OnCALL serves UH community
By Mike Berezin
The Daily Cougar
The ability to find people, phone numbers, departments, events and directions
in the UH community, and to assist other UH departments in their event
planning, are only a phone call or mouse click away.
Established in September 1996 -- primarily as an external information
line -- UH OnCALL has evolved into a comprehensive customer service initiative
serving the external and internal UH community via telephone and the Internet.
"The immediate goal was to serve an external audience, but we found
out that the internal community needed it just as much," said Susan Rosthal,
director of the Office of University Marketing.
The service utilizes a database of more than 11,000 entries and maintains
three full-time and two part-time customer service representatives, two
of whom speak Spanish.
"We have a huge database of information available to the public, and
if we get a request that we can't answer, we will seek out the information
and put it in our database, and we will call the person back," said Pat
Allenday, program director of OnCALL.
"Most calls are from people who are off-campus and interested in utilizing
the campus in some way and from prospective students or their parents who
want more information. During the busiest times -- usually the beginning
or the end of a semester -- we get more than 1,000 calls a week," Allenday
The service also maintains the UH Master Calendar, Event Line, Speaker's
Bureau and Community Resource Guide.
The Master Calendar lists both on-campus events, lectures and performances
and off-campus UH-sponsored events for each month on the Web. It also has
information on volunteer opportunities for UH students, faculty and staff.
The Event Line is an automated information line listing on-campus events
in the following categories: academic calendar, arts and entertainment,
lectures and conferences, meetings, sports, training and workshops and
directions. The Event Line is updated twice a week and is available anytime
"The Event Line is a way for people to access event information without
the Internet or during the weekend when there is no one available to answer
the phones," said Linda Lee, the customer service representative responsible
for updating the Event Line.
The Speaker's Bureau is a free service that connects UH faculty and
staff to organizations interested in having experts speak at their events,
said Aisha Martin, program manager in the Office of University Marketing.
Previous speakers have visited local secondary schools, corporations and
"The Speaker's Bureau is a way to expose the community to the faculty
and staff at the University, and a resource for organizations who need
qualified speakers," Martin said.
The Cougar Community Resource Guide is a database of public programs
sponsored by different departments within the University along with contact
UH OnCALL and its services are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
at 713-743-2255, or at www.