University ID Number to Replace SSN; Informational Meetings Scheduled


The use of Social Security numbers as the primary identification element of NMU students, faculty and staff is being phased out and replaced with random, computer-generated numbers called NMU identification numbers (NMU IN).


After review by the President’s Council, Interim President Mike Roy approved a new university policy for use of computer-generated numbers to serve as the primary identification factor on all university forms, paperwork and official records.


“The serious threat of identity theft is the driving factor behind this change,” said Roy .


A Sept. 1 deadline has been set for departments to complete the conversion from requesting Social Security numbers to NMU INs on printed and Web forms, as an input in databases, and for any other type of operational process. For situations that involve an NMU department working with non-NMU persons – for example, workshops or summer camps held on campus – identification must be recorded in some form other than Social Security number.


Two information sessions to discuss the conversion process will be held from 10-11 a.m. and from 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, in the Huron Room of the University Center . All faculty and staff who have regular contact with students for operations that currently require use of an individual’s Social Security number should plan to attend.


“This conversion from Social Security numbers to university IDs will force some changes in how we interact with students and employees, but the benefit of enhanced security to private information far outweighs any inconvenience” said Ed Niemi (Dean of Students), coordinator of the information sessions. “For instance, when helping students during advising we will now ask students for their NMU identification number to access their transcript information and other student information. It is important for departments to use this period between now and the start of the fall semester to inventory and change any processes that now include asking someone for their Social Security number.”


According to Felecia Flack (AdIT), the implementation of the Banner system has made switching from Social Security numbers to computer-generated identification numbers an easy process.


“In the Banner system, a student or employee’s Social Security number is stored in a field on their record for employment or financial aid purposes, but it is not the primary identification element and only a handful of people on campus will have access to the areas where those numbers appear,” Flack added.


Flack said that departments with unusual situations for databases linked to Social Security numbers should contact AdIT for assistance with the conversion process.




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Updated: April 23, 2004