Destler on new SIS: send me the complaints

President Bill Destler made his email inbox ground zero for objections to the new Student Information System today.

Speaking on The Bill Destler Show – WITR’s quarterly question and answer session — he told listeners that anyone who had a complaint with the new system should send it to Though he prefers specifics. ”It would be useful to have specific examples,” he said.

He plans to forward the complaints he receives to the team working on the system.



Open letter author calls Destler’s new SIS response “frustrating”

Shortly before publishing President Bill Destler’s response to complaints about the new Student Information System, I asked Cody Krieger, author of the open letter that has been the basis of much of that complaint, if he had a response to Destler’s remarks. He didn’t immediately, but got back to me with an emailed statement the next day.

Here’s a part of it:

“It’s good to hear that the GeneSIS team and President Destler are at least hearing and responding to our feedback. To an extent, I understand the desire to keep the system as off-the-shelf as possible (ease of upgrades, etc.). Dr. Destler has tried to bring a lot of progressive change to RIT in his tenure here, so it’s frustrating to hear the “this is the way it’s going to be” mentality from him, as well as his dismissal of the possibility of student involvement going forward (whether from GCCIS or otherwise).



Destler weighs in on new SIS controversy

A post attributed to Madeline Liccione, an electrical engineering student, protests the new SIS on President Bill Destler's Facebook Wall. Destler responded to complaints from Facebook today.

At an Institute Council meeting today, President Bill Destler added his voice to a controversy over the new Student Information System, with a seemingly off-the-cuff statement meant to address student concerns.

The remarks, delivered to a body of school officials and representatives from governance groups like Student Government, promised an openness to change, but ultimately defended the new system.

Here are his remarks in full, minus a few phrases which were inaudible on an audio recording of the meeting:

“[I've noticed some of my friends on Facebook] — I have a lot of friends on Facebook — who are unhappy with the new Student Information System in terms of registering on the system. Frankly, this doesn’t come as a surprise to any of us. Okay, I just want you to know that. We’re going to take all this feedback and continue to work on the system, and see how we can make it better.

There’s some feeling on the part of some of our Golisano College [of Computing and Information Sciences] folks that we should just turn the job over to them, and they could do it. And they could probably write a beautiful user interface, instead of the one we have now, but I want to explain a little bit about that to the community.



Dueling online campaigns wage battle over perception of new SIS

An error page receives a needling caption on SIS Fails, a blog that points out failures in the new SIS.

Laura Kelley, recent new media publishing graduate, freely admits on Twitter that her co-op job — managing the social media campaign promoting the new SIS — poses unique challenges.

The campaign she helps manage has run squarely into simmering online discontent, which in recent days has congealed into an ad-hoc social media campaign of its own.

Near the center of the organized opposition is an open letter by software engineering student Cody Krieger, published Thursday and titled “Thoughts on GeneSIS.” It argues the new student records system is “headed in the wrong direction at high velocity.”



Frustrated by new SIS headaches, students create software cure

Dan Fenton (second from left) and Thomas DeMeo (upper far right) answer questions about the software they created to improve the new SIS class search at SG Senate Friday.

A sense of frustration with the new Student Information System has given birth to software designed to plaster over the rough spots.

Dan Fenton and Thomas DeMeo, fourth year computer engineering students, built the software last week, and demoed it Friday at the Student Government Senate meeting.

The software makes small but significant changes that help to make a confusing new system a little friendlier.



New SIS introduced to students, registration to become “enrollment”

A shopping cart for enrollment in the new SIS

A shopping cart sits ready for enrollment in the new SIS.

The first thing to know about the new system for registering students is that it won’t register students. Instead, it “enrolls” them. And students can no longer withdraw from a problematic class before week nine. Instead, they “drop with penalty” (though the grade they get is still “W”).

The system, now referred to by training materials as the “new Student Information System,” will replace SIS for fall 2012 enrollment, which is planned for April. When that happens, students may have to adjust to oddities like shopping carts for courses, appointed times to enroll, waiting lists, even a new system for course numbers.

Welcome to the brave new world of student information.