PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 27, No. 1, July 5, 2007
Redesigned i-cards provide new look, improved features
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
Identification cards for UI faculty and staff members and students – as well as retirees and other eligible people – at all three campuses are getting makeovers, the first significant redesign for i-cards since 1996.
The redesigned i-cards have fresh, new looks featuring the logos and colors for each campus – orange for Urbana, red for Chicago and silver for Springfield – as well as photos of campus-specific landmarks, such as the Alma Mater statue at Urbana.
The new i-cards went into production at campus ID centers in mid-May. New UI students and faculty and staff members as well as people requesting replacement cards are being issued cards with the new designs.
In addition to aesthetic improvements, the information on the i-card was reorganized, and the i-card logo is more prominent to help distinguish the card as the official university ID. The front of the card displays the cardholder’s university ID number, library number and card number. The library barcode has been moved to the back of the card and has a space-saving format. The e-mail address and phone number of the campus ID center has been added to the back of the card as well.
Students will have the option to use their new card as a debit or ATM card if they have a checking account with TCF Bank, a subsidiary of a Minnesota-based financial holding company that has branches throughout the Chicago area and recently entered into an agreement with the university to offer free banking services to UI students. As with conventional ATM and debit cards, as an added measure of security a student’s i-card will require a personal identification number to conduct bank transactions.
Marya Ryan, director of i-card Programs, said that during 2001, the Springfield campus conducted a pilot program called “One Card,” which allowed students to use their student ID as a debit card to pay for campus-based services such as meal plans or food purchases from vending machines and the food court, and laundry services. Students at the Urbana and Chicago can use their i-card for meal plans, and UIC cardholders also can use campus-based debit accounts at select campus locations. Students at Urbana and Chicago demonstrated strong interest in having debit accounts similar to Springfield during a recent informal face-to-face survey conducted by i-card Programs.
Currently, Urbana students can add up to $25 to their card to prepay for copying services, but these funds are recorded on the card itself and are inaccessible if the card is lost. One-card debit accounts track accounts online and use the card to access the account, so funds are still accessible if the card is lost.
The Chicago campus has meal plan and campus-based debit accounts for its students, and UIC is working with i-card Programs to broaden the program.
Additionally, the i-card Programs Office is promoting a program called “i-card Perks” that encourages businesses to offer special discounts or deals to cardholders from Aug. 1 to July 31 each year.
Existing cardholders can replace their current i-card with the redesigned card at any time. New cards for current cardholders will be phased in at each of the campuses, and faculty and staff members probably will be targeted to update their cards during 2008 or 2009, Ryan said.
The i-card Programs Office will notify campus units before any cards with the previous design are deactivated, which will not occur before 2009.
The first i-card issued to each eligible person is free, as are replacements for cards that are defective, worn from normal use or that become outdated because the cardholder’s name or status has changed. Cardholders are required to surrender their outdated i-cards when they obtain cards with the new design, or they will incur a $20 fee. A $20 fee also applies when replacing cards that are lost, stolen or damaged through misuse.
Campus units whose operations allow use of card-swipe or barcode readers to check out equipment or materials, can temporarily retain i-cards during these transactions but are required to keep the cards in secure locations and to check the photos and names on the cards carefully when returning cards to patrons. Units also may continue to confiscate invalid cards and should submit confiscated cards to their campus ID centers.
Images of the fronts and backs of the redesigned i-cards are available in PDF formats on the Web site for the i-card Programs Office. Campus units that display i-card images on their Web sites, signage, publications or other types of communications should download and apply the new images.
Only i-cards have been redesigned; other cards – such as IDs for visitors, University High School students, and departmental name badges – are unchanged.
News Bureau, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
807 South Wright Street. Suite 520 East, Champaign, Illinois 61820-6219
Telephone 217 333-1085, Fax 217 244-0161