What is the Banner Project?
The Banner Project will replace the University’s current SCT Plus administrative system with SCT Banner over several years and will involve all areas of the University. Elements of the system that will be replaced or upgraded include the University’s current systems for:
- Student Records;
- Degree Audit;
- Payroll; and
- Human Resources and Benefits Management.
Why is the University replacing the current administrative system?
Implemented on campus in 1985, SCT Plus works and complies with all current regulations, but is based on older technology that makes it expensive to operate and difficult to enhance. Use and support for SCT Plus is also dwindling. Remaining SCT Plus campuses are either planning the replacement of SCT Plus or implementing a more current system. Because support for SCT Plus will discontinue in the coming years, now is the time to implement a more current, cost-effective and user-friendly system that more readily supports the University.
How and why did the University select SCT Banner?
The University began actively examining SCT Plus replacement options following the approval of the University’s Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan in 2003. Focus groups of representatives from Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology met to develop requirements and consider system alternatives, and met with representatives from Datatel, PeopleSoft and SCT to learn about potential replacements.
By Spring 2004, the University developed formal criteria for selecting an SCT Plus system. The new system would be:
- a recognized leader in higher education administrative systems;
- an integrated system, combining student records, financial records, human resource management and payroll;
- based on state-of-the-art and readily supported database technology; and
- a mature system, with a minimum of 25 complete installations in the configuration proposed by the vendor. (This specific criteria served to eliminate vendors who were not well-established in the higher education arena.)
In July 2004, a cross-functional Administrative Selection Task Team developed a formal Request for Proposals (RFP). Throughout the summer, subgroups developed specific user requirements. A comprehensive vendor review determined that two vendors — PeopleSoft and SCT— met all of the University’s requirements.
In December 2004, PeopleSoft and SCT provided the University with proposals. Each proposal detailed the estimated cost of acquiring and implementing the proposed systems and operating the proposed systems for five years following implementation. SCT’s proposal for the SCT Banner system was several million dollars less than the PeopleSoft proposal. The University continued negotiations with both vendors for months to come to the “best and final” pricing for the two systems. During negotiations, PeopleSoft was acquired by another organization, making it likely that some of its components would become obsolete.
The Administrative Selection Task Team recommended the move to SCT Banner in April 2005, and its acquisition was approved in June 2005 by the University’s Board of Regents.
SCT Banner was selected because:
- The SCT Banner system has the most developed and comprehensive student and financial aid systems.
- The cost of implementing and maintaining SCT Banner was several million dollars less than the cost of PeopleSoft.
- SCT is recognized as a leading provider of higher education administrative systems.
- Many of Seton Hall University’s peer institutions currently run SCT Banner, including Boston College, the College of New Jersey, Fairfield University, Montclair State University, New York University, Providence College, St. Johns University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Scranton and Villanova University.
- In November 2005, Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading provider of technology research and analysis, published an Industry Research Report on higher education administrative systems supporting SCT Banner.
What are the benefits of SCT Banner?
Because SCT Banner relies on new, cutting-edge technology, it has many benefits. Specifically, Banner provides:
- the University with the data it needs to achieve the strategic goals outlined in the Sesquicentennial Strategic Agenda of 2003. Specifically, it will help the University pool data and achieve greater data analysis and decision support to address enrollment and retention, strengthen stewardship opportunities, make the most efficient use of the resources that are available to us and foster a culture of assessment and accountability.
- greater access to institutional data afforded. The current system has limited security, which means that deans/department chairs with student information access are able to access that information for any student. As a result, current access to student information is very limited. In Banner, department chairs might have access to student records only for students in their departments, and deans only to students in their school/college.
- data analysis tools that are more convenient and powerful than those available in the current system. To extract data from SCT Plus requires significant programming skills: Extracting data from SCT Banner can be done through a convenient menu-based system available through any standard Web browser. The data warehousing capabilities of Banner will also enable easier data analysis, again using a menu-based system.
- the opportunity to streamline business processes. The University’s current hiring, payroll, and procurement processes are paper intensive, requiring forms that need to be reviewed and approved by multiple departments, which can be cumbersome and time consuming. Banner enables this process to take place electronically.
- students the ability to enter and update their own personal information via the Web.
- employees the ability to enter their time sheets via the Web, and enables managers to approve time sheets, requisitions, personnel requests and complete other important approval processes online.
- decision makers real-time access to institutional information, such as class enrollments and departmental budgets, reducing reliance on shadow systems.
- the opportunity for scanned documents to be attached to student and employee records, reducing the need for paper files.
- the opportunity to target and personalize communications to current and prospective students and alumni, allowing for more effective recruitment and retention.
When will SCT Banner be implemented?
Banner will be implemented in phases. The projected “go live” dates for the major modules are as follows:
- Admissions and Recruitment – August 2006 (complete)
- Student Catalogue, Course Schedule and Financial Aid – February 2007
- Academic History and Registration – March 2007
- Student Accounts Receivable– June 2007
- Finance and Housing – July 2007
- Student Degree Audit and Advising – August 2007
- SCT Luminis/Student Portal – Fall 2007
- Human Resources/Payroll – January 2008
During the 2007-08 academic year, focus will shift to improving and streamlining business processes, as well as taking advantage of all that Banner SCT offers.
When will I receive Banner training?
If you currently use FRS, SIS, ADS, HRS or any of the other programs within the current system or have filled out a paper form, your life will be touched by Banner. Two types of training are offered: one for system developers and one for end users.
System developers receive extensive technical training six months to a year prior to the “go-live” date. A development team comprising representatives from the functional areas responsible for the module will then complete the implementation and configuration of the module.
Training for module users (e.g., deans, directors, department chairs and staff) takes place one to two months before that module’s “go-live” date. End-user training will be ongoing, with courses available to new employees and those who want to brush up. Advanced courses will be available for those who want to learn how to make the most of Banner for their particular area.
How is the Banner Project organized?
The Banner Project is led by a Banner Steering Committee comprising members from Academic Affairs, Enrollment Services, Finance and Technology, Human Resources, and Student Affairs. The Project Management Team, led by Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D., chief information officer, is charged with developing the implementation plan and ensuring the Banner Project meets its objectives on time and within budget.
Implementation of each major Banner module is led by the following team leaders:
- Finance: Susanne Kunigelis, Director of Financial Systems
- Human Resources and Payroll: Mary Jane Hudson, Director of Human Resources IT
- Student: Warren Lord, Banner Student Implementation Team Leader
- Financial Aid: Lasaundra Floyd, Banner Financial Aid Implementation Team Leader
- Data Standards and Integrity: Michael Garcia, Director of Internal Audit
- IT Infrastructure: Matthew Stevenson, IT Architect,
- Operation Data Store and Enterprise Data Warehouse: Bob Vignes, Director of Administrative Computing
- Luminis Student Portal: Nancy Mustachio, Director of Web Services
- Web Design: Rob Brosnan, Director of Web and Digital Communications
- Ancillary Systems: Mary Goff, Director of Transaction Card Services
I’ve been invited to a three-day training session, and I’m not sure it’s the right session for me. What should I do?
Discuss the training schedule, agenda and prerequisites with the team leader in charge of your module training. He or she can help you determine what sessions are appropriate for you.