Campus News

Student information, financial aid systems to undergo overhaul

Jere Morehead

UGA officials will move forward with a plan to overhaul the university’s student information and financial aid systems using SunGard Higher Education’s Banner products. 

Provost Jere Morehead made the announcement earlier this month at a meeting with the project steering team that has worked for the past year to determine the best course of action to address ongoing problems with the university’s legacy systems.

Team members represented various campus units—among them admissions, the registrar’s office, financial aid and student services—as well as the Educational Affairs Committee of University Council and the Student Government Association. The team worked with Collegiate Project Services, a consulting firm that specializes in helping higher education institutions evaluate and select technology options. 

Banner is the student information product used by the rest of the institutions in the University System of Georgia and is supported by board of regents’ contracts. 

“After assessing how the Banner system could fit with UGA’s needs and practices, President Adams and I—along with senior vice presidents Tim Burgess and Tom Landrum—are confident that this is the correct decision for the university,” Morehead said. “We deeply appreciate the careful thought and considerable time devoted to discussions and deliberations by the project steering team that got us to this point.”

The new system will be implemented as a multi-year, phased-in project, led by a four-person team that includes Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction; Holley Schramski, associate vice president and controller, Finance and Administration; Chris Miller, associate provost for academic fiscal affairs; and Timothy Chester, UGA’s chief information officer, who also will serve as the chief project officer. 

“Many of the most pressing challenges in higher education today are information resource challenges,” said Chester. “This includes what I would refer to as the challenges of broadening access to and the accessibility of a higher education, as well as deepening the impact of learning. Moving forward with this implementation will support the university’s efforts in these areas as well as provide modern, Web-based access to important student processes such as class registration. While these types of projects can be among the most difficult technology projects undertaken in higher education, I believe that UGA is ready and I can’t wait to begin this work.”

The next step will be a series of discussions to be held around campus—some open sessions, as well as some focused meetings with specific groups.  A schedule will be announced in the next few weeks.  A project website also will be made public. 

“This is an ‘all-in’ proposition, which means that all units involved with student information at UGA will be included in this system,” Morehead said. “We are committed to everyone being on board.”