Taking on a new identity
Employees can replace old ID cards with a more modern, functional version

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs


Horace Mitchell

Horace Mitchell, vice chancellor-business and administrative services, shows off his newly minted faculty/staff photo ID. Peg Skorpinski photo

06 SEPTEMBER 00 | Campus employees can toss out their old identification cards and get a new, more secure and flexible version - featuring a digitized photo, authorized signature, bar code and magnetic strip - Wednesday, September 20 at the Cal Health and Safety Fair.

A badging station will be set up during the fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Pauley Ballroom, located on the second floor of the MLK Student Union.

The badging procedure takes approximately three to five minutes, and participants will get their new badge on the spot. A valid form of picture ID, such as driver's license or passport, and an employee number are needed to process the card.

Additional badging sessions will be scheduled this fall. Dates, when announced, will be posted on a new Web site ( launched in conjunction with the new card.

The site provides information on the card's special features, frequently asked questions, additional resources and background information.

The new photo identification card offers many benefits for campus employees:

o It eliminates the need for multiple identification cards. Because the old card does not include a picture or signature, a second piece of identification, such as a driver's license, is often needed for transactions.

o Because the cards can be updated automatically, the need for annual expiration stickers will eventually be phased out.

o It can be instantly de-activated if lost or stolen and a new card issued instantly.

o By November, the Library will begin using the card's magnetic strip or barcode to determine client eligibility.

It is anticipated that other departments and service providers, such as the Recreational Sports Facility, will modify their systems to take advantage of the new electronic card as well, said Angela Blackstone, director of Information Technologies for Residential and Student Service Programs, which oversees the Cal Photo ID office.

For example, with a swipe of the card, employees can pay for university meal plans, access secure buildings or use the card as a debit or charge card to purchase supplies. Staff in the Parking and Transportation Office and Housing and Dining Services use their cards to access their electronic time clock.

While the new ID cards are not mandatory, said Blackstone, employees may find it more convenient to use the new digitized card.

Chancellor Berdahl said he hopes the campus will climb on board and get their photo IDs this fall. In April, members of the Chancellor's cabinet got their badges made during one of their regular meetings. Berkeley students have been using this system for almost four years.

"Berkeley is the only one among its sister UC campuses not utilizing this type of identification card for its faculty and staff," said Blackstone. "This kind of program is also in place at many peer institutions across the nation."

Employees are not required to wear their badges, however, certain departments may require it for security reasons.

The ID project for staff and faculty came about after a number of people on campus requested a form of identification similar to that utilized by students. An internship, funded by the Administrative and Student Services Computing Subcommittee and the office of Undergraduate Affairs, was created in early 1999 to explore the feasibility of the project.

Building upon the program already in place for students, the employee identification program was created, sponsored by the Vice Chancellor's Administrative Council, the Vice Chancellor of Resource Planning and Budget and the director of the Residential and Student Services Programs - Information Technologies.



Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.

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