Phone-in system needs polishing

By Caryn Rosenberg

Problems with NIU’s new phone registration system have not caused mass havoc, but further polishing is needed.

NIU implemented its new registration system Wednesday for students taking off-campus courses.

Students are able to phone in their course selections using a touch-tone phone with the system.

Director of Registration and Records Richard Durfee said for the most part, there were few problems the first day the system was in full swing.

“It went pretty well,” Durfee said. “There’s only one little problem we’re looking at.”

Durfee said the problem is a technical one. “There’s a bug someplace in the computing software and we’ve got people looking at it,” he said.

Durfee said people are currently trying to find out what the problem is and how to fix it. In the meantime, students are revising their schedules with live operators.

“It ran for about three hours,” Durfee said. “Then we switched students back to working with live operators.”

Durfee said the computer system is more efficient than using live operators.

Within the three hours the computer was in operation approximately 110 students were able to register through it, Durfee said.

“The computer system is quicker,” Durfee said. “It can handle up to 64 students simultaneously, while there can only be eight at a time with live operators.”

Durfee first suggested the system in 1980, but it was delayed because a new student data base had to be built and funds were not readily available.

He said he hopes all glitches will be eliminated by Feb. 1 and the system can then be used for all courses offered through NIU.

The system first appeared at Brigham Young University and is now used at over 120 universities throughout the nation.