IRIS Project

An update on the development of our future campus tools

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Distribution to all employees 

Dear all, 

I’m writing to give you an update on the development of our future campus tools. As you know, campus-wide working groups are currently focused on our future software systems. This is a slow painstaking process that is still invisible to many, but which will ultimately have an impact on us all. While our working groups have experienced multiple setbacks and frustrations, we know that their hard work will ultimately benefit the entire community.   

Following the implementation of Slate in Admissions, the focus shifted to the Unit4 project in HR and Finance. This implementation has required an overhaul of business processes, and the project has been delayed out of concern for risk. We have extended the testing phase, spent more time on adjusting the system to improve the user experience, and focused on building the reports and training materials that would help campus users adopt the system successfully. Although the project at times seems endless, we are now close to the finish line and will announce the steps for adoption once the risk of going live is manageable.  

Also on a risk-based approach, the Creatrix project  is proceeding at a torrid pace. The CAMS system is not only archaic but running out of support, and we need to move to Creatrix as quickly as possible. To prevent mid-year or mid-semester disruption, we have planned to launch Creatrix in summer 24. As a result, many people around the campus are now, or will be, in the very near future, fulfilling two roles – performing their current responsibilities in CAMS and implementing Creatrix. Maintaining this pace is tricky, but it is preferable to the risk of delay. Our external partners are working at the same pace, and they are confident that they can assist us to meet this ambitious timeline.  

  • Requirements phase to complete by December 12, 2023.  
  • Conference room pilot to complete by January 29, 2024.  
  • User acceptance testing between December 4, 2023 to February 14, 2024.  
  • Data migration activities between February 13 to April 1, 2024.  
  • End user training from February to April, 2024.  
  • Operational go live on May 8, 2024 (with student and faculty records and functionality from registration all the way to advising and to graduation).  
  • Post implementation support until November 7, 2024 (and functionality for strategic planning, assessment, accreditation, and other functions).  

We have other projects taking place that include building a common repository for data, managing financial aid, improving our relationships with donors and alumni, and integrating systems that have operated independently so that faculty and staff can get the information they need to do everyday tasks easier, such as advise students, submit work materials, pay bills, and receive notices. Some of these resources and tools will be available on day one of the launch of systems like Unit4 and Creatrix, and others will require time to see how the university adapts to the new systems. Nonetheless, we are moving forward in a manner that reduces the risk to the university.  

You can read the 2023-24 preview and the 2022-23 recap or prior communications on the IRIS webpage. We remind you that each week the CIO, Bob Johnson, will hold regular hours on Wednesdays at 4 pm for your concerns, questions, or ideas. Please call him on MS Teams. If you prefer to submit your observations about the IRIS project anonymously, we will address them in the next monthly update. 

Share your thoughts, comments and questions anonymously (2-minute submission) 

My thanks, as ever, go to the valiant members of our working groups. They are propelling us (even kicking and screaming) into a technologically brighter future.  

Best wishes,  

Hannah Westley