Last week, I got the following email from Lonny [Butcher, director of the College of Business Administration’s Office of Career Connections].  It was so good that I wanted to pass it on to everyone.

“Ok, so this article has absolutely nothing to do with student advising, careers, and all the other stuff we’re supposed to do here…or does it?

The question is, do we have “baggage fees” that keep us from really helping students?  Yes, we do!!!

Do we have antiquated views (and rules) about the qualifications/duties of an advisor? Do we have college rules and pre-requisites that require us to process over-rides and waivers? Do we focus more on getting through classes to graduate than we do on what happens after graduation?

For example…the student schedule planning tool should help a student do their own schedule, right?  However, from what I’ve heard, the student has to go back and manually enter all 60+ of their hours before they can use the tool because it can’t/won’t/we haven’t taught advisors to/we don’t require people to/we haven’t asked it to/whatever the hell… auto-download prior classes.

No customer is going to manually key in their service history to make your job easier.  Besides that, even if they did, all a student has to do is miss one pre-requisite and they are barred from scheduling any CBA classes on their own…even though intro classes don’t really require that knowledge and we just jury-rig the system by processing waivers and over-rides.  That said, no matter how attractive we make the tool or how much we blame students/advisors/leprechauns for not using the tools at their disposal, we can’t speed up the boarding process.

These “baggage fees” keep us doing things the same way instead of looking at new, innovative, and/or more meaningful ways of getting students to their destination.  Have a cup of coffee and think about that this am.  Just because everyone else does it, doesn’t mean it’s right…  :)”

Paul Jarley, Ph.D., is the dean of the UCF College of Business Administration. He blogs every week at This post appeared on September 3, 2013. Follow him on Twitter @pauljarley