University launches Student Services Excellence Initiative

Image credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is launching a multiyear project to enhance the way it delivers student services in recruitment and admissions, registration, financial aid, billing, career services and alumni tracking, and advising.

Robert C. Lieberman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Daniel G. Ennis, senior vice president for finance and administration, said in a message to the university community that they were pleased to join with the deans of the university's academic divisions to launch the Student Services Excellence Initiative because "these services are such a fundamental part of our students' overall experience here."

During the first phase of the project, the SSEI committee will gather broad input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni through focus groups, surveys, and interviews. Lieberman and Ennis said, "We encourage everyone to share their thoughts on what works well and what needs to be improved. Your input and experiences will be critical."

Ultimately the project will result in the redesign and replacement of the current student information system, which is challenged by functional weaknesses and is quickly becoming outdated. Students pointed out a number of challenges with the system in a News-Letter editorial published in the fall. At that time, planning had begun for the student services initiative.

The effort will go beyond addressing technical concerns, Lieberman and Ennis said. "We are committed to prioritizing the experience of our users—our students first and foremost, but also our faculty and staff whose efforts support student experience and student outcomes—as we consider both process improvements and technology solutions that will enhance the university's delivery of student services moving forward."

The committee is particularly interested in finding ways to lower barriers to cross-divisional class registration and teaching programs.

The initiative will be guided by a steering committee co-chaired by Kevin G. Shollenberger, vice provost for student affairs, and Roy C. Ziegelstein, vice dean for education in the School of Medicine. The group will be asking for formal engagement by faculty, staff, students, and alumni through an advisory committee and several working groups focused on specific functional areas.

Individuals who have questions or comments can email the project team at SSEI-Project@jhu.edu.