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Central Michigan University

Assessing CMU’s student information system

Six-month review will focus on meeting university needs effectively and efficiently

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston

​Registering students in courses, documenting grades, building student schedules — at Central Michigan University, managing student information is vital.

For six months starting in January, the university will assess its student information system to ensure that it meets CMU's needs efficiently and effectively.

The Tambellini Group, a Virginia-based consulting firm focused on higher education, will lead the independent, objective analysis through interviews with departments that use the SIS, explained Darcie Wilson, associate director of information technology project management.

The SIS is one part of Central's enterprise resource planning software — also called SAP — that integrates an organization's accounting, purchasing, production, human resources and other business functions.

The assessment will look at only the SIS and not the entire SAP system, and consultants will not have access to any confidential student information. Here's a closer look:

What is the SIS assessment? This is an assessment of CMU's current student information system, applications that provide capabilities such as registering students in courses, documenting grading, building student schedules and managing many other student-related data needs. The university's main SIS resides within SAP and is called Student Lifecycle Management, or SLCM. Other systems and applications in the SIS will be part of the assessment, such as course search and registration, degree progress, and financial aid application. The assessment will include only the functionality of the systems, not access to any student information. 

Why are we doing this? The assessment is being conducted to ensure that CMU's existing processes and systems are meeting needs in an efficient and effective manner. 

Who will participate? Tambellini Group will consult with offices and departments that use the SIS.

How will it work? The assessment will consist of onsite interviews, phone calls and online meetings to gather information about what works and does not work for those who use SIS applications. Participants will review and validate the documentation. Tambellini will provide a final assessment report to CMU leadership.

When will it take place? January through June 2019.

Is this an assessment of Central's entire SAP system? No. SAP consists of many modules, such as finance, human resources and facilities management, and these modules are not within the scope of the assessment.

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