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Manoa Faculty Senate Executive Committee Perspectives on Banner System Management Planning October 6, 2003

Summary

-- There are significant modifications to the Banner system that are needed to simply restore previous functionality of the Manoa student information system (see examples below)

-- The cost of (and schedule for implementing) repairs for these deficiencies is presently unknown

-- It is unclear whether addressing such deficiencies can be included in the original project implementation, can be supported by the ongoing maintenance phase, or both

-- New requirements will be identified over time, but not clear how many of these will be specific to Manoa

-- Given these uncertainties, it is difficult to say much about what would constitute Manoa's "fair share" of Banner maintenance and management

a Manoa may be better off paying a greater share and insisting on a guarantee that Manoa's needs will be addressed effectively arid efficiently, rather than minimizing its contribution

-- In any case, the management system has to be responsive to Manoa's needs in proportion to the resource burden it places on Manoa. This might be more likely if the Executive Administrator reports to the VPAA instead of the Council of Chancellors

-- An annual budget review process that ensures continuing responsiveness to Manoa's needs seems desirable

-- The "matrix management" approach proposed is highly appropriate given the complexity of the maintenance and management challenges

Examples of unmet Manoa requirements of Banner System

(Banner Response Notes From MWP/GEO Staff)

We are using a system student-information program so we need system coordination. We will never achieve our goal of students using a single interface to simultaneously registering at multiple UH campuses unless we have coordinated communication.

However, despite a common myUH Portal for the UH community, UH Manoa has needs that are specific to its campus. At a structural level, Banner must be changed to accommodate these needs. Currently, the Banner program is ill-suited to Manoa and its large staff and student body.

These needs require personnel with high-level technical expertise. Banner is a complex program and automating key features cannot be done easily.

Here are a few situations that make it appear that Banner is a step backward because the previous system had these features automated:

-- Office staff have to manually purge each student from enrollment records.

-- Office staff have to manually enter permission-to-register for every student eligible to enroll in a first-year writing course.

-- Graduate students taking one credit (e.g., dissertation research) can not modify their registration through myUH -- office staff intervention is required.

-- Faculty/staff have to print a tuition waiver form, bring it to the Dean's office for signature, and then stand in line at the Cashier's office to submit the form.

In each of these cases, UHM personnel have to stop their regular duties to deal with these situations. Unfortunately, these are not easy to solve. They require a detailed understanding of how the Banner program functions. Until UH Manoa has the personnel to correct these "backwards steps" office staff will repeatedly be diverted from their duties to perform manual entry of data, registration changes, etc. UHM offices are preparing to do manual entry for the next 2-3 years until someone has the time and the know-how to automate basic Manoa procedures.

Thus, to make Banner work at the Manoa campus, an investment needs to be made to solve these problems. Until then, the benefits of Banner will not be seen. Efficient use of resources and reallocation of personnel cannot occur until UH Manoa is at the point it was prior to Banner implementation. We look forward to reallocating resources to better serve students and the community but that is not possible at this time.

In sum, we do not yet understand how to fully use the technology. UH Manoa needs Banner staff devoted to Manoa so that we can start to look forward -- to use Banner to assist in institutional research, assessment efforts, and other important academic concerns. Manoa, with of 51.9% (hybrid) of UH system budget and headcount, should receive at least 50% of the attention of the system Banner staff The other campuses, because they are small and relatively simple in terms of Banner implementation, can share the remaining 50%. Otherwise, Manoa will continue to patch together procedures that get the job done but require extraordinary efforts by personnel. Right now, we are so busy manually entering data and generating our own reports that we cannot see the future.

NB. These are just examples generated by one office. There are likely to be others. A systematic survey of offices where staff is heavily reliant on Banner should be conducted to collect data about what needs to be fixed.


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