As our mission statement indicates, the SIS Support Team is devoted to quality service in all areas of support relating to the student data management needs of the entire University. Our clients are primarily other administrators, students, and faculty, but they also include alumni, prospective students, parents, government officials, and others by extension through the various offices we support.
The SIS Support Team is a partnership of the Division of Student Services and Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT). Our team includes both technical and business experts, supporting a suite of software applications and tools designed to help all members of the University community accomplish their student data-related work accurately and efficiently.
The core system we support is the University’s system of record for student data, the mainframe Student Information System, which includes admissions, financial aid, registration, transcripts, billing and housing functions for all schools and offices at the University. Since its implementation at Columbia in 1992, the mainframe SIS has been heavily modified and expanded to meet the needs of our users. As a mainframe system of a certain age, it was designed primarily for administrative office use, without the attractive features that characterize today’s web-based applications. Nevertheless its stability and customization make it a critical, if mostly hidden, tool in supporting myriad extended uses.
Several satellite systems have been built over the years to supplement the mainframe SIS features, and distribute its data when and where needed. The SIS Report Server (RSS) contains a copy of SIS data updated nightly, and optimized to meet the reporting needs of authorized faculty and administrators. Student Services Online (SSOL) is a web application through which authorized users (primarily students) may view bills, grades, class schedules, financial aid letters, and other information. SSOL also enables students to register for classes, purchase meal points, and conduct a number of similar student-life-cycle transactions. Faculty members may use SSOL for class rosters and to submit grades from any location where a web browser is available.
Many interfaces are provided between the mainframe SIS and other systems at Columbia, as well as outside vendors. Examples of key data exchanges include CUIT, International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO), Health Service, Human Resources, the National Student Clearinghouse, the University’s Financial Accounting System (FAS), and many others.
The SIS Support Team provides regular training sessions for all our applications and tools, and the SIS "Infoline" provides ongoing technical support to administrative and academic users of our services. Our website, http://www.columbia.edu/cu/sis/index.html, contains links to our training schedules and many other useful documents. Contact Infoline by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (212) 854-2989. Infoline is staffed Monday to Friday 9AM-5PM and should be used for system questions, to request access to our supported systems, to report problems, or to request training.
David Etherton, Director of Student Information Systems
Ernesto Muniz, Manager, CUIT SIS Technical Team