What is the Bi-Weekly Payroll Project?

For consistency among all state agencies, the Office of Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) has requested that all MUS campuses transition to a bi-weekly payroll cycle that is synched with the rest of Montana's state agencies.

Currently, employees at MSU-Bozeman and Northern are paid monthly. Employees at Great Falls College and MSU-Billings are paid every other Friday. After the project implementation is complete, all MSU employees will be paid every other Wednesday.

Benefits of Bi-Weekly Payroll

There are numerous benefits of a bi-weekly pay cycle.

  • New employees will receive their first paycheck much sooner. In some cases, new employees must currently wait up to six weeks before they recieve their first paycheck.
  • Employees will be paid in more timley in relation to the work they perform.
  • Funds will be deposited into your Health Savings and Flexible Spending accounts bi-weekly, giving you access to those funds sooner.
  • Contributions to retirement plan accounts will happen bi-weekly, allowing them to be invested sooner.

When will this happen?

The target transition date is February 26, 2021. That will be the last day the university will use a monthly pay cycle. Beginning, February 27, 2021, employees will begin a two-week payroll cycle which always begins on a Saturday (12am) and finishes on a Friday (11:59pm).  You will receive your first bi-weekly paycheck on Wednesday, March 24, and it will be for all the work performed between Feb. 27 and March 12. Thereafter, you will receive a paycheck every other Wednesday. The next check arrives on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.  Please be aware that your paycheck is for a 2-week period of work. It does not cover hours right up to the day before the paychecks are cut. Those are captured in the next check. Download a 2021 Pay calendar here.

Who is working on this project?

The Bi-Weekly Payroll Core Project Team consists of the following people:

MSU-Bozeman: Max Thompson, (Project Lead); Julie Clay, (Project Manager); Stephanie Pressly,

(Communications Lead); Tom Hoffman (UIT) ; Liza Heer (UIT) Keith Krutchkoff (UIT); Patti Yasbek (Facilities); Becky McMillan (Auxiliaries); Kerri Marx (Auxiliaries)

MSU-Billings: Jackie Ellsbury

MSU-Northern: Kelly Leeds; Amy Skryja.

Great Falls College MSU: Kathy Haggart


There is also a Bi-Weekly Payroll Project Working Group consisting of 36-cross departmental and cross-campus stakeholders.


Finally, the Bi-Weekly Payroll Steering Committee consists of the following members:

MSU-Bozeman:  Terry Leist; Mike Trotter; Jeannette Grey-Gilbert; Tim Capps; Jerry Spicher

MSU-Billings: Heather Hanna

MSU-Northern: Suzanne Hunger

Great Falls College MSU: Mary Kay Bonilla


How will changing bi-weekly payroll cycles impact employee payroll processing?

Current pay cycles (workdays in each paycheck), dates employees are paid, and the number of annual paychecks will change. What will not change is your total gross annual earnings (wages before deductions and taxes are withheld).

Total Annual Earnings Current annual earnings No change to annual total
Pay cycle/Work week Sunday through Saturday Saturday through Friday
Number of paychecks annually 9 or 10
Pay Days 11th of the month  Every other Wednesday
(starting March 24, 2021) 
Last paycheck in old cycle March 11, 2021
For February earnings 
First paycheck in new cycle   March 24, 2021
For earnings Feb. 27 - March 12 
Deductions Percentage/Flat amount deductions from all checks  Two paychecks per year will not include flat amount deductions 


Additional Information

Additional information can be found on the this web site, including Frequently Asked Questions, calendars and calculators. Information will be added to the site as it becomes available.

For questions, contact biweekly@montana.edu.


Message History

Email Date Audience

First 4-campus  Faculty/ Staff Communication introducing

Bi-weekly Payroll

April 20, 2020 Faculty/Staff

Bi-Weekly Payroll Project: Adjustments to Internal

Payroll Processes

June 15, 2020 VPs, Deans, Directors, Department Heads

Bi-Weekly Payroll Project: Adjustments to Internal

Payroll Processes

 June 22, 2020 Departmental Payroll Partnerts
Bi-Weekly Payroll Project: Direct Deposit (DD) June 29, 2020 Selected fac/staff/students not on DD
Bi-Weekly Payroll Project: On Time, On Track July 13, 2020 VPs, Deans, Directors, Department Heads