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Keep Houston Press Free
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UH School Year Opens With Computer Foul-Ups; Sun Rises In East

It looks like school is starting in usual fashion at the University of Houston. On August 25, 686 students were inadvertently dropped from classes because of human error, says Gene Gillis, Director of Student Financial Service. The problem has since been fixed.

From Gillis:

The process which identifies students who should be dropped from their courses had not finished running. A second process, which feeds information to a student's account, was begun before the first process finished. The processes should be run consecutively rather than concurrently, as happened in this case. These processes are run by two different offices. There was a breakdown in communication between the two offices.

Gillis says this has never happened before. In the future, the two offices involved– Student Financial Services and Scholarships and Financial Aid – will stay better connected during the process to prevent it from happening again, he says.

Probably a good idea.

The University responded within three hours of being notified of the problem and had all the students re-enrolled by August 28.

“In this case, the correction required manual intervention on a one by one basis,” says Gillis.

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We’re sure all those students appreciated the personal attention put into correcting the problem. Now if only UH could find a way to apply that same effort to the initial enrollment process …

“Any problem presents an obstacle to success. However, obstacles will always occur. You have to look to the ability to overcome obstacles as the real key to success,” says Gillis.

We agree and wish the same philosophy had been exercised by a certain American Lit professor. We totally would’ve started making it to that 8:30 a.m. class once we had the ability to overcome the obstacle of sleeping through our alarm.

Dusti Rhodes

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