Saturday, October 25, 2008

Petition Approved! (and UT's Evolved IT)

fec.jpg Last week after the RackSpace event in the KRLU studios at CMB, I walked over to the Undergraduate Studies dean's office to request a waiver for the required UGS courses. There I spoke with Erin Collins, who is in charge of such things, and filled out a one-page form.

Yesterday I got an email directing me to the University's Secure Academic Notes (SAN) system, where I picked up this message:

Dear Charles,
The decision regarding your petition(s) to the Undergraduate School is as follows:
Petition approved/override complete for first-year signature course waiver, 2008-10 catalog. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Erin Collins
Core Curriculum Petition Coordinator
School of Undergraduate Studies

While I'm glad to have cleared that administrative hurdle, I also found the SAN system itself interesting. According to its about page, it's is a sort of CRM application that deans and academic advisors use to communicate securely (and in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) with students. Notably, all communication through the SAN system becomes part of the student's official academic record.

In my previous time at UT ('88-'92) I saw some impressive advancements in the University's IT systems. As a freshman, I registered for classes by standing in line—along with 50,000 other students—at the Frank Erwin Center (pictured here) and affixing a sticker for each course to an actual sheet of paper. By the time I graduated, registration was done via an IVR system called TEX (which has since been retired, but check out the awesome video).

These days nearly everything at UT is done online. I'm sure that's not novel to most students, but it's a big enough change from what I remember that I'll be describing some of the various systems I encounter here.

Next up: registration. My registration window opens Tuesday morning. And happily, I'll be doing it from my office instead of the Superdrum.

No comments: