Co-Lin upgrading computer system

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 7, 2002

WESSON – With a decision to purchase new campus administrationcomputer hardware and software, Copiah-Lincoln Community Collegetrustees Friday looked to deal the school a “good hand” for studentrecruitment, registration and other services.

Trustees approved a contract with Jenzabar for its InternetCampus Solution software and hardware. By allowing activities suchas student access to class schedules and class registration overthe Internet, school officials said the system will improveCo-Lin’s ability to attract students and allow it to compete betterwith other institutions.

“If you’re going to be in the game, you’ve got to play a goodhand. Right now, we don’t have one,” said Dr. Howell Garner, Co-Linpresident.

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The school’s current system was installed in 1997 and has had nomajor enhancements since implementation. The system’s performanceand response time is poor and the system will not be supportedafter the end of this year, school officials said.

Co-Lin’s computer system is responsible for studentregistration, business office, student life services and financialaid.

Dan Dykes, information systems director, said the current systemhas no web access for students and limited off-campus access forfaculty and staff. The new software will be web enabled, allowstudent and faculty access to a variety of services and provideoff-campus access.

Implementing the new system will cost $143,741. School officialsplan to seek state loan assistance and pay back the funds over afive-year period at about $30,000 a year.

“For $30,000 a year, we can be state of the art. Right now, weare not state of the art,” Dykes said.

The additional funds are not in the school’s budget, which wouldhave to be adjusted to accommodate the purchase. Trustees expressedsome concerns about the funding question, but they indicated thebenefits would outweight the costs.

“It’s very positive what we’re looking at doing here,” said RoyWinkworth, board trustee

Trustee Melton King said the $30,000 could be realized throughimproved operational efficiency or in other areas.

“I think it’s something we can easily manage,” King said.

The board’s October meeting was held Friday afternoon after itwas postponed Thursday due to a threat from Hurricane Lili.

In other business Friday, school officials are scrambling toreplace a heating and air conditioning unit for Stevens Hall, awomen’s dormitory, after the current unit became inoperative Sept.25 due to a major freon pressure leak.

Trustees approved a $40,000 emergency purchase for a new unit,which will take about five weeks to order and install.

An emergency purchase allows the school to bypass normal biddinglaws. Following normal procedures, school officials said, wouldrequire a minimum of three more weeks.

In the interim, Garner said school officials are trying toretrofit a unit that was removed from Ellzey Hall a few years agoand use it for Stevens Hall.

“We’ve gotten some calls from students and we’ve gotten somecalls from parents,” Garner said about respone to the lack of airconditioning in the dormitory.