ID numbers changing

Beth Wilberding

Some students might think buying food with a student ID is simple. And they might not think about the risk of having their card, or identity, stolen.

The university will stop using Social Security numbers and start issuing new identification numbers to all students, faculty and staff on June 28 to help prevent identity theft.

The university decided to issue the new numbers in 2003 to protect students, Registrar Frieda Eggleton said.

A campus-wide e-mail was sent from the registrar’s office yesterday explaining the conversion.

The new numbers will be used on TopNet and some university business forms, Eggleton said. Social Security numbers will still be used on federal financial aid and tax forms for student employees.

Computer programs will convert each Social Security number into a randomly generated number, said Gordon Johnson, administrative computer services director.

“There’s a growing national interest for not using Social Security numbers,” Eggleton said. “Many colleges and universities have already converted to a generated ID or are in the process of doing it.”

Johnson said his staff began writing a series of conversion programs in January.

Eggleton said she expects there to be few costs associated with converting the Social Security numbers.

Some departments will have to print new business forms and some identification cards will have to be reprinted, she said. The staff working on the project is also being paid.

Human Resources Director Tony Glisson said the new identification numbers might interrupt some services, but the numbers will benefit both students and staff.

“I feel like the university is being responsive to the current issue of identity theft,” he said.

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]