Information Management in Higher Education Administration: A Slow Drive on the Information Superhighway

Information Management in Higher Education Administration: A Slow Drive on the Information Superhighway

Gunapala Edirisooriya (East Tennessee State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-74-2.ch004


Society has entered a new information age and higher education administration remains far behind its counterparts in the business sector. Educational information management is being drastically underutilized by higher education administration. Databases are used exclusively for record keeping purposes as an end in itself. They are not being effectively used for information management. Thousands of human hours are wasted annually to complete various types of administrative paperwork without using the existing databases as sources of input. This new information age is categorized by ongoing developments in multimedia and information technology that are opening new possibilities and forcing most people to restructure numerous activities in their lives, encompassing personal, professional, social, and institutional spheres. Rapid advancements in quality and versatility of products in information technology bring new challenges to every working environment. While the specialists in electronic technology keep upgrading the hardware, system and application software specialists continue to upgrade existing systems and create new systems and programs to increase access to new technology for the masses. In the computer industry, entrepreneurs who recognized the potential of the market transformed an industry of “computers for computer wizards” into an industry where the computer was destined to become an essential household item. Nevertheless, a great majority of end-users are not up to par with the required repertoire of technical knowledge and skills to exploit the capabilities of available information technology. This is most certainly true in higher education. This case explores the underutilization of information technology in higher education administration and looks at whether higher education administration is ready for the new information age.

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