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McMaster University


Examples of changes by Functional Area

Student Administration

Managing students (admitting them, registering them in classes, tracking their grades and graduation eligibility, etc.) is a core administrative job for the university. Unfortunately, these are some of our oldest and most strained systems. The current core student registration system, in particular, dates to the mid-1980s and is at capacity.

The new student system will provide better service to students and administrators. For example one current limitation is that applicants to undergrad programs cannot check the status of their application on-line. Currently, an applicant who wants to know the status of their application must phone and then a McMaster staff member must look up the applicant’s file. In the new system, students will be able to use a secure website to monitor the status of their application which is more convenient for them and saves McMaster staff time. Similarly, transcript requests, of which there are 100,000 a year, are currently submitted on a paper form and manually entered.  In the new system, students will request a transcript electronically. All of this can happen 24 hours a day and the student can be anywhere in the world.

The following systems are expected to be replaced:

  • Admissions
  • Student Records
  • Student Financials
  • Student Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Adweb
  • Oracle Class Lists and Program Lists

In contrast, Infosilem will remain and will work with Mosaic.


McMaster’s current accounting systems were set-up for a smaller university. McMaster has essentially outgrown them. Mosaic will replace the present accounting system, FAS, with a suite of new tools covering general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, project costing and a budgeting tool. The new system will offer enhanced functionality such as pre-made reports, sub-ledger drill down capability and budget modelling. Unlike McMaster’s current system, Mosaic will be real-time and actions in one area, for example a student tuition payment, will immediately propagate to all impacted areas, such as a department account balance.

The following systems are expected to be replaced:

  • FAS
  • SAS/FM
  • Oracle Cheq Req
  • Walker Purchasing

Research Administration

McMaster has some of the nation’s most amazing researchers doing highly innovative research, but when it comes time to apply for a research grant or manage a research account the University’s tools are antiquated. Much of the pre-awards work is currently done with paper forms. Managing research accounts is a particular frustration for many researchers who ask for more detailed account information. In addition, documenting purchases in a manner that meets the requirements of the major granting agencies is time consuming with current tools.

Mosaic aims to address these challenges. There will be computer-based processes to create proposals and budgets, as well as new ways to access and track research account activity.  These new process will be designed to satisfy regulatory requirements from the Tri-Councils, who fund a large portion of the research at McMaster.

The following systems are expected to be replaced:

  • paper forms

Human Resources

Incorporating Human Resources into Mosaic will allow improved workflow and increased efficiency, resulting in significant cross-functional integration between the human resources and finance functions. Integration will allow significant benefits, for example a purchase order can be automatically routed to appropriate signing authority(ies) because the relationship between managers and staff is stored in the HR system, enabling electronic workflow. The new system will also bring self-service capabilities to McMaster allowing employees to directly manage some of their own information, such as address changes.

The following systems are expected to be replaced:

  • HRIS (MacVIP)
  • MacTRAC