Y2K delays admissions at major university

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

http://www.jsonline.com/bym/tech/0130admit.asp [Interesting that the on-line main page had "Y2K" in its headline, but the paper does not. Why is that? Why is the fact that this is a Y2K problem not mentioned until the very end of the story? Does anyone believe that there aren't many other universities experiencing similar problems?]

Computer woes delay admissions at UW-Madison

University promises responses to all applicants within 3 to 4 weeks

By Jack Norman of the Journal Sentinel staff

January 30, 1999

Computer problems at UW-Madison have caused long delays in processing admission applications, but university officials say they're catching up and anxious high school seniors will hear soon.

"If they've applied and haven't heard, they will hear something by -- at the outside -- the next three to four weeks," pledged Rob Seltzer, director of admissions for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The university had promised applicants that if they applied by Oct. 15, they'd hear by Dec. 15.

The promise was broken because installing a new computer system for student records, which include admissions, financial aid, scheduling and registration, didn't go as well as hoped.

Only 4,366 freshmen have been admitted so far this academic year, well below the 6,614 at the same date last year.

About 14,000 applications have been received, with a few thousand more expected.

The delay has "certainly made the kids very nervous, even those who are a shoo-in to get accepted," said Keith Decker, a guidance counselor at Franklin High School.

"It's been tolerable to this point, more of a psychological thing," said Wauwatosa East High School guidance counselor Ken Waggoner. "But if it goes two, three or four more weeks, it'll hurt. A lot of kids make their decisions."

Indeed, some seniors at Milwaukee's King High School were forced to make decisions when other colleges they'd applied to on an early-decision program wanted a commitment, before Madison had sent an answer.

Then when Madison came through with an acceptance, students have had to try to get their deposit back from the other school, said guidance counselor Dave Forecki.

Making matters worse for applicants was another snag: Madison admissions officials couldn't get the kind of data from the new computer system they're used to getting.

So they raised their standards during the first review of applications, a precaution to be sure too many people weren't admitted.

"We were operating blind and had to make conservative decisions," Madison's Seltzer said.

So, many students who weren't admitted during the fall will have their applications reviewed. Those who have received a letter saying their application is still under consideration will hear by April 1, Seltzer said.

The formal deadline for applying is Monday, but applications will be accepted for a little while after that. Decisions on late applicants may take six weeks, Seltzer said.

The computer problems resulted from installing a new system to handle student records.

The old system was a patchwork of programs, some nearly 30 years old, and unable to handle year 2000 issues, said Ron Niendorf, who's managing the software project.

Though work on the new system started five years ago, getting it in place in time to beat the millennium "led us to take a rather aggressive approach" on installation, Niendorf said.

"It's like replacing a two-lane highway with a four-lane interstate," he said. "You know there will be some detours during construction, but you can't predict just where and when."

One of those computer detours was admissions. Among other things, data-entry problems meant huge delays just in getting basic information into the system in the first place.

Madison seems to be the only campus in the UW system with the delays in admissions this year, though several other smaller campuses are also making Y2K adjustments.

UW-Milwaukee's computer systems are Y2K compliant. Admissions are proceeding normally, spokesman Terry Gillick said.

[F*** 'em, Bucky.]

-- Steve Hartsman (hartsman@ticon.net), January 30, 1999



Although one's intellectual advancement is rarely a bad thing, it occurred to me these h.s. grads scramble for higher education at this juncture is a moot point.

So many clueless...so little time.

-- Mike T. (anita_martini@hotmail.com), January 30, 1999.


probably true, but we're talking Mad City here - the place that's so left wing it flies around in giant circles to the right...got my undergrad degree there as a prior enlisted ROTC cadet and the "revolutionary communist youth brigade" could field four times as many people as all four ROTC detachments put together. In other words any connection between UW-Madison and the rest of reality is purely coincidental and entirely unintentional.


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), January 30, 1999.

Here's an example of an inconvenience to university students due to Y2K. New, compliant software will result in class schedule changes. I do have the link for this article, but can't guarantee how long it will last:

"No flip schedule in Banner years"


The next millennium will be one without flip Fridays.

Flip Fridays are how Eastern solves the problem of evenly scheduling Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes and Tuesday-Thursday classes in a five-day week.

They are also a means many students use to manipulate their schedule so they get a long weekend every other week.

The reason they are not going to be used is because of Banner, the new year 2000 compliant software package that handles student records and schedules, is not able to deal with them.

"It's the primary reason, yes," said Jack Culross, dean of under- graduate studies, who is on the flip Friday committee.

The $800,000 Banner program doesn't support flip Fridays because so few colleges have them. Culross estimated that two other colleges in the state had flip Fridays.


Banner installation should be finished some time after the year 2000. The software must be upgraded to avoid problems caused by the year 2000 bug in the old software, ISIS.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), January 30, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ