ROSI CAB: Why collaborative change works at U of T

CAB members at one of the monthly meetings

It has helped to manage students’ course loads better and ensure they receive their OSAP funding sooner. And those are just two of the 30 changes that the ROSI Change Advisory Board (CAB) has implemented over the past two years – enhancing ROSI functionality and improving the overall student experience.

In May 2016, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI) created the CAB to evaluate and prioritize faculty and division requests to change ROSI, the student information system.

The board was originally formed to manage ROSI change and enhancement requests that were backlogged due to the resource-heavy implementation of updates instituted by the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) – the centralized admissions process for all provincial universities.

“While keeping our focus on the OUAC project, we also wanted to solicit advice from a collaborative team of technical staff at EASI and functional users from registrars’ offices around the University,” says Vik Chadalawada, Senior Manager of Student Information Systems with EASI and founder of the board. “It was important to examine common requests for ROSI enhancements across various divisions and decide which solutions would provide the most benefit to the University.”

To realize the goals of this cross-functional group, Chadalawada worked with Sinisa Markovic, Assistant University Registrar and Director of Operations at Enrolment Services, and Donald Boere, Assistant Principal and Registrar of Innis College.

“This board really bridges the gap between the technical and functional staff,” says Markovic. “It engages the people who understand the work and its impact, and it promotes communication and collaboration.”

Out of a large number of requests from University staff, how does the board select the most important ones?

“Each year we take all of the requests and create a roadmap, which is a living, breathing document,” says Chadalawada. “The CAB reviews a requirements prioritization matrix, and the EASI team then decides what’s possible, what are small wins and what are related items – by doing A you can solve B, C and D.”

Each ROSI change goes through a careful review and approval process

Some of the implemented changes include placing a cap on the maximum number of courses students can sign up for in a four-month term instead of an academic session, helping students select lecture-specific tutorials and labs, and improving how the University confirms enrolment for OSAP recipients.

“For the OSAP Confirmation of Enrolment change, we enhanced the matching process and reduced the number of manually confirmed students from 2,000 to 500. This has resulted in 1,500 students receiving financial aid weeks sooner and the administrative processing time decreasing significantly,” says Markovic.

While the board was initially formed to provide insights into priorities, everyone involved soon discovered it was much more.

“As a byproduct of reviewing enhancement requests, members are helping to chart a course for proposing larger information service solutions that can positively impact the experiences of U of T students, faculty and staff” says Donald Boere, Assistant Principal and Registrar of Innis College and chair of the CAB.

Along with Boere, Rodney Branch, Manager of Client Services and Process Integration with EASI, helps to facilitate the board. He works with Miki Harmath, Manager of Application Development and Matt Hendrickson, Technical Lead with EASI to provide expertise with planning and implementation.

The team continues to host monthly meetings, providing insight into enrolment and directions that the student information systems need to take.

“It’s important to tap into these communities. They’re not just here to tell us to change a specific function or create a new feature within an application,” says Chadalawada “The broader purpose of this group is to educate us on where IT development needs to focus its time, energy and money to improve the overall student experience and that contribution is absolutely invaluable.”


EASI would like to thank the ROSI Change Advisory Board:

  • Donald Boere – CAB Chair and Assistant Principal and Registrar, Innis College
  • Rodney Branch – Manager of Client Services & Process Integration, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Vikram Chadawalada – Senior Manager of Student Information Systems, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Miki Harmath – Manager, Application Development, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Matt Hendrickson – Technical Lead, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Kelly Jay – Senior Information Systems Analyst, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Tamara Jones – Associate Director, Enrolment Services & Records, Faculty of Arts & Science
  • Sofia Joot – Assistant Registrar, Records & Enrolment Services, John H. Daniels Faulty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
  • Josie Lalonde – Associate Director, Student Services & Senior Manager, School of Graduate Studies
  • Tim Linden – Registrarial Administrator, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education
  • Gerry Lindo – Project Manager, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Sinisa Markovic – Assistant University Registrar and Director of Operations, Enrolment Services
  • Andrea McGee – Registrar & Assistant Dean, Students, John H. Daniels Faulty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
  • Mari Motrich – Application Developer & Data Analyst, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Neil Neebar – Registrar & Director of Enrolment Management, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Naureen Nizam – Associate Registrar & Director of Systems & Operation, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Dan Pettigrew – Director of Administrative Systems & Associate Registrar, Information Systems, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
  • Joanne Sukhai – Information Systems Analyst, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration
  • Ryan Woolfrey – Associate Faculty Registrar & Director, Registration, Enrolment, Scheduling & Systems Management, Faculty of Arts & Science