Voice from a FAR
Napper has been with Cal State Fullerton for four years and
is the Director of Faculty Affairs and Records and a member
of the CMS-HR Project Management team. She currently holds
an MBA and a Master's degree in Information Systems from the
Claremont Colleges. Yes, she has two Master's degrees! Her
latest project is Mother to her adorable 4 month old daughter,
Do you feel the campus (specifically FAR) has had an opportunity
to be involved with the CMS-HR implementation? How so and
how much involvement?
I feel that our campus is really lucky in that this is a truly
integrated implementation. When talking to my colleagues on
other campuses, some have stated that they wish they were
more involved in the implementation or that their CMS Project
was mainly driven by one department. That is definitely not
the case here at Fullerton. There are several ways that stakeholders
can provide input and get involved from divisional user groups
to talking to anyone on the project team directly, including
Amir. The communication lines have been open from the beginning
and that's the most important thing. No decisions were made
without a lot of input and involvement from the campus. For
my office in particular, it has been very beneficial that
the Assistant Director of FAR, Robin Graboyes, is a subject
matter expert (SME) on the CMS team concerning
faculty processes. The project benefits from her expertise
and it is very important for her to be involved on that level
because of the work that we do.
What do you see as the top three benefits of CMS HR implementation
from the perspective of Faculty Affairs and Records?
From the perspective of my department, I think streamlining
of processes is huge! We always wanted to find the time to
streamline our processes and CMS, like other ERP
systems, forces you to do that because you have to look at
your existing processes to see what needs happen when the
system is implemented. The CMS fit gap sessions have allowed
us to do just that. Through this project, we have also been
able to really see how the work that we do impacts the entire
University. I think we know that, but looking at our processes
in conjunction with other departments on campus really brought
that point home. Having a centralized database will be so
wonderful for accuracy, data security, decreased redundancy,
easier access to data and reports and the list goes on and
We've heard discussion about CMS and part-time faculty. Does
the CMS implementation offer an opportunity to improve the
business practices and processes for hiring part-time faculty?
Absolutely! Anybody who is involved with this process will
tell you that it's complicated at times. This is in part due
to the data tracking issues. CMS definitely can offer a lot
to us. CMS will allow this process to be a primarily electronic
flow with paper being used only when necessary instead of
the paper intensive process it is now. In addition, CMS will
provide great relief in the data tracking area. Many of the
data elements that departments track manually now will be
tracked by CMS which is a great plus.
And it saves some trees?
Does CMS improve business practices from the Faculty member
I think the biggest benefit for faculty would be access to
their information. With CMS and secure access, they would
have access to selected information that they would normally
have to pick up a phone and call someone for, or send an email
How about the department perspective?
Not having to track so many data elements manually will be
great for departments, as well as access to information and
reports. The ability to run a report on your own time and
not have to request it from another office will be a huge
plus for all departments and/or colleges who hire part-time
It will be nice to cut out the middle man?
Yes. Make things as simple as possible.
How about from the college perspective?
From a broader perspective, streamlined processes allow you
to focus less energy on the processes which gives you more
time to focus on the mission and goals of the University from
your college's perspective. Access to information gives you
the tools to forecast and plan. A clear picture of where you
are is the first step to getting to where you want to be.
These benefits can also be seen in a department or any unit
in the University.
Last, but not least, from FAR's perspective?
All the things I mentioned above!
Is CMS offering an opportunity to establish standard procedures
for departments and colleges?
Absolutely. The part-time faculty process is a prime example.
One of the reasons it's challenging is that we all do it differently.
We know that each college and department has different needs
and the goal is to have a standardized process that is flexible
enough to accommodate those different needs. So instead of
having a complicated process where everyone does something
different, we will have a process which everyone will use
and have options at different points in the process to accommodate
their departmental needs.
Will there be new services and tools due to the CMS implementation?
Yes! Access to reports will be a great tool. CMS will also
accumulation for our Lecturers and departments will not have
to track this manually. As employees, we will also have access
to some of our personal information which I think is very
Overall, do you believe the CMS project will be a success?
I think the project will be successful because we, as a campus,
want it to be successful. This is a campus-wide project and
we all need to take ownership. There are a lot of people working
hard and doing great work on this project, there has been
a lot of dialog with the stakeholders, and the campus has
many avenues for input. We are doing all that we can to ensure
the success of this project.