The information system used by UFV staff and students is undergoing an update that is expected to take into 2019-2020 to complete. The upgrade is currently in its first phase.
Since October, UFV has been on both the old Banner 8 and the new Banner 9 systems as the IT staff work on completing the transition.
The system update is being carried out in multiple phases. The first phase encompasses technology and payroll department upgrades, which are scheduled to be completed before the end of this year. After the first phase, the Banner database upgrade will become available to students, faculty, academic administration, Office of the Registrar, and human resources. During 2019 and possibly through 2020, Banner 9 will become available for use to the entire UFV community.
According to Darin Lee, chief information officer at UFV, the reason for the change to Banner 9 is because Ellucian, the company that develops and markets Banner, is withdrawing support for outdated versions of Banner at the end of 2018. UFV must comply with the new regulations since the university relies on Banner for many important operations.
“Since the operations of UFV depend on Banner to manage finance, human resources, payroll, student admissions, registration, course scheduling, graduation, and many other critical functions, it is essential for UFV to have full vendor support to reduce risk and avoid disruptions,” Lee said over email.
The goal with the new system is to provide a more modern information system experience for students, staff, and faculty. Lee noted that the most significant change Banner users will notice is the new user interface. Administrative departments will see an upgrade from the older web page to a more modern and user-friendly website, which will incorporate a simpler way to navigate the site using Application Navigator. Banner 9 is expected to operate more effectively within multiple web browsers and it will also provide a better mobile device experience.
The new system will streamline UFV’s operations by reducing the amount of labour needed for manual processing, and will consequently provide more opportunities for self-service.
“Self-service features, such as those used by students to view their course registrations, timetable, and grades will get a face-lift too,” Lee said in an email.