Strategic Educational Management Information System for higher Institutions

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to make an investigation into some of the major factors that hindered the development of strategic information system in Addis Ababa University. It was also intended to identify the flow of information in the offices of the top managers of the University, the level of application of computers in the various academic and administrative departments, and to suggest appropriate information system architecture to support its administrative and academic activities. To achieve these objectives, the existing infonnation system was studied with particular reference to the application of computers in the various offices and the perfonnance of the central computer center- System Design and Data Processing Center (SDDPC), including its materials and human resources, its weaknesses and strengths. It was observed that different types of computers are used in both the academic and administrative departments in the university. However, most of the computers are used to run word processing applications and for some rudimentary networking activities. The central computer center uses very old technology (mainframe based system) and it runs short of skilled manpower. Because of this and other related factors, the center couldn't serve the University community as it should or as its stated objective in that nearly half of the academic and administrative departments do not even know the existence of the center. Furthermore, even the central administration of the University does not have on-line access to any of the misinformation that the center keeps. The investigation has also revealed that the university does not have clearly stated and well chartered information system plan/strategy and mission that guides the various efforts of independent segments to integrate information technology to their activities. The interview results indicated that the major reasons for the absence of well documented or clearly defined informational system strategy are: other priorities being more important, budget constraints, low perception of the concept by the University administrators, lack of appropriate planning, lack of organizational/top management support, shortage of appropriate technical support staff, and absence of optimum use of available material and human resources. The critical success factors of the University are identified to be: human resource, teaching, students' academic record keeping, students administration, academic information resources, research activities, and finance. The major organizational processes of the University, and the offices (managers) that perform these processes are identified. Information requirements for each organizational process are also determined. Finally, based on the observed flow of information, a distributed (client/server) information system that is organized on hierarchical basis is recommended. It is suggested that informational systems be organized following the lines of the functional areas. The lower level systems report to the higher ones and the University will have a central information system department that coordinates and supervises informational system activities and projects in the University. This center which has its own sub units like systems development, networking, databases, programming, etc. will house the information system for the central administration that provides information to supplier their unstructured and semi-structured decision making activities



Information Science