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Cornerstone Newsletter | September 2023

In the fall of 2016, Rutgers University launched Cornerstone, a multi-year strategic initiative to transform the institution’s administrative and student information systems and processes. Since then, numerous measures have been taken to modernize, unify, and simplify operations and technology for finance and accounting, human resources, payroll, procurement, travel and expense management, and the student experience. This pivotal effort guides the work to standardize practices, improve data analytics and reporting, align services and deliverables with the university community’s needs, and support collaboration across all campuses.

Last fall, the University Finance and Administration Project Management Office led a reprioritization of the Cornerstone projects portfolio to align with current resources. As a result, some projects have slowed or paused to allow the project teams to focus on the following initiatives:

Scarlet Journey; Constituent Relationship Management (CRM)

This project enables the implementation of a CRM platform (Salesforce) to drive engagement and help manage relationships with prospective students, alumni, donors, and athletics supporters. The first phase of the CRM program was focused on enrollment management to support application intake, processing, and admission decisions. The Salesforce CRM application launched in August 2021 for academic year 2022-23 for undergraduate and graduate students (excluding medical, dental, and law schools). The project team continues to implement enhancements to improve the overall user experience and system performance.

Phase 2 of the CRM initiative is focused on Foundation and Alumni Relations. This activity is underway and will launch later this fall for prospect management with future functionality for corporate engagement, grateful patient, gifts, document management, reporting, online giving, and communications. CRM for Athletics is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2024.

Common App

On August 1, Common App launched for first-year, full-time undergraduate applicants in Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark for academic year 2024-2025. Leveraging Common App universitywide will enable students to apply with a single application and fee. Since launch, Rutgers has received a significant volume of prospective students and submitted applications via Common App. The new, online application is fully integrated with the Salesforce CRM platform and the team is focused on the next phase, which will include integrating official final transcripts from high schools.

HR/Payroll Transformation; Human Capital Management (HCM)

Through this initiative, a more consistent employee experience will be created by redesigning human resources (HR) and payroll processes. Combining existing platforms into a single HCM cloud-based software solution will further transform work at Rutgers. Coordinating this initiative with the Chart of Accounts (CoA) Phase 2 project will drive greater efficiency across university systems, provide more consistent and robust financial reporting, enhance transaction management and tracking capability, and simplify and standardize project accounting.

The HR/Payroll Transformation Initiative is gaining momentum as the project team continues to focus on understanding current state universitywide processes. Representatives from each of the Chancellor-led units and central administration have been involved, including University Human Resources, Payroll Services, Institutional Planning and Operations, Division of Continuing Studies, Office of Information Technology, University Finance and Administration, and Office for Research. Additional participation from the university community will expand as the project team continues to assess current state processes and begins to create standard future state business processes and system design, especially in areas where there are potential opportunities for automation and/or process improvements. The Phase 1 launch scheduled for January 2025 includes core HCM, payroll, strategic workforce planning, benefits, compensation, absence management, and time and labor.

Student Experience Improvement Initiative (SEII)

This project advances the university’s dedication to providing seamless, integrated, and responsive services that meet Rutgers students’ needs. A major element of the SEII implementation of a single, universitywide student information system began in fall 2021 with the launch of Oracle Student Financial Planning (OSFP) to replace the legacy financial aid system. Financial aid processing in the OSFP system is in its second aid year, and the team is now preparing to implement the federal government’s new Consolidated Appropriations Act requirements, which are due to be released later this year.The next phase of the project will start in spring of 2024 and will include an extensive business process review to prepare for the implementation of Oracle Student Management Cloud, enabling us to move to a single student system universitywide, replacing both the Banner and legacy Rutgers student systems.


Thank you to everyone who has participated in these and other Cornerstone projects. Stakeholder engagement is key to the success of this multi-year initiative as members of the university community share their knowledge and experience and contribute to the future state design of the system and processes.

Please join the next Cornerstone Open Forum scheduled for November 9 from 1:00-2:30pm. More details to come!

Cornerstone Open Forums are held throughout the year and are open to all administrators, faculty, and staff to provide an opportunity to share updates and to interact with senior leaders and project team members.

Cornerstone News keeps you – members of the Rutgers University community – more informed about the progress of the Cornerstone initiative to support your understanding and engagement in these activities.