Overview

A perm is a form of identification assigned to every UC Santa Barbara applicant and student. As the number of applicants and students has steadily increased over the years, the number of available perms has dwindled. Perms are integrated into many campus information systems, so a team of IT professionals has been exploring possible solutions, such as the introduction of an alphanumeric perm, that will responsibly grow with campus for decades to come.

Impact

No students currently – or previously – enrolled at UC Santa Barbara will be impacted by this effort. Alphanumeric perms will be assigned in Fall 2022 (being assigned to the incoming class for Fall 2023). All existing perms will continue to work as they always have, with no expected changes to their length or format.

Project Timeline

  • Discovery, Analysis, and Planning: 6/1/2019 - 12/31/2020
  • Execution and Updates: 1/1/2021 - 5/31/2021
  • Integration Testing and QA: 6/1/2021 - 8/31/2022
  • Go-live: 9/1/22
  • Post-Go-live Support Operations & Maintenance: 9/1/2022 - 6/30/2023

Resources

Campus Communication

Testing

Whitepapers

Presentations

Contact

For questions, concerns, inquiries, and other items related to this project, please send an email to perm@sa.ucsb.edu.

Project Sponsors

Margaret Klawunn, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Executive Sponsor

Anthony Schmid, Registrar
Business Project Sponsor

Joe Sabado, Deputy CIO
Technical Project Sponsor

Project Team

Josh Andersen
Project Manager

Seth Northrop
Technical Lead

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

September 1, 2022, is the earliest date that alphanumeric perms are expected to be used on campus and in campus applications/systems.

Currently, a perm is a six-digit student identification number assigned to every UC Santa Barbara student and applicant. Future perms will feature alphanumeric characters.

Perms are assigned to every UC Santa Barbara student and applicant, and as the pool of students and applicants has steadily increased over the years, the number of available perms has dwindled. The current six-digit perm only offers 999,999 unique perm values. Based on current estimates, we anticipate we will run out of available perms as early as 2023, and as late as 2030.

No students currently – or previously – enrolled at UCSB will be impacted by this effort. Alphanumeric perms will be assigned in Fall 2022 (being assigned to the incoming class of Winter 2023). All existing perms will continue to work as they always have, with no expected changes to their length or format. Students enrolled starting in Winter 2023 will be assigned alphanumeric perms.

The primary impact to staff will be getting accustomed to any changes related to the appearance or composition of a perm. Additionally, technical staff will need to be involved to determine whether their applications will work with the proposed solution as-is, or if updates will be required to ensure the applications can work with a modified perm.

The primary impact on faculty will be getting accustomed to any changes related to the appearance or composition of a student perm. Additionally, Faculty who have systems or services that utilize perms will need to be evaluated to determine whether they will work with the proposed solution as-is, or if updates will be required to ensure the applications can work with a modified perm.

In order to avoid ambiguity in alphanumeric perms, the following characters will not be used in alphanumeric perms:

  • BDGILOQSZ

This means that following characters are valid for alphanumeric perms:

  • 0123456789ACEFHJKMNPRTUVWXY

One Caveat: We will never start an alphanumeric perm with an X. The reason for this is that UCSB Professional and Continuing Education (formerly UCSB Extension) students have a student identifier that begins with an X, and we do not want to conflate those identifiers with UCSB perms. So while X is a valid character to have within an alphanumeric perm, we will never start an alphanumeric perm with an X.

Yes, we will never start an alpanumeric perm with an X, so as to differentiate UCSB perms from UCSB Professional and Continuing Education (formerly UCSB Extension) student identifiers. X will be a valid character to be included within an alphanumeric perm -- but will never be in the first position of an alphanumeric perm (i.e. A1A1X1 would be a valid alphanumeric perm, whereas X1A1A1 would not be a valid alphanumeric perm).

No, alphanumeric perms, will not be case-sensitive. Capital and lower case characters should be treated the same (e.g. A2A2A2 and a2a2a2 would be the same perm, representing the same individual).