Offers Host of New Services
Mary Fiess (September 12,
a click of a mouse, UAlbany faculty, staff, and students now
have access to a host of new services online via the University’s
June 16, My UAlbany – the name selected for the new online
services – went live, launching a new era in how Univer sity
business is conducted.
now register for classes online, faculty now submit grades
online, and staff across the University now manage many more
records through an integrated online system. Faculty can readily
access up-to-the-minute class rosters and information to assist
them in advising students. Students can easily view their
academic records, check financial aid and billing information,
and update their personal information.
the first day of fall classes, the number of class registrations
conducted online totaled 35,400, including registrations for
summer classes. Faculty entered more than 4,000 grades for
summer courses,” reported Chief Information Officer Christine
Haile. “So far we are very pleased with how the system is
functioning and how the University community is putting it
to work. Enormous credit goes to the literally hundreds of
staff who worked on this project.”
launch of MyUAlbany is the latest and most significant step
in a process that began in 1997 when the University decided
to move to a Web-based records system to streamline and improve
student services and administrative operations.
had many separate systems of record-keeping – for example,
SIRS (Student Information Records System), financial aid,
students accounts – that didn’t talk to one another. That
situation meant duplication of work by staff across the campus
and, of course, meant that students often had to go to different
offices to get information they wanted,” noted Marybeth Salmon,
director of University Applications Development, who was hired
by the University to implement a whole new Integrated Administrative
System – as the project is known.
University purchased PeopleSoft software, which is used by
many higher education institutions, and then began the complex
process of making it work for the University at Albany. PeopleSoft
“offers many choices” about how records are set up and managed,
and the Uni ver sity needed to analyze its old systems and
processes and decide how PeopleSoft software would be implemented
to integrate and streamline those processes, said Salmon.
by piece, construction of the new system proceeded. By 2001,
three parts – the processing of undergraduate and graduate
applications; a new human resources records system that incorporated
self-service reporting of leave by University employees; and
“all funds reporting” – went live. The new Web-based system
for student applications gave admissions staff new tools to
better track and manage applications; all funds reporting
gave account managers up-to-the-minute summaries of budget
allocations, expenditures, encumbrances, and balances.
launch of MyUAlbany this summer marked the completion of the
new student records system that replaces SIRS.
moved the records of 79,000 students (students enrolled at
the University since 1998) and 1.2 million enroll ments (all
courses for which students registered since 1998) into the
new system,” said Salmon.
sessions, offered by UAlbany’s Information Technology Services
(ITS), began last spring and are continuing this fall to assist
faculty and staff in using the new system. A complete schedule
is available through the new ITS Web site at: http://www.albany.edu/its/.
new system has tremendous capabilities which we are just beginning
to tap,” says Haile. “As we make the transition from our old
systems to this new one, I think it’s important to remember
that we spent many years refining our old systems to get them
to do exactly what we wanted. It will take some time for us
to fully realize the potential of our new system, but it is
undoubtedly already providing us with new tools to better
serve our University community.”