June 1, 2010
To: Members of the UMBC Community
From: Elliot Hirshman, Provost
Michael Busges, SA Project Director
Re: SA Next Steps
As we enter the next phase of the SA project implementation, we write to inform you of the creation of a new Academic Advisory Committee that will assist the SA team with identifying and prioritizing issues related to how faculty members, instructors and advisors interact with and use the SA system. The Committee will be comprised of faculty members and support staff from the academic departments and the deans’ offices. Members have been selected by the College Deans in consultation with the Provost and the President of the Faculty Senate.
As you know, we started the implementation of SA in July 2007 and concluded Phase I in December of 2009. While we have successfully implemented all five modules (Admissions, Records, Advising, Financial Aid, and Student Financials) and transitioned from the old SIS system to SA, we are aware that the initial implementation was only the first step in what we hope will be a continuous process of improving our administrative processes. For example, there are numerous functions delivered within SA that we did not implement in Phase One, but plan to implement in Phase Two. Examples would be "What-if" degree audits, assigning advisors, and reserve capacities within the schedule of classes. We are also cognizant that some of the existing functions, especially those related to usability of the portal interface for faculty members and advisors, should be enhanced.
To facilitate communication in the next phase of the implementation, we have revamped the SA website and created links to it from the Provost's strategic planning website. From both websites, faculty can directly enter suggestions for improvements to the SA system, log issues, monitor progress of initiatives that are underway, and peruse training material. Suggestions from members of the community will be reviewed by the Academic Advisory Committee and the Committee will guide the SA team as to the merit and desirability of the suggestions. The SA Team, in turn, will investigate feasibility and cost of the proposed improvements. Please visit the Provost’s strategic planning website at http://www.umbc.edu/provost/planning.html ; at the bottom of the page you will find links titled "Student Administration Phase II Faculty Website" and “Status of Faculty Issues”.
Finally, we would like to introduce and acknowledge the following members of our community who have agreed to serve on the SA Academic Advisory Committee:
Taryn Bayles (Professor of the Practice, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering)
Melanie Berry (Program Director, Visual Arts)
Cathy Bielawski (Director, Undergraduate Student Services, COEIT)
Michele Bulger (Academic Advisor, Biological Sciences)
Nessly Craig (Associate Professor, Biological Sciences)
Jonathan Finkelstein (Director, Judaic Studies & Associate Dean, CAHSS)
Jessica Hammond, Asst. Director, Athletics
Nathaniel Kim, Student Representative
Kristie Lindenmeyer (Professor & Chair, History)
Jeff Martens (Lecturer, Information Systems)
Carole McCann (Professor and Director, Gender & Women Studies)
Joe School (Cartographic Services Director, Geography & Environmental Systems)
Anna Shields (Associate Professor & Director, Honors College)
John Stolle-McAllister (Associate Professor, Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication)
Terry Worchesky (Associate Professor, Physics)