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Plans for the MyUNC Web site have been in the works since December 2000, when the registrar's office began thinking about redesigning Student Central.

Since then, the new site has been designed and loaded with resources previously found on several different sites such as weather, a course search engine and an around-the-clock view of the Pit.

The new site allows students to customize their own page by using the same Onyen identification used by Webmail, which will also probably be added to the MyUNC site in the future. The portals available for the site range from world news to horoscopes and will probably become more diverse as suggestions roll in from the site.

Lori Casile, assistant to the vice chancellor of information technology services, said that the site has been running for a while but that officials waited before announcing it because they were not yet ready to handle the number of hits they are expecting.

"We (needed) hundreds of testers to tell us what they want to see," Casile said. "People need to look at it and give us a bunch of feedback."

Casile explained that the site is not meant to replace Student Central or the original UNC Web site, only to enhance them.

"The purpose of this portal is to allow users to organize large amounts of Web-based data into smaller, more familiar bits," she said.

Plans for the site ran smoothly, despite initial fears about financial delays, Casile said.

"The budget wasn't a problem because we have no budget," she said. "The people working on this are volunteers with other jobs."

Despite a shortage of staff, the only delay in getting the Web site online was a lack of adequate servers to support the site. The servers were funded by a grant, which Casile hopes will expand if enough students use the site.

The people in charge of the site want more departments to be included into the main site. Steve Jarrell, interim vice chancellor for information technologies services, said support has been good so far.

"We've had very enthusiastic participation," Jarrell said. "Our main concern is getting the existing services to work."

Jarrell said the new system will be more efficient for students who are frustrated by the array of Web addresses needed to navigate the University's system.

"We're presenting information already available in an easier-to-use fashion," Jarrell said. "This allows students to tailor the information available to them."

Jarrell said the Office of Information Technology Services has been eager to unveil the site for student critique. "I think it's a very exciting way to deliver information, and I think people are going to be pleased."

The address of the Web site is http://my.unc.edu.

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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