November 18, 1998
Vol. 10, No. 11
Includes items not yet published.
President sees progress on funding formulas
In reports to the Academic Senate and Board of Trustees, President Bernie
Machen indicated he is seeing faster-than-expected progress toward
attaining budget flexibility for the Utah System of Higher Education
schools and a model of state funding not based exclusively on enrollment
growth. "Accountability has helped with the Legislature," he says. "We can
talk about these other issues, now that we are past the
Chronicle made error
The flexibility issue is getting a fair hearing by legislators,
Machen says. As a tactic in the budgeting process, the USHE will not
declare itself on any tuition increase a year in advance, as done in the
past, but will wait until there are better estimates of state revenues. It
does look like the University will get approval to set differential tuition
for some graduate/professional schools when it is appropriate to do so.
The University is working toward a state funding model that would
be based on total enrollment-rather than just growth-and would include
non-personnel budget increases that higher education has not received for
more than a decade. Machen says the Legislature may consider a new funding
formula as early as the coming session in January.
Paychecks may come twice per month, taxes stay same
The administration is contemplating (no decision yet) issuing paychecks
twice each month, rather than every two weeks. This means there would be 24
paychecks per year, rather than 26 or 27 (see related item in this issue of
FYI). "With 261 working days most years, we actually have 26.1 pay periods,
but this is not something the PeopleSoft payroll system is set up to handle
without extensive modifications," says Ron Tremea, director of Governmental
Accounting and Support Services. "The simplest solution is to pay twice per
month, as many employers do." If the proposal is adopted, paydays would be
the 7th and 22nd of each month, or the preceding Friday if the date falls
on a weekend.
'98 is 27-check year; affects Flex Spending
A year's pay would still be a year's pay. Divided by 24 instead of
26.1, each paycheck would be about 8 percent larger. Tax withholding would
also be slightly more, and it is a phenomenon of withholding schedules that
withholding would go up about $15 total for the year on a $24,000 salary
(not $251, as incorrectly reported in the Nov. 12 Daily utah Chronicle). In
any case, the taxes you actually pay are determined by your income for the
year, not the number of paychecks.
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
National confab looks at violence
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 need to be taken from the Dec. 30
The Philosophy Department and Philosophy Club are hosting a national
colloquium, "Violence and Non-Violence," Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to
6 p.m. At the Alumni House. Authors, religious leaders, pacifists, and a
representative of the U.S. Military Academy will discuss everything from
Gandhi's philosophy to nuclear weapons, followed by round-table discussions
by participants. Registration is free.
Engineering school gains new dean
Gerald Stringfellow, Distinguished Professor and chair of Materials Science
and Engineering, has been appointed dean of the College of Engineering,
effective Dec. 1. Stringfellow earned his B.S. degree at the U of U, and
Ph.D. at Stanford. He was a project manager for Hewlett Packard before
joining the U faculty in 1980. Stringfellow has won numerous awards in
science and technology, and he is the author of 330 technical papers and
several books. He replaces David Pershing, who is now senior vice president
for Academic Affairs.
www.utah.edu/unews Gives latest news about the U
To find out more about what's going on at the U, visit the University News
Service Web site at www.utah.edu/unews. If you choose "subscribe," you will
receive news releases automatically by e-mail as they are issued by the
Office of University Communications. If you prefer, you may read recent
releases on the site under "releases." Links also help you contact news
writers and view a list of experts on numerous topics available at the
University. Intended for public consumption, news release content may be
used in newsletters, etc., without permission.
U responds to far-reaching questions from Regents
The button "News Links" takes you to other sources of information
about the University, including the Web sites of the Daily Utah Chronicle,
Health Sciences Center Public Affairs Office (including Pulse), Continuum,
magazine of the University of Utah, and, of course, FYI...a faculty/staff
As part of its planning effort, the Board of Regents queried trustees of
each of the Utah System of Higher Education schools on various points. The
U administration worked with the Board of Trustees to prepare a response.
Here is a summary of the points in the response:
Olympic test event provides opportunity to volunteer
- The University's mission is fine as it is.
- If called upon to do so, the U of U could expand enrollment by
2,500 to 3,500 students with current facilities, if it has adequate funds
for remodeling and operations. Some specific programs can absorb more
enrollment; others cannot, without additional facilities.
- If the U actually "built out" all available space designated in the
Long Range Development Plan for facilities, the maximum capacity of the
main campus would be 35,000 to 37,000 students. Expansion of that magnitude
would require an enormous planning effort, considering such factors as
impact on surrounding neighborhoods. Growth might also be routed to
- The role of technology will continue to grow, especially as an
augmentation to classroom instruction. Present needs for renovation and
upgrading to accommodate technology amount to about $3.5 million for
classrooms and labs, $1 million to complete the communications backbone,
and another $14 million for networking and telecommunication equipment.
- Planning issues at the U include: adjusting to the semester system,
securing adequate parking and transportation, meeting the markets for staff
and faculty salaries, securing resources to keep up with technology,
finding the appropriate niche for the U in distance learning, and coping
with an ever-changing health care industry.
- Issues the USHE as a whole needs to address include: the funding
model, priorities in facility funding, adjustment of institutional missions
as enrollment grows, and distance education policies.
Volunteer positions are open for those who want to get involved in the 2002
Winter Olympics early by serving as a volunteer at the pre-Olympic events
that will be used to test the venues before that actual games begin. One
such opportunity will be the United States Figure Skating Championship,
this coming February at the Delta Center and the E Center in West Valley.
The event will be televised on ABC with Peggy Fleming and Dick Button as
ArtTix, Smith's Tix are here
Through the Office of Olympic Coordination, the University has
agreed to send a block of 200 volunteers to handle registration and
credentialing of athletes, coaches, chaperons, and media. Volunteers must
be willing to work three shifts of four hours each during the period Feb.
5-12, 1999, at the Salt Lake Hilton. In return, volunteers will receive a
uniform, a ticket to the figure skating opening ceremony (with option to
purchase more), and four vouchers to attend junior events at the E Center.
For a registration form, contact Gwen Springmeyer, 316 Union, ext. 5-7180.
You don't have to go downtown!
Tickets are available at the University for many concerts and other events
held in and around Salt Lake City, even when they don't take place on
campus. Kingsbury Hall on Presidents Circle is an outlet for all the ArtTix
performances, including Ballet West and the Utah Symphony. (For that
matter, you may purchase tickets to Kingsbury Hall events at other ArtTix
outlets, but they will cost $1.50 more than here.) By the same token, the
Jon M. Huntsman Center ticket office handles all the events ticketed
through Smith's Tix. This will include Utah Jazz games when the NBA resumes
On-job vehicle users must take refresher on defensive driving
Risk Management reminds supervisors that they are responsible for ensuring
that employees who drive as a fundamental part of their jobs take an
approved 30-minute defensive driving course annually. Those who
occasionally use U of U vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on
University business must take the course every three years. Supervisors
must also ensure that drivers have a valid driver's license, and that
employees involved in an at-fault accident, reckless driving, or DUI, must
complete the course.
Renting a car?
The Human Resources Training and Development Office, ext. 1-5470,
offers the video/workbook course "The Ultimate Driving Challenge" monthly.
The course is also available at the reference desks of the Marriott Library
and Eccles Health Sciences Library, or from Risk and Insurance Management,
ext. 1-5949. The latter also has copies of an alternative course, "National
Driving Test II."
Contracts modify vendor list
State contracts for car rentals have changed. Travelers on University
business may now receive special state-contract rates with the Alamo
(contract #113111), National (#50001180), and Dollar (#UT6009) agencies.
Travelers within the U.S. and Canada who use these agencies do not need to
purchase insurance from the car rental agency or pay the U self-insurance
fee. (When renting not on the state contract, in other countries, or a
vehicle larger than a van, do purchase loss-damage-waiver insurance.) Full
instructions about renting vehicles can be found at the Travel Office Web
site, www.travel.utah.edu. Any accident involving a rental vehicle should
be reported to Risk and Insurance Management, ext. 1-5590, as soon as
Spring Break's not just for kids
Faculty and staff are invited to join in Alternative Spring Break community
service activities March 13-21 at 12 locations around the West, either as
"partners" (leaders), or as participants. Those who become partners will be
involved in planning, act as mentors for students, and assist site leaders
during the week in the field. Projects will focus on environment, youth,
HIV/AIDS education, and the like. Locations include five west coast cities,
the Navajo Nation, a town near the Mexican border, and two locations in
Colorado. There will also be a four-day project at an animal shelter in
Local firm offers surplus chemicals to U departments
Costs vary from $50 to $200 for lodging, meals, and transportation.
For information, contact the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, ext.
1-4811, or call Kacy Dustin in the Office of Health Promotion, ext. 5-1274.
Methanol, ethanol, simple salts-you name it-National Product Sales, a Salt
Lake City supplier, is offering its surplus chemicals free to University
departments. Lewis Wall, NPS director of compliance and safety of hazardous
materials, says the company is happy to donate its extra chemicals to the
U. Available chemicals change frequently, and include commonly needed items
such as paint thinner and darkroom chemicals. For information, contact Wall
Moran Eye Center extends services to all levels of vision care
The Moran Eye Center is well on its way to its stated goal of becoming one
of the top 10 vision centers in the nation. Moran plays the same role in
behalf of vision and the human eye that the hospital does in medicine. The
Ophthalmology Department in the School of Medicine conducts teaching and
research, while clinical treatment comes under the University Hospitals and
Books are open, policy says
Like the hospital, the Moran organization is establishing
off-campus clinical locations that give patients nearby access to U of U
care anywhere on the Wasatch Front. Patients benefit from the same emphasis
on customer service found in University Hospital and Clinics and the
University of Utah Health Network. A showpiece is the Moran Vision Center
at 6360 S. 3000 East, known as the "Old Mill" site. "This facility is like
a five-star hotel of high technology, set up in response to patient needs,"
says Wayne Imbrescia, Moran administrative director. At the center,
computerized refraction increases the speed and accuracy of determining
prescriptions for eyeglasses, while advanced laser surgery techniques
sometimes eliminates the need for glasses altogether.
The clinics are backed by the high level of faculty expertise found
on-campus in the Moran Eye Center building, located just north of
University Hospital. Moran is the only specialty eye treatment referral
center of its type between the Mississippi River and the west coast.
Research interests include study of advanced surgical techniques, safer
implantable lenses, neurons in the retina, corneal transplants, treatment
for "dry eye," genetics in eye disease, an the impact of medical conditions
of other parts of the body upon the eye. Moran Eye Center is also the
Department of Defense test site for developing methods of eye examinations
remotely using electronic links to the central facility. "The bottom line
is that patients can't help but benefit from the level of expertise found
in association with such research," says Imbrescia.
The Board of Trustees approved a greatly simplified policy (3-1) regarding
disclosure of University financial information to the public. The
University provides "complete and accurate" financial information in
regular reports and in response to queries, the policy says. Rather than
specify procedures, the policy simply declares that disclosures will be
made in accordance with the Utah Government Records Access and Management
Act. The current text of U of U policies can be found at
www.admin.utah.edu/ppmanual or at campus library reference desks.
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