To be fair, the Registrar’s Office probably bears a reputation worse than it deserves, but Barry S. Kane and his staff didn’t do anything to help themselves this week. With dreams of cutting paperwork, Yale moved its course location system entirely online this semester. Students, the registrarial wisdom went, could view course changes online in real time, saving them the frustration of reporting to the wrong room for a moved class.
The flaw shouldn’t have been hard to diagnose. Yalies hit the CourseInfo server in record numbers on Tuesday night, slowing the system to a crawl by 8:00 and leading to confusion Wednesday morning. The server capacity was part of the problem — Yale has since added two extra servers to support more traffic — but the real cause was the lack of a print supplement. Eliminating that option led everyone to the site, but no one realized the consequences until yesterday.
The office’s solution is a printable list of locations posted on its Web site, which is strangely similar to the old supplement. So much for eliminating paperwork and confusion.