The Voice

Datatel comes to campus



By Andrew De Young

The computer services team is hard at work implementing Datatel, a newly purchased administrative database system that will serve the whole campus. According to Brian Van Donselaar, director of computer services, Datatel is a piece of software to manage business affairs of the college. Datatel will replace the existing system, which was built over the years by computer services employees and the students they hired.

The switch to Datatel will have many advantages, Van Donselaar says. “The software is very customizable, so we can set it up to fit the way we do business.” However, he admits that this means more work in implementing the system.

“We have to customize all of the software, and then convert the information from the existing system,” he says. The first office to go online with Datatel will be the business office on July 1, 2002. The entire campus should be online by December 31, 2003.

The benefits of the Datatel system should be worth the wait. Once the system is up and running, students will be able to register for classes online, switch classes, or request a transcript at any time. Faculty will be able to get student records, which will make advising easier. Alumni will be able to go online and find information pertaining to them, and even make contributions to Dordt College with a credit card.

Van Donselaar is excited about the change. “Datatel will simplify operations a lot,” he says. “Many things that are difficult to do right now will be more convenient when the new system is up.”