Conception of a reference model for integrated campus management systems

Conception of a reference model for integrated campus management systems
Internal advisor: Prof. Dr. Klaus Turowski, Prof. Dr. Hans-Knud Arndt, Sven Gerber, Bastian Kurbjuhn

The effects of the Bologna process and increasing numbers of students due to the suspension of compulsory military service and dual Abitur cohorts require a particularly economic and effective use of public funding for a high-quality range of teaching classes. Integrated campus management systems cover the academic life cycle as well as supporting processes and offer opportunities for the management of research activities. Since their operation forces and improves the harmonic alignment of the processes, the generated synergies can become competitive advantages.

Due to the Bologna process, universities find themselves confronted with new challenges: the suspension of compulsory military service and the Abitur after twelve school years lead to an explosive growth in the number of students. In order to guarantee a high-quality education to improve the students’ qualifications for their later working life, the processes have to be aligned efficiently with the service recipient, namely the student. Integrated campus management systems (CMS) are considered a solution towards an entrepreneurial university, but their implementation in an existing organization and heterogeneous IT landscape is not trivial.

The Bologna Declaration, which was signed in 1999 by the Secretaries of Education of 29 EU-states, changed the European education landscape significantly. For almost all German universities, the Bologna process caused a restructuring and an adaption of their programs of study and their administrative processes. Furthermore, the universities registered an increasing number of first-year students due to the suspension of compulsory military service and dual Abitur cohorts. In fact the universities and technical colleges gain in autonomy due to the new Bachelor’s and Master’s study programs since they are mostly allowed to choose their students for themselves; nevertheless, for this reason they are also in competition with each other. In times of limited public funds and resources in spite of increasing numbers of students, the self-imposed standards for high-quality university teaching and research call for a consequent alignment of the organization with economic processes and the configuration of an efficient system infrastructure.

Furthermore, in times of tuition fees, students not only focus on standard motivations (reputation in teaching and research) but furthermore attach increasing importance to improved conditions of study and service features in teaching and administration.

Integrated campus management systems (CMS) thus offer gratifying opportunities. In contrast to the artifacts of university information systems that have been used up to now and that are respectively designed for one specific application in administration or for a sub process of the academic life cycle, the integrated approach takes into account university processes as a whole. Universities thus act as service providers with comprehensive, closely linked processes in teaching, research and administration. The student is thereby understood as the consumer of services (service recipient).

The aim of CMS is the improvement of business processes on the basis of central data storage and a uniformly designed dialog interface for the interaction with the user. On the one side, student customers have to be included in the academic processes in order to reduce costs. On the other side, system availability at any time can lead to an increase in subjectively experienced quality. A faultless information and communication technology has a positive effect on the competitive environment.

(The organizational structures have to be aligned with the provided functions of the campus management systems so that the applied system becomes fully effective within the university’s infrastructure. Therefore it makes sense to provide the standard software with reference processes in order to facilitate the implementation of the system into an existing organization and to be able to hold available a certain scope of flexibility for the manifestation of the processes.)