Social security number use to decline over next few years at Kent

Nate Stuart

Students and faculty who are worried about using their social security number as a form of identification can worry no longer — Kent State plans to reformat the way students and faculty are identified through the new Enterprise Resource Plan, also known as Project K.E.Y.S.

The project will replace old software and provide access to the system 24 hours a day. In addition, the project will heighten access and data security — students will be able to access Web for Students and accomplish tasks such as bill-paying and signing up for classes whenever they want — all through a single sign-on mechanism.

“Students will be able to do one sign-on and get into all of the services,” said Roberta Sikula-Schwalm, executive director of Project K.E.Y.S.

She said access will be based on the role of the person signing into their account. Once signed on, anyone will be able to personalize their site. Sikula said information will be pushed to whoever needs it.

“We developed the old system as much as we could develop it,” Sikula said. “We needed to provide more services.”

She said the project will help Kent State’s marketability. It will greatly increase the ability to communicate with a more efficient e-mail system.

As a result of the project, students and staff will receive new identification numbers (different from their current student ID number) said Greg Seibert, director of security and compliance. He said the number is only for use within the institution and will not be published.

Seibert said the change will dramatically cut down vulnerability to identity theft.

“Everything has to be reliable,” Seibert said. “The system is expected to be there. It is expected to do great, and it can’t fail. Once it is in, it will be a necessity.”

“Students want instant gratification,” said senior general studies major Betsy Robinson. “It is frustrating for me to have class at 7 in the morning, and Web for Students isn’t up yet. I think it is always good for the university to keep up with the advancement of software.”

Technology major Tom Addair had concerns about students on campus who aren’t technologically savvy.

“If the majority of student/teacher/financial aid interaction is made online, it will sort of exclude the students on campus that are unfamiliar with the workings of a computer or its programs,” he said. “Unless this is going to be highly user friendly, I’m not sure if it would be the best thing to do.”

The project features three modules and will have them completely implemented by 2008.

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Contact information and technology reporter Nate Stuart at [email protected].