Campus News

Committee explores ways to streamline information systems

Barbara White

The university is in the process of developing a strategy to better position UGA to compete in a Web-enabled world. Anytime, anywhere access to the university’s vast knowledge and information resources in an integrated, highly accessible environment is a critical component to its continued success in the 21st century and beyond.

“This is the first step in an incremental process to identify the appropriate plan of action for moving to a ­university-wide integrated data management system,” says Barbara White, UGA’s chief information officer and associate provost.

“Developing and implementing the plan is a vast undertaking, and it takes time to do it right.”

The initial phase to developing this strategy is a review of the university’s core business modules: student services, financial aid, human resources/payroll, and financial ­services.

“We’re all facing increased demand for accountability as Congress considers amendments to the Higher Education Act,” says Bob Boehmer, associate provost for institutional effectiveness.”At the same time, we’re facing increasing demands for information access by students and their families who pay tuition.”

A major area of concern is OASIS, the current student information system used for class registration, election voting and similar student-related services. Even though the system is accessible via the Web, it is closed for several hours each night.

“Most of us are used to ordering jeans online and having them shipped overnight 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Wes Henry, president of the UGA Residence Hall Association. “It would be wonderful to access our student technology services 24 hours a day, seven days a week,”

The university has retained the services of SunGard Collegis for assistance with the review. Due to the critical and comprehensive nature of this endeavor, the review is being undertaken with the involvement of a number of campus personnel with responsibilities in the four core business modules.

Collegis is in the final stages of conducting interviews with these individuals. At the conclusion, Collegis will deliver best practices from similar institutions and associated recommendations. This information will be used to identify university processes that are currently best practices, those that should be redesigned to conform to best practices and those that can be eliminated.