UTSA Interim CIO to Lead Presentation on Moving DegreeWorks and Banner to the Cloud to Drive Student Success

October 16, 2017



Interim CIO Bryan Wilson

(UTSA Interim Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for IT Bryan Wilson)

Written by: Nicole Duff, Communications Specialist

Bryan Wilson, interim chief information officer and vice provost of Information Technology at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will serve as the guest speaker for a CIO Roundtable event on October 18 at UTSA. Ellucian, a leader in higher education student success software and the vendor for DegreeWorks, will host the event, which will unite executives from notable institutions across the U.S. to address the theme “Implementing Cloud Solutions.”

During the event, Wilson will offer attendees insights into the university's plan to move DegreeWorks, the degree planning and degree auditing tool and Banner, the student information system, from the university's infrastructure to the cloud. The cloud, an application hosting service powered by Ellucian, contains state-of-the-art technology through which the advising tool will be maintained and operated.

“The Office of Information Technology (OIT) was at a point where we needed to upgrade our hardware,” said Wilson. “Our philosophy every time we get to a decision point is to investigate our options. After reviewing our options, we realized that although hosting the cloud through Ellucian would cost us a little bit more than in-house, the benefits far outweigh the costs.”

The move to the cloud, therefore, reflects OIT’s commitment to delivering top-tier service with the mobile-first student in mind.

One of the main benefits of the transition is a more robust DegreeWorks user experience for UTSA students and Academic Advising. The cloud will enable Ellucian to monitor the platform around the clock, thereby ensuring optimal performance.

This will result in 24/7 access to DegreeWorks to further empower students as they personalize their degree plans with their advisors and ultimately promote use of the platform. As of spring 2017, the university saw an 80 percent adoption rate of the system.

“I think the reliability, and ability to dynamically increase our resources when there are peak times on the server system, is of paramount importance as we cannot afford down time,” Wilson explained. “During those peak periods, Ellucian will provide those computing resources. The system availability and reliability are crucial factors for student success.”

Currently, several higher education institutions including University of Notre Dame, Virginia State University and Arizona Western College have successfully adopted cloud technology. UTSA will join these and other institutions in moving to the cloud once the migration is complete by spring 2018.

“I am excited to talk about UTSA and what we are doing as it pertains to migrating to the cloud,” said Wilson. “I think UTSA is going to be a leader in having our student information system hosted and I want to share that experience with our peers.”

Along with Wilson’s presentation, the event will feature testimonials from current UTSA students, an alum and OIT staff regarding communications and student experiences with DegreeWorks. The event will culminate in a tour of the UTSA Main Campus including the VizLab. Attendees will also be able to network with peers from other institutions and learn about their experiences with cloud migration.

DegreeWorks is one of the student success technologies funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) grant.

- Nicole Duff


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