Norse Express upgrades to ease student distress

As part of the effort to integrate the computer systems that Northern Kentucky University uses, Norse Express is expected to get some changes of its own.

Part of the PRISM Project, which began in 2005, university officials hope it will integrate the computer programs that NKU uses. Though, right now, students are having some problems with the computer systems.

Kelsey Nuerge, a freshman mathematics major, said she gets random error messages when she’s trying to use Norse Express.

According to Douglas Wells, lead systems analyst in planning and developing, the functionality of Norse Express will not improve immediately. Initially the system will remain the same. “But by changing the backend, we will be able to improve Norse Express,” he said.

Tim Ferguson, associate provost and chief info officer of IT, said “The entire system will be improved significantly over the next 12 to 24 months.”

Students also complain about the system’s hours. Jeremy Sanders, a junior criminal justice major, said he’s needed to get into the system while it was down, and was not able to check information such as his GPA.

Ferguson said they are trying to make Norse Express available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and make the system easier for students and professors to use.

Another goal of the project, Ferguson said, is to automate advising so that faculty have all the information they need about students in one place instead of checking multiple systems.

Parts of NKU’s system have already rolled out. In February 2007, the new finance system went online, and the human resources’ system is scheduled for use Oct. 1. Ferguson said the timeline for remaining projects will be announced in October.