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Universities Bolster Administration and Donor Management

SunGard Higher Education has signed two universities as new customers. Tiffin University in Tiffin, OH has licensed PowerCampus Unified Digital Campus (UDC), an enterprise resource planning system for higher education institutions. James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA has selected SunGard HE's Advance solution to replace its existing advancement application and create a self-service environment for donors.

Enrollment at Tiffin, a 2,000-student private, residential university, has grown by 82 percent in the last five years, administration said, putting a strain on the institution's databases. At peak times, such as registration, many students aren't able to access the university's online applications. In addition, staff have to enter data multiple times into multiple databases. The university is implementing the PowerCampus UDC to help improve constituent service and streamline some operations.

"Implementing an integrated system like PowerCampus is critical for us to not only keep pace with the administrative needs of our growing enrollment but also to improve the quality of those services," said James White, vice president of finance and administration. "If we can provide quality administrative services, our students can stay focused on their learning and academic success at the university, thus contributing to our goal of increasing our retention rate."

James Madison U, a public institution with about 18,000 students on campus, chose Advance for its database and reporting capabilities, online services, and user-friendly interface, said Dale Hulvey, assistant vice president for IT. "Having everyone working together to build relationships will help position us to achieve better success," he said. "To support this vision, we needed to create an environment where everyone within the university could be involved and extend the sphere of influence outside of the annual fund to help foster engagement and build stronger relationships with our donors."

Advance is a Web-based donor, prospect, and events management system for managing alumni relations programs, fundraising campaigns, and business processes.

"In addition to seeking a vendor that offered a proven system, we wanted a partner that brought the experience and intellectual capital to help us expand upon our vision with best practices and strategies to accelerate our efforts," said Chris Pipkins, the university's associate vice president of Advancement Information Services. "SunGard Higher Education brings this value."

The university said it also expects to gain improved access to Web-based reports that can be accessed on demand by the advancement staff; enhanced data integrity by eliminating manual entries into multiple systems; and the ability to pursue larger leadership fundraising initiatives.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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