Boise State University Enhances Staff and Student Wellbeing with a Quick Implementation of StarRez

Discover how Boise State University offers better services to students and quality of life updates for staff after implementing the StarRez platform.
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Key Highlights

Simplified Processes

Eliminating the need for third-party systems.

Seamless Experiences

For students and staff using the Portal.

Optimized Billing

With a powerful integration between StarRez and PeopleSoft.

Boosted Accountability

With transparent insight into change logs and system monitoring.

Boise State University
Pacific Northwest, USA
Higher Education
Active Since
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Boise State University is a public research university in Boise, Idaho. Founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, it became an independent junior college in 1934. From research and academic programs to overall campus growth, Boise State strives to re-imagine higher education and provide a leading education to students. With a population of over 26,000 students from more than 60 foreign countries, Boise State houses 3,200 of those students in on-campus traditional, suite-style, and apartment-style residences. With a growing need for on-campus housing accommodations, the University plans to open a brand new 450-bed incoming student residence hall in 2025.

With Change Being a Cultural Norm, Boise State Sought New Ways to Improve Student and Staff Experiences

As their community grows year after year, Boise State University strives to deliver academic and personal excellence to their students. As an extension of that excellence, the University’s housing office also wants to provide the best possible student experience. This is where Callie Hamilton and JT Cole, instrumental members of the Housing office, came into the picture. Callie, the Associate Director of Housing Operations, and JT, the Systems and Process Manager, were entrusted to implement a new software platform that would meet and exceed their student and staff's evolving expectations. Right off the bat, they were intrigued by what StarRez had to offer.

But they needed to prove why StarRez was the most economical and efficient option.

Before their implementation, JT and his team compared different software solutions that would meet the needs of their organization and community. During their request for proposal (RFP) process, the team created a wish list of items this new software would need to meet, to address the pain points they were experiencing with their current system.  

While they had been using The Housing Director by Adirondack Solutions since 2011, and most of the staff were accustomed to its processes, they now required software that would drive more innovative approaches. The overall impact on student satisfaction and staff productivity made StarRez the perfect choice. It also opened the door to much needed conversations around how the residence life team at Boise State can expand and build revenue while optimizing their cost structure. For example, StarRez helped the team build better business processes to improve how Boise State obtains student payments, deposits, and fees. And it allows for cross-departmental analysis at the institution. For example, if we are garnering revenue from housing deposit fees, which are all accurately recorded in StarRez, does the Admissions department also need to be collecting deposit fees? Can the student experience be enhanced, which would in turn support revenue goals?

“We want to be innovative with our students and StarRez had the configurability we needed to serve students the way we wanted to.”  

-JT Cole, Systems and Process Manager at Boise State University

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The Desire to Create, Configure, & Innovate Leads Boise State to StarRez

The Boise State Housing team were facing shortcomings in their housing operations that called for a transformative solution. The team began searching for a new database solution, with a clear goal- to be at the forefront of innovation in serving the needs of their students. It was a decision that would lead to StarRez, and a significant shift in how they managed housing operations.

StarRez won them over due to its potential for configuration and innovation. For JT, it felt like a journey from a limited technology stack to a flexible and robust platform in StarRez. The potential for enhancing student processes was empowering to the team compared to what they had been accustomed to.

“The transition was like moving from a freezer full of pre-made dinners to an iron chef's kitchen where they could craft our own meal.”

-JT Cole, Systems and Process Manager at Boise State University

External factors shift their timeline.

Their implementation of StarRez began like any other, but quickly pivoted to a go-fast project. Boise State administration decided to accelerate the project, after the THD acquisition from StarRez, moving up the timeline significantly. This quick shift in the implementation project required tremendous attention to detail from both the StarRez implementation team and the Boise State Housing team since housing operations rarely ever cease.  

“We were grateful for our team and the StarRez team working together quickly and efficiently on this project. Transparent communication was critical.”

-Callie Hamilton, Associate Director of Housing Operations at Boise State University

Starting from the bottom, Boise State brainstormed ways to implement their new solution.

The transition from THD to StarRez provided Boise State a great opportunity to learn and innovate, better leveraging software to manage their housing operations. It involved unlearning certain habits, letting go of old processes, and adapting to the new. In-depth training, both remote and on-site, became an essential part of their project. Power users, Callie and JT approached the project by learning and building their business processes in a way that would support their community.

“Every training during implementation was also a time to problem solve and figure out what we wanted our processes to look like, and then building them out and implementing them immediately.”

-Callie Hamilton, Associate Director of Housing Operations at Boise State University

For them to implement the product quickly and efficiently into their operation, the focus was on quickly building out business processes that make sense. For the larger housing team, the transition was a valuable time to focus on the opportunity for growth.

Post Implementation, Community Satisfaction Increases  

StarRez brought numerous benefits to the table. It simplified processes, particularly in areas like roommate matching and student self-service and eliminated the need for third-party systems. Boise State now has a single source of truth for their housing operations, making it easier to provide students with a seamless experience.

“We had third party business process systems with THD that had students bouncing all over the place. After implementing roommate matching in StarRez, it was an immediate payoff because it was all housed in one place and it was easy to explain.”

-JT Cole, Systems and Process Manager at Boise State University

Another immediate improvement came as Boise State updated how they were billing students. Historically, billing for their apartment-complex residents has always been confusing and prone to errors. They needed an accurate system of record for all transactions to make the student experience much clearer and more precise. Prior to StarRez, the team used 8 different billing tools that needed to be audited daily. And now, with the billing integration from StarRez and PeopleSoft, they only need 2 – one for apartment billing and one for residence hall billing.

Boise State also integrated GradGuard’s Renters Insurance offering into their housing application process through StarRez and were pleasantly surprised by how smoothly implementation went. To learn more about how Boise State partners with GradGuard to efficiently protect students, read their case study on the GradGuard website.

Quality of life improvements are now achievable.  

Among the team’s education of the new system, employees noticed quality of life improvements presented by the new software that make for more efficient workflows. Specifically, the utilization of change logs has boosted accountability and has been proven invaluable. This transparent insight into work being done in the system helps the team continue to monitor and educate staff on best practices.  

JT reflected, "We're enjoying the transparent insight to help us find more efficient processes. It’s a great peek to know what we’re doing right and where we can improve."

The Boise State housing team will continue to evolve and improve.

Boise State University's Housing office is not stopping at this milestone. Their focus now is on building and expanding without causing major disruptions. Their culture of adaptability positions them well for future changes, and they are comfortable with transitions that benefit their students.

“We are excited to leverage the comprehensive dashboards in StarRez to communicate with campus partners who are seeking information quickly and easily.”

-Callie Hamilton, Associate Director of Housing Operations at Boise State University

By embracing change, Callie Hamilton, JT Cole, and their team have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to innovation and adaptability, setting a benchmark for other educational institutions. Boise State University's Housing office is now better equipped to serve their students with efficiency and excellence, as they continue to pioneer the way forward.

Learn how StarRez can help transform your student experience and increase staff productivity.