The College Crippling Computer System

Vaporware

NOUN computing informal

Software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.

Read the Clatsop Community College Faculty Association Letter of No Confidence in the computer System

Read the Clatsop Community College Classified Employees Union Letter of No Confidence in the computer System

In 2017 the Clatsop Community College Board – including four members of the current board – voted to purchase a new computer system for the college.

Instead of following the time tested software procurement criteria – only consider software already in use by satisfied users, and produced by a company that specializes in your industry – The Board – in the grand tradition of the DMV and OHP – decided to purchase software that was not even written yet from a developer specializing in the manufacturing industry.

The software is so bad two of the five colleges evaluating it declined to follow through on implementation.

The software is so bad, two Oregon Community colleges that initially adopted the system have since dropped, finding it unusable.

Clatsop Community College is the only Community College that did not exercise the foresight to not adopt the disastrous system, or the sense to abandon it when it became obvious it was a terrible failure.

The system was initially rolled out in summer 2020 term. It was immediately obvious the system was a disaster. It crippled the college. Students were unable to access financial aid. Students were unable to register for classes. Faculty and Staff were unable to perform basic job functions.

Over 1000 students left the college.

Some went to Portland Community College. PCC was able to process their financial aid, and register them for well established distance education courses.

Some went to Tillamook Bay Community College. TBCC was able to process their financial aid, and register them for well established distance education courses. Thanks to their foresight in establishing robust distance education offerings, TBCC enrollment INCREASED 6% while the other four smallest community colleges lost an average of 33% of their students.

In January of 2021 BOTH the College Faculty and Classified Employee associations issued Letters of No Confidence in the system.

The administration promised faculty and employees that if the problems were not fixed in an upcoming ‘update’ to the software, the software would be abandoned.

The ‘update’ not only did not fix all the existing problems, it created some new ones.

The administration reneged on its promise and continues to move forward with the failed software.

Clatsop Community College Faculty Association Vote of No Confidence in the computer System

TO:                    Clatsop Community College Board of Education and CCC President Chris Breitmeyer

FROM:               Clatsop Community College Faculty Association (Clatsop FTFA)

DATE:                December 7, 2020

RE:                     Vote of No Confidence in CampusNexus/Anthology ERP System

The Clatsop Community College Faculty Association (Clatsop FTFA) has patiently attempted to utilize the CampusNexus/Anthology ERP system for nearly one year. The Clatsop FTFA had a unanimous vote of No Confidence in the ERP system on Monday, December 7, 2020.

List of the priority concerns about the ERP system:

  • The blockades to registration present a fundamental threat to CCC’s mission and financial future
  • Frustrated students are choosing to pursue their education at other institutions because they are unable to register for courses due to repeated issues in the ERP system
  • Students’ inability to register introduces major concerns surrounding equity and equal access to educational opportunities
  • The college has lost and will continue to lose significant tuition income each quarter this ERP system remains in place
  • Advisors and faculty currently experience inadequate access to standard information to guide student success and complete their contracted job descriptions
  • Inability to access academic records of students is creating an impediment for graduation and transfer
  • The ongoing dysfunctions of the ERP system permanently threaten the college’s reputation for efficiency and effectiveness
  • CCC is funded by state and local taxpayers who entrust employees will maximize public investment by serving the highest number of students possible–a tacit agreement currently not being met
  • Reporting functions of the current ERP system render the college incapable of accurately reporting institutional data legally required for state funding

Therefore, we the undersigned facu lty association officially register our vote of No Confidence in the CampusNexus/Anthol ogy ERP system. The Clatsop FTFA implores Clatsop CC leaders to address the current state of institutional crisis by providing alternative resolutions to assure both short-term and long-term access to a viable student ERP System. The Clatsop FTFA requests to see an alternative to the ERP system before Spring quarter registration commences.

On behalf of Clatsop FTFA members,

Clatsop FTFA President Timothy J Lackner

Clatsop Community College Classified Employees Union Letter of No Confidence in the computer System

November 6, 2020

President Breitmeyer and the Senior Leadership of Clatsop CC,

This letter is written in response to President Breitmeyer’s November 5th, 2020 email titled “Anthology”, and on behalf of the members of OSEA’s 154th Union Members concerning the system upgrade. 

We, the OSEA Chapter #154 Members, wish to share with you a Vote of No Confidence with the Anthology CNS Computer system.  

For months our Union Members have endured undue mental and physical stress caused from the deficiencies within the CNS system. We have a large number of our members dealing with so much pressure that they have had to seek out mental and medical help.

The CNS system came to us incomplete and without procedures in place to meet the needs of our staff and students. After trying to solve the issues one at a time we find that with each update the corrections that were fixed are reset and that the original issues need to be addressed again. Our classified staff take pride in the work that they do, and CNS is killing their drive. They feel like the quality of their work has been sacrificed, and they aren’t proud of the work that they do. They are overwhelmed, frustrated, and at the end of their rope because of the unrealistic amounts of stress and pressure placed on them to build a program that meets the needs of our staff and students.

The members’ requests for help are being ignored. They feel like nobody at the college or at CNS are listening to them or our students, and our members feel like they are lying to students every day.  It’s easy to sit in a Zoom meeting and listen to the issues that we as employees are having, but it’s a whole different experience when day-after-day we have students calling our desks’ or crying at our desks’ as they tell us that they are going to lose their rental, that they can’t buy food for their children, and that they are going to have their car repossessed—all because the college has set a long-standing timeframe of when financial disbursements are released. Now, the college can’t uphold our standard causing our students to suffer, which has caused the college’s reputation and integrity to falter in the eyes of the community that it serves.

Clatsop Community College has worked very hard over the years to become a sought-after place to get an education for locals and students that transfer in, but now we are looked at as a last resort, or no choice at all for students because of the issues that they have experienced with registration, payments, and financial aid. This reputation is going to follow us for a long time to come if something isn’t changed quickly.

We do not have a caring collaboration now. Our members and SS staff are huddled in their offices trying to figure out how to make CNS work, not knowing if the changes that they are making will mess up the rest of the system. We have members that have worked weekends, staying after 5 o’clock and have spent hours and hours on corrections, only to have them disappear on a daily basis. Can you imagine how that feels? Those of us that are in the trenches are trying to help our students because we know that the issues caused by CNS is as hard on them as it is on us. Some of our members feel that they have been used as data testers for the software.

When was the last time you waited weeks for money to survive, or have you ever experienced that? If you have, do you remember how it felt? If you haven’t, can you reach out to the students that are being the most affected by this, and hear their stories? The senior leadership of our college needs to put themselves in the students’ shoes because the classified members try to do that with every decision they make. When a staff person is desperate to find the answers while faced with so much frustration and devastation coming from the student’s experience day after day, week after week, and going on month after month, the heartbreak damages them to the soul—our members are the frontline. They are the ones who get screamed at, cussed at, and verbally attacked over this. Do you realize the toll this is taking on them?

What happened to the training for our people? We have heard that because they are not a lead person they cannot attend meetings, even though everything in that meeting would help them understand what they need to do to do their job successfully—this is demeaning, and makes them feel like they are not good enough to be there but then are expected to do the job.

Remember, a person will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Our Members feel unimaginable amounts of stress and defeat, and they are beaten down because of a system that wasn’t built to do what we and our College need it to do.

We have ZERO confidence that CNS system will ever fully work for Clatsop Community College and believe that there will be reputational and economic harm to the college.

President Breitmeyer, you have the power to change this. You are the educational leader of our community. Please consider what this system is doing to CCC’s reputation, our pride, and the health of our employees, but most importantly what it is doing to our students. We believe CNS is not the best fit for Clatsop Community College, and we need you to act now.

No confidence in CNS system or its staff members.

  • Anthology has three separate trainings that are not coordinated across CCC’s campus. one with Financial Aid, one with the Registrar and one with Student Accounts. In these trainings they have been given conflicting information that has, and continues to have, negative impacts on the staff and students. During these trainings, Anthology contradicts themselves. 
  • Also, there is not a CCC staff person who oversees all three meetings, which has caused errors and countless staff hours to correct or manage.
  • Even though staff spend at least two training sessions each week with Anthology, they are not receiving concrete training.
  • Anthology is not good about communicating.
  • The CCC staff spend hours fixing a problem, then when the system updates, it initiates other issues that need to be resolved.
  • Anthology continues to say CCC staff need training, but CCC staff believe it is the CNS system which is the issue.
  • Issues that were brought to Anthology’s attention months ago are still not resolved.
  • Program versions have caused and continue to cause an enormous negative impact on staff and students.
  • Loss of authorizations has happened after an update.

Additional staff workload.

  • Up to 90 percent of work has been deleted after spending hours inputting it.
  • There is a need to do work arounds in separate systems, then to force them back into CNS.
  • Grad Path is not working, causing problems for staff and students.
  • 90 percent of work is needed to be redone due to CNS errors or complete deletion of entered data.
  • There is a need to consistently “hound” Anthology for corrections or assistance, taking up staff hours.

High levels of stress on the staff and students.

  • Members are experiencing mental and physical exhaustion.
  • Members reported that they are not balancing work/life due to the constant problematic issues at CCC.
  • Members reported that they are taking medication to be able to sleep through the night.
  • Staff reported students who have been complaining.

Students are not getting good customer service in the following areas:

  • Financial aid issues.
  • Registering for class.
  • Being able to understand student portals.
  • Students can’t get balances.
  • Staff are unable to help students in a timely manner.
  • Staff report students are choosing other community colleges.

System Issues.

  • There is a lack of key functionality in CNS.
  • We continue to struggle with financial aid awarding and disbursements.
  • We are also still identifying data integrity issues in student academic records.
  • The system has failed to provide critical software functionality.

Respectfully submitted,

Clatsop Community College’s OSEA Union Membership