Project manages information systems

Ever notice how many students call Northern Kentucky University home? Even if you haven’t crunched the numbers, the parking lot stalking and lines in the lunchroom make the evidence of Northern’s growth an unavoidable reality. As our student population grows, so must our campus. But what about the capabilities of NKU’s information systems? Not that we’re expecting another Y2K anytime soon, but according to Tim Ferguson, the chief information officer of the Information Technology Department, Norse Express, along with other NKU supported information systems are feeling the strain that 14,000 students can create.

Enter the Process Re-Engineering and Information Systems Migration Project, more commonly referred to as the PRISM Project.

Basically, the goal of this program is to streamline NKU’s administrative processes and to enable NKU’s informatics’ systems to grow along with the student population.

The process began in 2005 when Ferguson’s predecessor, Gary Pratt, realized that NKU’s administrative systems were not equipped to handle the growing student population.

Pratt decided to hire SAP to “centralize systems to perform NKU’s basic administrative processes,” he said.

The PRISM Project is not centered only on NKU students, but it is also meant to substantially improve students’ academic experiences.

Ferguson said one of the things the program is working on is ‘going live’ with its human resources. This means meetings with advisors will go quicker as students’ files will be readily accessible on Norse Express. This improvement will also enable students and their advisors to make more informed decisions regarding each student’s academic future.

The Information Technology division is also working under PRISM to improve the efficiency of Norse Express and is even considering an automated advising process, Ferguson said.