Cleveland (OH) State University - headaches over PeopleSoft software : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

I realize that the following article does not spell out the words "Y2k problem." But I feel compelled to post it on this Y2k board for three reasons...

One, because it's evident to me that Y2k has compounded computer problems for Cleveland State University. Two, because the University of Southern Mississippi is also having trouble getting Y2k compliant while using the same software made by PeopleSoft. Three, according to the media, other universities around the country are having the same problems.

For example, see my previous post on this GICC board: "Univ of S. Mississippi - some systems not Y2k compliant"

More information about Cleveland State U will follow soon. This does not appear to be a "minor" problem. Litigation is ongoing between the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and Cleveland State University concerning the University's dealings with PeopleSoft, Inc.


Fall semester is revised goal for CSU computer solution

Thursday, January 06, 2000


Cleveland State University students who seek financial aid for the semester that begins in two weeks will not find relief from the headaches that have plagued thousands of students for almost two years.

University officials demanded less than two months ago that PeopleSoft Inc. supply a plan to fix major software flaws to ensure a smooth January registration. But Joseph Nolan, who heads a university task force overseeing the project, said yesterday the goal now is to have the glitches fixed for the fall semester.

Nolan said the number of students affected this semester should be smaller since most had their financial aid packages fashioned last fall.

"It will affect only brand-new students or students that do not apply for financial aid until now," Nolan said. "That is a couple hundred students as opposed to 6,500."

Students who got their financial aid packages last fall did not find them bundled in tidy ribbons. Hundreds of students reported difficulties as the school struggled to process their awards. Before CSU began using PeopleSoft, students typically got their aid before classes began. But thousands of students have endured lengthy financial aid delays because of a host of computer glitches.

An example of what students and CSU employees have had to go through was illustrated in a September internal memo from financial aid Director Suzanne Carlson.

She wrote to top administrators: "The present environment requires the staff to manually re-enter financial aid history multiple times for each student. Hours of staff, management and PeopleSoft consulting time and dollars are being expended in this manual re-packaging, re-awarding correction process." Carlson wrote that workers were not being trained on how to use PeopleSoft as it was designed to run. "Instead, we are training them on how to manually cope and work with the system in a dysfunctional environment . . . It is discouraging and exhausting."

Asked if circumstances have changed, Nolan replied: "That is still the case."

He said the university wants to correct problems by April so that CSU can put together financial aid offerings for prospective students who are trying to decide where to attend college.

Just how CSU intends to fix the software nightmare could be determined by university trustees at a special meeting tomorrow. Trustees will consider a plan proposed by PeopleSoft as well as options suggested by other firms.

At a meeting in November, trustees called the software system "unmanageable." Trustee Chairman William Patient demanded that PeopleSoft comply with requests for assistance or face a lawsuit. Trustees wanted fixes in place by Jan. 1. But that timetable went by the boards when PeopleSoft said it could not have a plan ready that quickly.

Nancy Cribbs, CSU chief legal counsel, said this week that the PeopleSoft proposal will not be accepted. A PeopleSoft spokeswoman disagreed. The spokeswoman said that CSU has accepted the plan in principle. CSU is determining whether it will hire PeopleSoft or another firm to execute the PeopleSoft plan, the spokeswoman said. Nolan declined to estimate how much the new fixes would cost, and CSU refused to release the PeopleSoft plan.

E-mail: Phone: (216) 999-4819 E-mail: Phone: (216) 999-4829

Source: THE PLAIN DEALER; Cleveland Live; Cleveland, Ohio

-- Lee Maloney (, January 17, 2000



Well, I can tell you that Peoplesoft installations are causing headaches for a number of academic institutions. In most cases the move to Peoplesoft was required because old systems were not y2k compliant. The problem is that in most instances the Peoplesoft system required substantial customization to match the institution's accounting systems and internal processes.

-- Bud Hamilton (, January 18, 2000.

Thanks Bud,

I've given this some thought. Perhaps I'll hold off posting new articles about universities using PeopleSoft software until after the "Y2k verdict" is in.

PeopleSoft has quite a customers list!

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-- Lee Maloney (, January 18, 2000.

According to a Memorandom sent to Cleveland State U in 1998, it was expected that PeopleSoft software and tens of other software packages would create at least "some" problems after the Y2k rollover date. Italics are mine....

http://www.csuohio .edu/year2000/Gagemem1.htm

Memorandum TO:



RE: Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors and Department Heads

J. Fred Gage, Vice Provost for Information Technology and Academic Innovation

June 23, 1998

Year 2000 (Y2K) Information


The Year 2000 problem has often been characterized as a "mainframe" problem. The good news is that the installation of the PeopleSoft administrative systems will address most of the "mainframe" issues; the bad news is that the Year 2000 problem will also effect PC's, software, key card systems, elevators, alarm systems and many other areas. In short, there is a high probability the Y2K problem will negatively impact your area of responsibility unless some significant effort is made to identify and rectify the problems.

The root of this problem is an artifact from the days when computer memory was small and data storage expensive. To save space and processing costs, applications manipulated and saved only the last two digits of a four-digit year (e.g., 1990 is 90). This decision affects the way dates are compared, calculated, sorted and stored. Although the rationale for using dates as two digit years has long been obsolete, applications still abound with this implementation. Even in state of the art technologies, code reuse, data sharing, and inertia have perpetuated the problem.

Let me assure you that the following suppositions are inaccurate: we have plenty of time, we don't have a problem, someone has already invented an automatic solution, all of our systems will be replaced before the Year 2000, and it's a simple technical problem. The Y2K problem will effect all our departments to some degree.

As part of an enterprise effort, each department head, dean and director, will be held responsible for the Year 2000 initiative in their respective area. You will need to appoint someone to be responsible for investigating potential Y2K problem areas, developing solutions and corrective actions, preparing appropriate budget requests, developing a comprehensive document recommending Y2K solutions, and developing a practical time line for implementation. To support your efforts, an Enterprise Year 2000 Committee is being established under the direction of Mr. Ronald Zofka. That committee will be composed of area representatives and some Information Services and Technology resource personnel. I have asked Mr. Zofka to convene the committee on a regular basis until he is assured that Y2K problems are being adequately addressed. The charge of this committee will be to educate the campus, communicate significant Year 2000 information, coordinate activities between functional areas and to record and verify information collected during this project.

While the University has made good progress in addressing many of the hardware and networking issues, software applications continue to be a cause of grave concern. We are aware of literally tens of software packages being used that are non-compliant. Some are used as the result of habit, lack of technical support to upgrade the package, lack of a machine of sufficient power to run the new application, etc. Whatever the reason, these applications may pose a threat to departmental compliance. This is a significant campus issue requiring your participation and cooperation.

As Mr. Zofka hopes to convene the Year 2000 committee in early July, he will be contacting you in the next ten days for the names of your area representative(s).

Thank you for your assistance in addressing this problem.

-- Lee Maloney (, January 28, 2000.

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