At McMaster, picking courses means long waits, late nights and a whole lot of frustrated students. Two years from now, that could all be different.
Sheldon Smart, public relations manager with University Advancement, said McMaster has set June 2014 as the goal for the relaunch of its student registration process.
“MUGSI and SOLAR will be dramatically changed,” he said. McMaster’s registration system is based on 1980s mainframe technologies, and the student population has exceeded the system's intended capacity.
Smart said student registration has been prioritized in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) process. Other components of ERP include research administration, finance, human resources and business intelligence.
“It’s very important that the student experience be improved,” said Smart. “We’ve heard in surveys and student feedback that our registration process isn’t where it should be and we’re working to fix that.
Huzaifa Saeed, VP (Education) of the MSU, noted that revamping MUGSI is a much larger project than most other upgrades.
“A lot of students don’t know that MUGSI isn’t a separate module. It’s linked to other things like the registrar, student records and financial aid, so it’s very difficult to replace it,” said Saeed, who sits on the Systems Renewal Steering Committee.
Smart said there is a good chance that the renovated student administration processes will be renamed.
By the end of January 2013, the University will have a more complete picture of what changes are needed and how they will be implemented.
In order to have all systems streamlined by the end of the multi-year process, student administration and accounting must undergo changes first to lay the groundwork.
McMaster’s business process currently includes over 20 distinct systems that need to be streamlined for smoother delivery. The University wants to move toward an electronic workflow, which means student records and transcript processing will be going digital.
According to the Systems Renewal Steering Committee, McMaster is currently the only major Canadian university that has yet to adopt an ERP system.