Baylor Launches New Online Directory

June 14, 2004
ITS-Internet Services today launched an improved online telephone directory for use by the general web-browsing public and members of the Baylor campus community. Last year, Baylor announced that the 2003-2004 edition of the University phone directory would be the last printed directory. This enhanced online directory replaces the former printed edition.

"An online directory will never completely mimic a printed directory," said Dr. Reagan Ramsower, associate vice president and chief information officer. "However, there are a number of features in this new directory that could never be contemplated in print. Automatic import of information from the directory to my Outlook contacts is a big step forward."

The new directory is available by clicking on "Directory" in the bottom portion of many of the Baylor web pages or by visiting www.baylor.edu/directory.

Several key issues led to elimination the printed directory. Production of the printed directory was onerous and required a great deal of time from a number of offices on the Baylor campus, including Human Resources, Public Relations and ITS.

"The amount of time involved in producing the printed phone book was really difficult to justify, especially when you consider that it was out of date by the time it was printed and distributed, which was typically in November -- weeks after the beginning of the school year," said Larry D. Brumley, associate vice president for external relations. "Obviously, there are trade-offs involved in moving from a printed phone directory to an online directory. But we believe the added benefits of having up-to-date information and an ability to print customized directories will outweigh the disadvantages of not having the directory in its previous format."

Other features of the new online directory include:

- All information released to the public or other members of the Baylor community conforms to Baylor policies and legal requirements for privacy;

- Users now get the most up-to-date information that the University has for faculty, staff and students;

- Faculty, staff and students can produce ad hoc printable directories for any department or other search results; - Faculty and staff can produce export files based on department or other searches for use in Outlook, Filemaker, and other systems;

- All users can automatically import an individual's directory information into Outlook, Entourage, and other systems that support the vCard standard; and

- Faculty, staff and students can print their own copy of a complete and up-to-date directory of either faculty and staff or all students (these printable directories also honor all privacy flag settings).

Additional enhancements to the online directory are planned for late summer/fall, and will include greater search capabilities for faculty & staff. With these further improvements, the online Baylor directory will replace the current White Pages application.
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