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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Directories to be distributed

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 13 - November 20, 1997

The 1997-98 university telephone directories have arrived and will be distributed to faculty and staff members and on-campus students starting November 24. Off-campus students may pick up a copy of the directory in 105 Media Building beginning after the Thanksgiving holidays.
University Relations apologizes for the late delivery. For the first time, the faculty/staff section of the directory was produced using information in the new Human Resources Information System, Banner HR. The directory receives a download from the central personnel database and a series of unanticipated problems resulted in a four-week delay from the regular schedule.
In addition, the directory may contain some incorrect or incomplete information. Names, office phone numbers, campus addresses, e-mail addresses, and home addresses and telephone numbers were downloaded from the Banner HR system. Data veracity is now the responsibility of Banner HR departmental representatives. Errors and omissions should be reported to them. (The secretary senior or office manager often serves as the Banner HR representative; if not, he or she can supply the name of the representative.)
The information for the faculty/staff section of the telephone directory normally is downloaded in August. This year, it was not ready until mid-September. In August, the Banner HR programmers added a field into which Banner HR representatives could enter working titles. They did not have time to write a program making it possible for secondary, or back-up, telephone numbers to be entered by Banner HR representatives. Instead, the programmers selected one number for each university department or division to serve as the secondary number for everyone within that department.
The printer produced a printout of the faculty and staff section of the directory. An examination of the printout revealed that office phone numbers were missing for more than 600 employees and that titles were missing for more than 100. Most of the employees who had no office phone numbers listed were hired after the Banner HR system was implemented.
Closer inspection led to discovery of other problems, such as incorrect listings for employees who had transferred from one university job to another. The secondary numbers listed often were not the ones that the departments wished to use.
Several University Relations staff members, supplemented by temporary employees, made phone calls soliciting missing information and verifying other listings. Every effort was made to accommodate all changes that were requested.
The corrections were entered onto the directory tape by Banner HR programmers. The changes, however, have not yet been made on the database.
Banner HR representatives should check entries for each person within their departments and should make any necessary corrections on line. Due to last-minute corrections made during the production process, the printed directory may be more up-to-date than the on-line information.
The Banner HR programmers had planned to make adaptations, such as adding fields for secondary telephone numbers and providing a means for departmental Banner HR representatives to proof entries, before the production of the directory. They were unable to make these changes because of time spent preparing first for the lag-pay schedule that Gov. George Allen proposed and later for the alternative lag-pay plan that the General Assembly adopted.
The programmers have not yet created a field for secondary telephone numbers. They will advise Banner HR representatives when the system is ready for input of this data.
In addition, University Relations plans to provide Banner HR representatives an opportunity to proof and correct next year's directory before it goes to press.