Mount Union Professor Shares Success Of Web Registration System

April 27, 2010

ALLIANCE, Ohio - Dr. John Kirchmeyer, director of Computer Information Services (CIS) at Mount Union College, recently gave a presentation at the Fourth Annual Microsoft Higher Education CIO Summit April 17-19.

Dr. John F. Kirchmeyer

The conference, which was held at Microsoft's corporate campus in Redmond, Washington, featured a variety of presentations that looked at the breakthrough technologies powering education in the Internet environment, one of which was given by Kirchmeyer entitled "Lessons Learned Integrating a Web Registration System: It Pays to Plan and Pilot-Test."

Kirchmeyer discussed the success Mount Union has had with ABT's IQ Web Internet application suite, since it "went live" on the College's campus in the spring of 2000. The system allows Mount Union students to complete course registration over the Internet and enables students to securely access their academic records anytime, anywhere.

According to Kirchmeyer, of the 1211 students eligible to register for courses that semester, approximately 940 of them did so using the new Web application system. He credits one of the reasons for its success to an initial pilot-test that took place on the College's campus in November of 1999.

"In addition to the obvious benefits of pilot testing such as minimizing risk, seeking end-user feedback, and allowing adjustment and fine-tuning on a small scale, it has enabled us to have a gradual process change and build a consensus instead of having an abrupt change," Kirchmeyer said.

Kirchmeyer also discussed the advantages of using the new system at Mount Union.

"Web-enabled advising and registration has had a profound impact on our entire campus community," Kirchmeyer said. "Students and faculty have 24/7 access to registration, student records, class lists, etc. Also, students don't have to stand in a line at the Registration Office and many paper reports have been eliminated."

Several executives from Microsoft's Higher Education Solutions Group and the Microsoft Corporation also presented at the conference including Bill Gates, chief software architect and chairman of the board, who gave the closing address.

A professor of computer science, information systems and mathematics, Kirchmeyer has been a member of the faculty at Mount Union since 1978. He also has served as director of the computer center for 11 years and as chair of the department of computer science and information systems for 12 years.

Kirchmeyer is actively involved in the campus community having served on the building committees for several building projects, CIS Faculty Advisory Board, Faculty, Student Life and Religious Life Committees, LATTICE Task Force and RaiderWeb Policy Board.

In addition to his campus involvement, Kirchmeyer has been a member of the Association of Information Technology Professionals since 1996 and a member of the Association for Systems Management (ASM) since 1993, having served as program chair and president of the Akron-Canton Chapter and core team member of the ASM On-Line Committee and ASM International. He is also an ABT Users Group Communications officer and board member and is a member of the City of Alliance Cable Television and Web Site Task Forces.

Kirchmeyer received his bachelor's degree from Carthage College in 1972 and his master's and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University in 1974 and 1978 respectively. He and his wife, Judy, a part-time Periodicals Assistant in the Mount Union College Library, have three children: Amy Kirchmeyer Friedmann, a 1992 graduate of Mount Union; Ben, a 1997 graduate of Mount Union; and Joel, who is currently a student at Mount Union.

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