New records system causes hiccups for some UI students’ degree audits

BY NICK HASSETT | APRIL 11, 2013 5:00 AM

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The transition to a new records system has caused some glitches in student information, yet University of Iowa officials maintain the problems are temporary growing pains in a major overhaul.

Members of the IT team working on the new system, Made At the University of Iowa [MAUI], said the issue, involving the transfer of Advanced Placement and other credits to the university, is being worked on.

“A temporary issue related to this transition is that Advanced Placement credits that were reflected in the old degree-audit system have not yet been made visible in the new one,” MAUI officials said in an email. “The university was aware this would occur for a period of time during the transition. In preparation, the records on file in the old system were captured and preserved, and this information was made accessible on ISIS.”

The team hopes to fix all the issues by the end of the week.

One UI senior said she has been having issues with the degree audit but decided not to reach out to officials yet.

“I studied abroad and got 12 credits; I had to jump through a lot of hoops to get them transferred over, and on the new degree audit I’m 12 hours short,” Molly Sisson said. “I can still see them on my old degree audit, so I’m taking a passive approach and hoping they’re aware of it and they fix it.”

UI Registrar Larry Lockwood said the issues resulted when information from the old Degree Audit Report System weren’t transferred correctly over to the new MAUI system when the switch was made in December.

“The big effort in the coming year was to get the mainframe taken down so it wouldn’t cost us $5 million a year, with all the licensing fees associated with it,” he said. “In freezing the old system, we lost the exceptions, and some information transfer credits disappeared. We told students to look at their December 1 analysis first, and use that as you look forward to graduate.”

Lockwood said a fix would be implemented into the system Wednesday night.

“Tonight, an overall fix is going into the system, so [Thursday] morning you should see a different type of report,” he said. “A lot of the exceptions and transfer information will be 95 percent accurate, there will be a few that are still going to be a problem.”

The UI claims the implementation of the new MAUI system will offer several benefits over the old system, including addressing technical limitations of the old systems with a more contemporary interface, better integration with other systems, and additional features and functionality.

Lockwood said whenever students came to them with issues on their degree audit, they fixed the issue.

“We took four people out of our office, three people in admissions, and a couple of people in IT, and they all started reviewing these students’ registration information and changing it so it came back accurate when they graduate,” he said.

Andy Tinkham, the educational adviser in the UI journalism school, said around 25 or 30 students, most of them seniors, came to him about the Advanced Placement credit transfer issue in the new degree audit system.

“Usually it comes up when a senior is checking their audit, and discover something isn’t added,” he said. “They contact me, and I contact graduation analysis. It’s really an easy issue to fix.”

Ultimately, Lockwood said, while the process was not without its bumps, the end result spoke for itself.

“That’s what MAUI is, it’s been a pain in the butt, and in the past couple of years it’s been a marvelous transition,” he said. “And the fact that no one noticed the transition until now is the best part of it.”

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