KU Directory Assistance

KU Directory Assistance - PhoneticOperator

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Phonetic Operator directory assistance service. If you should have any questions or comments about the system, please e-mail us at itcsc@ku.edu.

The University of Kansas Networking and Telecommunications Services has implemented a new application called the PhoneticOperator. It provides directory assistance for University departments, faculty, staff and students using speech recognition technology. It can be accessed by dialing (785)864-2700 from off campus or '0' from on campus.


PhoneticOperator is easy to use; below are some tips to use it most effectively.

  • Try to minimize background noise before calling by turning down the television, radio or other music sources playing in the room.
  • Avoid using speakerphones when calling PhoneticOperator. The background noise picked up by speakerphones will interfere with the efficiency of PhoneticOperator. Cellular phones will work but may be less successful if the connection is not of good quality.
  • Please speak naturally and avoid using extra words such as "please" or "I want the number for..."
  • Speak at normal volume.
  • If there are several similar listings and PhoneticOperator has not established a clear match for you, you may be asked to repeat or spell a name.
  • If you are asked to repeat the name you want, please repeat it the same way each time. If you change the way you ask for the name the second time, you reduce the likelihood of the system finding the listing you want.
  • If you are asked to spell a name, don't worry about knowing the correct spelling. PhoneticOperator works phonetically--you can misspell the last name and it will still find the listing you want.


If the listing has an on-campus number, you will be transferred automatically. If the listing is off-campus, PhoneticOperator will tell you the telephone number and repeat the number a second time. If the system cannot find a match in its database with the name you are looking for, you will be routed to a University operator.

During hours when there is no University operator on duty, you may also want to visit www.ku.edu and use the "KU People Search" function to find listings for University faculty, staff and students.

Changing Your Contact Information

If the phone number listed for you is wrong or you would prefer the system to use a different first name (preferred name) for you, please take the following steps to include the changes in PhoneticOperator's database.

  • Students should log in to Enroll & Pay at https://sa.ku.edu to update phone numbers, addresses and emergency contacts. For information about changing information on academic records and restricting or releasing personal academic information, please visit the the website maintained by the Registrar's Office at http://www.registrar.ku.edu/current/updateinfo.shtml.
  • Faculty and staff members should call Human Resources at 864-4946 with corrections to your phone number or preferred name.

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