We spend much time here at Ball State talking about technological advances and the tremendous changes they bring to our world. Our students, who grew up with nearly unlimited Web access, now text on their smart phones much more frequently than they send or receive e-mails. Our Emerging Media Initiative (EMI) includes cutting-edge projects such as examining how the use of real-time data, organized by neighborhood, can lead to more effective distribution of social services.We want to achieve the same goals here on our own campus as with our EMI partners, and the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system reflects that. How do we react to changes in the ways our constituents receive information—and anticipate how those methods will change in the future? How do we integrate our various sources of information to provide better service to our students, prospective students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, donors, and other constituents?After much evaluation, deliberation, hard work, and careful financial planning, we selected SunGard Higher Education Inc. to be Ball State’s partner in this process. More than 400 faculty and staff provided input during the rigorous process that ultimately led to our selection of SunGard and its Banner Digital Campus product. Over the next 30 months, we will be deploying components of Banner Digital Campus for managing finance, human resources, student services, and financial aid. Rest assured that we will provide training not just for those responsible for the processes affected, but also for the faculty, staff, students, and other constituents who interact with the new systems.As each system comes online, we will be more able to collaborate and share information across divisional lines. As you all know, the hallmark of a Ball State education is immersive learning which brings together teams of students and faculty mentors from across disciplines to solve real-world problems. Banner Digital Campus will allow us to apply that same interdisciplinary philosophy to managing the institution, sharing data and working together more closely across the university’s core functions to offer improved experiences for every person who interacts with Ball State.Our goal is to develop and implement a system that meets the needs and expectations of our constituents. We must critically examine our processes and policies so we achieve real integration, the kind that greatly increases efficiency, consistency, and speed. We must develop and use better tools to make informed and timely decisions. And we must make our changes comprehensive and lasting. I pledge my continued support to this important work and offer my heartfelt thanks for your efforts.
Sincerely,Jo Ann M. Gora, President
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