The University Record, January 14, 1998

M-Pathways begins 3-year rollout

By Gretchen Weir

Space management system leads in 1998

The M-Pathways project is introducing its first campuswide information system this month. Developed with the help of the Medical School, LS&A, School of Public Health, College of Engineering and the Flint campus, this system will simplify the annual chore of compiling a federal survey on space use. Units also can use it to make decisions about effectively using classrooms, laboratories and lecture halls. More than 400 users will receive training on this new software this month and next.

Those interested in learning how the system works should plan to attend one of this month's Interchange sessions in the Chrysler Center Auditorium on Jan. 29 at 10-11:30 a.m., 1-2:30 p.m. or 3-4:30 p.m. Presenters will discuss how M-Pathways has worked with units across campus to identify and train users, distribute software and assign passwords, so even those not involved in space management may find the session helpful.

The space management system is the first of several new systems that will arrive over the next three years. (See schedule.) M-Pathways will change how information is collected and used in every area of the University: financial and physical resources, student administration, research administration and human resources.

Some student administration modules move to February 2000

The new M-Pathways schedule includes an important change in the way student administration software will be implemented. (See schedule.)

The dates for introducing student recruiting and admissions software for students applying for fall 1999 have not changed. Units have the option of using PeopleSoft's student recruiting system starting next April. PeopleSoft admissions software will be available in October. The change affects the remaining student systems: financial aid, student financials, student records/curriculum and academic advising. These modules will replace most existing systems all at once, in February 2000.

One important benefit of this new schedule is that the major M-Pathways initiatives are now evenly spread across three years. The procurement and general ledger portions of M-Pathways will arrive July 1. The human resources management system will replace existing human resources systems in April 1999. The February 2000 date will give units time to become comfortable with the human resources systems before turning their attention to new student systems.

A second benefit of this later implementation date is that the U-M will be able to install a newer version of PeopleSoft's student administration software. The student product, which Michigan helped develop, was released in December 1997. The next version will include some necessary enhancements.

When M-Pathways rolls out the student systems in February 2000, all student records, such as grades, student accounts and new financial aid information, will be entered into the PeopleSoft database. Only financial aid award information for award year 1999-2000 will remain in the old system, to support disbursement and federal reporting. Academic units will have entered course descriptions, specific class information and program requirements prior to February 2000 so that the system will be ready to use for students enrolling in the spring, summer, spring/summer and fall terms in 2000.

To learn more about the space management or the student administration systems, access the Web at and click on Frequently Asked Questions under Project Description.