Strikes me that a redesign of your tables and layouts might be a good idea, but can't tell for sure from your description, so I'm going to stick to suggestions on how to make the above set up work for you.
I'm assuming that if a person's phone number or other contact data is updated, you'll want to see that updated info appear on all the records where you are selecting people from value lists. This isn't always the case--sometimes you need to keep data in past records unchanged. If you don't want the changes to appear automatically, let me know and I'll post a slightly different approach that uses the same relationships I am about to describe.
Let's assume you have two tables for this suggestion, your names will be different so substitute your own table and field names for mine: MainTable, ContactInfo
For purposes of this discussion, MainTable has just Two fields: ContactID1 and ContactID2
ContactInfo would have the following fields:
ContactID (auto-entered serial number)
You'd define the following relationships (One for each of the two individuals shown above):
MainTable::ContactID1 = ContactInfo::ContactID
MainTable::ContactID2 = ContactInfo 2::ContactID
ContactInfo 2 is a second table occurence of ContactInfo. It points to the same data source table, but has a different name so you can link it to a different field in MainTable. To create it, select the table occurrence box for ContactInfo in Manage | Database | Relationships and then click the button with two green plus signs.
On your MainTable layout, place Both ContactID1 and ContactID2 fields, formatted with the same 2 column value list of values drawn from ContactInfo. Column 1 should show the ContactID and Column 2 should show the name. Don't hide the first column unless you also use a validation rule to enforce unique names in ContactInfo or duplicate names won't show in the list.
Next to ContactID1 place name, phone, dept and school fields from ContactInfo. Next to ContactID2, place the same fields, but select them from ContactInfo 2 instead of contact Info.
Now when you select a person in ContactID1, you'll see their contact info appear automatically and the same will occur for a different person selected in ContactID2.
Thanks for the reply, Phil...
I think you're right, I wouldn't want it to update old information. I follow your response above, but I would appreciate a modified answer.
Thanks so much!
Option 2 uses the same relationships, but you need separate data fields in main table that auto-enter values from ContactInfo and contactInfo 2.
I'll describe the process for two fields and you can apply the same methods to the others.
Define Phone1 and Phone2 fields in MainTable. In field options for Phone1, click the auto-enter tab and select the looked up value option. Select the Phone field from ContactInfo as the value to copy into this field. Do the same for Phone2, but select the Phone field from ContactInfo 2 instead of ContactInfo.