- Strategic Plan
18 February 2022
Dear OSU Colleagues,
I am writing to inform you that the university will identify, acquire, and implement a single, university-wide approach and tool for facilitating improved communications and engagement with students once they enroll. This approach and accompanying software—called a customer relationship management (CRM) program—provides a central point of contact and engagement that facilitates creating and distributing general and focused communications and managing personal interactions with students. Such a system is commonly used across higher education and at OSU.
However, at OSU, because we’ve lacked an agreed upon and coordinated university-wide approach, individual units have filled the void by building or acquiring their own tools. While units have done so with the best of intentions and the needs of students firmly in mind, the result is the use of over 90 separate instances of CRM software. This is costly, complicated to maintain, facilitates poorer student support than offered by many of our peers, and delivers a confusing and often frustrating student experience. Among the challenges:
The decision to adopt a unified system and approach follows several years of review and discussing options. Certainly, a concern in moving in this direction is the near-term disruption it will cause for units using their own systems and tools. Although I understand and appreciate that concern, the benefits of a unified system are significant. The capacity to reach students with one university voice when necessary, and with focused, customized messages tailored to the mission and services of individual units and programs is essential for ensuring every OSU student has maximum opportunity to achieve their educational goals. One aligned system also will be simpler and less costly to maintain and provides information that facilitates delivering high quality academic and other support.
Three committees have been charged to advance this effort. The Undergraduate Student Success Committee (USSC) with expanded membership is refining planned uses for the CRM. A technical team will assemble requirements for the system and evaluate vendors and a steering committee to provide overall leadership and coordination. A steering committee will recommend a software solution by the end of this academic year so that acquisition and implementation may begin this summer and proceed over the course of next academic year. You can learn more about this project here.
If you have questions about this project, please contact me or Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost, Alix Gitelman.
Provost and Executive Vice President