CMU paid IT group $335K in additional funds for work on cmich.edu redesign
Central Michigan University paid more than $335,000 in additional funds to Blue Chip Consulting Group for work on the school’s new website.
According to documents provided to Central Michigan Life Friday by Roger Rehm, Vice President of the Office of Information Technology, and University President George Ross, CMU paid the Ohio-based IT consulting firm $886,605 for its services on the recently relaunched cmich.edu. The cost is a 61 percent increase from the $550,000 price tag Rehm said in November would be paid to Blue Chip.
Since November, CM Life has published several stories and editorials citing the $550,000 cost but was never contacted by university officials to correct the figure.
“I think there have been a number of miscommunications about the project and reflecting back within all the various things that have gone on, I feel that some of them are my fault,” Rehm said Friday in an interview with the CM Life Editorial Board.
According to the documents, CMU paid Blue Chip $534,500 for intranet consulting services, $190,000 for internet consulting services, $16,305 for travel, $45,800 for “change orders” and $100,000 for launch transition support.
The total cost of the project, which includes the purchasing of additional software, was $956,950. According to the documents, CMU allocated $1.5 million for the redesign, saving more than $500,000.
Additionally, CMU signed a 3-year, $843,876 contract with Southfield-based Secure-24 last year to host the university’s student, financial and human resources systems.
Ross sent out an email Friday afternoon to faculty and staff with costs of the project.
“In hindsight, we proactively should have provided as much of this information as was available in October, rather than releasing only that which was requested,” Ross wrote in the email. “Today … we did our best to address this. It’s how we resolved this spring to communicate, and it’s what all of you can expect from us as we move forward.”
The redesigned cmich.edu launched April 9, eight months behind schedule, along with iCentral, a portal housing student resources such as email, scheduling and grades. The launch was met immediately with negative feedback from faculty and students.
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