Minutes of January 6, 2000 Meeting
The meeting convened at 10:07 a.m. in room 817 Cathedral of
UPBC members present were: Carolyn Ban, Mary Ann Barber, Clifford
Brubaker, Frank Cassell, James Cassing, Jerome Cochran, Richard Colwell,
N. John Cooper, Van Beck Hall, James Maher, Linda Marts, Thomas Metzger,
Carol Neuner, Richard Pratt, Debora Rougeux, and Philip Wion. Also
present were: Jeffrey Liebmann, Jeffrey Masnick, and Robert Pack.
UPBC members not present were: Nathan Hershey, Arthur Levine,
George Mongell, Jaime Ann Rakow, Arthur Ramicone, Michael Stuckart,
Valerie Watzlaf, Bruce Williams, and Thomas Wolf.
Approval of the Minutes and Report of the Chair
The minutes of the November 18 meeting were approved. Maher
discussed the importance of the work of the Parameters Subcommittee this
year, being chaired by Carolyn Ban. He cited particularly the impact of
new buildings coming online in FY 2001 and the need for funding as
identified in the draft University Technology Plan.
Maher reported that the Y2K transition went very well and
commended everyone involved. Cochran responded to a question on health
insurance costs by reporting that negotiations are proceeding and vendor
proposals are being reviewed.
Discussion of Commonwealth Capital Funding
Pack reported on the University's plans to distribute $137.7
million in Commonwealth capital funding within the context of the
University Facilities Plan. The Convocation Center, which accounts for
$38.0 million, is the largest single project. The Multi-Purpose Academic
Complex (MPAC), which is receiving $22.8 million, will begin in the
spring. The state has allocated $12.0 million for renovations to the
Cathedral of Learning, which will begin in the next year and include a
sprinkler system and air conditioning for the lower floors. Later in the
five-year plan are renovations to Hillman Library ($9.6 million), Trees
Hall and Fitzgerald Field House ($11.3 million), and the Johnstown Campus
library ($5.7 million), and a number of preservation projects.
Discussion of the Draft University Technology Plan
Maher discussed the dilemma facing the University, which is a
world leader in information technology, yet lagging far behind in working
the costs of technology into the operating budget. He expressed the need
for a coherent position on the role of information technology in the
University. He distributed the draft Technology Plan, which will serve as
important a function as the University Facilities Plan has.
He cautioned members of the urgency of approving a technology
plan, even if it cannot meet entirely the needs of every member of the
University community. While he sympathized that most criticisms of the
plan will come from those who want to spend more, he added that the
University must spend available funds carefully. Regardless of the
caution used, the budgetary impact over the next three years will be
Maher explained that the draft plan makes clear which units are
responsible for various actions, such as when the University will fund an
action versus the schools. The plan covers instructional needs as well as
research and institutional management. He stressed the importance of the
plan melding with the academic plans of each unit and the need to
inventory the current status of the schools with regard to technology.
Maher emphasized the progress that has been made in recent years,
including: the UNA Project; information technology in the libraries; new
management information systems; and computer enhancements on all five
campuses. He added that significant reallocations have already occurred
as a result of the work of the Information Technology Steering Committee,
including among others: joining the Internet 2 consortium; outsourcing the
student telephone system; new strategic relations with Novell, Sun,
Verisign, and other vendors; Ethernet wiring throughout the dormitories;
increased Help Desk support to 24 hours/day; and the new Tech Lab, which
will soon open in the Masonic Temple.
Much still needs to be done: a gigabyte Ethernet backbone; modern
network management software; 100 Mb/second service to every building;
dynamic host configuration technologies; new accounts management with
single signon capabilities; enhanced faculty and staff training; and
faculty presentation facilities. He added that the FY 2001 Commonwealth
appropriation request included $2.5 million for one-time investment in the
The meeting adjourned at 11:39 a.m.