October 1, 1998
Whether you're interested in psychology lectures, soccer matches or music concerts, by January you will be able to find a comprehensive listing of any Tulane event on the university's Web site. Named "@Tulane," the calendar will not only serve as a listing of events but also as a reservation system for event space on campus, says Martha Sullivan, vice president for student affairs and leader of the effort to produce a universitywide calendar.
Sullivan says the need for the Web-based calendar became apparent at the beginning of each academic year, when the annual "race-for-space" meeting took place. At the meeting, departments that schedule regular events on the uptown campus--such as music, student affairs and campus recreation--scrambled to reserve lecture rooms and concert halls.
"People literally came flying across campus," for the meeting, Sullivan says. "It was quite apparent we weren't scheduling events in the most efficient manner."
Sullivan, Associated Student Body president Ford Graham, and a committee of about 20 students and staff turned to the university's Web site to develop a means of reserving space and publicizing events to the Tulane community.
Adam Krob, assistant director of academic computing with Technology Infrastructure Services, joined the group over the last year and devised an interactive Web-based system using an Oracle database. Beginning this month, the committee members will use the calendar and reservation system on a restricted trial basis.
There are 18 "points of entry" to the system, which are in departments that schedule the bulk of meetings on campus and in offices where room reservations are commonly made, such as the University Center.
@Tulane will include general information such as the name of the event and its time and place, the sponsoring organization, contact names and phone numbers. Since @Tulane is also a reservation system, it will also show whether the event is in preliminary planning stages or in the final, confirmed stage with all peripheral matters completed (job orders signed, security reserved).
The calendar also contains a search engine. Restricting use of the calendar to committee members for three months should help iron out any kinks before the system goes public, Sullivan says. @Tulane will focus on the uptown campus in its initial stages, she adds. The downtown campus has a Web calendar for medical center activities at http://www3.omi.tulane.edu/.
Anyone with Internet access will be able to view @Tulane, Sullivan says. Not only will it benefit the Tulane and New Orleans communities, it should also help in student recruitment, she adds. "In addition to making our lives easier," Sullivan says, "the calendar will demonstrate the richness of all that is going on at Tulane."
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org