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UB 2020

University at Buffalo's strategic plan

Student Services Transformation Updates

Past Campus Community Updates

September 2010

The team is excited to be moving into the second phase of our Campus Community go-live.  Starting this October, UB Applicants will have access to their Student Center in UBSIS through MyUB.  We are preparing for this change with new security roles as well as training for UB staff who will be supporting questions from new applicants.

Campus Community is already live in production, with Biological and Demographic data (or bio-demo for short) available to users.  The next phase beginning in October will enlarge the audience to include UB Applicants as well as Student Response Center Staff.  An interface that shares the bio-demo data across the systems will reduce the need for students and staff to re-enter the same basic data multiple times, thereby reducing errors.

In the upcoming months, we will be developing our access to UBSIS for continuing UB students,   including the development of training and documentation for students and the staff that provide services to students. 

July 2010

Much of the information for campus community updates is similar to admissions information, as the teams have been closely collaborating to ensure the system is well-integrated.

The Campus Community team is finalizing go-live documentation.  Much of this content was generated through summary comments from user acceptance testing.  We are currently working closely with the admissions team to support “train the trainer” sessions to ensure that stakeholders have a clear understanding of how to use the new UBSIS.

The most consuming task this month has been the three types of testing we’ve been engaged in:  Conversion (aligning data from the old system into the new system), User Acceptance Testing (making sure the features all function as planned) and Integration testing (ensuring that that the entire system functions as designed using models that predict how the system will function after the August go-live.

June 2010

The Campus Community team has been working very closely with the Portal (MyUB) team to ensure that we’re ready for the August go-live.  One of the concerns expressed from stakeholders has been how students and faculty will find information during the transition from legacy systems to UBSIS. During the spring 2011 semester, information for fall 2010 and spring 2011 will be in legacy, while information for summer and fall 2011 will be in UBSIS. Communication to all stakeholders – faculty, staff and students - through MyUB will be the key.

Today, students must call or visit the Student Response Center (SRC) to manage many of their questions or transactions (such as paying invoices or checking on financial aid). In the future, most of these functions will be facilitated online through MyUB self-service features that will offer new levels of anytime-anywhere convenience. The UBSIS Student Center will serve as an online home base for all self-service functions such as viewing application information, admission status, billing details and planning an academic career several months or years in advance; as well as receiving grades for those classes afterwards. Students will be able to personalize and update their Student Center information online, significantly reducing the amount of paperwork and forms, often managed through traditional snail mail.

These changes will have significant and positive impacts, facilitating communications between UB students and administrative staff. It is anticipated that the amount of detail that will be soon be available to students will change the types of questions directed to the SRC. Obviously many new questions will arise and still require a conversation to resolve, but students will no longer be required to seek real time help to understand billing details, holds (service indicators) or other types of information that was not easily related through traditional (paper-based) means. Instead, SRC staff and others who provide services to students should be able to devote their time to meaningful, quality conversations with students and their parents. An additional benefit is that shifting to more self-service supports UB’s commitment to going green and reducing our carbon footprint by relying on secure electronic communications instead of paper.

April 2010

Campus Community, the heart of the new UBSIS common information, is in full swing of business process redesign, with only four months to go until “go live.”  In August, Campus Community information will be available in UBSIS for applicants for the summer and fall 2011 semesters.

The Campus Community Team has been actively engaged in offering presentations to many groups around campus and seeking feedback while working on BPR (business process redesign). One of the items we talk about is terminology changes.  The new system, UBSIS (University at Buffalo Student Information System) uses terms that are different than those we’ve traditionally used here at UB.  One example is that “Check stops” will be called “Service Indicators.”  Other terminology changes can be found in our UBSIS Glossary, which is at:   The UBSIS Glossary will keep changing as we find more terms that require definition.

For some of these concepts, not only the terminology is changing.  We will also have additional functionality in UBSIS.  Take our previous example of Service Indicators.  We can use UBSIS Service Indicators to duplicate our current checkstop functionality, but we can also do much more.  Service Indicators aren’t limited to a single-digit field, so we can have a larger quantity of Service Indicators.  When placing a Service Indicator, it can be date ranged or made effective at some date in the future.  Service Indicators can even be positive.  For example, departments may use a positive Service Indicator for good academic standing within a student’s major.  Additionally, when students log on to view their Service Indicators, they can see much more information on the reason that a process is on “hold” and what they can do to resolve it.  We hope that this will result in fewer phone calls from students regarding how they can remove holds on their registration. 

This increased flexibility of Service Indicators requires us to work together to determine appropriate use for Service Indicators at UB.  We’ve been working with the Campus Community Advisory Group on developing guidelines for Service Indicators and outlining a process for requesting a new Service Indicator.  These guidelines and processes will be shared at the UBSIS training sessions.

November 2009

Campus Community is continuing our conversion efforts. We completed a round of conversion testing with the help from members of the UB community. We are now reworking the conversion to ensure complete accuracy. We have also involved many in on the campus with the beginning of our list of Functional Design documents to be written for our interfaces and customizations. Several of the documents have been written, many more are in the wings waiting to be done.

Our Campus Community Advisor Groups has met several times. The members represent many areas of the university to assist in decision making and communication with their areas as we continue forward with our build and implementation of the Campus Community module. A major accomplishment of this group so far has been the creating of a Value Change Process document which will guide the project and the group in adding new values to the module as requested by the core team or interested university groups post go live.

In the coming new year we will continue to develop our Functional Design documents as well as continue our business process redesign opportunities.

August 2009

Campus Community is continuing to complete our tasks and meet our module milestones. Our initial configuration is done in the PeopleSoft system. We have completed our modeling of the initial configuration with help from members of the UB community. We are now compiling the group’s feedback.

As part of our validation of our initial configuration, we just wrapped up a service indicators workshop (Checkstops). Since this is an item that involves many in our university community, we invited all offices that have Checkstop access to attend. Overall, the workshop was quite successful with more than 40 offices/departments in attendance and many great discussions as well.

As we finish up our conversion plans and documents, we will be reaching out to many sections of the university community to present our research and decisions, and to receive feedback to validate our findings.

So be on the lookout for Campus Community; we will soon be coming to a venue near you.

May 2009

Welcome! We would like to take this opportunity to update everyone on the progress of the Campus Community module of the Student Services Transformation Project. My goal is to continue to give you and other interested parties monthly updates around this module and project.

Marsha Gottovi and I joined Steve Woodward as the leads on this team in January; amazingly enough we are now beginning May and so much has been accomplished at this point. We are winding down our initial configuration of Campus Community and HR tables. Many of you were instrumental in assisting us with feedback and we thank you for that. We have also begun the conversion and security processes which have been going well so far.

As we continue in our building of Campus Community in PeopleSoft as Subject Matter Experts and Core Team members, you will be contacted to provide critical information, to attend functional team meetings and brain-storming sessions. These activities are necessary to continue preparing our legacy data for conversion and testing, to assess our current business processes, and to make adjustments when required. Because of your expertise, we rely on your feedback and attention so that this transition is successful. I look forward to continue working with you as we progress with the PeopleSoft implementation.

Thank you for all you have done so far and in advance for all you will be doing to make this transition not only successful but exceptional.

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