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05-12-1999

Clarkson University School Of Business Selected For Membership In Alliance With Leading Business Software Developer

Clarkson University is one of only 60 colleges and universities nationwide that has been selected for a partnership with the international software firm SAP. The University's School of Business will be a full member of the "SAP University Alliance," joining a select group of schools, including Indiana University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Southern California.

A world leader in the development of business software, SAP is making its market-leading, client/server-based enterprise software, the R/3 System, available to Clarkson. Member schools of the alliance receive software, technical support, and faculty training, all at SAP’s expense.

“Our faculty is very enthusiastic about the project and we are looking forward to a successful alliance with SAP,” says Fredric C. Menz, dean of the School of Business.

As part of that alliance, the School of Business will implement the SAP R/3 software system into selected courses in its undergraduate and graduate curricula. The R/3 system has been described as the world’s most widely used standard business software for client/server computing. The School plans to eventually incorporate R/3 into 13 graduate, undergraduate and independent study courses, giving students hands-on access to the same business technology successfully implemented and used by companies around the globe.

Dean Menz says the school’s plans for incorporation of R/3 software into the curriculum closely follows the very philosophy of the software package—integration. “While R/3 integrates diverse business functions, our plan focuses on integrating the various business courses that we teach."

Menz cites the graduate-level information systems module as an example. This module is the capstone information systems course for the MBA program, in which the role of information systems and information technology in managing modern information-age enterprises is explored. Students will become familiar with R/3 in this module and then use R/3 in subsequent modules in different functional areas as they progress through the MBA program. 

“They will develop and study selected databases in the information systems course and deploy those databases in subsequent course modules-- production, accounting, marketing,” says Professor Somendra Pant. Pant teaches the information systems module and chairs a faculty committee that has developed a plan for integrating SAP R/3 in the undergraduate and graduate business curricula.

In the undergraduate curriculum, the introductory management information systems course (Concepts for Business) will be enhanced to expose the students to the SAP R/3 enterprise software.  Students will do a software assignment using R/3 that will account for approximately one-fifth of their grade. 

“Our intention is to create R/3 competency in all School of Business students,” says Menz. “This is an important opportunity for Clarkson University students and faculty. Since we are a technologically rich university, our students and faculty have the interest and expertise to effectively implement SAP R/3.”

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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