State of IT 2019 – On the Horizon


2020 will present numerous opportunities for the entire US:IT team to continue to serve the University community and help support the transition to a unified accreditation model. Below are a few upcoming projects to highlight:


In August, a joint communication from the Chief Academic Officers Council (CAOC) and the Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC) to the University community announced the selection of Desire2Learn’s Brightspace platform to replace Blackboard Learn as the officially supported Learning Management System (LMS). This decision came after a thorough review and procurement process driven by input and feedback from the entire University community. The UMS Information Technology team partnered with the CAOC and ETAC throughout this evaluation and will continue to partner with students, faculty, and staff in supporting the teaching and learning needs of the University as we work to implement Brightspace.

Looking forward, we are working towards a full implementation of the Brightspace environment for all UMS courses for the Fall 2020 term. In the interim, IT will continue to support Blackboard in the same capacity that we always have.

The implementation of Brightspace will afford the University several unique opportunities to establish consistency and uniformity for students accessing electronic course material across all campuses. Additional benefits for learners and faculty include:

  • Flexible features to meet our shared goals and unique campus needs
  • Modern, accessible, mobile-friendly interface that is easy to use
  • Stable platform where updates are provided seamlessly, without downtime
  • Flexible tools and apps that are easy to add and configure
  • Learning analytics tools instructors can use to track engagement with courses

For additional information on this project, please visit the ETAC website.


As announced to the University community in December 2019, UMS is launching an initiative to deploy a true OneCard experience for students, faculty and staff as part of the ongoing effort to offer more consistent and valuable services. The UMS OneCard initiative will provide any student, faculty or staff who possess a campus ID card and who take courses on multiple campuses or travel frequently between campuses with numerous benefits, including:

  • All campus cards will be accepted at any campus for dining purchases, including meal plans, dining dollars, and “campus bucks”
  • “Campus bucks” will now be available at all campuses (a new option for UMF, UMFK & UMPI)
  • Enhanced web portal for managing accounts and adding funds
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android devices
  • Ability to pay using Apple Wallet
  • Continued access to all of the services existing campus cards provide (e.g. library services, copying, printing, events, door access, etc.)
  • Ability for future integrations to further enhance the student experience, including online photo submission

This project was officially launched in late 2019 and is on schedule for full deployment prior to the start of the Spring 2020 term. When students return for the start of the Spring term, they will have direct access to their eAccounts through the MyCampus portal and be able to utilize their current ID card across all seven UMS campuses.

Timeline from 6/19 through 1/20 starts with Project Kick-off and ends with data migration & Go live


In May 2018, a 4-step plan to address the shortcomings and improve the MaineStreet Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) environment was presented to the Board of Trustees. This plan included:

  1. Facilitate systematic course cross-listing across UMS campuses through a pilot program
  2. Implement Campus Solutions (Student Information System) Enhancements
  3. Conduct a full ERP Functional Assessment
  4. Pursue future-state ERP environment

We are pleased to share that we have completed step 1 and are nearing completion of step 2 (with work in progress on the MaineStreet Improvements: UX Project) and are ready to embark on step 3. For the full ERP functional assessment, US:IT will lead the effort to identify a consultant/partner to help coordinate the analysis of our current ERP (MaineStreet) environment and complete a fit-gap analysis based on current challenges we face in supporting One University and Unified Accreditation within the system. A significant focus will be placed on identifying opportunities for greater data consistency and standards across all all campuses. This will enable future capabilities such as a shared course catalog that will greatly enhance student access to courses required for their degree program thereby increasing ability for all campuses to promote and foster degree attainment and student success. Additional focus will be placed on analysis of the several thousand customizations that are currently supported in the MaineStreet environment. In many cases, these customizations have been deployed to support unique data standards and business process needs for individual campuses. As we continue to pursue opportunities to standardize and provide consistent user experiences across the University, we expect many of these customizations should no longer be required.

We anticipate the full functional assessment of the MaineStreet environment to occur throughout the Spring 2020 term with final recommendations on requirements and desired functionality in a future-state ERP environment available later in the Summer.