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Friday, September 03, 2010

News from the front desk

Our administrative staff went on retreat the other day and the deans took turns covering the phones at the front desk. I actually enjoy this little tradition (much like I enjoy opening mail during the heaviest mail days of the year). First of all, it's interesting to hear the questions that come in to the front desk. Second, I enjoy hearing the surprise in someone's voice when I tell them I'm a dean and am happy to answer their more complex question. There are also a few callers who won't tell the front desk why they're calling...they just insist that they must talk to an admission officer directly.

The questions were pretty interesting. One woman had questions about a pension plan and thought we could help her. She wasn't a former employee of the University, but I guess I should be flattered that she thought we could explain how her plan worked. Many wanted to know if their credit would transfer if they came to UVa. They didn't seem to realize that there's a handy transfer credit analyzer on the website.

The most unexpected question, though, was from a woman from my own home state. She wanted to make sure we'd keep her tour appointment for Friday. We get a lot of people who think they need reservations or to sign in for tours and information sessions. So many, that we looked into implementing a reservation system (we're going to demo one today and will probably launch it in the coming weeks). After chatting for a minute, it became clear that she thought Charlottesville was at the beach and that Hurricane Earl would affect us.

UVa is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours from the beach, so we'll be open as usual today and over the weekend. Any changes to our schedule get posted on the Plan a Visit page on our website, which is where all info about tours, information sessions, open classes, and shadowing can be found.