Thursday, February 17, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 97

Smith honors Asian-American Studies program

Bookstores vie for Web market

Safety, comfort improved at dorms

Cougar Comics Online

About the Cougar

Virtual administrator lets students escape red tape

By Eric M. Law
News Reporter

College students rarely have an opportunity to interact one-on-one with the administration at their universities, leading to presidents, provosts, deans and other top-ranking officials' being called "unapproachable."

But the UH System at Fort Bend is trying to find a way around this with "Clara Naughton," a virtual administrator available to students 24 hours a day via the Internet.

Clara actually is a top administrator at Fort Bend who, for obvious reasons, wants to remain anonymous and uphold the confidentiality of this program.

"Clara is like my virtual alter-ego," the administrator said.

The idea for Clara came when the campus' Web site was being re-designed. "I wanted a better way for students to voice opinions and complaints," the administrator said. "Administrators usually want to make a difference, but find themselves separated from student needs by hierarchy -- Clara helps me bridge that gap."

Officials said they have been very pleased with student response to the service.

"Such a small satellite campus like UHS-Fort Bend has made an innovation for creative student involvement," said Mason Dooley, a professor at Fort Bend.

Clara accepts problems, suggestions, opinions and praise from students at

Send comments to

Last update:
Visit The Daily Cougar