The beginning of the end of the era for paper documents has begun for the Registrar’s office. The Banner Document Manager project aims to improve the office’s services and maintain security.
Registrar Marisa Darby said: “BDM is the new system we have for the maintenance of all student records. No more paper files, everything is scanned and stored electronically. Imagine a physical filing cabinet, but in the cloud. Less paper creates less opportunity for things to be misplaced. We can research a file with just a few keystrokes versus going through physical files.”
The initial cause for the shift is growing space constraints in the Registrar’s office, although the project provides other benefits as well.
Darby said: “As an office that must keep some documentation beyond a student’s matriculation it was becoming an arduous task. We wanted something effective, efficient, and safe. It is our responsibility to not only maintain, but protect the data you share with us. Therefore, finding something that could help us do that was and remains a priority for our office.”
The Office of the Registrar plans to upload each class’ files in order until all student files are electronic. Currently, the files of the class of 2023 are being uploaded to BDM. Next will be the class of 2024. Student worker Michael Roberts spent the past summer uploading the files for the class of 2025.
Roberts said, “Once these next two classes are uploaded, BDM will be fully [operational] for all our current students.”
Some of the forms that are constantly uploaded to BDM include course change forms, major declaration forms, permission to transfer credit forms, withdrawal forms and others.
Roberts said, “We’re constantly keeping an electronic database up to date with all our current files.”
The project of uploading the files of current and active students into BDM is expected to last about two years.
Roberts said: “We have to — as each class graduates — upload their files as a whole class and that’s an exhaustive process. In terms of when we will be done, it’s a constant process, because as people turn in new forms, we have to upload them to BDM.”
In addition to documents already submitted, the Registrar’s Office is working on digitizing at least 75% of its forms so that they can be filled out from anywhere. A new system for degree auditing is in the works as well, allowing students to more easily track their academic progress. “We are currently training and working hard to get this launched,” Darby said.
For some forms, such as the “withdrawal from all courses form,” several signatures are required in order to notify all the appropriate parties, and the process can sometimes be time consuming.
Roberts said: “What this current [electronic] form does is, as soon as you submit that form, it’ll automatically [notify] all of the necessary people and let them know that this student is withdrawing. All of the relevant offices will know as soon as they turn that form in, instead of having a process where you have to walk around, get all the signatures and then come back to us.”
The Registrar’s office is responsible for the monumental task of managing all student records, and BDM is another way to assist in that. “There are a lot of projects in the works right now, whether it be trying to make registration easier for freshmen [or] making it easier to get holds off of your account. We’re trying to make [the process] easier for us and the people who are registering,” Student worker Gabrielle Nix, a sophomore business major, said.