It is a fair question and one we’ve heard a fewtimes now. I assure you the project team took into consideration all options to find a period of time that would cause the ‘least disruption’ to the campus. Unfortunately in our assessment we find that there is no such thing as a good time to do this, only less bad times.
Here are some of the key aspects we needed to consider when we identify dates to do an upgrade..’
- We need to take the system down for at least 1 week. This is a fairly big upgrade from a technical standpoint and requires full shutdown of the production ISIS application.
- We have multiple offices all using this same integrated ISIS application, so all have to agree to our downtime window. This includes Academic Departments, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Orientation, Accounts Payable, and Alumni/Development.
- Each office has critical processing periods when they find it essential to have the system available. These key activities include admissions applications, student orientation, advising, registration, add/drop, faculty grading, billing, financial aid packaging.
- We then have to consider all 3 academic careers of undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education and their unique business requirements
- Then we lay this across 4 semesters per year (fall, winter, spring, summer)
When we package this all up we only come out with a few weeks per year that are reasonable. The options always are in the middle of our large semesters (fall & spring), so regardless we will have a mid-semester change. Summer has too many enrollment activities going on with graduation, then new student orientation and rolling registration for fall. During winter break the Continuing Education session along with Spring Semester application and registration cycle doesn’t allow for any prolonged shut down.
Hopefully this explanation (or excuse) sheds some light on the challenges faced when selecting this upgrade week. If you have additional questions or comments please letusknow.