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Archive for Saturday, August 15, 1998

COMPUTER SYSTEM UPGRADE ONLINE

August 15, 1998

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Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, Kansas University's associate provost, academic affairs, has a big job to do.

Her offices are bringing university records on-line, changing freshman/sophomore advising and giving the campus a front door.

McCluskey-Fawcett's office is in charge of the Office of Admissions, the University Scholarship Center, new student orientation, the Office of the University Registrar, freshman and sophomore advising and Academic Technology Services. Most of these are getting new software systems.

The new software will allow the university to put most of its records in one spot for easy access.

``The system we have now is pretty archaic,'' she said. ``Right now, everyone has their own home-grown systems, and they don't talk to each other.''

After all the new software is in, ``anything we do that has to do with records or financial aid,'' will be available on-line, in one spot.

Ideally, she said, students will be able to look up schedules, bills, financial aid and advising information and register on-line. Right now, most of these functions are handled in different offices around campus.

``We're off to a good start,'' McCluskey-Fawcett said. The first step will be getting all of the admission on-line, which should take place during the school year. Getting everything reworked will take a few years, she said.

The new software will also link the KU Medical School in Kansas City, Kan., and the Lawrence campus.

``We will be acting as one campus,'' she said.

Where most students will really notice a difference, she said, is when the system is finished. Then, they will be able to register for classes at computer terminals, even their own computers, instead of waiting in long lines to have it done for them.

One difference students will notice immediately in McCluskey-Fawcett's realm will be in freshman/sophmore advising. This year, a new Freshman/Sophmore Advising Center will open on the first floor of Strong Hall.

It will be staffed by part-time faculty and full-time advisers.

``The students will be assigned a specific adviser,'' McCluskey-Fawcett said. ``If they're compatible, they'll stay with them until they go into their major.''

The center will centralize advising for all freshman and sophomores -- except those in architecture, fine arts, engineering and the honors program.

The Office of Admissions will be moving soon, into a new office in Templin Residence Hall, just off 15th and Iowa. Cafeteria space in the hall is being renovated for the office and for a new KU Visitors Center.

``That KU Visitors Center will become the front door of campus,'' she said.

It will be an entry point for people visiting campus and for prospective students.

The center should be open by Labor Day.

``I think that's going to be a really nice addition to the university,'' she said.

The center will have visitor parking and shuttle service to campus.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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