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The Future of the Student Information System (SIS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Initiative

The Strategic Project Management Office of the University of Missouri System, in cooperation with the four campuses, is planning the future of UM’s Student Information System (SIS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Check below for the most recent project status update and for Frequently Asked Questions about the SIS ERP.

Vision
The “Missouri Model” will be a framework for a student information system that promotes student success and facilitates lifelong learning from the prospective student through alumnus while recognizing unique student populations.

Goal
Define and develop a scalable, adaptable, and sustainable integrated system of software, tools, and common practices that meet the critical needs of the University of Missouri System as a whole and each campus individually.

UM System Project Contact

Campus Project Contacts

Page Last Updated: November 28, 2018

Most Recent Project Update from the UM System office: November 1, 2018

Last month’s accomplishments (October 24 – November 20, 2018):

  1. A final report based on a full committee face-to-face meeting on June 12 regarding general date alignment was sent to Dr. Choi. Seven issues were identified, three of which have been resolved (No student administrative rep will be added at System at this time; all universities are using the framework developed by MU concerning differentiating terms; degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking discontinue policies are now aligned). Updates for three other issues are below:
    1. Reassessment and swap policies and practices.
      1. The recommendation made by the committee was to align financial and academic milestones (MU’s model). Each campus pulled data demonstrating the financial impact of moving to a 100% refund during the first week of classes. This would result in either no financial impact or a slight increase in revenues.
      2. The proposal was sent to Dr. Christine Holt; Provosts and CFOs will convene on a TBD date to fully discuss.
    2. Colorado Modification – Return of Aid/Last Date of Attendance.
      1. After reviewing the technical design specifications from Colorado, EAS estimates the time to implement to be ~20– 30 hours. This work could most likely begin in the December/January timeframe. However, prior to that EAS would need the campuses to collaborate and determine the complete functional specifications needed for this.
      2. A financial aid and registrar workgroup has been formed. They are working with their Provost offices to identify faculty to work on this. The technical change will change faculty processes.
    3. Summer Registration.
      1. The committee recommendation was to term activate MU, UMKC and S&T students for the Summer Semester so that they can enroll in UMSL summer courses.
      2. Term activation will be used as a short-term solution (summer enrollment 2019); however, leadership wants the committee to continue working on what would be required to move to January enrollment at all four universities.
      3. The committee provided Dr. Holt with documents outlining the pros and cons of term activation and January enrollment. This will be discussed at the joint CFO/UMAO meeting.
  1. A survey was developed and sent (11/5/18) to other universities to identify potential best practices around several financial aid and cashiers processes (see below).
    1. Financial aid disbursement
    2. Packaging and repackaging of financial aid
    3. Refund and reassessment policies
    4. Non-payment practices/policies
    5. Scholarship management
    6. Processing PLUS loans
    7. Reviewing suspended ISIRs
    8. 3rd party or sponsored billing
  2. Deteriorating transcripts. Most of the universities have independently worked to address this issue, but they haven’t been completely successful. They have different processes and technologies that are not well documented. A workgroup was convened to create a sustainable and aligned digitization of transcripts process. This project will be led by JoAnn Looten, Director of Records Management with project management provided by Mary DeFroy.
  3. Additional items noted in the “Latest Accomplishments” section.

This month’s work:

  1. Data from the survey sent to other Financial Aid and Cashier offices will be analyzed and shared with the committee. A report will be sent to survey respondents. Results will help drive process changes; results may also indicate that UM is currently employing best practices where possible.
  2. A year-end report is currently being prepared for Dr. Choi. The report will provide details about the current status of all processes identified during Phase I of the SIS ERP project, with emphasis on processes requiring input and decisions from senior leaders (i.e., Provosts and CFOs). The report will be finalized by December 24, 2018.
  3. Specific projects that will be undertaken/ongoing:
    1. Deteriorating transcripts
    2. Next steps with implementing OCR technology
    3. Colorado Modification – technical specifications and process changes

Upcoming Work:

  1. Phase 3 – Post CS 9.2 Upgrade Work (update will not occur until March 2019). Making technical changes to the current version of PeopleSoft would not make sense given that these changes could then be outdated with the 9.2 upgrade. This work includes:
    1. Functional Processes
    2. Functional and EAS Processes
    3. EAS Processes

Project Assessment

  • Schedule
    • Choi has asked that recommendations regarding senior leadership processes identified through the SIS ERP project be implemented by December 31, 2018.
  • Issues
    • Resource time constraints.
  • Risks
    • Competing initiatives. The committee recognizes the importance of this System initiative, but are tasked with working on university driven and unit initiatives as well. While the initiatives are not misaligned, these initiatives compete for their time.
  • Resources
    • The project is currently under-resourced as one of the project managers is on leave.

FAQ

Important Background Information about the SIS Project
  • The current version of PeopleSoft Student/Campus Solutions, 9.0 is going off support from Oracle, December 2019.
  • The subsequent version, Campus Solutions 9.2, will be supported by Oracle until 2027.
  • We must either move to another solution or upgrade Campus Solutions to 9.2 by December 2019.
  • The current feeling is that we would most likely be moving to a cloud solution at some point, but this is not set and is not necessarily the future.
  • If we were to go to a cloud solution, none of the options currently available are fully functional.
  • The amount of time it would take to move to a cloud solution would most likely take more time than is available for us to get to that solution before December 2019, even if they were fully functional.
  • The conclusion from the above is that we must prepare for and implement the upgrade to Campus Solutions 9.2.
  • A committee made up of representatives from the four campus and system are working on this have been charged with recommending a strategy to project sponsors (Campus Provosts) that defines a more user-friendly, standardized, state-of-the art Student System to meet the functional and reporting needs of end-users in a cost effective way while maintaining each campus’ brand and identity.
  • The committee is evaluating what the business functional and technical needs are today to see where/if we can make changes to prepare for the upgrade to Campus Solutions 9.2 as well as to prepare for and gather requirements and use cases for moving to the next solution after 9.2.
  • The committee will also make a recommendation as to what the direction might be after upgrading to 9.2.
  • There are no current plans to change the implementation structure of either the HR or Finance PeopleSoft systems; any recommendation or changes to the Student System could impact those systems and vice versa.
  • Final recommendations will be made by June of 2017.
What is a Student Information System (SIS)?
A student information system (SIS) is a management information system for education establishment to manage student data. Student information systems provide capabilities for registering students in courses, documenting grading, transcripts, results of student tests and other assessment scores, building student schedules, tracking student attendance, and managing many other student-related data needs in a school. A SIS should not be confused with a learning management system or virtual learning environment, where course materials, assignments and assessment tests can be published electronically.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_information_system

What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology. ERP systems typically include the following characteristics: An integrated system that operates in (or near) real time without relying on periodic updates, a common database that supports all the applications, and a consistent look and feel across modules.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_resource_planning

What are the priorities?
Priorities:

  • Determine which key components of a student information system, and related sub-systems,
    are most important to students and other internal constituencies.
  • Develop a documented approach to determine priorities based upon risk/security, student
    benefit, and long-term cost reduction.
What are the processes and policies?
Processes and policies:

  • Identify areas of commonality upon which we can develop consistent processes and policies.
  • Develop a business process analysis to identify common solutions in order to maximize
    efficiency and focus on outcomes.
What are the system requirements?
System requirements:

  • Identify requirements for a future system that is agile, incremental and capable of handling a
    “plug and play” approach to leverage current and future technology.
  • Identify a system or systems capable of adapting to the changing needs and demands of the
    campus communities.
  • Eliminate unnecessary customizations allowing us to reallocate resources to other areas.
  • Develop a plan for deploying the best-in-class security methodology.
How will data be managed?
Data management:

  • Develop an integrated data governance model that ensures consistency and accountability in
    decision-making, which will be enforced by a new Stewardship Committee.
  • Develop a model for a strategic-data system to generate desired information that is easily
    accessed and understandable for better-informed decision making
How is the project organized?