CSU hires experts to repair software

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CSU hires experts to repair software

Thursday, February 24, 2000



Cleveland State University trustees yesterday approved spending as much as $4.6 million more to fix the flawed student information software.

The money, which will include an estimated $500,000 for a backup system to help ensure that fall registration goes off without a hitch, will come from the schools reserve fund. The school currently has $7.2 million in reserves, said President Claire Van Ummersen.

CSU intends to pay a consulting company, SAIC/SoftLink, up to $2.49 million for a years work to try to make the universitys PeopleSoft Inc. software package work properly. Among four other companies hired to provide consulting work was the Hunter Group, which could get as much as $946,400 for its efforts.

Joseph Nolan, a CSU vice president heading a task force to fix the software problems that have plagued the student financial aid program for almost two years, said as many as nine consultants could be on campus at one time.

CSU interviewed three companies that submitted bids to help unravel the computer mess after trustees determined an action plan submitted by PeopleSoft was inadequate. Nolan said SAIC and Hunter were picked to do the bulk of the work because they are working at other colleges where PeopleSoft products are not working.

PeopleSoft was hired to replace a patchwork of outdated programs at the university. Some of its systems are working well, but the student aid version has plagued several registration periods. The original cost of the program was to be $4.2 million. Van Ummersen said yesterday the cost was up to $11.1 million. The $4.6 million authorized yesterday will be on top of that.

Van Ummersen said there was a backup system known to work that could get the school through the fall registration. CSU will put the system out for bids and buy one. "We cant take the chance of not processing aid for our students," the president said.

Trustees met in a closed executive session for more than three hours yesterday. They discussed hiring the consultants and also renewed talk about suing PeopleSoft for damages. Nolan said no decision had yet been made on a suit. http://www.cleveland.com/news/index.ssf?/news/pd/cc24csu.html

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 24, 2000


For more on the Peoplesoft situation


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), February 24, 2000.

There's a news article somewhere in my notes about a lawsuit filed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer against Cleveland State University. I may not have posted it yet, but will look for it.

In essence, the newspaper is trying to force Cleveland State U to reveal details about a plan between the school and PeopleSoft, Inc to fix the school's software problems. The school has balked at revealing that info.

PeopleSoft claims that discussion about the plan might cause their software secrets to be divulged.

The clincher is that PeopleSoft promises to pay for the school's litigation with the newspaper, as long as the school remains silent on the subject.

In January, I sent an inquiry to the newspaper's reporters. So far, no answer.

-- Lee Maloney (leemaloney@hotmail.com), February 24, 2000.

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