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December 19, 2008 - Fridays @ First

The following contains the latest information on the CUNYfirst Project and upcoming activities

Human Resources Training – Presentation Skills Works 

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, nearly 70 people from around CUNY took part in a two-day presentation skills workshop taught at Baruch College by the CUNYfirst Training Team.  These people will be the trainers for the new CUNYfirst Human Resources processes.  Next month, they will learn the system so they can teach the courses necessary for their “students” to learn their new functions.  Training for users will begin in February.

Faculty Workload

CUNYfirst team members met Wednesday December 18 with college faculty workload coordinators, teaching load coordinators and additional representatives from colleges and University Offices to begin the conference room pilot phase of the CUNYfirst Faculty Workload module.  In addition to a basic overview of how the PeopleSoft product manages work load tracking and reporting, the college representatives elaborated on many of the needs previously determined through both the original scope of work and earlier sessions with either the human resources community or the academic.  Participants were given additional assignment to provide further data to Oracle.  The next round of CRP sessions will be scheduled for January.

Finance Liaisons

University Controller Barry Kaufman hosted a meeting of Finance Liaisons Tuesday with the purpose of updating them on work that is currently underway to assess possible changes in the new Chart of Account structure and to talk about current General Ledger and Project issues.  Liaisons stressed the need to understand integrated processes, specifically how information from other pillars populate chart fields.  The Core Team took away a number of tasks on these and other issues.

Campus Executives Meeting

Arriving just ahead of the snowfall, CUNYfirst Campus Executives met with Project leadership for a status report and an update on upcoming implementations.  Also on the agenda was an update on Project communications, and a call to action by Project Direct Suman Taneja on tasks needed for the implementation of the HR module, including taking inventory of current, promised and needed reports, once CUNYfirst goes live, and an update on the Faculty Workload module. 

Town Hall Presentations

The Graduate Center’s HR Team hosted a large town hall meeting Wednesday December 17, focusing on upcoming HR and Recruitment processes.  After the presentation, many questions were asked ranging from how current processes like mass reappointment and hiring of adjuncts will be handled in the new system to how people who won’t need day-to-day access to CUNYfirst will learn how to log on and use self-service screens to see their personal information.

Many campuses have held town halls (in some cases, multiple meetings with different constituents) and some are planned for the New Year.


Communication liaisons met Wednesday to get an update on current opportunities to increase the knowledge about CUNYfirst throughout the university.  Liaisons were asked to encourage their community to go to the Project website – – where visitors can read up on the various aspects of the Project, or watch the CUNYfirst tour.  Liaisons were given marketing materials to post around their campus aimed at driving people to get information.  They were also given an overview of the upcoming plans for supporting the rollout of the HR module, which will be available to everyone who works at CUNY.  The goal is to introduce users to CUNYfirst, explain how to access the system when it is time, and support users with FAQ’s, web information, access to peer leaders and SuperUsers, and how to get support from their local Help Desk.

From our Leadership

As we close out 2008 and head into a busy new year, we asked our Project leaders to share some thoughts about where we’ve been and where we are going.  

Brian Cohen – CUNYfirst Leader – CUNY Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer

In 2009, CUNYfirst will embark on several significant implementations - new University-wide processes in Human Resources and Finance and new student services at Queens College and Queensborough Community College.  We have very talented people from around the university who are supportive and involved in making the key decisions to get us there. 

As we move toward the full implementation of CUNYfirst, we’re going to see technology playing even greater roles in improving the CUNY experience.   Technology will "support" our programs on the administrative and academic side.  It will “enable” the university to become a more efficient organization. Technology will “enhance” the experiences of students in the classroom and the experiences of the faculty delivering their curriculum, and it will help us "deliver" better services.  Supporting, Enabling, Enhancing, and Delivering - that's how technology is helping SEED our future.

Ron Spalter – CUNYfirst Leader – CUNY Deputy Chief Operating Officer

CUNYfirst has proven to be a remarkable opportunity for all of us at the university to validate the promise of an integrated university.  Opportunities for participation and shared ownership of processes and solutions have engaged our community is ways that few of us would have imagined possible. 

As we look forward to 2009, we need to focus more thought on our need to provide “post-deployment” support for our colleagues as they adjust to their new assignments and work tasks.  As always, working together, this is nothing we cannot achieve for ourselves and for CUNY.

Suman Taneja – CUNYfirst Project Director

We are fortunate to have a very talented and dedicated team working on the CUNYfirst project.  Our success in 2008 and the success we will see in the future is all due to this great team - which includes the subject matter experts from campuses and the central office, the CUNY core project team and our partners from Oracle, Exeter and Gartner. Over 2,000 subject matter experts from the colleges and the central office have been actively involved in helping us build the new processes that will last the University – its students, faculty and staff – for more than a generation.  Our subject matter experts truly care about what happens on the project.  You can see it in our meetings and you can feel it in the passion they have for their colleagues and constituents.  

2009 will be an exciting year of change for CUNY.   With the upcoming implementation of Human Resources, Procurement, Budgeting and Campus Solutions, we have a lot to look forward to. On behalf of the project team, I want to thank all our colleagues who are working tirelessly along side us to make this project successful.  

Fridays @ first will resume January 2.