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Alma College Overhauling Administrative Systems

Alma College in Michigan will be working with Datatel to implement an administrative system encompassing the company's enterprise resourcing planning application, Colleague, and ActiveAdmissions eMarketing software. New systems will be implemented for each of the college's major campus operations, including student records, employee records, and business operations. The general ledger function will be the first conversion. The college said it expects to improve business processes and increase self-service capabilities for users.

"The Datatel Colleague implementation will provide integrated and robust Web-based functionality for the entire campus community," said Evan Montague, assistant vice president for enrollment and admissions who heads the transition leadership team. "This is a tremendous opportunity to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and utilization of campus technology resources by all users, including prospective students, faculty and staff."

The college said Colleague will replace a Microsoft SQL Server-based Jenzabar Quodata (QX) system, which is no longer being updated by that vendor. The conversion, which will also run on SQL Server, is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

In an article posted on the campus Web site about the transition, President Saundra Tracy outlined expectations for members of the campus community in adapting to the changes wrought by the arrival of the new systems. For the first 12 months of operation, the college will implement the systems as delivered. "If an adaptation is considered essential, it must be approved by either the leadership team or the executive staff pending the level of change," she wrote. Also, "Campus departments/sectors will be expected to adhere to the implementation schedule unless there are justifiable and approved reasons for change." Finally, users must also participate in timely training and develop the skills "needed to implement the portions of the system essential for our operations."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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