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LionPATH To Experience University-Wide Shutdown In Middle Of Day

Just when you thought LionPATH couldn’t really get any worse, Provost Nick Jones sent a mass email earlier announcing that Penn State will completely transition over to the new system at the end of this week and, in order to do so, LionPATH will be completely unavailable for an inconvenient chunk of the day on Saturday.

Jones actually recognized the widespread-frustrations with LionPATH in his email but chalked the “challenges” up to the transition from eLion to the new system. Though the transition has been gradual, anyone who’s used the new student management system can attest to its poor user interface and difficult navigation — neither of which is a consequence of the transition.

“Let me start by acknowledging that we fully recognize there have been some challenges and frustrations with this transition,” Jones said in the email. “Conversion of any major legacy database system is a tremendous undertaking and there will be challenges; this project is no different. We’ve heard concerns from faculty, students, staff and parents and we are very sensitive to these concerns, and are working on addressing all of them in a timely manner.”

Despite this, Jones also recognized the horrible user interface and promised an interface upgrade, but it won’t be initiated until the spring semester, at the earliest.

“One concern that we recognize is that the user interface isn’t as intuitive or user-friendly as it could, or should, be,” Jones admitted. “In response to student feedback, we’re working toward a facelift for the interface that is targeted for the spring semester.”

Administrators additionally decided the first week of classes would be the best time to officially complete the transition from eLion to LionPATH and, on top of the already poor system, complicate the process of an entire university trying to get used to a new platform right at the beginning of a new school year.

LionPATH will be completely shut down on Saturday (August 27, for those of you thinking in calendar days) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Perhaps the best part of Jones’ email was when he asked for “patience, cooperation, and understanding” as the transition is completed, but I think I speak for everyone when I say my patience for LionPATH and its myriad of issues is long gone.

You can read the full context of the email below:

Welcome to fall semester at Penn State!

As the fall 2016 semester begins, the final transition of the University’s student information system (ISIS/eLion) to the new LionPATH system is occurring.

Let me start by acknowledging that we fully recognize there have been some challenges and frustrations with this transition. Conversion of any major legacy database system is a tremendous undertaking and there will be challenges; this project is no different. We’ve heard concerns from faculty, students, staff and parents and we are very sensitive to these concerns, and are working on addressing all of them in a timely manner.

ISIS/eLion, which has been the student information system at Penn State for the past 30 years, will be retired and on Monday, Aug. 29, LionPATH will officially become Penn State’s student system of record. As part of this final transition, students will temporarily be unable to access LionPATH on Saturday, Aug. 27, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A team of dedicated Penn State staff from central offices, Commonwealth campuses, colleges, the World Campus, the Graduate School, and Information Technology Services (ITS) have been working diligently on the project for the past three years to implement the new system. With this initiative, Penn State will be prepared to meet the ever-increasing needs of the Penn State educational community, and improve efficiencies and effectiveness for all of its members in the long run.

There are many online resources for students, staff and parents to help navigate LionPATH, and I encourage you to visit the LionPATH launch page for important announcements and helpful resources.

One concern that we recognize is that the user interface isn’t as intuitive or user-friendly as it could, or should, be. In response to student feedback, we’re working toward a facelift for the interface that is targeted for the spring semester.

We respectfully request and appreciate your patience, cooperation and understanding while we finalize this transition. As concerns are raised we will continue to look to address them as quickly as possible.

Welcome back, and I wish everyone a successful and rewarding fall semester.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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