Program Overview

Over the years, the University of Wisconsin’s administrative functions have become unnecessarily complex, forcing Human Resources, Finance, and Research Administration staff to navigate confusing systems to complete essential services. The Administrative Transformation Program is on a mission to correct these issues, rebuild our administration, and move the UW mission forward. Here’s how:

Working with people. This transformation is guided and supported by those who know best: the University of Wisconsin’s dedicated staff. We are working with UW’s experts to meet the unique needs of all institutions Systemwide.

Standardizing processes. In response to the ever-evolving higher education landscape, we will establish consistent processes to help staff work efficiently, better manage data, and embrace change. The result is a stronger, more resilient UW. 

Streamlining policies. We are collaborating with staff to clarify, simplify, and recommend uniform policies across the UW System. The goal is a policy environment that is easier for daily users, managers, and leaders to navigate.

Implementing integrated, cloud-based technology.  ATP will implement a selection of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that unite most administrative functions within integrated platforms, enabling easier data sharing between units, departments, and institutions. The result will give us access to more timely information, improved reporting, and enhanced information security.

"Processes that should be simple and easy are time-consuming and cumbersome. It took 6 months to pay an international speaker $300. We must complete five forms to pay for a $30 lunch."

What's Involved?

To modernize UW’s administration and move the mission forward, ATP will embark on a transformation of administrative operations and the technology that supports them.

Functional Transformation

Rebuilding the University of Wisconsin’s administration requires a complete transformation of HR, Finance, and Research Administration business processes, as well as reporting and data and analytics.

Technology Transformation

To support our improved business processes, a small number of integrated technology systems will replace the hundreds of systems we currently use to complete HR, Finance, and Research Administration functions.

While we work to identify the systems that will make this possible, we are working with UW’s technology experts to analyze the systems HR, Finance, and Research Administration staff use now.

Read about our work to transform the current administrative technology systems.

"We need cost accounting. We focus on what it costs after the fact."

Moving Forward Together

All campuses across the UW System will transform business processes and introduce enabling technology in a single implementation phase, as part of a plan called the unified approach. This approach is expected to deliver program benefits, including streamlined business processes, better data transparency, and improved cybersecurity, to all UW institutions simultaneously.

To execute the unified approach successfully, ATP will adhere to the following guiding principles defined by Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson and UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank:

UW–Madison’s needs must be met. Given UW–Madison’s size and intricacies, it is critical for the success of the ATP (across the System) that UW–Madison’s specific needs are met. Therefore, UWSA and UW–Madison will provide project leadership to encourage and balance input from all campuses while remaining focused on UW–Madison’s specific and critical needs. If System resources are not available at the level needed, this may cause delays, but UW–Madison will be able to move forward with implementation on their campus.

Collaboration and strategic alignment. Success of any transformation and ERP project is predicated on strong collaboration and alignment of all parties involved. This will be even more critical in the unified approach. UW–Madison and UW System representatives will be dedicated to working collaboratively across all areas of the program, to ensure the program’s success for all parties — not just those they represent.

Campus benefit realization. Current Human Resource, Finance, and Research management systems are obsolete, distributed, and hosted on premises. All System campuses must instead benefit from modern, cloud-based, integrated administrative systems.