Fordham Considers Changes to Course Registration


In the aftermath of a complicated course registration that flooded Lowenstein’s eighth-floor hallway at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) with frustrated freshmen, Fordham administrators and Information Technology (IT) are considering changes to the registration process.

According to Gerard Cariffe, associate vice president of IT and chief technology officer, IT will introduce an automated program to prevent glitches such as the one that occurred during registration for fall 2014.

“We are in the process of developing what we call ‘scripted access’ to the system. In other words, there are going to be stand alone devices that will script the experience of someone accessing the system at all times, and it will then send an email to the on-call people when it experiences a preponderance of an outage,” Cariffe said.

Cariffe also mentioned the right-hand side login on Banner specifically for class registration. “That was a means of addressing volume registration,” he said.

The Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC, considered logistical changes to registration. “There’s been some talk about whether this is the best method of doing it. I have not heard any proposals for specific changes in registration,” he said.

When asked whether the 7 a.m. registration time should be moved to later in the day, Grimes said, “I have a student advisory board that I would want to talk to about that. I’d also be interested in hearing form the Commuter Students Association.”

Reflecting on the recent struggle with registration, Grimes said, “If I had known that it wasn’t operating at quarter of 7, I would have said to send out an email saying that registration is tomorrow. But by the time I had got here, registration had been going on manually for over an hour at which point that didn’t seem like a very good option.”

“We thought that the next best thing was to get as many registration stations open as possible. I thought it was remarkable that by noontime, pretty much everyone was registered,” he said.

Associate Dean of FCLC Mark E. Mattson agreed: “I think we absolutely did the right thing that day. I think it was nothing less than a heroic effort on the part of Dean [Vincent] DeCola [assistant dean for first year students] and the class deans and Enrollment Services. I’m proud of that effort, but I don’t think we would do it exactly the same way again.”

Despite DeCola’s efforts to register commuters via telephone in proportion to the number of residents he was registering, Mattson said, “Clearly commuters were the ones disadvangtaged in this and that’s probably the main reason we wouldn’t do it the same again.”

After skipping a class and waiting in three different lines to register for classes, Peter Nhan, FCLC ’17, was completely registered by the afternoon. “There were some classes that I wanted that I didn’t get because other people got in before I did. They were lined up at the right place at right time. I just lost the spots for the classes,” he said.