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  • 1.  Salary Fields Questions

    Posted 06-30-2022 06:48
    Hello Cayuse Community.  I am excited for my first post.

    My organizations is currently going through the pre-contract IT security review for the Cayuse Research Suite.  We are planning to license several modules, including Proposals, Sponsored Projects, Fund Manager, Effort, Outside Interests, and Human Ethics.

    Some of our HR and Finance folks had concerns about personnel salary being in a system other than our HR and payroll systems.  They feel that number is highly confidential are worried about its security.

    I wanted to inquire if any other organizations had similar concerns and how you went about dealing with their concerns.


    Stacey Banks
    Director, Research Business Applications
    Inova Health System
    Fairfax, VA

  • 2.  RE: Salary Fields Questions

    Posted 07-01-2022 05:59
    I truly thought that exactly that question would stall Cayuse implementation here.  Oddly, I think COVID made it easier, in a sad sort of way.  The university was in a mad scramble to make EVERYTHING remote and in the cloud, and this just felt like one more thing to do.  But here's the thing.

    a) for us, as employees of a public institution, that number is not private anyway.
    b) that salary number is all over everything in our office already.  It's quite explicitly in proposal budgets, on the Excel spreadsheet that led to those proposal budgets, shared with PIs, Co-PIs, and collaborating institutions.  So, highly confidential went out the window the minute the institution was interested in applying for grants.  Obviously, we keep information responsibly - but classified, it's not.  That's true whether or not you use Cayuse.
    c) Cayuse, and any eRA system, restrict (or can restrict) people's view-access to only their own proposals, or for Chairs and Deans, only proposals in their units.  So, PIs can't go trolling around the department to see who earns what.

    And the thing that swayed our VERY cautious Accounting office was that Banner writes to Cayuse - not the other way around.  So, nothing about Cayuse could change the system of record.  That, at the end of the day, became the most improtant thing.


    Andrea Buford
    Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
    Oakland University

  • 3.  RE: Salary Fields Questions

    Posted 07-01-2022 06:18

    Hi, Stacey-


    Are you planning to implement Cayuse with the single sign-on (SSO) option? If so, that should reassure your folks worried about having information in a different system – they'll authenticate for Cayuse in exactly the same way as they would have to if they were to access that salary information in the HR system (including any dual-factor steps that might be required). Plus, access to information in Cayuse should be set up on a need-to-know basis. The system administrators can see everything. Everybody else should only see things that are directly relevant to them, or to their unit (chairs and deans, for example). A PI already knows what their salary amount is. Chairs and deans have access to that information for everyone in their unit and for any units that report to them – so what is there to worry about by having the same sort of access in Cayuse?


    Since I'm at a state university, all of our salaries are a matter of public record anyway, so it doesn't really matter. But we opted not to have them ported over and stored in Cayuse anyway, for reasons that weren't related to information security. When I need to build a budget, I just log in to the HR system to verify and go from there. So that's also an option, if your higher-ups are really really nervous about having that information in Cayuse.


    Michael Spires, M.A., M.S., CRA

    Research Development Officer

    The Research Office

    Oakland University

    256 Hannah Hall

    244 Meadow Brook Road

    Rochester, MI 48309-4451

    (248) 370-2207

    Past President, National Organization of Research Development Professionals


    Subject to scheduling needs, I am in my office Wednesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and working remotely on Mondays and Tuesdays. The best way to get in touch with me continues to be via email.  


    Oakland University resides on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabe, known as the Three Fires Confederacy, composed of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi. The land was ceded in the 1807 Treaty of Detroit and makes up southeast Michigan.


  • 4.  RE: Salary Fields Questions

    Posted 07-05-2022 08:34
    Hi Stacey,
    We are a private institution that keeps salary info as private as we can. Our leadership had similar concerns when we implemented.

    That is why we did a one-time bulk upload and then add users manually and as-needed rather than using automation such as HR Connect.  It hasn't been that much of a burden in the 10 years we've used Cayuse.

    During training, we explain to our staff that they must treat faculty salary info as their own and protect it.

    Our business model is to have our pre-award admins create most of the proposal - in SP and Proposals (S2S) with the PI forwarding the needed documents. It's our way of limiting the opportunity of a PI adding someone to their proposal in order to view their salary info on the budget. I'm not aware of any issues we've had with salary phishing. 

    The benefit to having it in Cayuse is the time it saves in adding it once to the person's profile and then having it pulled into the proposal budget and calculated correctly depending on the effort entered.

    Another benefit is a reduction in errors such as the transposition of numbers when users enter the info manually. The auto-population of the figures helped reduce these errors.

    This case was enough to convince our leadership to include salary info in Cayuse. Good luck with yours. :-)

    All the best,



    The only way to make sense out of change

    is to plunge into it, move with it,

    and join the dance.  ~ Alan Watts

    Terri Hall

    Director, Research Business Intelligence

    Notre Dame Research Administration

    University of Notre Dame


  • 5.  RE: Salary Fields Questions

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi all,
    Jut thought I'd add an international perspective to this discussion. In Canada, salary to a full-time tenure track faculty member has nothing to do with their funded research grants/contracts. Summer salary is not a thing, and the huge majority of grants do not include salary to the PI; even if they did (e.g. some NIH grants), it would be on top of the salary they negotiated with the institution. While salaries are public, there is no reason to include them in our grant administration system whatsoever, and any attempt to do so would be meet with many questions from the community.

    Karen Samis
    Director, Grants and Research Operations
    Queen's University,
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada