Emory Report

May 3, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 30

Student services PeopleSoft project (LINUS) on track

As of March, the PeopleSoft Student Administration System project has a new name--and new leadership. Called LINUS (Linking Integrated New-technology for University Systems), the project is now headed by Heather Mugg, formerly of the Goizueta Business School student services office and most recently a manager at Atlanta International University.

When completed, LINUS will provide the platform for each of the school's student administrative offices to use the PeopleSoft Student Administration System (PS/SA), making it feasible and efficient for "end users" to get admissions, student records, financial aid and student financial information and eliminating the need to wait for someone else to produce needed reports.

The Project Management Team Mugg heads includes Technical Director Francene Mangham of Information Technology Division, PeopleSoft Manager Michael diSalvo, Training Director Jody Usher, Project Administrator Barbara Ballisty and Larry Weaver from CSC/Pinnacle, who is acting technical lead. Also included are representatives from the four central offices and ITD and school representatives from Emory and Oxford colleges, which will be going live on the same timetable as the central offices. LINUS' current governance structure reflects the goal of keeping all relevant constituencies informed and involved in project news and decision making.

A brief history of LINUS

In the fall of 1993 Emory deans raised concerns about the difficulties they faced gathering information about students. Demographic information was available from one source, financial aid from another and student accounts from yet another. Complicating this decentralized arrangement was the fact that the databases contained different item definitions and formats that made collection, clear analysis and report writing difficult and unwieldy.

A university committee, dubbed ISIS (Integrating Student Information Systems), was formed in response and functioned first as a task force to review Emory's student administrative support services. After a year of gathering data and interviewing representatives from the nine schools and colleges, and the student service units, the task force recommended to the deans and directors in the summer of 1994 that a long-term project be undertaken to prepare a foundation for future student information systems. In May 1996, after thorough analysis, the ISIS executive committee recommended that the University purchase the Student Administration system being marketed by Peoplesoft Inc., and Emory began preparing to implement the system under the direction of Registrar Chuck Nicolaysen.

Working initially with beta releases of the product, the groundwork was laid for the January 1998 release of version 7.0, which was installed in three weeks. The team members, who then represented the central student administration offices of admissions, student records, financial aid and student financials, were charged with testing all of the processes completely and with identifying whether the system successfully accommodated Emory's current business practices. In May of last year, after consultation with the deans' representatives, the project team determined version 7.0 was not ready to go into a live production environment. To do so would require two interim efforts: first, to migrate the legacy FAM System of Financial Aid to SCT's FAMPLUS, and second, to remediate the three other legacy systems in admissions, student records and student financials for Year 2000 compliance.

In January of this year Emory contracted with the PeopleSoft Professional Services Group (PSG) and CSC-Pinnacle to do a complete assessment, including a high-level implementation plan, to assist the project team in detailed gap/fit sessions to validate the resources allocated by Emory to the project and to confirm the timeline for going live with the system.

As the project progresses, additional information can be found at <http://www.emory. edu/Public/SIS> or through periodic updates in Emory Report and other media.

--Priscilla Echols

Associate Dean of Emory College Priscilla Echols is on loan to the LINUS project.

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