The university has been able to convert the space previously occupied by records into more office space— something they desperately needed.
In 2006, the University of West Alabama (UWA) was still operating with their original mainframe system, but it was becoming evident it could not handle their growing needs. Its diminishing capabilities were soon replaced with a new enterprise resource planning system, Colleague by Ellucian, which led the school to look for a digital imaging system for electronic document management.
“Softdocs had the best bang for the buck, and since they had integrated with Colleague, we didn’t have to jump through extra hoops to get those two systems to work together.”
The Financial Aid and Purchasing oﬀices were the first to use Softdocs, but reducing the amount of paper files within its departments was their priority. Softdocs’ Records Conversion team assisted in scanning a large portion of records to establish a more manageable number of filing cabinets. Now, 90 percent of document scanning is completed by student workers.
Enrollment numbers have doubled in the past decade, causing an increase in the amount of student paper-
work. Some of this growth resulted from oﬀering online classes. Currently, 60 percent of UWA’s students
are enrolled in distance education for online classes and the other 40 percent are on campus.
“Because we oﬀer associates, bachelors, masters and educational specialist degrees, you could spend ten years going to school here. Students could have a Financial Aid folder that is three or four inches thick by the time they graduate,” said George.