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Growing a Successful Graduate Application System Presenters Craig Higgins - Director of Administration, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mark.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing a Successful Graduate Application System Presenters Craig Higgins - Director of Administration, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mark."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing a Successful Graduate Application System Presenters Craig Higgins - Director of Administration, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mark Otis - Asst Dir, Research, Graduate Studies, and Professional Education Paul Davis - Senior Programmer Analyst Doug Hexter - CEO/Project Manager, World Design Group NERCOMP Presentation March 7th, :15-12:05

2 Copyright Copyright Craig Higgins, Mark Otis, Paul Davis, and Doug Hexter This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non- commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.

3 College of Engineering The Process

4 College of Engineering 5,000 applications (est.) 100,000 documents 300 staff weeks per year 5000(+) folders created folders circulated, rated, modified, circulated, rated… 1,800 offers TOO MUCH PAPER TOO MUCH WORK The Process

5 College of Engineering White Board Design

6 College of Engineering GAPS Version 1.0

7 College of Engineering Beta Field(s) Electrical and Computing Engineering Civil & Environmental Eng Materials Sci & Eng Mech & Aerospace Eng Civil and Environmental Engineering Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Electrical & Computing Eng GAPS

8 College of Engineering The Bat-Phone

9 College of Engineering The Bat-Phone

10 College of Engineering Fields Using GAPS This Year All 14 Engineering Fields Chemistry Horticulture Physiology ILR Real Estate 5 Other Graduate Fields Electrical & Computing Eng Civil & Environmental Eng Applied & Eng Physics Materials Sci & Eng Theoretical & Applied Mechanics Applied Mathematics Chemical & Biomolecular Eng Mech & Aerospace Eng Computer Science Earth & Atmospheric Science Biological & Environmental Eng Biomedical Eng Operations Research & Industrial Eng System Eng GAPS

11 College of Engineering Why Did This Project Scale? >All 96 fields have some sort of application tracking system >Infrastructures include -FileMaker -Access -Spread sheets -FileMaker to the web >This one is only one used by multiple fields >CIT considered developing similar system but were told “faculty wouldn’t want it”

12 College of Engineering Local Unit Situation >Strengths -Know the business -Close to mission of University -Well connected with faculty -Nimble -Will reap the rewards of the effort >But… -Don’t have resources or programmers -Don’t normally have connections or inclination to work upward or across units -Don’t have enterprise options

13 College of Engineering Why Scale to University? >Shift maintenance cost to University (~$0.5M over 5 years) >Save money University wide (no more retyping) >More consistent data and processes University wide >Integration with PeopleSoft & campus warehouses >Avoid Grad School and CIT imposed surprises >Be a good University citizen

14 College of Engineering 4 Models for Starting Small and Growing >Build something that you can give to other units -Leave CIT out of it >Try to get CIT and/or Grad School to build it -Hard to sell something that they don’t get benefit from >Build something that CIT can re-implement using your system as a spec -Depends on finding funding to re-implement >Build Something CIT can live with and scale it up to the University

15 College of Engineering Our Solution: Build for Migration >Adopt near CIT standard infrastructure -Cold Fusion -MS SQL server >Hire a vendor to deliver skills we don’t have -Strong programmer -Experience building similar systems >Build system nimbly >Once we have something concrete to show, have faculty sell it to stakeholders higher up

16 College of Engineering New Stakeholders >Graduate School - The new sponsor >CIT (Cornell Info Tech) - The enabler >Campus administrative systems funding bodies - The funders

17 College of Engineering Come Back Next Year >Long painful process to develop funding request >Made the initial cut but… >PeopleSoft soaked up all central funding for administrative systems >Encouraged us to come back

18 College of Engineering We Can’t Go Back >Faculty love the system >Continue working with Grad School >Consider having fields join with “pay as you go” plan >Grad School will re-apply for funding >“It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll”

19 College of Engineering Relationship with Vendor >Develop the specifications together >Partnership >Manage the project, not the contract >Understand the endgame but stay flexible >Vendor experience >“Skin in the game”

20 College of Engineering Ingredients of Success >Right project – addressed strong business need >Principals were very close to the business need >Clear, uncluttered vision >The right infrastructure & relationship to CIT >Flexible funding (and enough of it) >Frequent feedback / Respond quickly >Start small, added fields and stakeholders as we grew >Qualified vendor as partner >Make hay when the sun shines

21 College of Engineering


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