ERP startup delays fall registration

Students will not be able to register for the fall semester until July 6 because of the rapid implementation of the PeopleSoft Enterprise Resources Planning system.

Under the old legacy system, students would receive academic advisement and obtain a pin number from their adviser. The student would then register via online, telephone, or in the Grand Ballroom during the registration time.

According to Michael James, university registrar, the University decided to implement the new system to provide a more efficient way for students to apply for financial aid and to communicate with their instructors.

“Students will be notified shortly of the new procedures and processes that will be used,” he said.

Under the new system, students will be able to apply for admissions, view course catalog information, enroll in classes, evaluate transfer credits and apply for graduation.

Beverly Barrington, director of ERP, is confident that the new system will deliver a more feasible way for students to gain access to the important information they need pertaining to their education and financial aid information.

“We are trying to establish a better environment for students,” she said.

Some students are skeptical about the new system and are unsure if it will be able to deliver quality performance. Chris Daniels, a 21-year-old history and pre-law student from Cincinnati said he has his concerns about the system and the July registration date.

“I have mixed feelings,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction, but FAMU’s technology isn’t always right, so it’s going to get messed up somehow or someway,” he said.

Takeeyon Stewart, a 21-year-old junior English student from Avon Park said that making students register for the fall semester during the summertime may not be the wisest decision.

“I think it’s unfair for the students because that’s one more thing for us [students] to have to remember over the summer,” she said.

James said the registration date is during the summer because everything is not in place that would allow students to register now but that it will be in July.

Barrington admits that there may be a few problems initially, but after a short period of time, the system will prove beneficial.

“We’re going to have a few bumps, but if people remain optimistic, we’ll be OK,” she said.

“We’ve gotten support from many offices and we’ve had great participation from faculty and staff. It’ll be a great success.”

The University joined a consortium in August 2002 along with Florida State University and the University of Florida gaining access to the ERP network.

Initially, the student portal site for FAMU was not going to be activated until January 2006.

After much consideration from university administration and the ERP executive board, it was decided that the portal would be introduced earlier.

Though Stewart may have her doubts, she said she hopes the system will offer students a more feasible way to retrieve information.

“I hope positive changes will come out of this so students won’t have to wait in long lines,” she said.

“Hopefully it’ll be better than how it is and it will be clear to students what classes are and are not available,” she said.

Regina Smith, a 22-year-old senior English student from Lakeland said she thinks the faculty are displaying their concern for and dedication to students by being involved in the PeopleSoft ERP project.

“I think it’s great that they’re showing enthusiasm by working to making a better FAMU,” she said.

“They’re not just talking about it, they’re doing and putting forth the action,” she said.

Barrington stressed the importance of students visiting the ERP Web site where they can input information and get a user id and password.

Currently students are being made aware of the changes through direct mail-outs that are being sent to their permanent addresses.

“If students look at the information technology advancement that the University is trying to provide for them, they will be pleased,” she said.

contact danielle lewis at danielle