October 25 Memo from Patricia Campbell

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To: All Faculty, Students and Staff on All Campuses
From: Patricia L. Campbell, Executive Vice President
Re: Introducing iSIS, Tufts’ New Integrated Student Information System

There is good news to share about Tufts’ SIS Project.

Tufts has a new Integrated Student Information System (iSIS), designed to support the needs of Tufts’ students, faculty, and schools. While the concept of “integration” is not new for Tufts, iSIS marks the start of a new era for student services, one that relies on an integrated connection between people and data.

This past summer, the SIS Project made significant progress toward its goal of implementing iSIS. We succeeded in finding greater commonality and efficiencies among our schools, even as we support the different schools’ varying needs. In addition, the SIS Project successfully conducted its first “go-lives” in August, moved real data into iSIS, and made iSIS available to a few dozen administrators across Tufts. Each step has been carefully planned and thoughtfully executed by a team of seasoned experts in student services. It is a humble start to the most complex systems initiative that any university can undertake.

During the 2013/14 academic year, iSIS will completely replace our current Student Information System. Because portions of the current SIS are 25 to 30 years old, keeping current SIS alive is not an option. It cannot be modified, is inefficient to use and does not interface well with related, modern applications. All who use current SIS ought to be aware of the upcoming changes, the timeline for iSIS, and learn some of the expected benefits, many of which are shared on the SIS Project’s website.

This year is our transition year. Some of you have already participated in iSIS training. Some of you will need to manage data in two systems during the transition. All future users will be notified about training opportunities.

The SIS Project, in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation, would like to evaluate and compare how students, faculty and staff across the university experience SIS today as well as how they will experience iSIS in the coming years. We are asking all students, faculty and staff who have access to the current SIS to take the 5-10 minute SIS User Experience Survey. The data collected in each linked survey will be compared to similar surveys in the coming years, and will influence how iSIS evolves.

  • Students: http://tinyurl.com/SIS-StudentSurvey
  • Faculty: http://tinyurl.com/SIS-FacultySurvey
  • Staff who Have Access to Current SIS: http://tinyurl.com/SIS-StaffSurvey

Each survey is available to all invited participants through the end of October. If you have already taken the SIS User Experience Survey, we thank you for participating in this important research initiative that we hope will help us define success as the improvement of experiences over time.

Your support and patience are greatly appreciated as this important work goes forward.