Matthew Helm presents information at a recent LEAPForward town hall meeting.

Progress continues on a major campuswide initiative to create the next-generation academic information infrastructure for Illinois State University.

The LEAPForward Initiative aims to replace aging technology systems and allow for ease of reporting and analyzing data. The Academic Information Environment (AIE) and Supporting Systems Request for Proposal (RFP) for LEAPForward was approved and published on the Illinois Public Higher Education Procurement Bulletin.

The RFP outlines the requirements of a new AIE for Illinois State. The RFP identifies the desired academic architecture and defines the functional and technical requirements for the new AIE and all of its supporting systems. The response period for vendors was open from March 4 until April 12.

Once vendor responses are received, the product evaluation phase will begin. Throughout the evaluation process, the Steering Team Committee and the LEAPForward Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project team will work with an evaluation committee to score the responses and recommend the new vendor(s) to the Illinois State Board of Trustees.

The benefits of this upgrade will enable information integration throughout the entire campus; reduce duplication between departments; and allow faculty, students, and staff a chance to complete tasks more quickly. This necessary change will allow Illinois State to maintain its competitive advantage.

Second town hall meeting

In addition to the RFP release, a second LEAPForward town hall meeting was held in April to further inform and engage the campus community about this major initiative. The presentation highlighted the major areas of the initiative including Business Process Management, ERP, AIE/Student Information System (SIS), and Business Intelligence.

The community was updated on the progress of the various projects that make up this undertaking. In addition, attendees were introduced to the new LEAPForward website and an overview of upcoming activities. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session that allowed members of the campus community to interact directly with key members of the LEAPForward Initiative.

For additional information on LEAPForward, to view the RFP with a University login, or to watch the town hall meeting, visit the LEAPForward website.