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UB 2020

University at Buffalo's strategic plan

News and Progress

Student services project on track

Published February 25, 2011

“Our goal is to free them (SRC staff) up to deal with more complex and critical student needs—not ‘which forms am I missing?’ but ‘how can I afford college?’” she says. ”
Kara Saunders, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

The Student Services Transformation (SST) project is on track for a 2011 rollout of UB’s new Student Information System, renamed the HUB, the Web-based software program that will integrate the university’s student services systems, including academic advising, admissions, course registration, financial aid, student accounts, grading and transcripts.

The HUB, part of the IT Transformation initiative of UB 2020, is giving UB students a “one-stop,” online student center that provides easy access to student information and services, including student account transactions, course enrollment and checkstop status.

Kara Saunders, assistant vice provost for undergraduate education and member of the SST project management team, says she’s excited by the progress of the SST project. “We’re getting a few more rooms unpacked,” she says, comparing the SST project, under way since 2007, to moving into a new house.

Staff members responsible for processing admissions applications and scheduling classes have been using the new system since August. Domestic (U.S.) applicants seeking undergraduate admission to UB for the summer and fall of 2011 are now able to access the system to view the status of their applications.

Saunders says that students are able to access the HUB to apply for financial aid and register for classes. Faculty members are also able to use the system to see their class lists as students register.

The goal is to have the HUB fully implemented by next summer, she adds.

Students are able to access the HUB through the MyUB information portal. Saunders predicts that providing students with a self-service portal to transact these services will greatly reduce the number of calls made to the Student Response Center and other offices that typically are students’ first points of contact.

“Our goal is to free them (SRC staff) up to deal with more complex and critical student needs—not ‘which forms am I missing?’ but ‘how can I afford college?’” she says.

The HUB is supported by PeopleSoft’s student information software platform, Campus Solutions, the benefits of which include improved functionality and flexibility, as well as commonality with hundreds of other universities using the software, Saunders explains. She notes her team can get real-time answers to software questions through a shared online forum for higher-education users. “We didn’t realize at first just how helpful this coordination would be,” she says.

Faculty also are encouraged to engage students in the SST process by developing class lessons around the HUB, especially as it pertains to marketing, computer systems, organizational management or other relevant topics.

“We’d like people to understand that this can be an educational pursuit,” Saunders says.



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