Administrative Services

Goals

  • SCSU will offer the members of the university community an information-exchange environment in which they can choose a path (such as a student's movement from inquiry through application, admission, education, graduation and career to ongoing contact) from their choice of convenient venues.
  • Students should be able to access any and all records they have legal rights to, at any time.
  • Faculty, administrators and staff will be able to access at all times systems and information that will help them fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Faculty, administrators and staff will have ready access to information, software and systems designed to meet their information needs.

Administrative services need access to technology that enables them to meet their responsibilities to optimize and sustain direct services to students. Critical support provided by administrative services include facilities, curricula, student information, human resources and financial records. (See Appendix 7: Administrative Services for further information on these systems.) Successful implementation of these services is predicated upon a learner-centered, user-centered, interface.

From the point of view of the user, methods of information delivery should be flexible, accessible (e.g., assisted service or self-service) and expandable. The amount and confidentiality of the information that clients need to give to or receive from the institution varies, which can have an impact on the most effective method of delivery. For example, it may be more effective to have course schedules for a term available in a paper booklet and in a searchable database on the World Wide Web but not to have all the course information available via the telephone. Different methods of delivery are important to meet the needs of clients with different types of disabilities as well.

Technology should assist the university in being responsive to its constituents' needs, which that means there should be some freedom to initiate changes in order to serve clients better. Services should be seamless; that is, clients do not need to know if they are dealing with an administrative or academic unit. Clients should perceive services as centralized rather than distributed across the campus.

SCSU needs to integrate and improve the technology it already has. For example, because the university does not have any barcode-reading system, employees have to enter equipment information manually even though all equipment on campus is bar-coded. A complete barcode system would make inventorying and managing equipment (keeping track, for example, of its use, its users, and the last time it was repaired) much easier, more efficient, and more accurate. In addition, although the campus already uses an ID card, a comprehensive ID card with barcode and "mag" strips could be used for campus security, enrollment verification, financial management and facility usage.

To achieve the objective of deploying technology to make information available and useful, several things need to occur. First, a management information system that is responsive to user needs (whether that user be student, faculty or administrator) has to be developed. It should be easy to use, accessible, secure, expandable and capable of integrating different sources of information. A process should be developed to get broad input into the structure, data format and the assessment of information system. This management information system should be accompanied by adequate training of personnel and technical staff to ensure extensive use and maintenance of campus systems and software.