Enterprise Systems and Process Renewal Project

Message from the President, October 2009

We live in a time of accelerated change, both social and technological. Higher education continues to become more and more competitive, and the current economic crisis sharpens that competition. Ball State has laid out an ambitious strategic plan that is crucial to the future success of our institution. Much of that success will depend on talented people: faculty, staff, and an increasingly bright and curious student body. In order to reach our common goals, we must provide the members of our community the tools and processes that will support their efforts.

Ball State’s core administrative systems have been around a long, long time and have served the institution well. However, in a time of great change, we need systems that can grow and adapt to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

When David Letterman returned to his alma mater for the dedication of the Letterman Communication and Media Building, he commented that he was “old” media, that the future of communications was represented in the state-of-the-art facility where we would be developing the next generation of communicators and leaders. In much the same way, it is time for Ball State to examine our “old” administrative systems—and ways of doing business—and move forward to the next generation of approaches and applications that will help us achieve our strategic goals.

Over the past year and a half, the vice presidents have worked together to evaluate our current state of business processes and systems. They recommended to me that we begin a process of renewing—and replacing—our core enterprise systems. They have recommended a rigorous process of assessment and evaluation, and I concur with their recommendations.

This is no small undertaking. The size and complexity of the project is challenging, and the resource demands will be significant, but this project is also crucial to the continued vitality of Ball State.

This is not a narrow administrative or IT project but truly a university-wide priority. This is not so much about administrative systems but rather ways of doing business. I am confident that working together as a community we can be successful.

Jo Ann M. Gora, President

October 1, 2009