WMU News

Strategic information expert speaks here Friday

Feb. 21, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A University of Washington expert who oversaw a five-year project to integrate that school's strategic information into one relational database, will describe the effort in a talk on the WMU campus Friday, Feb. 22, at 9 a.m.

Dr. Debra Friedman, associate provost for academic planning at the University of Washington-Seattle, will describe "The Politics of Information" in a talk scheduled for the Putney Lecture Hall of the Fetzer Center.

Friedman is the principal architect of the University Strategic Analysis Group's relational database that has been praised as one of the best in the nation for providing decision-making support to administrators across that University.

Dr. Linda Delene, WMU vice provost for academic planning and assessment, is coordinating Friedman's visit to WMU. She says Friedman's experiences in transforming a campus with a multitude of separate information databases into one with an integrated information system, will enable her to share information that will be invaluable to a WMU audience. President Elson S. Floyd recently announced a five-year initiative to adopt an integrated student information system over the next five years.

Delene says that in developing plans for the future, the administration will be mindful of the "need to enhance decision-making at the departmental level with full and appropriate access to information that is not only current, but also reliable and valid."

A sociologist by training, Friedman has been at UW since 1994 and prior to that taught at the University of Arizona and the University of Iowa. She is the recipient of teaching awards from both UW and the Univeristy of Arizona. Friedman's areas of responsibility at UW include, strategic planning, accountability, assessment, enrollment planning, budget building and allocation of two important university funds.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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