WPI Retires Banner and Honors Retirees’ Contributions


Information Technology

Since Fall 1989, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has used Banner by Ellucian as its higher education Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and its Banner Student Information System (Oracle) database for maintaining student records and information. But when all operational processes were transitioned out of Banner into modern and more user-friendly systems (e.g., Workday, Salesforce, PowerFAIDS), the need to retire Banner became a priority.

“Maintaining and upgrading Banner was not fiscally responsible as it was no longer used for day-to-day operations,” said Vijay Menta, VP of Information Technology and CIO. “It was critical that WPI mitigate any compliance and security risk caused by having decades of historic institutional data in an unsupported system.”

Retiring Banner required an intimate understanding of how the system had functioned at WPI for the last 34 years, and most importantly, the data that the application managed. To support this initiative, Information Technology (IT) was fortunate to retain the services of retirees, David Galvin, former Banner ERP Administrator, and Roger Donahue, former Oracle Database Administrator.

As members of IT, Dave and Roger implemented Banner at WPI in 1989, then continued supporting and customizing the system, ensuring it evolved to meet the needs of WPI users. Their experience and knowledge were critical to the success of the project, and after “retiring” in 2020, both agreed to continue consulting on Banner as part of a cross-functional team. The team ensured that all historic data needed for compliance and reporting purposes was converted and secured in systems accessible by WPI stakeholders before decommissioning the remaining Banner hardware.

Dave will celebrate 50 years with WPI on April 23, 2023, and Roger will celebrate more than 38 years with WPI as this project comes to a close.  Please join us at an Open House honoring their contributions and the achievements of the Banner Retirement Project team to be held at Higgins House on Thursday, April 20th, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, with remarks to be presented at 3:30pm.

PreviewRoger Donahue and David Galvin standing near Banner server.