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Insurance premiums for state-offered health maintenance organizations will be higher in every coverage category for 1998, while State Health Plan premiums will remain the same.
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have raised premiums by as much as 22 percent.
As with 1997, the state will contribute $144.60 toward all employees' health insurance. In the State Health Plan, that's still enough to cover the cost to insure individual employees. Out-of-pocket costs will be unchanged for employees who opt for children's coverage ($90.12 per month) or family coverage ($216.18 per month).
Rates for 1998 will take effect Oct. 1. Employees have until Sept. 4 to change their insurance coverage. Along with the State Health Plan, employees may choose from 10 HMOs.
Three current HMOs&emdash;Cigna, Healthsource and Partners&emdash;have decided for business reasons not to participate in the state's HMO option. Employees now using one of these HMOs must enroll in another plan to keep health insurance.
Employees who want to switch plans or add dependents need to fill out and send appropriate forms to the University's Benefits Office. Employees not wanting to make changes don't have to do anything.
Employees should have received health plan enrollment and information packets at their home addresses. Employees who need a packet and have not received one should contact their HR facilitator or visit http://www.ga.unc.edu/benefits/medical
Ann Pittard, acting benefits director, said employees needing information on physician listings for a particular HMO or who have specific questions on coverage or plan policy may contact the appropriate plan at the 800 number listed in their packets.
The Benefits Department at 725 Airport Road also has physician listings available for viewing.
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The University's landmark deal to purchase computers from IBM has not yet translated into a similar deal for Carolina faculty and staff to buy computers for personal use.
University officials expect to announce in early September the terms by which faculty and staff members can aquire computers for personal use.
"IBM is working very, very hard to give faculty and staff an attractive purchase plan," said Marian Moore, vice chancellor for information technology. "Our first priority has been to iron out the plan for student machines."
Moore said orders are being taken for student machines with the first deliveries expected by early September.
The talks with IBM come in light of the company winning the bidding constest to supply computers to the University.
The bidding was the crucial part of the Carolina Computing Initiative, a campuswide program to upgrade computers used by faculty and staff through a more cost-efficient purchasing plan. Another major component of CCI is the requirement that all students own a laptop computer beginning with freshmen entering in 2000.
Both Chancellor Michael Hooker and Moore hailed the deal with IBM, saying it would provide "substantial savings" to the University as it modernizes its computer equipment.
The deal will save the University at least $500 per computer, Moore said. She termed that estimate as "conservative" and expected the savings to be even greater.
Those savings will remain within the departments with the expectation that departments will use the funds for more technology, either in the form of more computers, periferrals such as printers, or extra technical support, said John Oberlin, co-chair of the CCI Steering Committee.
IBM won the bidding because the company's bid came in "way below" fellow computer giants Dell, Compaq and Gateway, Hooker said.
"Anyone who has purchased a computer lately will understand why our jaws dropped when we opened the bids," Hooker said. (See Chart on page 12 for listing of bids.)
The contract with IBM was followed by a letter of intent from the company pledging to iron out an agreement to make computers available to students at the same low prices.
The contract with IBM means more than low-priced computers for the University. In addition, IBM will provide:
The contract, while large, creates no more than a traditional vendor/customer relationship. The University is not obligated to buy a single machine from IBM and may buy machines from other manufacturers. The University also may cancel the contract at any time or renew it at the end of its four-year term.
IBM also agreed that the company would not use its contract with the University in any news release, commercial or promotional material of any kind, said John Oberlin, co-chairman of the CCI Steering Committee.
Signing the contract with IBM means the Carolina Computing Initiative is just starting, Moore said.
"This is a six-year process because it'll be that long until the requirement that all undergraduate purchase a laptop computer takes effect for all four classes," Moore said.
University employees already are hard at work solving all the potential problems that could arise as computers get modernized campuswide.
Nine teams that include more than 150 people&emdash;faculty, staff, administrators and students&emdash;are working on answers to the numerous and far-flung questions that CCI creates.
The first of the IBM computers purchased through CCI should start arriving at the College of Arts and Sciences late this fall. The computers are part of a pilot program
that will include four departments&emdash;economics, English, psychology and statistics&emdash;and give CCI organizers a chance to identify and solve problems that occur when doing mass computer installations.
"This will be four shake-down cruises," said Linwood Futrelle, co-chair of the CCI Logistics team charged with organizing the pilot program. "We will take what we learn from these departments to find out what problems come up and how we can get new computers on desks as quickly as possible."
Psychology is the first department the pilot program will address, Futrelle said. Members of the CCI Logistics Team have met with the department chair, business manager and computer support person to plan the upgrade and prepare the department's faculty and staff for the change.
That planning and preparation will include a 90-minute presentation to explain what will happen before, during and after the computer installation.
"We're trying to involve the department so that we can tell them our expectations and meet their expectations," Futrelle said. "When we show up at someone's office we want them to know we are coming. We want them to have their data organized so we can transfer it to the new machine."
"The goal is to not lose any productivity," he said.
Signing the contract with IBM does not mean a sort of computer Christmas has broken out, where everyone gets a new computer immediately. First, the pilot program will take months to complete. After that, the College of Arts and Sciences will determine the order in which the remaining departments get computers.
That order is already being discussed within the College of Arts and Sciences, said Russell Van Wyck, the college's assistant dean for Technology and Learning. The order will be based on need, technical considerations such as the wiring in office buildings and input from department leaders, Van Wyck said.
The computers distributed during the pilot program will have a standard software package, said Lawrence Bivins, the CCI project coordinator. That standard package will include: Windows 95, Microsoft Office Suite 97, Netscape Communicator, Siren (for e-mail) and other utilities.
The standard package will not have an antivirus program, but such software can be downloaded from the campus network or through shareware.
This standard package is intended to provide a software base, Bivins said, and different departments can add more specialized software. Faculty and staff members could even add Linux, an alternative operating system to Windows 95, with the understanding that the University's technicians will not support that system.
"We want to make sure that whatever the baseload is that we have training available and we have technical support," Bivins said. "The baseload is also just the software everyone needs. We will continue to support SAS/SPSS, for example, but not everyone needs it."
In addition, the CCI Logistics Team will revisit the issue of the software baseload frequently, Bivins said.
"We are by no means locked into this software package," Bivins said.
For more information about CCI, go to the CCI web site.
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Eligible employees can save on parking costs in 1998-99 thanks to a change in the federal tax law.
The change lets employees who buy University parking permits choose to have the cost of permits subtracted from gross income for the purpose of calculating how much in taxes is withheld from paychecks. Employees' take-home pay increases as a result.
As an example, assume an employee earns $24,000 a year in gross pay and purchases a parking permit with an annual cost of $360. His or her income would be taxed as if he or she made $23,640 (assuming no other tax-free deductions), $360 less than $24,000 (gross pay would remain at $24,000).
Because a smaller amount of gross pay is taxed, less money is withheld from the paycheck. In the example of an employee making $24,000 taxed at the lowest federal rate, the employee would have $7,009 withheld in taxes rather than $7,116, resulting in $107 more in net income for the year.
Initially, University officials were told that the pre-tax parking benefit would be $720, the fair market value of a parking space based on rates charged by the Town of Chapel Hill.
But new information from a consultant has disclosed that the amount of the benefit will need to be the lesser of the fair market value or the actual cost paid by the employee for the parking permit. Because University parking rates are below the local market, the benefit amount will be calculated on the amount paid.
This pre-tax parking benefit takes effect with the parking permit year that starts Aug. 15. The benefit is optional. Employees may choose not to participate.
The benefit is available to permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees who purchase parking permits from the University. The benefit is not available to employees whose offices are in leased office spaces and who buy parking privileges from the landlord.
See your department's parking coordinator to sign up for the benefit. Although Aug. 11 was the deadline to take advantage of the benefit for the entire 1998-99 permit year, eligible employees may still sign up, with the benefit taking effect with the pay period after the sign-up date.
For more information about the pre-tax parking benefit, call 2-3951.
Beginning Aug. 17, Point-to-Point service between main campus destinations will no longer be offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for disabled passengers and students who need transportation to student health service. Point-to-Point still will be available to off-campus destinations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and after-hours service will be unchanged.
Chapel Hill Transit will add a second fare-free "U" route to serve main campus. Running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., this route will cover the same ground as the existing "U" route but will run in the opposite direction. Service will be reduced on weekends.
Also, a new fixed-route Point-to-Point shuttle will run between main campus and 440 W. Franklin St., 720/725 Airport Road and the Air-port Road facilities/storeroom complex every half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. This route will serve only faculty and staff.
Parking and transit officials say the additional "U" route and new Point-to-Point shuttle should improve service by reducing wait times.
"The demand for Point-to-Point service exceeded the available resources, making the waiting time for Point-to-Point unreasonable," said Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for auxiliary services. "These changes are being made to better meet people's needs."
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Back-to-school is a new beginning: bright, enthusiastic minds converging in our classrooms, new courses, new initiatives, great plans for the future, and an unbridled excitement among our students, faculty and staff.
If possible, that back-to-school enthusiasm is even greater this fall. Carolina has so many important projects in the works. Some will come to fruition this year; for others, the coming year will be a time of continued planning and hard work as we move toward a more distant objective. Each endeavor, however, will better prepare us to serve our students as we move toward the 21st century. Thanks to all of you for your ongoing efforts to make Carolina the very best place for our students to live and learn.
As you probably know, we are moving full-speed ahead with planning for the Carolina Computing Initiative, which not only requires all freshmen beginning in the year 2000 to have laptop computers, but also will enable our faculty and academic staff to acquire computers or upgrade their existing ones. Some College of Arts and Sciences faculty will benefit from the project beginning this year.
Nine committees&emdash;including more than 150 faculty, staff and students&emdash;are concentrating on the initiative to make sure it works and works well. We're looking at topics ranging from the ordering and delivery of equipment to the comfort level of individuals using the new technology. Just last month we signed a contract with IBM that will offer us an extraordinary discount on computers&emdash;an estimated savings of at least $500 per machine. I couldn't be more delighted with our progress on this important program.
The Carolina Computing Initiative will be a major step in thoroughly integrating computers into our curriculum, and the benefits in the classroom&emdash;and out, as our students carry a world of information in a five-pound laptop from lecture hall to library to dorm room&emdash;will be absolutely tremendous.
We also are working to continue to improve the University's intellectual climate. The First Year Initiative, designed to introduce incoming students to Carolina's academic life as early as possible, is well along in its planning, and many of the components should be ready for students this time next year. A key will be the Freshmen Seminars, designed to give students an opportunity to study with some of our very best faculty in a small-class setting. The seminars will provide them the full flavor of a great research university, and, hopefully, students will take advantage of the chance to build lasting relationships with the faculty members.
Likewise, Student Affairs and Academic Affairs are working on the First Year Liv-ing/Learning Initiative, which will extend education beyond the classroom and into the residence halls. We also are introducing new service-learning courses and efforts to increasingly involve undergraduates in research at Carolina.
The new year will be marked by the opening of several exciting new and renovated facilities, including Lenoir Hall, which promises to offer a much improved dining experience&emdash;in setting, service and food selection. We'll be seeing the reopening of Graham and Aycock residence halls and the completion of the Center for Dramatic Art. The new child care center, sponsored by the University and UNC Hospitals and located near the Friday Center, also will be making a difference to members of the campus and hospital community.
For the second year, we'll be celebrating the opening of fall semester with Fall Fest, an alcohol-free social event featuring free food, music, information for students, and lots of fun. The campuswide block party was a huge success last year, with some 5,000 attendees. This year's event, which begins at 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, should be even bigger and better. I hope you'll join me in welcoming our students back and kicking off what promises to be Carolina's best year ever!
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Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine has named the University as the nation's best value among state university campuses.
The magazine, scheduled to hit newsstands this week, for the first time examined 580 public four-year colleges and universities to determine the top 100 values based on a combination of academic quality and financial-aid measures.
The article, titled "State Universities to Cheer About," aimed to turn the spotlight on the public campuses "in search of the best buys&emdash;schools where students can graduate with a high-caliber education but without a mortgage-size debt."
After Carolina, the rest of the top 10, in order, are: the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Florida, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, Georgia Institute of Technology and the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Other N.C. schools listed were N.C. State, 28th, and Appalachian State, 33rd.
Carolina emerged as the magazine's number-one campus after an analysis that initially stressed academic selectivity: SAT scores of incoming 1997 freshmen and percentage of applicants granted admission, according to the magazine.
For the 200 schools making that cut, editors also added factors such as graduation and retention rates as well as computer and library resources, the magazine's article said. In addition, the final 100 schools were considered based on financial criteria: total cost, cost as a percentage of a state's per-capita income (an affordability measure), the percentage of a student's financial need met with financial aid, the percentage of aid that is self-help and the average amount a student must borrow to graduate, the magazine said.
Kiplinger's reporters and editors first combed through data compiled by Wintergreen-Orchard House, a firm that collects information from North American campuses, and compared them with results of a survey the magazine conducted last winter and spring. Then they began applying the academic quality and financial factors as part of an overall formula to determine the final list.
The story called the University "a place where high achievers are in good company." Factors cited include: the middle half of the 1997 freshmen class posting SAT scores of between 1,130 and 1,330; a 94 percent rate of freshmen returning for their sophomore year; and an 84 percent graduation rate. The University received about 15,500 applications for fall 1997's freshmen class of 3,417.
Jerry Lucido, associate provost and director of undergraduate admissions, said the high freshmen retention and graduation rates mentioned by Kiplinger's were important measures that typically grab the attention of prospective students and parents.
The magazine mentioned student costs prominently. In-state undergraduate students pay about $2,225 in tuition and required fees, compared with about $11,200 for out-of-staters. Typical room and board adds roughly $4,950. In the area of financial aid, Carolina was among several schools highlighted for awarding more money for grants instead of loans.
Shirley Ort, associate provost and director of student aid, said the University seeks to use its state, federal and private funding to remove barriers that would prevent qualified students from selecting and succeeding at Carolina. Having the ability to provide need-based financial aid&emdash;partly possible with private gifts funding more than 650 scholarships for needy students &emdash; is crucial to that goal, she said.
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Melissa Exum has been named as the University's new dean of students.
Exum, currently associate vice president of student affairs at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, was selected for the job by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Susan Kitchen after a search committee recommended five finalists.
Exum will arrive in late September to fill the job vacated last summer by Fred Schroeder's retirement after 33 years with the University. Kitchen praised Exum's past experience and said she expects the new dean to bolster an already strong office.
"She's a seasoned administrator at Ohio University who has made a difference, particularly with her efforts in multicultural affairs," Kitchen said. "I look forward to her adding those gifts to the many ways that our dean of students' office already serves students so well."
Exum made it clear at a student forum held during a June visit to the University that students should expect to see her quite often. Exum said she's a regular at Ohio University student meetings and has held coffee houses to meet students.
"I want to get to know students, and I want them to get to know me," Exum said. "You're apt to see me at any time."
As dean of students, Exum will be responsible for supervising student conduct issues and working with students and families during emergencies. The dean must develop alcohol and other drug intervention and prevention programs and supervise staff working with the student judicial system and sexual assault response plan.
Exum's job description also requires her to improve the multicultural environment at the University and work closely with academic departments and student affairs officers in graduate and professional schools, "ensuring a collaborative effort to improve the quality of student life."
A native of Warrenton, N.C., Exum earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Wake Forest University in 1982. She completed a master's in medical sociology in 1984 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a doctorate in higher education administration at Ohio University.
In her current job, Exum manages counseling and psychological services, international student and faculty services, multicultural programs and a cultural center. Among other duties, she manages campus emergencies and a $1.2 million budget. Recruiting and retaining minority students also comes under her purview.
Previously, as Ohio's associate dean of students, Exum oversaw residence, career services, health education and wellness and counseling departments. At Ohio since 1989, she also has developed yearlong programs to address issues concerning black women and black men. She has supervised the Ohio Greek community of 36 national fraternities and sororities and coordinated a program addressing issues of racism, sexism, hazing, homophobia and alcohol and drug use in the Greek community.
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Private gifts and grants to the University topped $130 million in fiscal year 1997-98, setting a seventh straight record. The funds will support Carolina students, faculty, departments and programs.
The $131.7 million raised last year outpaced 1996-97's $107.8 million total by 22 percent. Since 1988-89, gifts and grants have almost tripled, climbing from $49.2 million.
"These results reflect the continued and growing generosity of our alumni and friends, who are so deeply committed to our great University," said Margie Crowell, associate vice chancellor for development.
Gifts and grants for 1997-98 were up in two of three categories compared to 1996-97: expendable, $67.2 million vs. $56.7 million; and endowment, $47.8 million vs. $31.3 million. The capital (building projects) total dropped slightly, from $19.7 million to $16.6 million.
Gifts were earmarked for scholarships, professorships, faculty projects, capital projects and other needs, and also provided the unrestricted funds that departments use for their highest priorities.
Crowell gave the University community credit for helping make the overall increase possible.
"The academic environment of our campus is so dynamic right now because of the quality and great work of faculty, students and staff and the leadership of Chancellor Hooker," Crowell said. "They're an inspiration to our donors."
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Marcia Harris has received more than her share of professional honors. Most of those honors come from organizations in her field of student placement, which isn't surprising, really. After all, since Harris became director of University Career Services 15 years ago, student use of the office's services has jumped 180 percent. The office also has been ranked in the top five (out of more than 1,500 nationally) by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Those past honors did not dilute the thrill Harris felt when Chancellor Michael Hooker called to tell her she had won the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award.
"I was absolutely flabbergasted," she said. "The chancellor called, which made me wonder why he would be calling. It was something I never dreamed I would be considered for."
The high regard she has for her fellow University employees made the Massey Award that much more of an honor.
"This had a very special feel to it because there is such a high caliber of employee at this University and so few are selected for this award," Harris said. "I was very honored to be honored."
The late C. Knox Massey, a former Durham advertising executive who served 20 years as a University trustee, created the award in 1980. The program is supported by three generations of the Massey and Weatherspoon families.
Harris' motto at University Career Services is "high tech, high touch." That means making sure students have the help of both cutting-edge technology and responsive people providing expert guidance.
On the high-tech side, Harris strives to have the latest services available to students. Those include:
All those high-tech connections would do little good, though, if students didn't use them. In nominating Harris for the Massey Award, the staff in her office pointed out how hard she works to draw students into the office.
"Not content to wait for students to find their way to the department, she constantly develops new outreach methods, such as internship newsletters, an internship fair, and IMPACT (a program which promotes internships listed by parents) for underclassmen," the nomination letter said.
All those extra students using the office's services has led to a much bigger staff over the years. Harris now oversees 16 full-time and 10 student employees, about twice the staff she started with 15 years ago.
And Harris credits her staff with making her ideas come to life.
"They may roll their eyes when I come back from a conference with 17 ideas, but they are very flexible and make things happen," she said.
Making things happen for students is what makes her job enjoyable.
"This job never gets old because every student is different," Harris said. "There are some similarities, but every situation has something unique about it, so the challenge is to work one-on-one with students."
"I brag about our students to our employers and I love being able to do that," she said.
Those employers brag right back about the great service they get from Harris and the entire University Career Services office. Employers such as David Head, director of recruiting in the Carolinas for Andersen Consulting, who credited Harris and her staff as the reason his company doubled its recruiting efforts at Carolina in the last two years.
"Marcia is dedicated to understanding how businesses interact with universities and how to improve this relationship," Head wrote. "Marcia's commitment to professionalism serves Carolina's students and parents by ensuring rock-solid corporate relations and therefore potential jobs for graduates."
Harris isn't all job placement. She works on numerous University committees and volunteers annually at the Campus Blood Drive, where she processes&emdash;and reassures&emdash;donors. She likes running and weight-training in her spare time. She and her husband, Lenny, live in Raleigh and have two grown children, Stacey and Todd.
While winning the Massey Award has prompted congratulations from colleagues both current and former, the award won't change her outlook at work. There are technological advances to add to her offices and always a new round of students to help.
"I love this place because, first of all, the physical beauty of the place, and also because the students are some of the best in the country," she said. "This University, for someone who wants to work in education, is just a great place to be."
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Reorganizing the vast network of facilities and personnel functions for Academic Technology and Networks (ATN) was a daunting task for Diane Strong, the human resources facilitator for ATN.
The folks at ATN didn't want Strong's work to go unnoticed. So when it came time for nominations for HR Facilitator of the Year, the staff at ATN bombarded human resources with nominations.
That campaign proved worthwhile, though, as Strong was named 1998 HR Facilitator of the Year.
The news pleased Linwood Futrelle, one of the nominators. When told of Strong's selection, he said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, this has made my year!"
Other nominees were:
June 29 marked the third annual presentation of the HR Facilitator of the Year Award. On the same day certificates were presented to the newly certified HR facilitators.
The goal of the certificates and awards is simple: to recognize the wonderful and important work that HR facilitators do in their departments.
The role of a HR facilitator is varied. For some it is a full-time job, especially in large departments. For others, it is one of a myriad of administrative or programmatic responsibilities. In either case it is a critical role.
The HR facilitator is the closest contact for the employees in departments who have questions about policies, procedures, benefits, or other HR related matters.
Facilitators are the eyes and ears of HR, bringing emerging issues and concerns to our attention. They keep employees informed of important HR matters, sometimes reminding them over and over again of the need to sign up for NC Flex or get that application for Carolina KidsCamp in on time.
The HR facilitators are vital to Human Resources and to the employees in each department. As we recognize the 22 facilitators who completed their certification this year and the six facilitators nominated for Facilitator of the Year, thanks should be extended to each and every one of them for the care and enthusiasm with which they approach this important task.
If you don't know who your HR facilitator is, find out and recognize his or her efforts.
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Several hundred members of the University community rolled up their sleeves for a good cause July 29, donating blood at the 10th annual campuswide blood drive.
Held in the Dean E. Smith Center, the effort collected 1,039 pints of blood&emdash;39 more than the 1,000-pint goal and the highest total since 1994.
The exact number of donors and presenters (people who wanted to give blood but were unable to because of donor criteria) was 1,147. About 160 volunteers pitched in to make the day a success. The event is the nation's second largest one-day blood drive.
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Steps toward improving intellectual climate, more distance-learning courses and several major research initiatives will be among the highlights of the 1998-99 academic year.
Freshman Seminars, a key effort to improve the intellectual climate, will get under way in Spring 1999 with some seminars being offered. The program will really take off in Fall 1999. About 40 seminars are proposed for that semester.
Some 160 seminars will be phased in over the next four years. The seminars will team freshmen with senior faculty members in classes of no more than 20 students. Officials hope students will grow to see faculty as mentors and seek their advice throughout their undergraduate years.
Another intellectual climate enhancement debuting this fall will be the Burch Field Research Seminars, faculty/undergraduate sem-ester-long field research projects.
This fall's seminar will treat students to a public policy research experience in Washington, D.C. When fully endowed in 1999-2000, four seminars will be offered each year in a range of disciplines, serving as many as 60 students.
The seminars are funded by a $1.3 million pledge from Lucius E. Burch III, a 1963 Carolina graduate and chair of Massey Burch Investment Group, a private venture capital firm based in Nashville, Tenn.
Four new service learning courses also will get off the ground this fall. The Ueltschi Service Learning Course Development Grants have been awarded to faculty to create courses that teach students through participation in community service projects.
Funded by a gift from James and Jean Ueltschi of Vero Beach, Fla., the Ueltschi grants ultimately will add 10 new service learning courses to the curriculum, more than doubling the number taught in Spring 1998. James Ueltschi is a 1971 alumnus.
The number and variety of on-line courses offered through the Division of Continuing Education continues to grow. This fall, four new courses will be available through Carolina Courses Online, bringing the total to 12.
Students communicate with their classmates and teacher via e-mail and discussion forums, and are encouraged to tap the information and education resources of the Internet to complete assignments.
Courses are open to anyone with the necessary computer equipment&emdash;students don't have to be admitted to the University to enroll. For more information, students may visit the web site at http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/cco or 2-1134.
Major research initiatives for 1998-99 include the work of Richard Samulski, director of the Gene Therapy Center, on ways to revise genes that cause serious inherited disease; the work of Joseph DeSimone, associate professor of chemistry, on environmentally friendly cleaning systems; and the work of K.H. Lee, Kenan Professor in the School of Pharmacy, on pharmaceuticals derived from plants.
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With two weeks to go until the start of the fall semester, a small army of construction workers furiously was laying floor tiles, in-stalling wiring and completing the ceilings at Lenoir Hall.
After a year's worth of demolition, debris, concrete and hammering, the $13 million project neared its deadline with a lot of work left to do.
The University hopes to have the second floor of Lenoir Hall open on Aug. 14 to serve food to students on meal plans. As of Aug. 10 it was uncertain if that deadline would be met, said Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for auxiliary services. The University had back-up plans in place in case Lenoir Hall did not open on Aug. 14.
Lenoir Hall is one of many construction projects being completed across campus as the school year gets set to start. Among the other major projects nearing completion are:
The University also is spending millions of dollars on classroom renovations, adding fiber-optic wiring and other general improvements and much has changed on campus since the last school year.
The completed projects won't bring the campus construction boom to an end by any means. The University has 50 projects worth more than $200 million in some stage of construction, said Edward Willis, director of the construction management department.
The most prominent change this fall will be Lenoir Hall.
Overlooking "The Pit" and just off Polk Place, Lenoir Hall is a key component of student life. Auxiliary Services expects that around 2,500 students will buy meal plans to eat at the renovated dining spot.
Diners at the new Lenoir Hall will be served in rooms decorated with bright ceramic tile. They'll also get to ride the only escalators on campus.
On the northeastern edge of campus, the new Center for Dramatic Art also will open after the start of the school year. But that does not dim the excitement that faculty and students have for the $9.7 million modern building, with its rounded, glass-dominated front that faces Country Club Road.
That excitement stems from having a building designed for artists and by artists, because the department faculty helped design the center to meet their needs, said Milly S. Barranger, the department chair.
That means the proper floor in the movement studio, one that provides enough spring for the athletic effort demanded of actors. That means a rehearsal space that matches the size of the stage in the Paul Green Theatre.
"All of these spaces are designed by the people who will use them," Barranger said. "In one way we are completing what was the Paul Green Theatre plan, but I think it is much more than that. This is a spectacular arts building."
Aycock and Graham residence halls are the latest dormitories to be renovated by the University. The $6.4 million project includes much more than the usual aesthetic improvements such as new carpet, bathrooms, paint and windows.
Students moving into these two halls will get a rare treat: central air conditioning with in-room thermostats. They'll also get some high-tech benefits such as cable television and Internet connections in each room.
One other benefit of the renovation is a two-story connector turning the two halls into one building. That connector has offices for housing officials as well as an elevator, making the entire building more accessible, said Kuncl, the housing director.
Home football games can accommodate a few thousand extra fans now that Kenan Stadium's western end has been completely closed with seats. The extra seats bring the stadium's capacity to 60,000.
The other athletic project now completed is the new floor in Carmichael Auditorium, home to the women's basketball team. A fire in the auditorium's roof in February led to the floor being drenched with water. But Willis, the construction management director, said the floor needed to be replaced anyway because it had been refinished as many times as possible.
The construction work that might have the biggest impact on learning likely will be the dozens of renovated and modernized classrooms now ready for use.
The University continues to wire and connect campus buildings to the fiber-optic network in place. All the residence halls have been wired, as have many administrative buildings, said David Valleroy, a telecom engineer for the University. Another 22 campus buildings are in the design stage for rewiring.
The University has spent millions of dollars renovating classrooms across campus. Those renovations include more than $1.2 million worth of work at Venable Hall. Also, more than $1.7 million was spent on in-house work by crews from Facilities Services who did a lot more than bring in new chairs and apply fresh paint.
In Gardner Hall, for example, classrooms have gone high-tech with video projectors, computer terminals for instructors to use, quadraphonic sound and new lighting, among other upgrades.
The improvements should make a big difference in what professors can do in their classes, said James Wilde, associate chairman of the Department of Economics, which uses the classrooms in Gardner Hall.
"In a number of these classrooms we will be able to bring laptop computers in and have presentations projected onto screens at the front of the room," Wilde said. "Being able to have computerized teaching makes the disconbobulation of the last year worthwhile."
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A caring library assistant, a visionary program director, an alert maintenance mechanic, an innovative manager and a dedicated faculty advocate are this year's winners of the Chancellor's Award.
The winners, who also become Governor's Award nominees, are: Betty Geer, technical assistant, Academic Affairs Library (Chapin Planning Library); Robert Phay, former director, Principals' Executive Program; John Singleton, maintenance mechanic, Energy Services (cogeneration systems); Rutledge Tufts, director, Auxiliary Services; and Ruel Tyson, director, Institute for the Arts and Humanities.
The five were recognized for meritorious or distinguished accomplishments that went beyond normal job duties. Each won an award given for one of six categories. The awards come with $500 and 24 hours of paid leave. The program was established in 1991 by Chancellor Paul Hardin.
Geer has worked at the University for more than 30 years, more than 20 at the Chapin Planning Library in the Department of City and Regional Planning.
Her nominator credits her with touching "the lives of most of the students who have come through this program." Along with showing students the ins and outs of the library, Geer brings "personal nurturing" to her job: "She can sense a student in distress and offers a comforting word, a pat on the back, a shoulder to cry on, or a listening ear. Likewise, Betty can sense a student who is slacking off and will offer a (sometimes unwelcome) verbal kick in the pants."
Geer's job description duties include hiring, training and scheduling student employees; processing materials for reserve readings; and helping library users with their information needs.
Phay joined the Institute of Government faculty in 1965. He became director of the Principals' Executive Program (PEP), a University-based leadership program for school administrators, after the General Assembly created the program in 1984. He held that position until December 1997. He now works at the Center for International Studies.
In PEP, Phay planned a curriculum that augmented school administrators' traditional skills as well as helped them see a new approach to education, one that stresses equipping children with skills not just for the present but the future. More than 2,500 principals and other school leaders have graduated from PEP, which has gained national acclaim.
"It must be clear that the Principals' Executive Program is the life work of Robert E. Phay," the winner's nominating statement reads. "He has achieved a revolution in the way many school administrators in this state ... see themselves and their role in providing an excellent education for North Carolina children."
Singleton, a University maintenance mechanic, won the award for his quick response to what could have a been a life-threatening situation.
In May 1997 on his way to work, Singleton spotted a car being driven erratically. He waited for the car to stop and then checked on the driver. Deciding the driver needed help, Singleton drove him to the Department of Public Safety and alerted staff. The driver turned out to be very ill, suffering from a diabetic episode, and needed immediate medical attention.
"Mr. Singleton's exemplary actions averted an impending accident and ensured that the person received the urgent care required, perhaps saving his life. ... Very few motorists would take the initiative demonstrated by Mr. Singleton," Singleton's nominator wrote.
Singleton's usual duties include performing weekly inspections of campus distribution systems and emergency repairs.
Tufts began his University service in the early 1970s as a temporary employee in the Student Stores Textbook Depart-ment. He since has risen through the ranks&emdash;including stints as Bull's Head Bookshop manager and Student Stores director&emdash;to director of auxiliary services.
Tufts' innovations include installing a merchandise management system at the Bull's Head, computerizing Student Stores' accounting system, implementing the UNC OneCard system and expanding Carolina Copy services. He also oversaw remodeling of the Student Stores Daniels Building, the facility's first remodeling since it opened in 1968.
Tufts' nominator wrote: "...at every step of his career with the University, Rut has innovated and improved University life&emdash;he has never simply been content to accept the status quo&emdash;with the result that much of what we take for granted as part of the smoothly functioning service infrastructure of the University is a product of Rut's dedication, dedication far and above normal requirements."
A professor of religious studies, Tyson lead the effort creating the Institute for the Arts and Humanities in the early 1990s. The institute has brought in more than $5 million for faculty fellowships and programs under his leadership.
"I have never encountered a colleague who was so willing to give his time and energy and talents in the service of other professors," Tyson's nominator wrote. "He has been raising money that enables scores of young and senior faculty to pursue research, publish articles or books, and rethink their teaching strategies."
The nominating statement praises Tyson's efforts to reach beyond faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, citing faculty fellows brought to the institute from the schools of law, medicine, education and nursing.
Tyson's nominator also calls him an "ambassador for our University" for his work with alumni, friends, foundation officials and other Carolina supporters.
"He regularly organizes events in various cities at which he patiently explains the work of our faculty, the importance of teaching the arts and humanities, and the wider purpose of a community of scholars."
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Five faculty members recently have been named to endowed professorships and another has been reappointed as a department chair.
Those named to endowed professorships are: Estrada J. Bernard Jr., associate professor of neurosurgery at the School of Medicine, Van L. Weatherspoon Jr. distinguished professor of neurosurgery; Joan G. Brannon, professor at the Institute of Government, Charles Edwin Hinsdale distinguished professorship; Frayda Bluestein, associate professor at the Institute of Government, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates term professorship for outstanding junior faculty achievement; William E. Garrett Jr., professor and department chair at the School of Medicine, Frank C. Wilson distinguished professor of orthopaedics; and Robert P. Joyce, professor at the Institute of Government, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates term professorship for teaching excellence.
Kerry E. Kilpatrick has been reappointed as chair of the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the School of Public Health.
Bernard joined the UNC Hospitals in 1990 as an assistant professor and attending neurosurgeon. He has been the chief and program director for the Division of Neuro-surgery since May 1997.
Bernard is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Medical Associa-tion, the Womack Surgical Society, the Southern Med-ical Association, the North Carolina Medical Society and the Association for Health Services Research.
The Van L. Weatherspoon Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Neurosurgery was created by the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund with help from Kay M. and Van L. Weatherspoon Sr. to honor their son, who died of a brain tumor in 1989.
Brannon joined the Institute of Government in 1971. Her expertise includes court structure and procedure, legal responsibilities of clerks of court, magistrates and sheriffs, and landlord-tenant law.
The Hinsdale professorship was established in 1993 as a gift from his estate. Hinsdale was a faculty member for 20 years until his retirement in 1981. His specialty was the field of courts law.
"Ed Hinsdale would be very pleased if he knew that Joan Brannon was the initial holder of the professorship created in his name," said Jim Drennan, a faculty member at the Institute of Government. "As colleagues, they both shared a passion for improving our justice system by helping those who work in it."
Bluestein joined the Institute of Government in 1991. She specializes in local government purchasing and contracting, conflicts of interest related to government contracts, municipal incorporation and privatization.
Albert and Gladys Hall Coates were institute founders. A gift from the late Paul and Margaret Johnston of Chapel Hill established the award, which lasts for a two-year term in the case of the award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Achievement.
"Frayda Bluestein has made the field of purchasing and contracting thoroughly her own and made a number of significant contributions to it," said faculty member David Lawrence.
Garrett joined the University this year as chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the School of Medicine as well as being named to an endowed professorship.
He is a member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Ortho-paedic Association. He is also the medical director for the United States Soccer Federation.
In addition to contributing to numerous publications, he is a member of the editorial board of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Orthopaedic Techniques and American Journal of Sports Medicine, among others.
He also serves as a lay leader at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Bahama, N.C., where he also is a Boy Scout troop leader and a member of the Ruritarians.
The Wilson Professorship was established in 1991 in honor of Wilson, a Kenan professor in surgery and chief of orthopedics.
Joyce joined the Institute of Government in 1980. He specializes in school and higher education law, news media and government relations, elections law, legislative representation, governmental employer-employee relations, and em-ployment discrimination law.
Albert and Gladys Hall Coates were institute found-ers. A gift from the late Paul and Margaret Johnston of Chapel Hill established the award, which lasts for a two-year term in the case of the award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Achievement.
At the Institute, Joyce has served as editor of the School Law Bulletin since 1997. Before that he edited Popular Government (1993-1996) and the Legislative Reporting Service (1983-85).
Kilpatrick joined the School of Public Health in 1987 as chair of the Department of Health Policy.
His research and publication interests are principally in the application of operations research to problems in health services organization, financing and delivery. He has done extensive policy analysis of the uncompensated care problem from the perspective of both hospitals and physicians and has studied the costs and funding of health professions education.
He served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Poli-cy Fellow and on the health policy staff of U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.), then chair of the health subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee.
He also serves as reviewer for numerous journals.
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The University's stake in a high-tech telescope in Chile's Andes Mountains could receive another $3 million under a federal appropriations bill provision guided by Sen. Lauch Faircloth, R-N.C.
The proposal is part of the pending fiscal 1999 appropriation for the U.S. Department of Defense. The funding was cleared in June by the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Faircloth is a member, and the full Senate passed the measure on July 30. After a joint Senate-House conference and President Bill Clinton's final approval, the funds could be made available in the 1999 fiscal year.
Carolina is one of four partners in the $28 million Southern Observatory for Astrophys-ical Research (SOAR). Construction is expected to begin soon on the computer-controlled, four-meter telescope atop Cerro Pachon, a 9,000-foot mountain in Chile's northern Andes. The telescope also will be remotely operated from Chapel Hill.
The new funding would bring to $9 million the total federal appropriations designated to Carolina for the telescope with help from Faircloth. Two other $3 million federal allocations have been made to the telescope through defense department appropriations since 1996.
"I am grateful for the continued staunch support Senator Faircloth has provided to the University for the SOAR telescope," said Chancellor Michael Hooker. "Lauch's advocacy in Washington for this project has been highly effective, and our past success in the appropriations process offers reason to be optimistic about a 12-year-old dream coming true for our scientists and ultimately benefit a project that holds great promise for the scientific community and North Carolinians."
In mid-April, officials from Carolina joined the other project partners&emdash;Michigan State Univer-sity, the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Ob-servatories (NOAO) and the country of Brazil&emdash;to officially break ground for construction, expected to be completed by 2001.
Carolina already had committed the $6 million in federal appropriations as well as private donations for the project. The new federal funding would allow the University to meet all of its project goals for construction, instruments and adding other special optical features allowing astronomers using the telescope to make needed adjustments for the atmospheric turbulence that makes stars twinkle, said Dr. Bruce Carney, Sam Baron professor of physics and astronomy.
Chile is the best site in the Southern Hemisphere for viewing the Milky Way, the galaxy containing Earth and the other planets in our solar system, and the Magellanic Clouds, the closest neighboring galaxies. SOAR will deliver the highest-quality images possible with a large, ground-based telescope, Carolina astronomers say.
Also in the works are plans to involve North Carolina public school teachers and students in the science of SOAR. First, Tar Heel teachers and students will be able to view some of the same astronomical objects that University researchers see&emdash;such as pulsating stars in the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, or newly discovered com-ets or asteroids. Carolina astronomers plan to post interesting phenomena on a computer server in Chapel Hill; these images then can be seen in classrooms via the Internet.
Second, science teachers and students eventually will be able to submit proposals for SOAR projects. University researchers will review them and choose some. Requested information will be downloaded to the school classroom, where it can be accessed by computer.
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Chancellor Michael Hooker gave an upbeat report on the University's last three years at a July 23 Board of Trustees meeting.
Hooker described several of the University's accomplishments in his comments to board members. Highlights include:
One goal not yet accomplished is full funding of the Sonja Haynes Stone Black Cultural Center, Hooker said. But the chancellor added he is optimistic funding will be completed in 1998-99. As of July, $3.9 million had been raised toward the center's $7.5 million goal.
In other business, the Board of Trustees:
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Faculty and staff members still are needed as volunteers for Fall Fest '98, the late-night, alcohol-free party for returning students to be held Sunday, Aug. 16.
The check-in spot for volunteers will be beneath a canopy set up at the horseshoe-shaped parking lot between the Student Union and South Road.
Fall Fest still needs volunteers, especially for the clean-up afterwards, which would be after 1 a.m., said Jon Curtis of the Student Union. Would-be volunteers should sign in at the check-in spot.
"The more the merrier," Curtis said. "And if they can stay until the wee hours, all the better."
Fall Fest started in 1997 and drew more than 5,000 students to the festival of food, music, entertainment and pep rally. This year's event runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. South Road will be closed to allow the carnival of food and entertainment booths to occupy the area between the Student Union and the Student Recreation Center.
Fall Fest was started as an alternative to the tradition of alcohol-imbued partying on the Sunday before classes start.
Last year's high attendance&emdash;and absence of alcohol-related arrests&emdash;prompted University officials to make this year's event even bigger.
One change is that there will be more food this year, said Don Luse, the Student Union director and chairman of Fall Fest.
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The Internet opens a new community for researchers to study. But this opportunity also comes with some big challenges.
One problem is, how do you protect human participants you can't see?
"Just because people are on the Internet doesn't mean that they're anonymous or that we don't have to look after their interests," said Beverly Wiggins, associate director of research development at the Institute for Research in Social Science (IRSS).
At a forum on Internet research held at the University this spring, most researchers agreed on that point, Wiggins said. But the specifics of how to protect people online are still vague.
For example, there was a consensus at the forum that "lurking" &emdash; or observing an online discussion or news group without announcing that you're conducting research &emdash; is unethical. But how often should a researcher announce her presence to a news group to make new members aware that they're being monitored? And how does she do this without disturbing the normal flow of the group?
Researchers have to figure out the details as they go along, Wiggins said. The Academic Affairs Institutional Review Board (AA-IRB), which sponsored the forum with IRSS, is working to develop standards for Internet research.
The AA-IRB reviews all Carolina research projects from academic affairs that involve human participants to make sure participants are protected. Whenever research is conducted without IRB review, the University is at direct risk, because any problems that occur could result in Universitywide sanctions, said David Eckerman, chair of the AA-IRB and professor of psychology.
Eckerman encourages researchers to contact him with their concerns and questions. "Projects need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis," he said. "It's not easy to devise one general rule."
Some of the human-participant issues in Internet research aren't all that different from telephone or mail surveys, Wiggins said. Over the telephone, for example, a researcher must trust the person on the other end of the phone when he says he's 18 or older.
Obtaining consent from participants also is similar for both phone and Internet research. For some phone surveys, oral consent is acceptable, and for some Internet surveys e-mail consent would be fine as well, Eckerman said. But when the survey is about a more sensitive topic, and therefore puts the particpant at more risk, formal written consent may be required.
Gathering accurate data online also is challenging, said Debashis Aikat, an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication who studies the Internet. For example, it's routine for people to assume a different identity when they go online. Online IDs are good because they protect privacy, Aikat said, but they pose problems for researchers trying to get reliable demographic information.
For example, a woman may use a man's name, or people may identify themselves only with icons such as cartoon characters.
"That's one of the pleasures of communicating on the Internet&emdash;you can be reincarnated," Aikat said.
Over the telephone, it's less common for people to conceal their real identity, Aikat said. At the very least, a researcher can usually tell if a participant is male or female.
Another challenge of Internet research is that unlike telephone surveys, responses are not received immediately. With an e-mail survey, a researcher doesn't know if the intended respondent filled it out, or if the person's best friend or secretary did it for her.
"Whether we like it or not, this is a new medium, and it provides new challenges for research," Aikat said.
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