KSU to use different ID system by 2007

Aman Ali

Social security numbers to be replaced for safety concerns, integration

Starting June 2007, the university will no longer identify students by their Social Security number. Instead, students will have a new login ID to access all university services.

Roberta Sikula-Schwalm, executive director for Enterprise Resource Planning, explained the plan during the Student Quality Advisory Committee’s regular meeting yesterday. The ERP is calling the project “Kent State ERP is Your Solution,” or KEYS for short.

“We wanted to migrate away from using a Social Security number to using a single campus ID,” Sikula-Schwalm said.

The new ID will be a nine-digit number the university will generate with algorithms. The single ID will be used to access a portal that integrates university programs such as e-mail, financial aid and registration. Current IDs for programs like Flashline and Vista will no longer be used. However, Sikula-Schwalm said the passwords for each program will remain the same.

KEYS will also streamline a portal for Kent State employees.

“As long as you have access to a browser,” Sikula-Schwalm said, “then you can do university business from anywhere in a heightened security environment.”

She explained KEYS’ security mechanisms will control potential vulnerability problems the current system has. Although one system will be lumping all the university’s services together, there will be limits on what students can access. For example, students will not be able to access the same services as administration officials.

“The security system is based on roles you have at the university,” Sikula-Schwalm said. “We want to make sure you have access to the information you need.”

Implementing the new campus IDs is just one phase of the KEYS initiative to integrate the university’s information services. Sikula-Schwalm said the integration project should be complete by Spring 2008.

The university plans on integrating its information services by using a program called SCT Higher Education. The program will link the university’s student, finance, financial aid and human resource sectors.

“We’re putting a whole suite of software modules on one database that are heavily integrated,” Sikula-Schwalm said. “Currently, they are not.”

She added KEYS would overhaul problems the university has been having with its current information systems.

As reported in the Daily Kent Stater earlier in the semester, KEYS is the “university’s plan for updating its currently outdated technology system.” The Board of Trustees in January approved ERP’s $23 million budget to streamline the university’s information network with the KEYS program.

Contact student affairs reporter Aman Ali at [email protected].