As the countdown clock clicks down the days, minutes and seconds until ConnectCarolina’s October 1 go-live, it’s easy to forget that this massive, critical project for the University has commanded many years of diligent efforts by hundreds of people across the campus.
The first and only ConnectCarolina module that UNC-Chapel Hill has launched to-date was way back in 2009. That first component was Student Administration (formerly Campus Solutions), which consists of admissions, student records, financial aid, student financials and academic advising.
Since then, the University has been working toward developing the finance and human resources/payroll modules to enable the campus to benefit from using an integrated management system. This system, based on Oracle’s PeopleSoft administrative software system, will provide the UNC-Chapel Hill community with a powerful and fully integrated administrative infrastructure. It also will make interaction with the University easier for applicants, students, faculty and staff. In addition, it will support all those who work and learn at the campus with an administrative system appropriate for one of the nation’s premier universities.
The ConnectCarolina powerful, integrated management system will replace existing systems that are very outdated and unsustainable. They also don’t “talk” to each other. Replacing these systems with ConnectCarolina gives the University a single system in which all the pieces “speak the same language” and information easily flows between systems. This will increase administrative efficiency and effectiveness, and provide consistent data and reporting across campus with which to better inform decision making.
“The legacy system was a solid system, but the technology is very, very old,” said Kevin Seitz, the University’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance. “So it just isn’t up-to-date and isn’t integrated at all.”
Matthew Brody, the University’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, has fully engaged in the ConnectCarolina preparations throughout the project. He’s gratified to get to this point. “I’m glad we’re going live because, to be honest, we’ve been talking about it for so long,” he said. Regardless of all the preparations, switching over such a complex system won’t be easy and won’t go flawlessly.
“At some point we all have to be comfortable with the fact that we’ve done our very best,” Brody said. “We’re going to have some bumps, and that’s not a failure. That’s the nature of a project like this with thousands of moving pieces.”