Project Aurora at Selkirk College
Project Aurora (an acronym for A Unified Renewal of Related Application) is underway at Selkirk College.
It’s a project aiming to ensure our systems and operational functions of finance, payroll, human resources and student enrolment and registration are current and able to carry Selkirk College into the next era of providing a valuable student experience. While it’s primarily an IT project, it affects all areas of the college and will result in most of our processes undergoing change and is a key factor in the long term success of the college.
Selkirk College is working closely with Vancouver Island University, sharing expertise and resources, as both institutions engage in Project Aurora. After 16 months of evaluation and effort, the negotiation teams at Selkirk and VIU have selected the vendor Unit4 for the new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform. A seven-year agreement has been signed.
Unit4 is an international company based in the Netherlands with over 4,200 employees around the world. Their finance, human resources and payroll modules are used across Canada in both the public and private sector. They are an established, mature vendor with existing higher education clients around the world including University of Oxford, and Royal Roads University along with clients in the municipal sector including the Regional District of Central Kootenay. Learn more about Unit4.
Why Unit4 was determined the best choice for Selkirk College:
- Student-centric design
- Built for the Cloud
- Best met our requirements
- User interface
- Communication functionality
- Workflow tools
- Competitively priced
The negotiation team:
Gary Leier, Barb Ihlen, Arleen Gallo, Cathy Mercer, Kathleen Ayre, Jim O’Meara, Justine Jarret, Donna Drover, David Feldman, Marianne Walsh, Darrell Hicks, Liana Zwick.
This team will be transitioning into new roles on the Steering Committee and Implementation Team. Watch for these teams to be announced soon.
Meet Project Aurora’s Leadership
Executive Sponsor – Gary Leier
Although Leier is retiring from his role of Vice President of College Services, he will stay on with Selkirk College on a part-time basis to support this crucial initiative. Also the Executive Sponsor of the Silver King Renewal Project, Leier is a recognized leader who will build a coalition of support among the Project Aurora team and ensure that Aurora remains a critical priority of the institution. Leier is transitioning into his new role and will remain with Selkirk College until the end of 2017 at which point the project’s needs will be assessed and it will be determined whether Leier’s leadership is further required.
“There are so many exciting opportunities on the horizon for Selkirk College and the successful implementation of a state-of-the-art ERP system is vital to our future; for students, employees, and our broader stakeholders,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “Aurora represents a significant investment of resources and peoples’ time. The Executive Sponsor is an essential role in Project Aurora. Having Gary in this position will keep this project a priority, provide project teams with effective support and ensure a smoother start up while a new VP College Services is recruited.”
Transformation Lead – Liana Zwick
Zwick brings a strong Human Resources background to her new Project Aurora role at Selkirk College. She also has experience in software implementation having worked on the institution’s recent transition from a third party pay provider to the in-house HR and Payroll system Star Garden. Zwick will be central to Project Aurora consolidating and coordinating the project effort as a whole to prevent a siloed approach.
“A significant part of the project will involve change management. Unit4 is a new tool to provide services which means we will be doing our work in different ways. This will take a thoughtful and coordinated approach to include all stakeholders in our institutional transformation,” says Zwick. “I am excited about this opportunity. It is exactly what Selkirk College needs to propel us forward.”
Aurora Transformation Lead Liana Zwick (right) is captured here during the final stretch of negotiations in Vancouver with Kathleen Hayden, Purchasing Manager at Vancouver Island University.
Want to know more?
All Selkirk College employees are invited to attend one of three town hall sessions.
August 29 from noon to 1 p.m. in Gym U6 on the Castlegar Campus
August 30 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on the Silver King Campus in Nelson, Room 16
August 30 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Mary Hall Cafeteria on the Tenth Street Campus in Nelson
Aurora Guiding Principles
- Promote a culture of collaboration
- Acknowledge Aurora is an Institutional Project facilitated by IT
- Configuration trumps customization
- Not a workforce rationalization strategy
- No individual will be left behind
- Manage the project professionally
- Lead with people side of change with compassion and patience
"I'm approaching this project with relentless positivity; and frantic hope" - Process Documentation Specialist Kathleen Ayre