FlashLine changes to happen next year

Daniel Bott

When next semester begins, students will find FlashLine has changed.

Jan. 1 will mark the beginning of what is called Project K.E.Y.S. (Kent State: ERP is Your Solution), the universities enterprise resource planning project, and the implementation of this project will mean changes to FlashLine.

Alice Iden, director of information services, has been involved in the project.

“The look and feel of FlashLine is going to be changing,” she said. “We’ve organized information a little bit differently.”

Iden said there would be new tabs on FlashLine. Some of these new tabs will be for the library, career services and human resources.

Also, when students log into FlashLine they will be able to customize their page as well as access information like weather, news and stocks.

The changes to FlashLine will also affect student employees.

“Student employees will access their pay stubs online through FlashLine,” Iden said. “For students who use Kronos, they will be accessing Kronos online through the portal (FlashLine).”

She said the work on Project K.E.Y.S. began February last year and the first module to be implemented will be human resources.

Roberta Sikula-Schwalm is the executive director of Project K.E.Y.S.

She said the project was part of an enterprise resource planning system, which is a collection of software applications that use a common database to integrate the university’s business processes and is accessible to users through a Web portal.

Sikula-Schwalm said for Kent State, this will include such business critical processes as human resource management, financial management, student services and sponsored programs.

She said Project K.E.Y.S. is “basically taking all of our disparate systems from human resources, to financial resources, to student services . all those administrative systems, and building new systems all on one database. Right now they’re all on their own databases.”

The cost of Project K.E.Y.S. will total $23 million, which was approved by the board of trustees.

Nikki Hroncich, senior integrated language arts major, said the current database she works on, FlashLine, has its good points and bad points. Hroncich said the new system could have its advantages.

However, she was critical of the board of trustees approving the spending $23 million on the project. She said students can’t properly concentrate in White and Oscar Ritchie Halls because of the surroundings.

Beth Gittons, assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement, said the current database she worked on was not difficult to learn but thought a change was a good idea.

Gittons had heard of the project to implement Banner, and despite not having used it, had seen how it worked, and thought having it implemented was a good move.

“I’ve always heard good review for it. There are a lot of other big advisers around the nation that are on campuses that use Banner and I haven’t heard bad things from people about it,” she said. “If somebody is hating it, they’re not telling me.”

The project will be implemented over a 36-month period of time.

“We hope to have all software in over 30 months and have six months after, where we will work on it, doing any fine-tuning,” Sikula-Schwalm said.

Contact technology reporter Daniel Bott at [email protected].


• Elimination of social security numbers as a primary identifier.

• Expansion of electronic workflow to facilitate information flow, processing and the elimination of paper.

• Common data sharing across all modules, leading to a decrease in the keeping of incorrect data and a decrease of redundant processing.

• Expansion of self-service in all modules to enable Web processing of most university business, like registration and fee payments.

• Automating tracking of grant submissions and management of grant reporting.

• Improving Web-based day-to-day reporting and expansion of data warehouse capabilities.

• Ability to access information and services through a single sign-on in a highly secured portal.

• Modernization of computing architecture providing 24/7 secure access in a Web environment from anywhere in the world.

• Develop integrated information architecture.

Roberta Sikula-Schwalm, executive director of Project K.E.Y.S.