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Kent State Moves to Standardize University Terminology

Posted March 5, 2012

Kent State has established a Standardizing University Terminology Committee to improve communication and processes among all university constituents. This move impacts recruitment and retention goals, which are the lifeblood of the university.

The working group’s core goal is to help reduce confusion for university community members by advancing the standardization of four basic terms, which currently have multiple versions in use campuswide.

An Illustration of the Issue
When the Helpdesk receives a call from a student who needs help logging in to FlashLine, the Helpdesk support person asks for the student ID. Many students have come to refer to this identifier as a Banner ID. Before the helpdesk employee can begin to provide support, a conversation must occur that helps both parties realize what identifier information is needed prior to addressing the larger issue. To reduce confusion and get everyone talking the same language, the term “Kent State ID number (Banner ID)” will become the new standard.

Terms Moving to Standard Treatment

  1. Kent State ID number (Banner ID) will replace all variations of Student ID, Banner ID, Employee ID and university ID.
  2. FlashLine username will replace all variations of FlashLine ID, username, email ID and user ID.
  3. Kent State email address will replace all variations of university email address, KSU email address, Kent email address and FlashLine address.
  4. FLASHcard will replace all variations of FlashCard, Flash card and FlashCARD, which are most commonly misused in text treatment. This is mistakenly referred to as student/university ID, as well.

“Given we live in a complex world full of discipline-specific terminology, projects like this will help our university community communicate more effectively,” says Ed Mahon, vice president for information services and chief information officer.

Project Rollout
At first, this might seem like a minor undertaking. However, when considering the multiple touch points across each division and department that will need education and updates, the effort rapidly expands into an 18-month project.

“All units on campus, or the majority, either produce print collaterals or online applications and systems that include a variation of these terms,” says Iris Harvey, vice president of university relations. “Rather than mandating reprints of all existing publications or reprogramming of all current Web applications, marketing coordinators, editors and project managers can help bring these materials into compliance as enhancements and reprints are requested.”

To that end, University Communication and Marketing editors and designers have been made aware of this change, as have Information Services’ project managers. Employees in each of these roles will prioritize and address these updates to reflect terminology adjustments as projects are initiated.

Your Department’s Role
A committee member will contact your division or department by April to begin a project plan for your area. These plans will involve an audit of existing materials and steps for educating frontline employees who provide support, as well as updates to Web applications, websites, brochures, admissions letters, fliers and more. Please begin to consider who your area can provide as a liaison and extension of the committee.

Your Role
Because these terms permeate so many areas and processes, you will encounter instances where you can make contributions to this project. During the course of your day-to-day work, when you notice any use of these terms, please:

  1. Reference the University Style Guide to see if the term is being used correctly.
  2. If not, please make the necessary update or ask a colleague to do so.
  3. Begin using the correct terms when speaking with others.

The University Style Guide has been updated to reflect these new standards.

More Information
For more information, contact committee member Lin Danes, director of Web services, University Communications and Marketing, at Other core committee members include Barb Boltz, project director, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs; Geri Hein, project manager, Information Services; Wendy Shih, manager of Helpdesk, Information Services.

Note: Banner INB interface is outside of the scope of this request due to vendor dependencies that will result due to upgrades.

Definitions Related to Standardizing Terminology Project

  1. Kent State ID number (Banner ID): A nine digit ID number, currently beginning with the number “8” that identifies students, faculty, staff, alumni and other constituents in the Banner system.
  2. FlashLine user name: A combination of a user’s first and last name (up to eight positions, sometimes with a number) that acts as the login username for most campus resources. The FlashLine user name is everything before in the email address.
  3. Kent State email addresses - The full email address, which includes the FlashLine username.
  4. FLASHcard – A physical identification card containing a student or employee’s photo. The card has a 10 to 16 digit ISO number printed on it. May also refer to the FLASHcard Office location.