ConnectND Completes Successful Student System Upgrade
BISMARCK, N.D. - An upgrade to the North Dakota University System's ConnectND student administration system was completed on time and within budget, according to a June 19, 2008, report presented to the State Board of Higher Education by NDUS CIO Randall Thursby. This follows a successful upgrade of the ConnectND finance system in May.
"Completion of a project of this magnitude with faculty, staff and students encountering only minor problems is a major success," Thursby said. "University System ConnectND staff members worked tirelessly to make this happen. Their dedication is absolutely remarkable, and it has been integral to our success."
"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Randall Thursby; Bonnie Neas, former interim NDUS ConnectND executive director; current executive director Mick Pytlik; and the entire immensely talented ConnectND team," said John Q. Paulsen, SBHE president. "We also are deeply appreciative for the support of campus users who stuck with us through some difficult times in the early stages of this project. The board and University System never lost sight of the goal of improving IT functions for our students and our campuses."
"The governor and Legislature played an important role in this success as well," said Bill Goetz, NDUS chancellor. "They supported additional funding needed to address some outstanding challenges and to properly address the needed upgrades. We realize that maintaining and upgrading ConnectND will be a continuous process, but this is a significant milestone that is definitely worth noting."
Known as Campus Connection, the student administration system is used by all 11 NDUS institutions for several key business functions, including admissions and recruitment, student records and financial aid. It interfaces with several third-party management systems that perform housing, parking, facilities, room scheduling and online credit card payment functions.
Planning for the upgrade to Oracle/PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0 began in May 2007. An expectation that the project would be completed by Fall Semester 2008 was established at a June 25, 2007, kickoff meeting. The target date of June 18, 2008, was selected, knowing that the ambitious one-year time frame would be contingent upon completion of several related projects and complicated testing cycles. Despite challenges, the project was completed on time and within budget.
At the recommendation of Vice President Richie Smith, on June 19 the SBHE made a motion to commend the NDUS ConnectND staff for the successful student system upgrade and a year of significant accomplishment.