The University Record, May 6, 1998

Student Recruting software being used by 30 campus units

By Gretchen Weir

An M-Pathways demonstrationEven though applications to the U-M are on the rise, schools and colleges know they need to establish relationships with students they want. It's not enough to shake a student's hand at a college fair. Schools and colleges need to provide targeted information on academic programs and explain why the U-M is right for the students we seek. Often it is the personal touch that makes the difference. Communication needs to be geared to a student's specific interests, whether the prospect is interested in undergraduate, graduate or professional programs.

Recruiting offices across campus have a new tool for maintaining personalized relationships with prospective students. Part of a suite of student administration systems developed by PeopleSoft Inc., the Student Recruiting system began operating, on schedule, April 20. It is being used by more than 30 recruiting offices to collect information about prospective students and exchange that information with the staff and alumni who carry out recruiting activities.

In the past, many recruiting offices kept track of prospects on simple spreadsheets. They didn't share information with each other, so a recruiter from the Graduate School had no way of knowing that a student had already received a brochure from the College of Engineering. The Student Recruiting system not only captures the name and address of prospective students, it also keeps track of the student's career interests and the kinds of contacts the University has had with that student. Using that information, recruiters can generate tailored mailings and avoid sending duplicate materials.

At the same time, information entered about prospects and recruiters is building our Campus Community database, which will eventually house personal information on all members of the University community. By maintaining personal information in one location, data will not have to be re-entered as an individual changes his or her status.

For example, when someone changes from prospective student to applicant or from applicant to enrollee, he or she will not have to repetitively provide name, address, phone number and other personal information. Capturing information "at the source" not only improves customer service but reduces the chance of errors.

The M-Pathways Campus Community system also enables the University to collect a variety of information we haven't been able to maintain in the past. The system stores full names, preferred names, relationships with the institution and multiple address types. Thanks to a feature called "effective dating," a student can have one address, for example, from May through August, and another that takes effect in September.

As documented in the Standard Practice Guide, the University no longer uses Social Security numbers as the primary identifier for individuals. When an individual is first entered into the M-Pathways Campus Community database, he or she will be assigned a UMID, using the system that is already in place for generating unique numbers for ID cards.

Student Recruiting is the second M-Pathways system to be introduced this year. Units across campus used the Space Management system to fill out the annual space survey this winter. M-Pathways General Ledger and Procurement systems will be used starting July 1.

To learn how M-Pathways users get trained and use the M-Pathways Help Desk when questions arise, attend the May Interchange 8:3010 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.noon May 21 in the Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union.