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Y2K Readiness At The University Of Virginia

Dec. 30, 1999 -- Culminating three years of preparation, there will be approximately 270 extra University of Virginia employees on the clock at midnight Friday and in the hours thereafter to make sure everything is running smoothly.

The first priority will be the Medical Center, where the delivery of patient care must remain seamless. Many of those who work with the center’s computers and patient care equipment will be on site. Care providers will be staffed at normal levels, but there will be many people on call if greater needs arise.

U.Va. has met all the state requirements for Y2K readiness. Extra supplies have been stocked. Generators are on hand. Preparations have been made to test facilities and equipment after midnight on Dec. 31.

On Friday, a communications command center for the University will be in operation beginning at 10 p.m. at the University’s Hospital. 

Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will have overall responsibility for the center. Working with him will be: Robert E. Reynolds, interim vice president and chief information officer for Information Technology and Communication (ITC); Martha Stearns, the University’s Year 2000 project manager; Mike Sheffield, University Police chief.


There will be extra staff on duty in the following departments: University Police, Facilities Management, and the Medical Center. Information Technology specialists will be set up in Carruthers Hall on both Dec. 31, 1999 and Jan. 1, 2000, led by Chip German, director of policy and planning for ITC. Most added staff will be on duty between the hours of 10 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday. Some, however, will begin to report to work as early as 6 p.m. They will stay on into the morning to test facilities, systems, and equipment. The additional staff breaks down this way:

• Police -- 25

• Facilities Management --122

• ITC -- 8

• Health System -- 90

• Other -- 25    


Before Jan. 3, University staff will check all equipment, systems, and facilities to make sure everything is working properly. Highest priority will be given to the health area and the building systems in individual buildings. Plans are to check every building by using the equivalent of a facilities SWAT team at midnight on the 31st. Staff from many other University units will work on the Jan. 3 University holiday to ensure that all activities are ready for the resumption of normal operations on Jan. 4.


All state agencies are required to report regularly to the state throughout the night and the day on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. That effort will be handled through the communications center and by elements of the University that have unique reporting requirements to third-party monitoring groups. 

The University also will participate in the operation of a regional command post with the City and County based at the 911 Center. One person from University Police will remain at that site. Our command post will be reporting to the regional center throughout the evening and early morning. 


Planning to address the Year 2000 problem at the University of Virginia began in the mid-1990s, and actual assessments began in 1996.

Specialists in all affected areas have carefully examined the University's central information systems, telecommunications, and other devices that support its mission-critical activities, including all of those directly involving health and safety, for their capacity to function properly into the Year 2000.

When problems were found, they were corrected or the system responsible was replaced. Vendors who provide the supplies and utilities needed for the institution's functions were asked to certify their capacity to provide their products over the century-date change.

The scale of these efforts with mission-critical systems has been large -- totaling $2 million for the University's Medical Center and some $4.26 million for the non-health-care components of the institution. An additional $3.64 million was spent to bring departmental and unit computing systems into compliance.

The total cost of the University's Y2K preparations comes to $9.9 million, well under the $12.7 million budgeted and far short of the $20+ million suggested in the earliest rough estimates provided by consultants.


For more information or to set up interviews with Sandridge, Reynolds, Stearns, or German about preparations at U.Va., contact Carol Wood, director of news services, at (804) 924-6189. Beginning at 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, call (804) 989-2608.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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