SIUC to stop use of social security numbers as student IDs

By Gus Bode

Social security numbers will no longer be used as student identification after Memorial Day.

The university will start implementing random identification numbers – called Dawg Tags – for all SIUC students, faculty and staff. Frank Scobby, interim director of Information Technology, said the reason for the change is to protect people from identity theft.

“The social security number is far too exposed, not only on this campus but everywhere,” Scobby said. “So we’re trying to eliminate the use of social security numbers on this campus.”


Victoria Valle, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the conversion is part of a nationwide trend to stop the broad use of social security numbers.

Valle said the new ID numbers are also a part of the larger process of converting to a new student information system, which should be implemented in fall 2009. Valle said a Dawg Tag would be issued for every SIUC student who has attended in the past 17 years in order to keep past records compatible with the new system.

Valle said social security numbers would still be used by the university, but only for financial aid and payroll purposes. They would be somewhat invisible to areas such as the library, Debit Dawg and so forth, Valle said, and students would “never again” have to place their social security numbers on things like exams.

“(Dawg Tags) will only benefit them,” Valle said. “It will help to make their information more secure.”

Valle said new ID cards would be distributed throughout summer and early fall at no cost to students, faculty or staff. All should have new ID cards by October, but the Dawg Tag number will not be fully implemented until September 2009 when the new student information system is completed.

Madeleine Leroux can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268 or [email protected].