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Banner Environment Assessment

Summary

The Ellucian Banner environment implemented at MSU Denver supports all campus users. As the system of record for both student and financial transactions, the platform serves a range of functional areas, including Student Registration, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Advising, Admissions, Student Grading, Human Resources, Accounts Payable, Payroll, and other similar or related functions. The system is augmented by a suite of auxiliary systems which deliver additional functionality not available within the core product. Given the criticality of this system, it is incumbent upon the University to periodically review this solution to ensure it aligns with the organization's mission, business needs, and other state-of-the-art technologies.

Banner was first implemented 21 years ago to replace an aging mainframe that was not Y2K-compliant. The University has changed significantly since then, with increased enrollment, programs, staff, and facilities. Although the Banner environment has received multiple version updates since 1997-98, it has never been thoroughly reviewed, something MSU Denver does with its other major enterprise-level systems in 3-7 year cycles. In assessing the current environment, the University's goal is to ensure our primary institutional system is not only aligned with current objectives, but also positioned to support the evolving needs of MSU Denver for the next 5-10 years.

 

CampusWorks

This assessment will be led by CampusWorks Inc., a higher-education focused consulting organization which offers a range of strategic, technology, and operational services – and has performed similar assessments at comparable institutions. CampusWorks describes their approach as follows:

"At CampusWorks, we believe that student success should be at the heart of every decision. That's why we begin each engagement by listening. We bring together people from across your organization—students, faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders—to uncover the obstacles and challenges impeding student success. This collaborative approach, which is rooted in "systems thinking," creates a shared understanding of the project's strategic objectives and results in solutions that have institution-wide buy in and impact."

CampusWorks was selected through a Documented Quote, a competitive bidding process led by AHEC. A selection committee comprised of representatives from Student Affairs, Administration & Finance, and Information Technology Services reviewed the proposals, interviewed the finalists, and ultimately selected CampusWorks for this engagement.

 

Timeline

Based on initial planning discussions, we anticipate the project schedule to roughly reflect the following graphic:

Provider Selection: July-Sept 2019. Engagement Kickoff: Oct 2019. Onsite Discovery: Dec 9-13 2019. Research & Findings Preparation: Dec 19 - Jan 2020. Onsite Presentation of Recommendations: Feb 2020.

However, this schedule may change as the assessment progresses.

 

How to be Involved

This process can only succeed if it is inclusive. Numerous functional groups—representing students, faculty, and staff—will be engaged directly by the consultants in various planned sessions through the week of December 2nd. The following open sessions are also planned:

  • Trends in Higher Education Workshop: Monday, December 9, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., Tivoli 320
  • Student Experience Workshop: Monday, December 9, 1-4 p.m., Tivoli 320
  • Student Open Forum: Wednesday, December 11, 2-3 p.m., Admin Building 460
  • Faculty Open Forum: Thursday, December 12, 1-2 p.m., Admin Building 435

If you are planning to attend any of these open sessions, please RSVP so ITS can ensure adequate supplies and refreshments.

 

Results

The University has requested an independent, non-binding recommendation at the end of this assessment. While it is premature to speculate on potential outcomes, it is fair to say the range of possibilities include making no changes to the existing system, exploring alternate providers, or any of several steps in between. If significant changes are recommended, the MSU Denver community will jointly consider the recommendation, weighing organizational impact and benefit against the associated risks and costs.

 

Resources



 


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