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New call center started to help students

Submitted by Tanner Newton on November 30, 2016 – 1:04 pmNo Comment

Colleges are full of information, but sometimes getting information at UALR can be difficult. In an attempt to fix this problem with the university, the One Stop Shop call center has been created.

The university’s enrollment has fallen in recent years. In 2009, there were 13,132 students enrolled. This spring there were only 10,947 students enrolled. This call center is part of the plan to help bring in more students.

“Sometimes students are having difficulty getting help … so one thing is clear. We’re losing a lot of students who try to [get] advice, and they don’t get any,” said Chancellor Andrew Rogerson at a recent public forum.

“We’ve started a One Stop Shop where we will guarantee … if you call the university it will be answered immediately and someone will be nice to you, they will take the information, they will be transferring you to the appropriate office and we will get them all the help they need,” Rogerson said.

Communications and Special Projects Coordinator Mia Phillips later explained in a Forum interview that people looking for help end up waiting on hold for a while.

“We have several student services areas that experience unusually high call volume as semesters begin, Phillips said. She added, “This call center will help address very basic questions for students so they are not waiting on hold for basic information.”

Potential students can find the long wait as a turnoff, and not attend UALR.

“It’s important that we make them feel welcomed by answering the phone in a timely manner,” Rogerson said.

“If you call up and you want to be an optometrist we will find the right faculty member to talk to, to tell you how to do pre health and what you should be doing and we hope that will help,” Rogerson told those at the forum.

The chancellor also said that he wasn’t putting the blame on anybody. “I’m not criticizing anyone,” Rogerson said, noting that the staff is overworked.

The call center is open, but the school has not announced it.

“We did a soft launch to work out any technical or process issues before opening to all students. A full launch to students will be announced in the coming weeks,” Phillips said.

Rogerson said the center will be staffed by about six people, most of them work study students.

The call center is currently open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The center’s phone number is 501-569-8400 and they are temorarily located in the Chancellor’s Office – Donaldson Student Services Center Suite 423.

“As demand increases, we will increase the hours and days that we are available. We hope to have weekend and evening hours for peak times such as the beginning of semesters,” Phillips said.

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