Pat Cross in the Oklahoma Daily

Dr. Pat Cross, a member of the OU math department, co-advisor to the OU Math Club, advisor to undergrad math majors, and all around nice guy, had some of his 15 minutes of fame this week.

In case you missed it, there was an article in the Oklahoma Daily about how the new registration system, oZONE, has caused some students to be dropped from their classes without even realizing it.  A number of departments (including math and chemistry) have long had policies that students who do not show up to either of the first two class meetings are automatically dropped from the course so that room can be made for others on the wait-list.  The students are sent an email notifying them of this and can talk to Pat Cross (in the case of the math department) if there was an error.  Almost always it’s the case that the student meant to drop but didn’t for some reason, so it is a win-win as the student isn’t charged for a class they’re not taking, and another student can take a class they’re waiting for.  However, with the new oZONE system the email the students were sent by the system was not entirely clear and it turns out that the students were dropped and didn’t realize it!

As Dr. Cross explained in the article:

The e-mail is now a generic one sent from oZONE, and it’s easy to misunderstand, Cross said.

“It’s possible for a student to get one of those and not realize what it’s saying, because the e-mail is triggered by any activity. It just sends out an e-mail and says there was activity on your account, and there’s the schedule [of the student’s classes],” Cross said.

Cross said the old system allowed the department to attach a message telling students they’d been dropped for attendance reasons. Students were told to contact Cross or their instructor if the information was incorrect or they needed more details. But the new oZONE system does not allow messages to be attached, Cross said.

–Oklahoma Daily Article from the above link

Fortunately, this time Pat Cross was able to fix it for the affected students.  The moral, of course, is to read all those emails from oZONE!

P.S.  If you’d like to see Pat Cross get worked up, ask him how the transition to oZONE is going :-).  Or, ask any of the nearly 2,000 members of the I Hate oZONE Facebook Group!