UGA launches ConnectUGA project Oct. 25

The University of Georgia is making dramatic changes to the institution’s database infrastructure by implementing a new, integrated student information system over the next two years. The new system will replace the current multiple, 30-year-old database systems that students, faculty and staff use to access student information. ConnectUGA, the project name given to implement the Banner software for the new student information system, kicked off prior to the start of fall semester with training for staff charged with integrating the new system throughout several divisions across campus.

The Banner software, a product of Ellucian (formerly Datatel + SGHE), will bring student information under one inclusive system and will improve the way UGA conducts business with students with processes that fall under admissions, financial aid, registration, student accounts, advising, curriculum planning and grade reporting. Staff from within each of these units, including technical staff from EITS, are working closely with the Ellucian technical team to begin the rollout of the system in fall 2013, first with prospective students applying for fall 2014 undergraduate admission, then with the other phases rolling out over the following months through 2014. Completion of the ConnectUGA project and full implementation of the new student information system will be secured by 2015.

The integration of multiple systems will provide a single, authoritative source for information reporting; improve institutional planning and decision-making capabilities; and improve and expand services for students while at the same time providing a greater level of flexibility and ability to adapt quickly to future needs.

The most visible change will come with the replacement of the Online Access to Student Information System (OASIS). The new user friendly system will feature a web-based log-in using a UGA MyID in which students will be able to easily access their academic and financial aid records, access the course bulletin, register for classes and plan their college courses in one inclusive dashboard.

“UGA’s new student information system will bring together people, processes and technology into one integrated framework,” said Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction. “In addition to providing improved service for our students, it will also improve the process for data collection, which aids in our institutional reporting, planning, goal setting and decision-making.”

Jolly serves on the ConnectUGA project leadership team, along with Holley Schramski, associate vice president and controller in Finance and Administration; Chris Miller, associate provost for academic fiscal affairs; and Timothy Chester, chief project officer and vice president for information technology.

“Timely and accurate data has never been more important to us here at the University of Georgia,” said Chester. “When you look at the challenges we face, responding to them requires that all of our decision-makers have the most relevant, the most timely, and the most authoritative data available to them to inform their decision-making. The ConnectUGA project, at its core, is really about building better capacity for authoritative data. More importantly, it is about a system that will better serve our students, faculty and staff.”