March 24, 2010 by Louie Calderon @NMSU the online newsletter for NMSU staff and faculty.
New Mexico State University’s enterprise resource planning system, Banner, will make several more convenient features available to students and faculty with upgrades, which will be performed during Spring Break, March 25-28.
Some of the new features include enhancements in registration, financial aid and grading, some of which will cut back on the need for filling out paper forms.
“Due to the technology change and the need for a revised version of the system, we’re making the move from Banner 7 to Banner 8,” said Mrinal Virnave, director of Enterprise Application Services in Information and Communication Technologies.
Although not immediately useable, many of the features will be available after the upgrades. Testing and training of the new features will facilitate the transition for students and faculty from the old Banner system to the new one.
The online registration process on the current Banner system allows students to view when a course has reached capacity, prompting them to register for a different section or course. With the upgrades, students will now be allowed to add their name to a waiting list, which will inform them when a spot in the course re-opens.
The upgrades on the system will also cut back on paper forms in the Registrar’s Office. Students applying for graduation will now have the convenience of a full online application process.
NMSU’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services will now be able to automate financial aid packaging with the system upgrades. The new system will automatically determine eligibility of students for financial aid, a process that is currently conducted by hand.
Improvements with faculty grading throughout the semester will also be one of the new features in the new Banner system.
Upgrades on Banner are conducted regularly, but major upgrades such as this are usually performed every two to three years. Virnave said that with a considerable system upgrade such as this, there are only two opportunities during an academic calendar year to accomplish it-Spring Break and Winter Break.
The Banner upgrade will create outages that will affect students, faculty and staff. Several of the items that will be unavailable include hiring functions of the Student Employment System (SES Ventana), STAR Degree Audit, course lookup and Cognos reports, among others.
For a complete list of outages, visit http://wwweb.nmsu.edu/wiki/bin/view/Banner/BannerOutage.
For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ICT Help Desk at (575) 646-1840.