New Online Course Catalog

This year we have a new online course catalog that is much easier to use and search than the previous one. Currently only Fall and Spring classes are listed, but Winter Study classes will be added in the next version.

The catalog has four levels of navigation:

  • The home page lists all subjects and programs and can drill down to department-level pages, or search for specific classes. Links to the Registrar’s Office page, PeopleSoft sign in, and course catalog archives appear on this and every level of the catalog.
  • The department pages offer a description in PDF format that mimics the old printed catalog. This is provided for those who still want to print certain sections of the catalog. Students can see courses offered for Fall and Spring Semesters. Courses not offered this year list the last time the course was offered along with its description.
  • The third level is a search results page listing whatever courses meet search criteria entered. Courses can be searched in many different ways including divisional requirements, text search , class times, course types and instructor name. Do you want a Division III course that satisfies the Writing Intensive degree requirement? Looking for all Division I classes that satisfies the Exploring Diversity requirement? Want to see all tutorials offered? What about all classes that have the word ‘Afghanistan’ in the description? All this can be done via search.
  • The lowest level is the individual class description including full details on the course such as cross listings, prerequisites, lab fees, requirements, evaluation criteria, etc.
Search options on the new catalog

Search options

Edition:Fall 2009 Department:Administrative Systems Tags:

Student Hiring Streamlined

Since early August, supervisors of student workers have begun using a new online service which lets them hire students on their own.  The new process eliminates the need for much of the back-and-forth communication required in the past between supervisors, students, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Human Resources.

The Williams Employment service is incorporated into the PeopleSoft HR/Student system. After a detailed review of their particular student employment requirements by Human Resources and Financial Aid staff, each student supervisor is trained and then given access to the new service.  After that, hiring a student is as simple as choosing a department, a position, a start date, a student, and a cost center.  Given the large number of departments which employ students, it will take some time to introduce all of the student supervisors to the service, but as of now, 19 departments have started using the new hiring process.

Supervisors can see a complete list of their department’s active student employees at any time.  The new service also includes campus employment-related information for students, including the ability to enter information about their non-Williams job experience, and view pay checks online.

 This new service was designed by a team composed of staff from Human Resources (Rosemary Moore and Rich Davis), Financial Aid (Betsy Hobson and Candace Marlow) and OIT (Criss Laidlaw).  PeopleSoft HR consultant Andy Beecham helped with the initial design and development.  Many student supervisors have provided advice, feedback and encouragement along the way. 

Joanne Irace, Happy Supervisor

One Happy Supervisor (Joanne Irace)

“I am very excited about this new online service for student employment! For the first time, supervisors will have immediate access to information necessary to hire students. This service will save us time and make it much easier for all parties involved.”

– Joanne Irace

HR/Student Admin System Upgrade

OIT’s Administrative Information Systems (AIS) group is poised to begin work on the upgrade to the next release of PeopleSoft’s Campus Solutions system, CS 9.0. The AIS group will work closely with administrative offices involved in the upgrade to review newly-offered functionality, update Williams-specific customizations, and plan the timing of the upgrade. We expect the upgrade to take about 10 months of elapsed time and use Williams College staff resources exclusively.

The user interface of CS 9.0 is very similar to that of the current version (8.9). As with past upgrades, most of the changes will affect the administrative office staff who use the system on a daily basis. However, there will be enhancements to the ever-growing set of self-service options for students, faculty, and staff, with changes occurring in Financial Aid self-service, online course rosters, and the view paycheck function, to name a few.

Admin group

Admin Systems: (back) Doug Rydell, Bob Ouellette, John Germanowski, Criss Laidlaw, (front) Gretchen Eliason, Maggie Koperniak, and Jim Allison

Employee Self Service Update

Here’s a quick list of the kinds of things you can currently do with online self-service:

  • Keep your emergency contact information current
  • Update your home and mailing addresses
  • Update your home and campus phone numbers
  • View your current and historical pay statements
  • Control whether or not your direct deposit statement  is mailed to you
  • See a summary of health benefits for yourself and  your dependents
  • See a summary of your TIAA-CREF contributions

For more information, visit:
To access the online self service, go to Faculty & Staff Employee Self-Service,

Goodbye To The Marx Brothers

Back when Bob Ouellette had hair and none of our students was born yet, the college bought VAX machines from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). The VAXen were christened Zeppo and Harpo with Chico the connecting controller between them. Bob Ouellette and Dinny Taylor were the primary programmers back then who put in the first administrative information systems from Information Associates (IA). Over the years the VAXen became Alphas. DEC was bought by HP and disappeared. IA was bought by SCT and disappeared. Chico was no longer needed and Harpo bit the dust when Alumni Relations moved to its new system a few years ago. But Zeppo survived and chugged on faithfully, running the remnants of the IA/SCT systems as the college moved to PeopleSoft. Finally, everything was converted to something newer.

On May 1st it was a sad day for the old-timers who finally said good bye to Zeppo at an OIT gathering in Jesup Hall. The last of the Marx brothers was truly gone.

May Zeppo rest in peace. Thanks for the memories..

Bob & Dinny say farewell

Bob & Dinny

Bob gets his last fix from Zeppo

Bob w/ I.V.

Edition:Fall 2008 Department:Administrative Systems Tags:

Information Security

Do you work with information about people, whether they’re students, faculty, staff or others? If so, you should consider taking the workshop on Personal Information Security offered by OIT. This workshop serves as an introduction to the laws protecting personal information, what these laws mean to us here on campus, and how to protect your own personal information and that of other people in the connected world in which we live and work.

To sign up, visit our workshops page.
Here is the short list of state and federal laws that require the College to protect the personal information we collect and use, which you will be introduced to:

FERPA (Family Education Right to Privacy Act)

Protects student educational records

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

Protects personal medical record and payment history

GLB (Gramm Leach Bliley Act)

Protects personal financial information

Massachusetts Identity Theft Law

Protects personal financial information

PS: To get a sense of how many personal information security breaches have occurred in the past few years, visit