October 21, 1998
Vol. 10, No. 9
Senior Academic VP shares view of future
In the report to the Academic Senate, David Pershing, senior vice president
for Academic Affairs and chief academic officer, discussed his vision of
the future from the vantage point of Academic Affairs. Pershing said the
University must "prepare to be competitive in the next century." Alluding
to the depth of resources and quality of the faculty found here, he said,
"The University of Utah is a sleeping bear that is waking up. Thus far, we
have not brought our full strength to the competitive market." Pershing
said his long-term interests will include:
Construction job will place sewer under South Campus Dr.
- "Align quality and clients." (not customers). Each department will
be asked to identify its primary clients and orient decisions toward
serving them in the context of providing a high-quality academic experience.
- "Provide a seamless spectrum of academic offerings." Academic units
should decide how to best deliver their course offerings using day/night
classes, Internet/conventional instruction, summer term, etc. in a seamless
manner. Other institutions, both locally and nationally, are moving rapidly
in this direction.
- "Provide a supportive environment for faculty in teaching,
research, and scholarship." The administration will work to foster these
activities of the faculty.
- "Create a user-friendly delivery system for our students." Create
incentives to enhance student satisfaction, and recognize and address
issues such as parking, limited majors, support services, etc.
For the next two months, construction workers will be installing a new
sewer line under South Campus Drive from the Annex to the intersection of
Guardsman Way and 500 South. Work will be accomplished in 100-yard
segments, beginning near the Jon M. Huntsman Center. One lane of traffic in
each direction will stay open during construction. The 12-inch PVC plastic
pipe will be buried 10 feet deep along the south side of the roadway.
Action group focuses on roadblocks facing students
The line is necessary to serve present and future phases of the
Huntsman Cancer Institute, which is under construction above University
Hospital. Previous utility work brought the line from the institute site as
far as the northwest corner of the Annex. The privately funded HCI was
formed for the purpose of using genetics research to find cures and
preventions for various forms of cancer. Phase I of the building is
scheduled for completion next summer.
"Search and destroy" is the goal of the University Student Commission,
formed to identify administrative practices that hamper students, and to
eliminate or fix such practices. David Pershing, senior vice President for
Academic Affairs, and John Francis, associate vice president, set four
immediate goals for the 15-member commission. The group will examine the
student privacy issue, consider charging students a matriculation fee, look
into the growing number of "holds" on student records and registrations,
and lead efforts to get to know the student body better by using surveys to
build a profile.
Use campus stations for snow-closure information
The commission draws members from all parts of the University,
including Institutional Research, Counseling Center, Registrar Ralph Boren,
and Stayner Landward, Dean of Students.
Tune to KUER FM90, KUED Channel 7, or other news media to find out the
status of the University in event of heavy snowfall. If the University does
close early in the morning, it will remain closed only as long as necessary
to cope with the storm. Employees are expected to monitor KUER or KUED and
come to work when the campus reopens. A closure during the day will be
communicated through supervisors.
Calendar change produces expected enrollment drop
Emergency personnel, including employees of University Hospitals
and Clinics, must come to work during a closure. For reference, see Policy
1-14 at www.admin.utah.edu/ppmanual.
All of the universities and colleges in the Utah System of Higher Education
that switched to the semester system this fall experienced a drop in
enrollment. The USHE schools making the switch dropped an average of 11.5
percent in full-time-equivalent (FTE) students. This reduction was 7.15
percent at the U of U. Utah State University was down 10.28 percent FTE and
Weber State dropped 9.32 percent. Utah Valley State College, which
converted to the semester system several years ago, was the only school to
gain, a substantial 11.28 percent. The systemwide drop was expected; it is
temporary, and it is normal when institutions make the switch, says Cecelia
H. Foxley, commissioner of higher education. Many students hurried to
finish on the quarter system, while some potential enrollees weren't ready
for the early start, despite all the communications aimed in their
Oct. 28 in Union
In endorsing the semester conversion, the 1998 Utah Legislature
passed "legislative intent" language saying that schools would not be
penalized for the drop in enrollment. Of more immediate concern to
administrators at the U is that students are not taking the third-again
more courses per term that they must to stay on track for a degree at the
same pace as before. Another concern is that FTE enrollment dropped 26.71
percent at Salt Lake Community College, the major transfer feeder school
for the U. The Semester Transition Council has reconvened to see if any
additional measures are needed, or determine that the problems will solve
themselves as students and faculty gain experience with the new calendar.
Product show demonstrates how to save $
The Purchasing Department invites campus offices to a "State-Contract
Vendor Product Show" Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Union Ballroom.
More than 70 vendors will show how to save money on supplies, equipment,
and services priced on the basis of a bidding process with the State of
Utah. Information about state-contract purchases can be found at
www.acs.utah.edu/purchasing, or from Teresa, ext. 1-6622, or Kathy, ext.
1-6850, in Purchasing.
Teleconference covers personal finances
TIAA/CREF is sponsoring a free national teleconference on "Reaching Your
Financial Goals," Wednesday, Oct. 28 at noon. Panelists will include
columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, economist Peter Bernstein, and financial
planner Elissa Buie. The conference may be viewed in two locations: 212
Milton Bennion Hall or the Dumke Board Room in the Eccles Broadcast Center.
For information, call Benefits at ext. 1-7447, or visit www.tiaa-cref.org.
November is sign-up time for Flexible Spending
November is the open enrollment period for those who wish to participate in
Flexible Spending (Section 125) for 1999. If you are currently on Flexible
Spending and want to continue, you must re-enroll for 1999.
'98 is 27-check year; affects Flex Spending
Flexible Spending allows you to avoid income taxes on certain
predictable expenses, including child care, prescription drugs, out
of-pocket medical and dental expenses, and vision/hearing care. To use it,
you place pre-tax income into an account, and then receive reimbursements
from that account. Effective for 1999, the Flexible Spending allowance for
medical and dental expenses will increase to $3,600 per year. For
information, contact the Human Resources Benefits Office at ext. 1-7447.
Because the University pays every two weeks instead of twice a month, you
occasionally receive three paychecks during a calendar month, and-about
every 10 years-you get 27 paychecks during a calendar year. 1998 is such a
Crime report gives info on prevention, services
Each check gives you two weeks pay for two weeks work at the rate
of your annual salary, so the only people to feel any unusual effect of the
27th check will be those who participate in the Flexible Spending program.
No Flexible Spending deduction will be taken from the Dec.30 paycheck.
Like all universities, the U of U is required by federal law to make public
statistics about the number and type of crimes on campus. This information
can be found in Safety at the U, a brochure that is available at campus
information desks, in high-use buildings such as University Bookstore, and
at the Public Safety Office at 1735 E. South Campus Drive. Recent numbers
and more detail are available at the Web site www.uupd.utah.edu. The
figures indicate that theft is by far the most common crime. Bob Wilson,
University Police chief, says the U of U numbers are low compared to most
other urban universities around the country. Location in a large city is
the single most important factor in determining crime rates, and most
campus crimes are committed by people who are not students, staff, or
faculty, he says.
The publication also tells what to do if you are a crime victim,
provides a directory of emergency services, gives safety tips, explains
alcohol/drug policies, and summarizes the ongoing efforts to make the
campus safe and crime-free. Crime prevention materials and non-judgmental
substance abuse referrals are available at ext. 5-2677 (5-COPS).
Planning addresses future space needs
Improvement and addition of facilities continues to be a way of life on the
U of U campus. Here's a rundown on what's happening, and on what to expect
in the foreseeable future. (Note that most projects are not funded by the
- Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Building-Dedicated Sept. 28, this new
building provides modern labs and offices devoted to biology research, with
two large classrooms. Private funding.
- Rice-Eccles Stadium-Now in use for football games, some finish work
remains to be done. Funding from private, Olympics, and Athletics sources.
- Bike paths and pedestrian signals-Signals aid crossing at Foothill
and Wasatch Drive, and a bicycle path on Wasatch Drive provides links to
the Salt Lake City system and Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Federal funding
under Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act.
- Temporary Health Sciences parking lot-Space created by razing old
military barracks near the Biomedical Polymers Research Building will
provide employee/visitor parking until new building construction can begin,
as noted below.
- Stoplight on South Campus Drive-Located near the Jon M. Huntsman
Center, this Utah Department of Transportation project will improve
pedestrian safety and allow counterclockwise shuttles to use the business
- University Student Housing at Fort Douglas-Groupings of two, three,
and four-story buildings will be used in combination with existing Fort
Douglas residences to create a neighborhood atmosphere for student housing,
served by a central facility with dining and other amenities. The area will
double as the Winter Olympics Athletes Village. To be done in phases, with
completion scheduled for fall semester, 2000; funding from Olympics and
future residence hall revenues.
- Huntsman Cancer Institute-Located east of Moran Eye Center, this
facility will provide a home for the organization dedicated to the pursuit
of using genetics research to find ways to cure and prevent cancer.
Complete next summer; private funding.
- Gymnastics Practice Facility-Located north of HPER-East, this
building will replace a dark gymnasium with facilities designed for
gymnastics, worthy of a national-championship caliber program, and aid in
recruiting gymnasts. Complete this December; private funding.
- Gardner Hall renovation and concert hall addition-Crews are
rebuilding what was once the old Union Building into a facility designed
for the Music Department, with an acoustically outstanding concert hall.
Complete June 1999; private and state funding.
- Marcia and John Price Museum Building-This facility will provide a
new home for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the south end of the
engineering-to-fine arts campus mall. Complete fall 1999; private funding.
- C. Roland Christensen Center-Named for a patriarch of the
Case/Discussion Method of instruction at Harvard, the building's U-shaped
classrooms, small team discussion rooms, and even food service facilities
are designed around interactive instruction for the David Eccles School of
Business. Complete early 2000; private funding.
Funded, in Program or Design
(All projects require approval by the Legislature, regardless of
- Pioneer Memorial Theatre addition-New space will provide a new
scene shop, a second rehearsal hall, and storage space to support Pioneer
Theatre Company. Renovated space will serve the Department of Theatre. The
building will be renamed the Roy W. And Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer
Memorial Theatre. Private funding.
- Expansion of Eccles Broadcast Center-This will create added space
for rapidly expanding technology/distance learning activities in support of
public and higher education, statewide. Non-state funds will come from
- Baseball field on Guardsman Way-This field will replace the diamond
near Medical Towers, which became part of the Fort Douglas housing project.
Complete for 1999 baseball season.
- Northeast parking terrace-A 618-stall terrace will be built at the
north end of the Health Sciences area and funded by the Huntsman Cancer
Institute, Moran Eye Center, and Primary Childrens Medical Center for their
use, thus taking some of the pressure off of other parking in the Health
- West-east TRAX light rail system-Depending on availability of
federal funding, the University has worked out with Salt Lake City and Utah
Transit Authority a route for the Trax system to serve campus. If the
system is built, trains would stop at the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot,
near the Huntsman Center South Campus Drive, and terminate on Wasatch Drive
near University Hospital, south of Primary Childrens Medical Center.
- Cowles Building renovation-After the Music Department moves back to
David Gardner Hall, the Cowles Building on Presidents Circle will be
renovated for use by the Mathematics Department. The Legislature provided
planning funds, and will be asked for construction funding in the 1999
- Health Sciences professional training and support building-To be
located west of the Biomedical Polymers Research Building, this facility
will serve the Physicians Assistant Program, Dental Training, and other
Health Sciences programs. Complete in 2000; private funding.
- Health Sciences "mixed-use" facility-A private vendor will be
sought to build and operate a lodging facility for outpatients and their
families, south of PCMC and west of University Hospital. The financial
arrangement will be similar to that of Research Park facilities, wherein
ownership reverts to the University after a specified time period.
- Health Sciences laboratory building-To be located east of the south
parking terrace, this building will allow consolidation of existing School
of Medicine labs, and bring back departments now using leased space.
Schedule will depend upon obtaining private funding.
- Bridge over Wasatch Drive-A mixed-use bridge will connect the new
residence halls at Fort Douglas with the east-west HPER mall to central
campus. The bridge will accommodate pedestrians, bicycles, and a
people-mover system. Federal funding through the TEA-21 Bill.
- East campus central plant-This would replace individual building
cooling systems with a more efficient and effective central system for the
older buildings surrounding the School of Medicine. Schedule depends on
obtaining state funding.
- West campus parking terrace-To be located somewhere in the
southwest sector, a terrace will be necessary to make up for spaces lost to
various projects, and to serve Kingsbury Hall and the new concert hall.
Parking revenues funding.
- State Department of Health building-Not a University project, this
will replace the current building west of the College of Nursing with a
facility to serve children with special needs.
Published by the Office of University Communications
Terry Newfarmer, editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
ext. 1-7996, 308 Park Building.
Copyright © 1998 University of Utah