FAQ

This is a large and complicated project, and we know there are many questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked ones.

What is Renew BU?

Brandon University is bringing in an all-new software system called CampusNexus to power our student, academic, and financial needs.

Making this switch away from our legacy code is one of the most significant changes ever at Brandon University, and we must do it over the course of several years while we continue our daily operations.

This change is called Renew BU.

What is CampusNexus?

We have selected the CampusNexus suite to be Brandon University’s new ERP. An ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning system, is a very large software package that manages most of Brandon University’s administration and records.

CampusNexus is a huge upgrade, replacing our aging legacy software, with a new cloud-based solution that will be always up-to-date. CampusNexus brings built-in support for mobile devices and web applications that will replace BU’s custom-built programs. CampusNexus will bring BU up to current industry standard for post-secondary education, meeting the expectations of today’s students, faculty and staff, and ensuring our systems remain current for years into the future.

The CampusNexus suite includes three components, which will improve student enrolment and registration, communication and engagement, and financial needs.

Learn more about CampusNexus.

We’ve been managing with the current system. Why can’t we improve it to meet our needs?

Some of Brandon University’s legacy systems were programmed in-house as far back as the 1970s and have been updated in-house since then. They no longer meet the standards of what’s available and used by the vast majority of North American universities and colleges.

Our existing processes are inefficient, in some cases requiring a lot of workarounds or manual effort to meet existing needs, for example to communicate data between different areas that use different software. This leads to delay and errors, including outdated or conflicting information, as well as taking up time and effort that could be used to better support students and the BU community.

Also important to note is that the staff who were instrumental in developing the software system originally, and who have maintained and updated it over the years, are nearing retirement. While other staff are somewhat familiar with the system, we know it is not wise to continue with the current system if more efficient and modern solutions are available.

The new CampusNexus will allow Brandon University to meet current expectations, including real online registration, and will grow to accommodate our future needs.

What will students be able to do with CampusNexus that they cannot do now?

Improving the student experience is one of the University’s primary goals and students will see some of the more dramatic changes. CampusNexus system will streamline the entire process of applying to Brandon University, choosing and registering for classes, and obtaining a degree. It will be easier to become a student at BU, easier to be a student, and easier for alumni to stay connected with BU.

  • Students will have a streamlined application, admission and registration process, with easy access to current information on their status.
  • All student processes will be accessible online and through mobile devices.
  • Students will receive automatic and timely communication at critical points of their experience beginning as a prospective student and continuing on even as alumni.
  • There will be better transparency around student fees and tuition payments.

What will faculty be able to do with CampusNexus that they can’t do now?

Currently, faculty most often interact with the system in relation to student registration and the assignment of grades. A new system will help faculty improve the student experience:

  • The online student registration process will be more streamlined with fewer electronic registration requests being held up for manual processing. This will allow faculty to have access to more accurate “live” course enrolment data.
  • There will be more flexible options to manage course prerequisites, registration, and enrolment. For example, programs with highly structured curricula will be able to “batch register” students in courses to ensure cohorts stay on track.
  • Approving registration will be more efficient.
  • There will be much more accessible and integrated student record information, including unofficial student transcripts available online.
  • There will be opportunity to offer non-traditional and/or emerging academic programming such as stackable credentials, certificates that can be “attached to traditional degree credentials, etc.

Faculty will also see improvements to some financial and administration tasks:

  • Travel and expense claims will be modernized and include online approval capability. This means you will be able to check the status of your claim.
  • There will be more information available in the financial system to give you greater ability to manage your research accounts.

What will staff be able to do with CampusNexus that they can’t do now?

Staff in different areas will see different changes depending on how you currently use the system. CampusNexus will allow many staff to focus on the core responsibilities of the student experience and supporting the institution. Many manual processes will be automated and we will be able to take advantage of new opportunities.

  • Staff will be able to use CampusNexus to send students automatic and timely communication at critical points of their experience beginning as a prospective student and continuing on even as alumni.
  • CampusNexus will log important communications that can be accessed by multiple departments to see what was communicated when and by whom.
  • There will be analysis that is more robust and reporting of data, including student and financial related information, which will allow for new insights and historical tracking.
  • Travel and expense claims will be modernized and include online approval capability. This means you will be able to check the status of your claim.

What will stay the same with CampusNexus?

Brandon University will remain focused on supporting students and the mission of the University in the community. CampusNexus is the new software system which allows us to refocus on those core roles. Much of the day-to-day at Brandon University will be the same:

  • Classes and coursework, including Moodle, will not change, with the exception of registration, enrolment and grade management
  • Existing interoffice communication and email will not be affected by CampusNexus, although you may find CampusNexus’ streamlined options for sharing information is more convenient or efficient than current sharing through email or other means
  • Payroll and benefits will not be any different with CampusNexus
  • Payment types accepted by the University are not expected to change

CampusNexus is a big step forward and it will improve many inefficiencies, but much of what we do at the University would stay the same, and no software can eliminate every source of friction.

Why now?

An ERP has always made a lot of sense and we have looked at this several times in the past. However, previously the expense had always been too significant to move forward.

Using modern cloud-based technologies, systems like CampusNexus are more affordable than before. At the same time, the costs to maintain our our aging legacy code base are continuing to rise. Eventually, we would have to completely overhaul it ourselves. Current IT staff strongly recommended moving to an ERP.

CampusNexus will help us match the seamless experience offered at other institutions for students, for faculty and for staff. CampusNexus will also help us lessen the higher-than-average amounts of time, effort and money we expend on inefficient and manual processes. A modern and streamlined system will improve our ability to attract and retain students, professors and personnel.

When is this going to happen?

This is a multi-year project. Moving to the CampusNexus suite is a large and very complicated series of tasks, that have to be done while the University continues to operate.

Please see our full timeline.

We are committed to this process being fully transparent. We will engage all impacted University constituents throughout the changeover.

How much will it cost? How will the University pay for this?

We have been able to fund the acquisition of CampusNexus through general university revenues, however there will also be ongoing costs to run the new system. These costs are being funded with a $10/credit hour fee.

How many jobs is the University cutting as a result of this move?

None.

The University is not cutting any jobs, and moving to CampusNexus is not expected to reduce staff. In fact, we have hired one person as an ERP Systems Coordinator. CampusNexus is a new and different tool for you to do your job in a different way and more in sync with the rest of the University.

Who are Campus Works?

Campus Works is a higher ed consulting and services firm with nearly 20 years’ experience partnering with colleges and universities throughout Canada and the US. They are guiding and assisting Brandon University in our transition to CampusNexus.

Despite the similarity in their names, Campus Works is not related to CampusNexus.

CampusWorks is noted for both its vendor independence and its high-levels of expertise and experience in the full range of ERP solutions.

What’s next?

We are continuing the hard work of capturing data and processes from our existing systems, assessing and improving them, and importing them into the new CampusNexus systems.

This website will be updated as the Renew BU project continues!