MOSAIC: Changing the Way We Do Business

MOSAIC: Changing the Way We Do Business

By University Information Technology Services
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A comprehensive technology systems replacement project, approved this spring and now under way, will quite literally transform the way The University of Arizona does business.

During the coming 36 months, aging administrative systems in five key areas – Student, Financials, HR/Payroll, Research and Business Intelligence – will be replaced with state-of-the-art technology designed to enhance recordkeeping, upgrade and protect the University's vast information resources, and provide meaningful data to support collaborative decision-making.

The project name, MOSAIC, reflects the fact that many people, programs and systems are working together to create a modern, unified and coherent administrative technology system. "While any technology conversion of this magnitude poses a challenge," said UA Chief Information Officer Michele Norin, "the long-term benefit in increased productivity, efficiency and security is enormous. The MOSAIC Project will positively impact every part of the University for decades to come." 

The MOSAIC timeline is fast paced. The first three phases of the project already have been approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. In July, the board's Technology Oversight Committee, the group charged with reviewing plans for major campus investments to ensure that they are effectively planned and managed, signed off on the bond funding approach. Because the UA follows in the footsteps of Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University in undertaking this conversion, MOSAIC Project leaders expect to profit significantly from their experience and expertise. In fact, the HR/Payroll project is currently running slightly ahead of schedule, with a first milestone – payroll testing for a small sample – already achieved. 

The University's executive leadership also has championed the effort as an important component of the UA's drive to boost student success, contain costs, anticipate future administrative demands, and move toward a place among the nation's top 10 public research universities. The Executive Steering Committee for the MOSAIC Project includes: Norin (chair); Priscilla Cantu, director of systems control; Hank Childers, project director; Andrew Comrie, associate vice president, research; Bill Elger, senior associate dean, administration and finance, College of Medicine; Karen Filippelli, assistant vice president, finance and administration, President's Office; Jim Florian, budget director; Juan Garcia, vice president for instruction/dean of University College; Charles Ingram, assistant vice president for financial services; Paul Kohn, vice provost, enrollment management; Ronald Marx, dean, College of Education; Jacqueline Mok, vice president and chief of staff, President's Office; Leslie Tolbert, vice president for research, graduate studies and economic development; Allison Vaillancourt, vice president for human resources; and Melissa Vito, vice president for student affairs.

"I'm delighted to be working with this amazingly talented and diverse group of people on a project that is so long overdue, and one that will significantly enhance the UA's administrative, financial, educational and research capacities," said Childers, who leads the MOSAIC implementation team. "We are turning every stone to make sure the systems we install best serve the UA's needs, and that the transition will be smooth and efficient." Childers brings more than 25 years of experience to the task, both as a director/management consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, one of the world's largest professional services firms, and as a University insider responsible for human resources decision support and information technology.

Serving with Childers on the Implementation Management Team are: Business Intelligence/Reporting Director Susan Richards, Student Administration co-directors Thomas Bourgeois and Suellyn Hull, Financial Systems Director Kymber Horn, HR/Payroll Director Marcia Chatalas, Independent Consultant Barry Brummond and Research Administration Director Paul Sandoval. Others will be added as the project moves forward.

A MOSAIC Project Web site, now under construction at, will provide the latest information on the progress of the transition. Visitors to the site may ask questions and sign up to receive regular electronic updates.

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