“Glitch Promotes Grad Students”

Published May 14th, 2009 for The Lantern.

Last month Ohio State switched to a new Student Information System to integrate all the components of student data into one. During the process of conversion, some graduate students’ records showed doctoral status when they were still in a masters program.

“We used data from the old system that was inconclusive, so now we are going through a process with the graduate school to fix it,” said Brad Myers of the University Registrar. “It didn’t make any people different from what they were in a real sense.”

This is only a problem with graduate students and not undergraduates.

The previous student record system was developed in 1973 and was not intended to be the primary system for this long, Myers said. It had been built on older technology and had been patched and fixed several times. This made it more susceptible to failure.

“A couple students looked at their records and said that something wasn’t right,” Myers said. “Although, somebody who’s not accepted into a Ph.D. program didn’t circumvent acceptance into the program and it has nothing to do with their ability or inability to graduate.”

The old system, Legacy, relied on students’ social security numbers, but with increased concern about identity theft, the decision was made to change. To keep Legacy and correct it again would have been very expensive, Myers said.

“It may take a couple of days to fix,” Myers said. “I don’t think it is a big deal and I don’t think many students were involved.”