October 27, 2008
I'd like to thank the SIS Evaluation Team and all the UNI students, faculty and staff who have provided input and assistance with the project. Here is a brief rundown of our progress:
- We've completed the three-day, campus presentations by two software vendors -- Oracle/Peoplesoft and Sungard/Banner. We've conducted reference checks on them, and are in the process of reviewing their written proposals and gathering follow-up information. Both software systems are still under consideration.
- The next step is to solicit proposals for implementing a new software system. The request for proposals (RFP) is out for bids now. Bids will be received from firms that are interested and capable of helping us implement one or both software systems.
- The final system decision on which system to acquire will be based on information from several sources and on several factors. These include software system RFP responses, a fit/gap analysis done locally, feedback from campus demonstrations by the software vendors, reference checks with other campuses, estimates of system initial and on-going costs, and projected implementation costs. We anticipate having theses data gathered fully by the end of this semester. A recommendation to the Cabinet will follow shortly thereafter.
- I've met directly with the graduate coordinators from across campus (thank you, Dean Sue Joseph) and with the academic department chairs and directors (thank you, Professor Fritch) to review the project and answer questions. Both gatherings were very helpful to the project. If you would like me to meet with any group on this topic, please let me know.
- While awaiting responses to the implementation RFP, we will begin an effort to improve our processes. A number of departments and functional areas will be engaging in a Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) effort. The goal is to refine processes prior to implementation in order to reduce the one-time implementation costs and ongoing maintenance costs of each process.
- The Business Process Re-engineering effort will be led by a team of four. Two staff from UNI are Mike Holmes, an IT professional servicing Admissions, and Heather Soesbe, an Assistant Director in Financial Aid. They will work with two consultants from Moran Technology Consulting, Craig Foley and Kris Nordlie. This group will meet and work with users associated with specific functions to determine how they might be improved to better serve student, faculty and university needs. They will begin their work in November with a target for completion in April, 2009.
- Jan Hanish, Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance, continues to provide administrative leadership to this project. She can be reached at Jan.Hanish@uni.edu if you have project questions.
- As we reach major milestones in the process, we'll share that information with the campus. Thanks again for your continued support.
Vice President for Student Affairs