ATHENS, Ohio (March 1, 2007) -- Big computerized record keeping systems aren't usually hot conversation topics, but as Ohio University gears up to replace its aging Student Information System (SIS), that's likely to change. The system houses admissions, academic, housing and financial information.
A modern student system will put information at faculty, staff and students' fingertips. A Web-based system will be user-friendly and easy to navigate. In addition, it will enable the university to make online services available more when students want to use them.
"We are excited about the possibilities that a new system will provide because it will impact every staff member in the Registrar's Office," University Registrar Deb Benton said. "A new system will change how students, faculty and staff conduct their business with the university so we want to ensure that it is easy to use."
The university has been looking to upgrade the SIS for almost two years. Industry leaders Sungard and Oracle are competing for the contract with Ohio University. Oracle presented Jan. 29-31, and Sungard presented Feb. 13-15.
The project is expected to take up to 30 months to complete and could cost up to $20 million. Currently, the university is considering several funding sources, which will be announced once determined.
Currently, Ohio University keeps track of its 28,000-plus students using a mainframe-based system that predates the Internet. As such, making services available online to faculty, staff and students requires custom-built Web applications.
Moving to a new SIS will involve more than just replacing one software package with another. It also will require individuals and departments across the university to rethink the way they collect and use student data. Implementation of a new system will result in all processes being reviewed to determine if there is a better way of accomplishing the numerous processes required to support the mission of the university.
Like the infrastructure supporting a building, Ohio University's Student Information System is largely invisible but essential. Changing it will have a profound impact on the university's day-to-day business.
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