis Finance, Operations and Administration.  

The initiative comes partially in response to a Jan. 23 ASUCD resolution demanding compensation for the financial problems UCPath created for students. Some students, for example, were unable to pay rent or make credit card payments due to lack of income from their on-campus jobs. The UCPath rollout caused similar issues on other campuses, including at UCLA.

Ratliff noted that they chose to use gift cards because it means that students won’t have to worry about tax withholding. It also simplifies the payment process for people working in the payroll office. She said the gift card distribution process has been slowed down by the unexpected circumstances of the pandemic. 

For example, the statewide shelter-in-place order, issued in March, came shortly after the chancellors had decided upon the gift card distribution as compensation. 

“At the time, we had no idea that everyone would be away from campus,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff also said they began analyzing the effects of the payroll issues in late January, shortly after many of the emergency checks had been cut. 

During this time, administrative figures discovered that a total of 963 students — evenly divided among undergraduates and graduates — received some form of emergency pay in response to the payroll problems. The emergency check amounts ranged from just a few dollars up to a couple thousand, she noted.

Now, students will have until Friday, April 17, to confirm their current addresses by emailing Central Payroll so that they can receive their gift cards in the mail. Ratliff said they “expect that everyone will have received payment within two weeks.” 

“It seemed important, once everyone had their head up and had the chance to get back to this, [to give everyone] an ounce of good news,” Ratliff added.

Written by: Rebecca Bihn-Wallace — campus@theaggie.org