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University issues new ID cards with eye toward greater security and ease of use

All university employees will soon be issued new identification numbers that will be more user-friendly.

The new ID numbers will be used for as long as an employee remains at USC, said Margaret Harrington, director of the Office for Organization Improvement Services. A 19-member cost and service task force has been working on the changeover for two years.

Several factors went into the process to reorganize the number system, Harrington said: “Security was a major factor, and the new system enables us to assign unique numbers so we can keep Social Security numbers in the background.”

In addition, she said, database information will be shared across key central systems that have often been a challenge to integrate. In the past, the same seven-digit number has sometimes been assigned both to a student and to an employee. Under the new system, a single ID number will belong to only one person across his or her university career. New ID numbers will have 10 numeric characters, with a random assignment from 1000000000 to 9999999999.

ID numbers will be sent to home department coordinators, and faculty and staff will be able to look up their new USC ID numbers on the university’s eTrac system.

Faculty and staff will also get new USCards with the 10-digit ID number printed on the card face, said Brenda De Long, director of USCard Services.

“Exchanging your old card for the new one will be easy,” De Long said. “USCard will be scheduling visits by a mobile team over the next six months to produce new cards at a site near employees.”

The idea, De Long said, is to make it convenient for employees to obtain new ID cards. Senior business officers and home department coordinators will assist USCard with scheduling, which is slated to begin early in November.

New cards will continue to be issued until May 2005, which is also the timeframe for the transition of forms and processes that will use the new ID numbers.

For more information about the university ID number program, contact Harrington at

University issues new ID cards with eye toward greater security and ease of use

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