Category: Higher Education

Higher Education

The Datatel and SunGard Higher Education SIS marriage: It’s about more than the SIS

The Datatel and SunGard Higher Education SIS marriage: It’s about more than the SIS

Though seldom witnessed these days, it was once common practice for the minister or magistrate presiding over a wedding to ask if anyone objected to the unification at hand. Except in rare cases (and perhaps only in the movies), the offer to speak up was generally met with silence. By contrast, the recently announced marriage – er, merger – of Datatel and SunGard Higher Education is already resonating in commentaries and conversations across industry trade magazines, blogs and even Twitter. While not necessarily negative, the responses indicate a certain degree of anxiety about the long-term implications of what some are calling an “arranged marriage.”

The Best Way to Review Admissions Applications? “Screen” Them

A recent front-page article in The New York Times provides a glimpse into the working world of those responsible for making undergraduate admissions decisions at selective institutions. In a verbal snapshot of the committee review stage at Rice University, the article captures a scene in which committee members are collectively viewing and discussing applicant files presented on a large plasma screen. The description is brief, yet highly illuminating for anyone familiar or tasked with application review. The insight here is that the committee at Rice is not poring through piles of paper documents strewn across a table and covered with handwritten sticky notes. Instead, committee members are quickly, conveniently pulling up on-screen what are no doubt complete student application files. Clearly, these files are being stored, managed and accessed electronically. For institutions at which admissions processing and application review still move through cumbersome, paper-laden steps, this glimpse into the electronic environment at Rice will no doubt be a source of envy. For Enrollment VPs and Admissions directors at those schools, it should also be cause for alarm.