down arrowMenu

Student Information System

Febuary 15, 2011

For Department Heads: SIS update #2

This is my second update on the implementation of UNI's new student information system (SIS).  We've added another important group to this communication -- current "mainframe" users.  This new list was created by assembling the email addresses of all UNI persons who currently have access at least one part of the current student information system, referred to generally as "the mainframe."  Because it is not possible for us to determine specifically the reason that any given person uses the mainframe, I will share updates with all of you. 

If you want to be removed from the list (which is officially called, simply send a message to where the body of the message says: UNSUB SIS-PROJECT-ANNOUNCE.

Scheduling fall classes in new system
Scheduling of fall 2011 classes in the new system is underway.  The deadline for completion is February 21, 2011 at 8 am.  Associate Registrar Patti Rust has recently sent out a detailed update on this process to department heads, schedulers and others.  All departments have had at least one person participate in training, and many have attended "open lab" sessions.  "Open labs" are scheduled sessions where those entering the "schedule of classes" information bring their work with them to a central computer lab, and SIS staff are on hand to help as needed.  The open labs were completed yesterday, but project trainer Rachel Jones remains available to assist staff in learning the system one-one-one.  Additional open labs are possible if there is sufficient interest.  Contact Rachel at or 273-4313.

New FAQ available
Based on questions asked and feedback received throughout the training sessions and open labs, a summary of "Frequently Asked Questions" has been developed for "Schedule of Classes."  Yes, it includes answers as well.  It can be found here:  FAQ - Schedule of Classes  The FAQ will be posted on the website along with other training aids related to Student Records.

A note about jargon
We have made it our goal to communicate effectively with everyone involved in the new system, regardless of their level of technical knowledge, and we realize that this is not easy and we need to improve.  We will work to eliminate jargon from our communication where we can and educate about terminology that we cannot avoid using.  So, a quick refresher:

- SIS stands for "student information system."  This is a generic term that describes the computer software that is used to maintain student records, allow registration for classes, produce class rosters, produce grade reports, process financial aid awards, admit students to the University, generate student bills, produce transcripts, facilitate accurate academic advising, etc.  The current SIS was developed in-house by UNI staff over many years, and is often referred to as "the mainframe" (which is actually a reference to the computer hardware that the SIS runs on).

- PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, or CS, is the product name of the software package that UNI has purchased.

- Oracle is the name of the corporation from which UNI purchased PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.

- CIBER, Inc. is a company that provides technology consulting.  Consultants from CIBER have been hired by UNI to assist us in learning the new system and implementing it.

- "Implementation" refers to the process of installing the new SIS software.  This is challenging because we need to keep the current system running while we setup the new system and prepare to use it.  In order to make a successful transition from the current system to the new system, we switch over to the new system one module at a time.

A note about the history of the project 
Depending on what role you play on campus and the nature of your connection to SIS, each of you has likely become involved in the new SIS implementation at different points in time.  To account for your differing information needs, we make use of a website to maintain information about the project throughout its life.  Included at the website is information on why we need a new SIS, how we determined which system to purchase, and more. If you are newer to this effort and interested in these types of information, visit the website at and click on "About SIS."

Thanks for reading; more next week.  If you need training help, contact Rachel Jones at or 273-4313.  If you have questions about the SIS project, contact project manager Mike Holmes at or 273-4347.