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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Project Enable described

By Netta S. Eisler

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 35 - June 29, 1995

Wayne Donald of Project Enable and Linda Woodard of Personnel Services spoke at the June Staff Senate meeting.

Donald said that Project Enable is about change. "Everybody in the university will be impacted in some way," he said. According to Donald, the project's purpose is to "implement a technology environment that will help us be more effective." This requires replacing many administrative systems, some of which were written in the late 1960s.

"The directive came down from the administration," Donald said. He estimated it will take three to five years to replace all core administrative systems.

The project involves teams that examine processes and make suggestions about what is needed in new systems, Donald said.

Woodard discussed the Human Resources Project, being implemented in personnel. "None of us can fully predict the impact of Project Enable on the university," she said. "We're changing just about everything."

According to Woodard, one benefit of Project Enable is the implementation of electronic forms that can be filled in on-line. "A lot of our processes will change," she said.

In response to a question from Marge Dellers about the security of on-line systems, Donald said that things sent across the network will be encrypted and able to be decoded only by the person with the right code. "We're not going to do anything with human resources or any other system until we're sure it's secure," he said.

Patrick Donohoe asked why the university switched from PC's to Macs. Donald said that the decision was made because the new systems are easier to learn on Macs than on PC's.

In response to a question about whether the new systems will cost jobs, Donald said that people will spend less time doing administrative work, such as data entry, and more time doing more critical things.

The senate discussed the lack of representation of staff on the Board of Visitors. Policies and Issues will look into this.

Outgoing president Wyatt Sasser thanked the senators for their support, and urged them to support incoming president Fred Phillips.

Sasser reminded the senators that the senate has an office in 323-E Burruss, phone 1-9637. He said Dellers has volunteered to "get the office up and running."

Phillips said he views the office as a communications tool. "Also, it's a place where we can pull together our historical reports and records."