1. Continue with upgrades of Banner, bringing self-service Banner to version 9.0. Where it makes sense, use Banner 9 self-service to enable more mobile-based services for students and faculty through the UGA mobile app (strategic goal #2).
Strategic Directions and Priorities for 2021-2022
Recent Progress Towards 2025 Strategic Goals
Work on this project continues. Banner 9 services have been released for financial aid and are testing for other critical functions such as class registration, student accounts, faculty grading, etc. Mobile app development continues, working closely with the undergraduate student government association. Most of the 2020 additions to the UGA mobile app revolved around pandemic practices and changes. As a new SGA takes office, we once again will begin planning to make Banner-based transactions available through the UGA mobile app, consistent with their direction.
2. Begin ramping up support for the University's next regional accreditation review. Work with the President's Office, the Provost's Office, and the various accreditation committees to provide data and decision-support as appropriate and helpful (strategic goal #4).
Through the Office of Institutional Research, we have increased the number of staff working to support accreditation and provide, as requested, data and analysis to support this critical work. The need for DawgCheck this year has stretched OIR’s resources, but this is a temporary condition that will go away sometime in FY22.
3. Implement the Google Apps for Education suite for higher education, enabling new tools for students, faculty, and employees to collaborate more effectively. Begin with piloting the suite with areas where this makes the greatest sense (strategic goals #1, #2, #3).
We have released Google Apps for Education to the university community, and students, faculty, and staff have created several thousand accounts. We have realigned staff to provide additional planning and community support for releasing additional features.
4. Complete the requirements gathering and develop a plan of action to implement the PeopleSoft Careers platform for the University of Georgia. Through this shared-service with other USG institutions, ensure that the platform is designed and implemented to reduce the overall administrative burden (strategic goal #4).
This project was deferred due to the pandemic. A meeting with USG to begin devising a revised timeline was held on March 9th. Given budget reductions and UGA HR's confidence in their existing solution, this project may be deferred long-term.
5. Complete the on-going infrastructure projects related to the University's core network and its next-generation wireless network system. Ensure that we proactively take steps to support research-intensive areas that require wireless capabilities, particularly for the "Internet of Things" (strategic goal #3).
This work continues. In 2020 we continued to roll out the University's next-generation wireless system. Given the desire to increase the time outside, we are rolling out this system into the outdoor green spaces on North Campus and around the Tate Student Center. Additionally, we are completing the proof of concept work necessary to upgrade our departmental, data center, and edge firewall services. We have also funded the first phase of renewing building connection routers, enabling greater bandwidth across campus.
6. Develop additional skills and competencies within EITS to support web-application performance testing. Use those new internal capabilities to ensure that recent (2019) performance problems with applications do not recur in the future (strategic goal #6).
We have developed these skills and have licensed tools necessary to stress test Web applications before their critical functions release. Systems such as Athena, eLC, SSO, and others performed exceptionally well during this pandemic due to this stress testing. We are currently stress testing Web class registration to ensure that it performs as expected during the upcoming summer and fall 2021 class registration period.
7. Get out of implementation mode without Banner and PeopleSoft applications. As new features and services are released, ensure less disruption to the University's teaching, research, and service missions (strategic goal #6).
Though the pandemic presented challenges, it provided the Banner and PeopleSoft teams' opportunity to focus on core operational support. As a result, these systems – particularly PeopleSoft – experienced a year-long period of more stable use. Both Banner and PeopleSoft were critical to the University's ability to adapt quickly to the pandemic, whether it was accurately issuing $50m in fee refunds and $22m in emergency financial aid, ensuring tuition revenue through successful remote class registration, revising class schedules to accommodate the additional time between classes, or setting up and releasing a budget with two week's notice. The University's prior $87m investment in these systems was critical to its ability to operate successfully during the pandemic.
2025 Strategic Goal Focus for for 2021
- Fill several key vacancies resulting from the VRIP and several employees leaving to advance their careers, particularly in the network and network engineering areas. Use these vacancies as an opportunity to re-organize and reduce management overhead, if possible (strategic goals #5 and #6).
- Support the Office of the Registrar and Office of Financial Aid to complete a readiness assessment and develop a project plan to implement the CPOS (Course Program of Study) functionality in Banner and DegreeWorks. By the end of 2021, submit this plan and budget to the administration for approval (strategic goal #2).
- Support the University System of Georgia as it identifies and selects the next Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO. Once this individual is identified, work with them, and the system office to facilitate a strategic plan for the next release of USG shared ERP systems services (strategic goals #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6).
- Continue the University's network renewal plan, roll out next-generation wireless capabilities in key areas, and acquire and begin implementing the data center and departmental firewall upgrades (strategic goal #3).
Take the opportunity, post-pandemic, to collect data on University community satisfaction with core IT services. Administer the TechQual+ survey to students, faculty, and staff to collect IT service satisfaction data and make adjustments necessary to tweak services to improve satisfaction (strategic #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6).