The Academic Information System was the highlight of the 2015 Annual Registration Meeting sponsored by the Office of the Registrar in September. Two hundred people attended the event in the David and Reva Logan Center Performance Hall.
“Establishing the Academic Information System is a multi-year commitment,” said project co-sponsor Scott Campbell. “We are installing a state-of-the-art infrastructure for academic administration. It will bolster the educational enterprise, provide technologically advanced systems, and consolidate the user experience for faculty, students, and staff. We hear from people who will use the system that they are excited about the changes.”
The AIS presentation was led by Campbell and co-sponsor Amanda Fijal, along with Senior Project Manager Heather Harty. They shared the stage with team leaders from UChicago’s academic areas and business offices: the College, Divisions, Professional Schools, Admissions, Financial Aid, Academic Advising, the Registrar’s Office, and the Bursar’s Office. A team of experts from IT Services, as well as Oracle consultants from Sierra-Cedar Inc., also play key roles in the development of the system.
The rationale and procedures for implementing the AIS were explained in the presentation, as well the impact it will have on UChicago. In essence, outdated technology prompted the change, which will, over time, affect most areas of academic record at the University, and all faculty, students, and academic staff.
The project team is building the complex system on an Oracle Campus Solutions (PeopleSoft) platform that can accommodate UChicago’s unique requirements. “The multi-step process will unfold in phases over the next year,” said Zach Swartz, Director of Systems and Technology in the Registrar’s Office. “The system’s first set of “live” capabilities will be released in November.” These will provide the foundation for data processing in Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Registrar’s office. A timeline with other details of the implementation was distributed at the meeting.
Future users of AIS were assured they would be trained on the new system, and that support will be available at each juncture of the implementation.
“We have initiated a massive undertaking,” said Fijal, “with a team that currently totals 50 people. Still other campus representatives serve on advisory committees, in working groups, and as system testers. We have invited the people who will use the Academic Information System to help us shape it, and their contributions have been, and continue to be, invaluable.”
The AIS effort is led by members of the University’s executive leadership: Provost Eric Isaacs, College Dean John Boyer, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, Karen Warren-Coleman, Vice President for Operations and CFO, Rowan Miranda, and Vice President for Enrollment and Student Advancement, Jim Nondorf, who also serves as Dean of College Admissions and Financial Aid.