Project to Enhance Campus’ Business Systems
New Efficiencies Expected in HR, Grant Management, Payroll and More
Mar. 3, 2010
Project teams are forging ahead to meet an end-of-year deadline to upgrade the UT Dallas human resources and financial computing systems to accommodate growth at the University.
Project Gemini will overhaul accounts payable, budgeting, grant management, human resources and payroll functions, among others.
The changes will ramp up productivity through Web-based tools to enhance reporting, analysis and planning. The enhancements are viewed as a step toward fulfilling the University’s goal of achieving Tier One status.
“Having a robust system is essential to achieving the customer- service levels and overall goals UT Dallas has established,” said Dr. Calvin D. Jamison, vice president for Business Affairs. “Project Gemini is a huge transformational step in the right direction.”
The project team is collaborating with other UT System institutions to identify common needs and best practices in installing the system, which uses PeopleSoft software. UT Dallas’ implementation will be the first of what is planned to be a “single instance” shared services implementation.
UT Dallas is leading the charge, in part because its current business software is nearing the end of its lifecyle and will no longer be supported by the vendor after this year.
Gemini’s Human Resources team has joined colleagues from seven UT System sister institutions in "fit-gap" sessions while the financial system prototype is configured. The process helps users identify the modifications they will need.
“This is a vast improvement over what we used before,” said Lori Taccino, director of Contracts & Grants Accounting.
“We saw how we will be managing sponsored research accounts. The applications are better in all areas of financial research management,” she said.
Taccino’s department completed training on the grants module in January, and members of Human Resources Management started fit-gap sessions with PeopleSoft on Feb. 1.
Reda Bernoussi, director of accounting and financial reporting, said that, over time, Gemini “should eliminate many manual tasks and provide current and accurate information to administrators and account managers.”
The move to Gemini also is part of the University’s effort to reduce paper, time and motion, the key tenets of the Lean Initiative.
Bernoussi, who is the financial management system’s functional lead, said, “We are in the process of configuring and testing its features and functionality to ensure it meets the needs of the University’s academic and administrative units.”
“The goal for the Gemini project team is to re-think UT Dallas’ business processes in order to improve university-wide efficiency and internal controls,” said Associate Vice President of Business Affairs Wanda Mizutowicz. “PeopleSoft technology is the tool that will enable us to achieve this.”