Meet the new Person ID

By Sheldon Smart, April 24, 2014

Two zeros are poised to make a big difference in the way McMaster keeps track of students and employees.

McMaster is preparing to replace both the student number and the employee number with a new, nine-digit Person ID number. The new unified ID system, which will preserve most current ID numbers, will be introduced in October of 2014 with the launch of the first phase of the human resources portion of Mosaic.

“Ultimately, this is about simplifying the university and removing bureaucracy. With so many people shifting between the employee and student categories, it no longer made sense to maintain two separate systems,” said Wanda McKenna, Executive Director of Human Resources.

The shift to a single Person ID will make it simpler to administer several aspects of the University. Students frequently become employees of the University (e.g. as teaching assistants) and employees often enrol in courses. Having single Person ID numbers will decrease the amount of work required to complete common tasks like hiring a McWork student or processing employee tuition assistance.

“This is an example of the common sense improvements that Mosaic is allowing McMaster to make and a direct result of our commitment to review our historical practices and look for opportunities to improve our processes before we adopt the PeopleSoft software,” added Melissa Pool, University Registrar.

The vast majority of people will keep their current ID number, which will have zeros added to make it nine digits long. There is a conversion plan for people who have both an employee number and a student number. Those individuals will keep both numbers but will have one declared their primary Person ID to use going forward. The general plan is to select the current ID number that best reflects the individual’s role as their new primary identification number. In most cases this change will be invisible to end users, in complicated cases, end users will be contacted. (A complete matrix addressing the possible permutations is available on the Mosaic website.

This initiative does NOT affect the MAC ID system which will continue as the authentication mechanism for many McMaster information systems.

About Mosaic

Mosaic is McMaster’s project to modernize its business and administrative processes and replace its current business systems with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Mosaic will replace the current systems used for student administration, finance, research administration, and human resources. Replacing all of these systems at once provides a rare opportunity to modernize the University’s business processes. The project launched a new finance and research post-award system in December 2013. Additional portions of the system will be launched in stages over the next year.