The acting president of the University of Wisconsin system told local media that before stepping down he wanted to complete the transformation of the institution’s “archaic computer system”.
Tommy Thompson, former governor of Wisconsin and secretary of health under George W. Bush, said last week that he was not “in the cards” to serve permanently as president. Rather, he said, its goal is to update the university system’s financial and human resource management systems and systems, a plan that has been in the works for years. To run a system the size of UW, with 13 universities and 26 campuses, IT systems must have modern capabilities and implement cloud-based solutions, Thompson said.
“[The systems are] archaic. It’s obsolete, it’s decrepit, no one can even understand it, you can’t understand things, and it has to be done ”, Thompson told WisPolitics.com.
UW System launched a major initiative in 2019 to improve its administrative systems and policies, and launched the tendering process for new finance and human resources systems in 2020. The Board of Directors of UW UW approved Workday to deliver the updated systems in July. Leaders initially planned to split the implementation of the system into two phases, but announced in July that instead, all institutions would work on the project at the same time. The system is currently research for an “implementation partner,” a company that will help guide the adoption of system-wide software, according to its website.
Higher education institutions are increasingly updating their financial and human resource systems to cloud-based solutions, according to a study released this spring by The Tambellini Group, which studies higher education. Founder Vicki Tambellini previously told EdScoop that the coronavirus pandemic has spurred adoption of cloud services as university leaders seek to deliver services more efficiently.
Thompson, who recently made headlines for oppose state control over COVID-19 campus guidelines, said the state should form a “blue ribbon task force” to address inefficiencies in UW operations. He argued the system has too many buildings and the legislature needs to approve more money for distance learning as out-of-state e-learning providers compete for Wisconsin students. .