University continues Y2K changes
By Mark Brown
Western is gaining some ground on solving the Y2K problem as the university prepares to begin implementing the student admissions component of the PeopleSoft system.
The Y2K or millennium bug, is a problem which affects computers when the year changes over to 2000.
Peter Mercer, Western's VP-administration, said the university has to check everything from elevators to desktop computers. "In respect to other systems, we have to be concerned with every device that has a memory chip in it."
He said the implementation of the new computer system for student administration, the largest portion of the PeopleSoft project, will begin later this month. Western is the Canadian beta site for the PeopleSoft system, Mercer added.
Western hired PeopleSoft to take care of the Y2K problem affecting its administration systems.
"The first phase will be with the graduate students," said Gerry Growden, overall program manager for PeopleSoft at Western. He added PeopleSoft will be working on the student administrative systems until the end of 1999.
Students can expect more information about the computer changes over the next few weeks, Growden said. He added he will meet first with the Society of Graduate Students in a few weeks to give them a clear idea of how the changes will affect graduate students.
"We've got to foresee that there will be some problems it is quite a large job," Growden said.
Although most of the changes will go unnoticed by students, there are some changes students will have to adjust to, said Robert Tiffin, Western's deputy registrar. "One of the things students will notice will be a nine-digit student number. It's just the way the software has been developed," he explained.
Tiffin added students will simply have to add two zeros to the start of their current number.
Another change being examined is the possibility of allowing students to register for their courses online, Tiffin said. "[Western] will try to offer this in the near future."