Top Projects

To help focus and prioritize impactful work that supports faculty, staff and students, each year we designate “top projects” that require technology to be implemented, enhanced or expanded. We hope our ongoing work improves your technology experience at the university.


The Enterprise Project

The Enterprise Project is a business process transformation and system implementation that will leverage Workday and other enterprise technologies to advance Ohio State’s Time and Change strategic plan and teaching, research, service and patient care missions.  

It includes optimizing finance, HR, payroll, and IT business processes; replacing core administrative systems (currently PeopleSoft) with Workday; and improving decision-making through a single source of trusted administrative data.

Why It Is Important

Modern systems. More efficient processes. A better work day.

At its core, the Enterprise Project will change the way the university does business. By leveraging modern systems and more efficient processes, Ohio State faculty, physicians, staff and students can spend more time on mission-driven work, and less on administrative tasks.

Our current administrative systems are outdated and inefficient. They cause inflexibility in business processes, and business and technical risk due to their age and customization. Updating these systems and the processes together provides tremendous opportunity to move Ohio State forward.

Resources for resourceful people.

Your time is important. Period.

The Enterprise Project will give you tools and resources to maximize your time in the classroom, laboratory, hospital or office. Through improved self-service tools and easier access to trusted business data, you will truly be able to make the most of your day.

A single system for the entire organization.

Ohio State is implementing Workday for the university and medical center’s financial, human resources, and payroll information systems. That means one system for all of your Ohio State business support needs: one version and one experience for one Ohio State community.

Key Drivers

When the university community assessed the need to replace the current Financial, HCM and Student Information systems, a set of key drivers or reasons to consider moving to a new modern system emerged:

  • Frustration with and desire to improve current business processes and systems
  • Desire to adopt the most modern state of the art technology
  • Access to well-defined data and reporting for real-time decision making
  • The ability to influence the Workday product
  • Desire to empower employees and managers through self service

What Success Looks Like

At the conclusion of the Enterprise Project, the university will have standard business processes and effective business process analysis and will provide effective, consolidated BI, analytics and reporting. We will have streamlined processes, efficiencies and cost reductions for the entire university community. Additionally, the project will support unqualified financial audits.

FY19 Successes:

  • Complete development of system and processes in the Configure and Prototype Phase
  • Engagement of campus community through user previews, town hall meetings, Workday 101 demonstrations, etc.
  • Pilot of “HR Connection”, the new centralized service center for Human Resources across the campus community

FY20/FY21 Goals:

  • Complete the validation of the system and related processes in the Testing phase
  • Begin training core and casual users on how to use Workday
  • Deploy the system in Release 1 go live
  • Plan and execute transition to future Enterprise Support Team

Benefits and Risks

Benefits: The vision of one university community, one set of business processes, one enterprise system, and one chart of accounts

  • Streamlined business processes coupled with a modern system will enable you to focus on your most meaningful work
  • The project will advance operational excellence, while also supporting the other pillars in the Time and Change strategic plan
  • Workday provides regularly scheduled system upgrades, meaning the platform and its processes will always be current and accessible at any time on any device

Risks: The Enterprise Project has identified several key risks. The team will continually assess these risks and ensure that mitigation strategies are in place to reduce the opportunity for these risks to become project issues.  Risks along with associated impact, probability and mitigation strategies will be tracked in the risk log for the project. The key risks include:

  • The university community is not able to take over the system after stabilization due to not having the necessary Workday Enterprise system knowledge
  • Decisions by project leadership are not made in a timely manner, thereby causing delays
  • All scope items are not identified due to institutional complexity which could drive impacts to the schedule and/or budget
  • The university’s end-user community cannot effectively implement change, standardized business processes and any resulting policy changes
  • The organizational changes within the business units driven by future-state business process designs are not implemented in alignment with the Enterprise Project release schedule causing an impact to the schedule and/or budget
  • Demand on resources supplied by the university community exceeds their capacity and leads to time delays, reduced scope or demand for more consulting resources


Refer to the Enterprise Project site for the latest timing information.


The Enterprise Project Governance Structure is comprised of Process and Business owners, Business Advocates and Executive Sponsors.


Distance Education Enrollment Plan

Distance Education and eLearning are critical components in our mission to lead Ohio State into the future. These options allow us to offer additional learning opportunities to students on campus and full degrees to learners across the nation. Technology accelerates our community’s ability to solve the grand challenges of the 21st Century. It enables new learning programs in our global gateways, creates new partnerships with businesses, and sparks connections to our passionate Ohio State alumni.

What Success Looks Like

Our focus for FY20 is to increase the volume of online offerings and to continually improve quality of our courses. Our goals include:

  • Strategically grow the number of online programs and certificates

  • Increase the number of unique students enrolled in online programs and courses

  • Increase gross revenue to allow colleges to further invest in online program creation and growth

  • Manage state and federal regulatory changes


  • Ohio State Online exceeded its FY20 goal of having 35 programs and 3,000 enrollments during the 2018-19 academic year.

  • Ohio State Online programs generated approximately $27.4 million for the university during FY20, up 65% from FY19.

  • Since FY15, Ohio State Online programs have generated a cumulative university revenue of $82 million.


Led by: Jen Simmons | Director, Distance Education

Sponsored by: Robert Griffiths | Associate Vice President, Distance Education


Digital Flagship

Digital Flagship is a university-wide student success program designed to enhance the use of technology by students within academic and non-academic settings in order to better prepare them for immediate success academically, as well as in their future careers within the modern workforce. Digital Flagship furthers Ohio State’s strategic plan by promoting deeper engagement in research, creative expression, teaching and learning. The program supports access, affordability and excellence by providing Ohio State undergraduates with integrated learning technology and app development instruction opportunities at no cost. This student success initiative blends learning technology throughout the university experience and improves student engagement and learning transformation — both inside and outside the classroom.

What Success Looks Like

Digital Flagship enhances the student experience through:

  • Consistent access to a common technology at no cost to students
  • Programming that supports digital skills development and career readiness on all Ohio State campuses
  • The Mobile Design Lab, a learning space that travels across the state providing active learning opportunities related to coding, app development and digital design
  • A free self-paced coding and app development certification

Our FY20 goals include:

  • Launching all four courses in the Swift Coding and App Development Certificate program
  • Releasing the Ohio State: Wellness app
  • Introducing digital skills programming through the Mobile Design Lab, reaching all Ohio State campuses
  • Expanding evaluation and research to measure program impact and improve the student experience


Led by: Cory Tressler | Director of Learning Programs and Digital Flagship

Sponsored by: Liv Gjestvang | Associate Vice President, Learning Technology


Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX)

The Affordable Learning Exchange was created to help instructors take ownership of their courses and content. We are here to help navigate the waters of affordable resources and find creative solutions that promote student savings. This includes re-imagining the textbook, encouraging faculty innovation and empowering faculty through grants and training opportunities to adopt, adapt, create and share open educational resources.

Many students who receive financial aid find that these funds are exhausted on tuition and room and board. A large number don't receive any aid at all. Unfortunately, textbooks and classroom materials sometimes become discretionary items for these students. Many wait to purchase books, or never buy them at all. ALX can help bridge this gap while promoting excellent pedagogy and maintaining ownership of teaching and learning tools with the experts - Ohio State's world-class faculty.

What Success Looks Like

Our goal is to enhance the Ohio State student experience by:

  • Helping reduce course material costs
  • Providing a mixed ecosystem of solutions including open content, faculty collaborative authoring and inclusive access
  • Supporting faculty in leveraging course content and pedagogy for more engaged learning

Our FY20 goals include:

  • Growing grant funded projects
  • Logging $8.5M in student savings by end of academic year
  • Reaching an estimated $10M in savings by end of the 2020 calendar year


Led by: Ashley Miller | Associate Director, Affordability and Access

Sponsored by: Liv Gjestvang | Associate Vice President, Learning Technology


Professional Learning

The Professional Learning integration project will organize ODEE teams, learning opportunities, content and services into aligned experiences meant to empower Ohio State faculty and staff to better support student success. 

What Success Looks Like

Our FY20 goals for Professional Learning include:

  • Establish core curriculum
  • Define structures, roles, services and processes
  • Launch new online teaching and learning repository
  • Create flexible opportunities for participation


Led by: Sam Craighead | Associate Director, Learning Experience

Sponsored by: Liv Gjestvang | Associate Vice President, Learning Technology


Managed Information Technology Services (MITS)

Managed Information Technology Services (MITS) are offered through partnership arrangements with colleges and business units across the university. These services are designed to provide MITS partners with consistent service from IT experts, improved security for services and data, enhanced efficiencies of IT funds and added core IT resources so each business unit can focus on its unique expertise and research.

What Success Looks Like

​Our goal is to provide a consistent, affordable, reliable and secure experience to MITS customers as measured by:

  • Implementing an exceptional onboarding process
  • Providing outstanding MITS services
  • Making improvements based on customer feedback


Diane Dagefoerde | Deputy Chief Information Officer

Bob Corbin | Senior Director Infrastructure

Jason Haskins | Director of MITS

Bill Phillips | Chief Relationship Officer


Office 365 Transformation

Office 365 is a suite of tools that allows us to collaborate, share, organize and improve upon the work we are doing together through one consistent experience. Last year’s migration to Exchange Online was our first step to begin utilizing more of the Office 365 service offerings. Since the conclusion of the Exchange Online migration project, we have been rolling out additional services and features across the university that integrate or extend our capabilities.

All of these changes are part of a thoughtful, comprehensive and important journey to provide all faculty, students and staff with the tools and resources to effectively communicate and collaborate in a mobile and secure way. We are currently in a year-long transition to a single application for university email. It will conclude with the addition of BuckeyePass/Duo to all Office 365 applications. We plan to have all accounts moved to Exchange Online by June 2020.

What Success Looks Like

Our goal is enhance the Ohio State user experience by:

  • Championing and expanding the use of Office 365
  • 90% Skype installed
  • Completing Azure Service Readiness Activities (e.g. Contracts, assessments, integrations, service designs, training and certifications)


Diane Dagefoerde | Deputy Chief Information Officer

Bob Corbin | Senior Director Infrastructure

Helen Patton | Chief Information Security Officer


Security Awareness

The Cybersecurity for You (C4U) awareness platform is designed to give users new choices about what security information they learn and how they get it. Even those who don’t use much technology have data in systems at the stores where they shop, areas where they work and go to school and every site they visit online. Users can fulfill their cybersecurity awareness training obligations with the university on the platform, but that is not its primary purpose. Instead, we’ve designed it to deliver cybersecurity awareness on topics that help the university community stay safe beyond their roles on campus. Lastly, platform stakeholders will earn points that can be exchanged for exclusive Ohio State merchandise, tech gifts or security tools.

What Success Looks Like

This is an ongoing project that aims to change user behavior. We are committed to a platform that:

  • Makes learning incentive based, not punitive
  • Is focused on users self-interest in security
  • Provides high quality, interesting content
  • Supports on-going small engagements; not once a year
  • Builds advocacy
  • Offers learning solutions that can be easily activated by mobile devices
  • Is sustainable
  • Supports risk reduction


Led by: Gary Clark | Director, Information Risk Management

Sponsored by: Helen Patton | Chief Information Security Officer


People Protection Program

The old paradigm of protecting servers and data centers is becoming increasingly less relevant, with data being housed in third-party “cloud” providers, accessible from anywhere using mobile phones and tablets. Therefore, while we require the distributed units to continue managing the health of data centers and servers, the focus of enterprise security solutions needs to be on protecting individuals.

What Success Looks Like

This is an ongoing project that will require partnership between users and the enterprise security solutions team. Success means that people know and understand their risk profile and learn how they interact with data and systems a securely as possible.

FY20 Activities:

  • Security training, awareness, and knowledge-building activities.
  • Help individuals know their own risk profile.
  • Introduce context-based access.
  • Create a VIP protection program for individuals with larger cyber risks.


Helen Patton | Chief Information Security Officer


Disaster Recovery Program

As the university evolves, information technology plays a critical role in driving the university’s mission. Disaster recovery is a critical element to the success of information technology in any organization, but especially in a higher education institution where people not only work and learn, but live. Through well-defined activities and resources, a disaster recovery program provides the university with the ability to protect Ohio State’s IT services and institutional data from the effects of a disaster. It allows the university to maintain, resume or restore mission-critical functions and operations following a disruption of IT services. When done well, disaster recovery reduces the loss of data, revenue, and reputation.

What Success Looks Like

Our focus for FY20 is on the development of (1) a program governance model, (2) a plan to improve upon current university disaster recovery capabilities, and (3) a professional network for Ohio State IT staff with disaster recovery responsibilities within their units.

Our FY20 goals include:

  • Defining, developing and implementing a university-wide disaster recovery approach that incorporates recovery and resiliency-by-design.
  • Assessing risks and priorities to identify gaps between the university’s recovery requirements and its ability to deliver on those requirements.
  • Creating educational resources and building knowledge of recovery best practices within the university community.
  • Establishing policies and procedures for the program to govern DR activities across the institution, and assisting units in improving compliance with applicable regulations, standards and policies.
  • Delivering a communication structure that addresses unit needs and university risks, including providing reporting to program stakeholders and leadership.
  • Establishing an assessment and maintenance process.


Led by: Amber Buening | Disaster Recovery Program Lead

Sponsored by: Helen Patton | Chief Information Security Officer


IT Academy

The IT Academy initiative provides self-paced and curated learning resources for Ohio State faculty and staff, supporting diverse learning needs in a rapidly-changing technology environment. Additional resources and support will be added to align with the university’s teaching and learning goal.

What Success Looks Like

Our FY20 goals for professional Learning include:

  • Establish core curriculum
  • Define structures, roles, services and processes
  • Develop new learning tracks based off of industry demands
  • Create flexible opportunities for participation
  • Reduce professional development costs


Leslie Weibush | Special Assistant to the Vice President and Chief Information Officer