E-Berkeley credit card payment adds convenience for departments, customers

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs

29 November 2001 | Two campus units are taking advantage of a new e-Berkeley project that allows them to accept credit card payments online.

The Career Center is currently using the Paperless Processing System, a centrally supported, secure procedure for handling Web site credit card transactions; the Graduate Division plans to do so shortly.

“The system — one of nine e-Berkeley initiatives selected for funding — allows departments to plug into a central credit card processing application,” said e-Berkeley director John Conhaim. “The system collects the necessary information for payment and makes the appropriate updates to the Berkeley Financial System.”

University Relations was the first unit on campus to use the system. This spring, it launched an e-Giving Web site, which allows donations to be made online using a credit card.

The Career Center is now using the application for its career fairs. The nearly 2,000 businesses, nonprofits and professional schools that participate in Berkeley career fairs each year can now register and pay the required fees online.

“This saves our department valuable time in billing and collecting from these organizations,” said Tom Devlin, director of the Career Center. “We are also using the system for our letter service, so that students can pay the fee required to send out letters of recommendation online any time of the day or night.”

In the near future, prospective graduate students will be able to pay their application fees online using a credit card. The Graduate Division processes approximately 20,000 applications a year, generating nearly $700,000 in fees.

“It’s going to be a wonderful convenience, especially for our international students, for whom it is difficult to get a check drawn on an American bank to pay the fees,” said Betsy Livak, director of graduate admissions. “It’s also nice for students or their parents who can get additional frequent flyer miles or cash-back points by using their credit cards.”

Other e-Berkeley initiatives that have been or will soon be launched include: e-Travel, the Learning Management System, e-Grades (phase two), a System and Network Security Office, webcasting of classes, the Kronos Timekeeping System and the Research e-Protocol System.

Another major goal of the e-Berkeley initiative, said Conhaim, is to create customizable, online “portals” for the campus community.

Under this program, Berkeley students, faculty, staff or alumni could custom-design a unique portal based on their role or needs.

A student, for example, could create a Web site with access to his or her grades, financial aid status and class schedule. An office manager could create links to the Berkeley Financial System, Human Resources Management System and the academic calendar on his or her portal.

“This will make it easier to get the right information to the right people,” said Conhaim. “We’re now creating the building blocks for this project and hope to work on it throughout the next year.”

Chancellor Berdahl launched the e-Berkeley initiative in order to use the power of the Web to transform the way the university operates, from day-to-day functions to its central mission of teaching and research. The goal is to reduce paperwork by putting more information and services online, improving navigation to those sites and streamlining access to course information and content.

It is an open-ended, ongoing project; the needs and input of the campus community and its business partners guide the development of new e-Berkeley applications.

Proposals for e-Berkeley projects are approved by the e-Berkeley Steering Committee, chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Gray. Proposals are now being accepted for the next fiscal year. Visit for additional e-Berkeley information.


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