May 29, 1997......Volume 26, Issue 32

News . . . . Arts . . . . Calendars . . . . Letters . . . . Links . . . . Deadlines . . . . Archive

Search the contents of the Intercom archives and
news releases issued by the Department of Public Information.

Payload specialist back in town
New budget strategies considered
Interim budget approved
Capital construction projects detailed
From the Trustees Docket

Arnelle earns national award
Architects named for athletic facilities
Dickinson merger on schedule
Airport "protection zones" approved
Four elected to board
Panel combats substance abuse
Technology transforms classrooms
Programs see changes

Annual ritual
Hershey program re-accredited
Liberal Arts departments merge
Applications sought for department head
Penn Staters

News in brief
Gift dedicated
$200,000 gift to endow scholarship
Intercollegiate Athletics column
Faculty/Staff Alerts
Bird's eye view
Institute earns $1.2 million contract
Service has answers for seniors
Microcomputer Order Center
Computer systems consolidate
Keystone 21 seeks proposals
Penn State news bureau

Faculty/Staff Alerts

National Cancer Survivors Day

Hershey will join with more than 650 communities throughout the United States on Sunday, June 1, in celebration of life as part of the 10th annual National Cancer Survivors Day, the world's largest cancer survivor event.

The Central Pennsylvania Oncology Group and the Penn State University Cancer Center at The Hershey Medical Center will host the local survivors day event on the front lawn of the medical center from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact the Central Pennsylvania Oncology Group at (717) 531-8341.

Shaver's Creek activities

Shaver's Creek Environmental Center has several activities planned in June:

* On Saturday, June 7, join Shaver's Creek's Insect Walk from 1 to 3 p.m. Admission is $4 for nonmembers and $3 for members.

* On Sunday, June 8, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., children ages 8 and above can discover interesting ideas to occupy their active bodies and minds with the New Games program. Admission is $5 for nonmembers and $4 for members. Children ages 8 to 12 are admitted for $2.50.

* On Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Local artist Denise Wagner will lead participants on a multimedia tour of the life and habits of the bobcat. Admission is $2.50 for nonmembers, free for members.

* Take a walk with classic nature writers on Saturday, June 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. to learn the fundamentals of nature writing. Admission is $6 for nonmembers and $5 for members.

Preregister for each of these programs by calling Shaver's Creek Environmental Center at (814) 863-2000 or (814) 667-3424.

Town/gown relations focus of
president's radio call-in program

The relationship between Penn State and surrounding communities is the topic of the next edition of "To the Best of My Knowledge," President Graham B. Spanier's monthly call-in program on WPSU-FM (90.1, 91.5 and 106.7), airing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 10.

Despite the fact that Penn State contributes greatly to the Centre Region's quality of life and economic expansion, many are demanding that the University do more. Listeners with opinions about Penn State's proper role in the community are invited to join Spanier and his guests, Bill Welch, mayor of State College, and local businesswoman and University trustee Marian Coppersmith Fredman, by calling (800) 543-8242 during the hour-long program.

Internet users will be able to link to sound and pictures from the program at; and they will be able to submit questions and comments via e-mail to

Hosted by Patty Satalia, "To the Best of My Knowledge" is a series designed to explore topics of concern to higher education and to allow listeners a chance to communicate directly with Penn State's president.

Library schedule

University Libraries at University Park will operate on summer session hours, June 11 through Aug. 9. All libraries will be closed on Friday, July 4.

For information on hours of library service, call (814) 865-3063, type HELP HOURS when using the Library Information Access System (LIAS) or visit the Libraries' World Wide Web home page at

Upcoming HRDC courses

To register for these or other Human Resource Development Center programs, complete the registration form found in the back of the Spring/Summer HRDC catalog, and fax to (814) 865-3522.

* Negotiate for Win-Win Outcomes, COM 011

Learn the techniques for planning and conducting effective negotiations. June 13 and 20, 8:15 a.m. to noon, 319 Rider Building. Cost: $55.

* From Frazzled to Focused: Positive and Productive Telephone Skills, COM 045

June 18 and 25, 1:30-4:30 p.m., 319 Rider Building. Cost: $55.

* Designing Effective Computer-Based Presentations, COM 009

June 18, 10 a.m. to noon, 141 Computer Building. Cost: $35.

* Managing and Organizing Your Electronic Files, PRO 002

Improve your Windows-based filing systems and enhance your information management skills. June 23, 10 a.m. to noon, 116 Wagner Building. Cost: $35.

* Program/Project Management, PRO 032

Manage complex technical projects and explore the requirements, risks and constraints imposed by various contract documents. June 26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 319 Rider Building. Cost: $70.

* Adapting Work Processes to Manage Change, LDR 058

June 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m., 319 Rider Building. Cost: $25.

* Successful Cross-Cultural Communications II, COM 025

June 27, 8:30 a.m. to noon, 319 Rider Building. Cost: $35.

How'd we do?

The Office of Human Resources has once again set up an easy-to-respond-to electronic survey that will assess the annual Staff Review and Development Plan in which employees recently participated. The survey is expected to point out the program's strengths and determine what steps might be taken to modify or improve the process for the future.

In an effort to reduce survey costs and to make it easier for participants to respond, an electronic format is being used. The assessment form is available on the Office of Human Resources' World Wide Web page at From the OHR home page, click "Documents." Under the "Staff Review and Development" heading click "Staff Review and Development Survey." The format allows the survey to be electronically returned and if accessed and responded to through the Web site, the response will be anonymous. Instructions for completing and returning the form are provided.

If some faculty and staff members are uncomfortable responding electronically, the survey may be printed and mailed to the Office of Human Resources, Box 6, Rider Building, University Park. Faculty and staff members who do not have access to the Web survey format, may obtain a copy of the survey through Human Resources representatives and directors of Business Services. Responses should be returned to OHR by the end of June.

You deserve your own copy

Are you receiving too many Intercoms or do you have to wait your turn to read the latest Penn State happenings? If you fall into one of these two scenarios, please contact your building's mailroom to have your office's distribution numbers changed.

If the distribution needs to be changed for the entire building, please ask the mailroom personnel to contact Chris Koleno of the Intercom by phone at (814) 865-7517 or e-mail at

Construction Web site

With construction of the new Paterno Library addition to Pattee Library moving into high gear, it is now more important than ever to be aware of the day-to-day activities at the library.

To help you stay informed, the University Libraries have created the Paterno Library a Web site at The site includes an overview of the project, including an artist's rendering of the completed building; a construction timetable indicating the schedule of work to be done through fall of 1999; and phase drawings showing which areas of the library will be under construction at different times throughout the project. The site is updated frequently. Also included are photos of the construction site, a list of frequently asked questions and "Ask MACC," which provides Web surfers the opportunity to e-mail questions and comments.

LIAS services expand

When working on a research project, have you ever wondered what particular library books you have checked out and if any of them are overdue? Now with the newest version of the Library Information Access System (LIAS), users can find out this and more through four new patron commands. Patrons can issue these commands from any LIAS terminal; up until now they have had to ask someone at a public service desk for this information. The new commands are:

* Patron summary (PS) briefly summarizes circulation information for your user ID.

* Patron inquiry (PI) provides itemized circulation information for your user ID.

* Patron overdue (PO) provides itemized information about overdue items currently charged out on your user ID.

* Patron fee (PF) provides itemized information for each item on which you have incurred a fee that is still outstanding.

For general information about these and all other patron commands, type: help patron. For security, when you are done using LIAS, you should press [ENTER] twice to clear your circulation inquiries.

New Web site

The Office of Human Resources' Work/Life Programs has a new Web site that provides information on a multitude of issues including child care, elder care and statewide community links for areas surrounding all Penn State locations.

The site, which will be continually updated, is located at If there are any important Web sites for your community not listed at this site, e-mail the URL to with a brief description.

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Bird's eye view

Work has begun on the new Sarni Tennis Facility, being built on the former site of the chicken coops on Bigler Road at University Park. This photo was taken from the diving platform of the outdoor pool, located next to the construction site.
Photo: Greg Grieco

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Pennsylvania Transportation Institute earns
$1.2 million contract to work with PennDOT

The Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (PTI) on the University Park campus has won a four-year $1.2 million contract to enter into a new partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The agreement is a continuation of an existing multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership between PennDOT and the Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC) at Penn State.

MAUTC is one of 14 centers in the nationwide effort initiated in 1987 by the U.S. Department of Transportation to address transportation-related issues and problems. Penn State serves as the lead university in the five-member MAUTC consortium, which also includes the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and West Virginia University.

According to James H. Miller, associate professor of business logistics, PTI research associate and MAUTC director, a key feature of the new partnership is that it will involve the current MAUTC universities as well as other colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania, including Bucknell University, Lafayette College and Lincoln University.

"The main goal of this partnership is to give PennDOT access to the academic expertise and facilities available at Penn State and other Pennsylvania colleges and universities," Miller said. "These combined resources will help PennDOT as it addresses many of the pressing technical, economic and policy issues that are an integral part of building and operating the Commonwealth's complex transportation system."

The original PennDOT/MAUTC partnership, initiated in 1993, has resulted in more than 39 research and technology transfer projects covering areas such as roadway design and safety, transportation planning, traffic safety and human factors analysis, environmental technical assistance, and transportation education and training. Miller said the new partnership will enable PennDOT and college- and university-affiliated faculty, staff and students to participate in an even broader range of research, education and technology transfer activities throughout Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region.

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Information service has answers for seniors

A new service from the Penn State Gerontology Center in the College of Health and Human Development offers information of special interest to Central Pennsylvania's senior citizens and others interested in issues related to aging.

The new telephone service provides information on practical topics as diverse as reverse mortgages and sleep disorders among the elderly and can put seniors in touch with local support groups. The hotline is operated by volunteers in the center's Senior Volunteer Outreach Program who answer calls and provide referrals from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at (814) 863-4517. At other times, callers can leave a voice mail message and volunteers will gather information and respond.

The outreach center volunteers have developed a database on aging information to support the hotline. The database includes both local and national information, including a directory of toll-free numbers for more than 190 health topics and 100 health-related support groups. The hotline also provides information about Penn State events and activities for senior citizens. All calls are confidential.

The program recently coordinated the publication of A Senior Citizen's Guide to Campus Life, designed to promote accessibility to campus life for seniors. The guide contains information about parking, transportation and special assistance on the University Park campus, as well as education, cultural and recreational activities. To receive a copy of the guide, call the hotline number.

Anyone interested in volunteering to answer the hotline on weekdays can call Susan Keller, assistant director for community outreach, at (814) 863-7903.

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Microcomputer Order Center

End of fiscal year
ordering reminder

University departments are reminded to use the following guidelines when placing end-of-year orders with the Microcomputer Order Center (MOC):

* University Park: GREQ orders must be received by the MOC by noon Friday, June 27, to ensure delivery and billing of in-stock items.

* Commonwealth locations -- GREQ orders for in-stock items must be received by the MOC by end of business on Wednesday, June 25.

* Out-of-stock software and peripherals average lead times are 2-4 weeks.

* Out-of-stock printers and systems average lead times are 2-8 weeks.

* No GREQ can be billed in 96/97 and delivered after June 30. There are no exceptions.

* If you want any backorders from your GREQ to remain in the queue for 97/98 you MUST type 'y' in the GREQ field "Authorize requisition to carry over to the new fiscal year." IBIS defaults this field to 'n.'

* On July 1 all backorders not authorized to carry over to 97/98 will automatically be canceled by IBIS.

* When calling for delivery information please have your IBIS document number ready. Also, please check to make sure the document has been processed by your entire approval path. The MOC does not see your order until it has reached our electronic desk.

Updated Web page

For the very latest in product and pricing information, visit the MOC Web page at The page has recently been updated to include a more comprehensive product information and additional price lists.

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Annual ritual

Students Matt Cameron, left, and Audie Prey recently joined Kathy Shumac, garden manager, to plant new flowers for the test beds and vegetable gardens on the University Park campus. Many of the seeds are tested here first before being introduced to the public by the major seed producers.
Photo: Greg Grieco

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University's academic, administrative computer systems now under one roof

The University broke with tradition last weekend.

While most University employees enjoyed a long Memorial Day weekend, some at University Park were working nearly around the clock to consolidate the academic and administrative computing centers under one roof with a single management team and a single operations staff. The two centers have traditionally been apart, with the academic unit housed in the Computer Building and the administrative unit in the basement of Shields Building. But at noon on Friday, May 23, all databases running on the administrative mainframe were shut down and backed up. Early on Saturday, May 24, the mainframe computer components were unplugged, packed up and moved from Shields Building to the Computer Building. The administrative computing system has been housed in Shields Building since it was moved from Old Main roughly 30 years ago.

This consolidation, will enable both the Center for Academic Computing (CAC) and the Office of Administrative Systems (OAS) to automate many processes that were previously done manually. It also will produce an annual savings of $380,000, which is being applied to the 3 percent goal for University-wide budget reduction.

The consolidation also provides other benefits:

* Because both CAC and OAS prepared for consolidation by purchasing smaller, faster, higher-capacity computer components, the OAS system is now housed in a 300-square-foot space, instead of the 3,000-square-foot room it occupied in Shields Building. Once the newly available space is refurbished, OAS staff now housed in University Support Building II will join their co-workers in Shields Building.

* Data storage has increased by 60 percent and computing power has increased by 15 percent.

* Communication speeds to the administrative computers are being doubled, and within the next 18 months will be tripled.

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Hershey earns continued
program accreditation

The animal research program at The Hershey Medical Center was awarded continued full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Care International, in recognition of continuing responsible and humane treatment of laboratory animals. The medical center has participated in the voluntary accreditation program since December 1968.

The association is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science and has accredited more than 600 institutions around the world. To earn accreditation, a research program undergoes a rigorous evaluation and must demonstrate continuously that it goes beyond the minimum requirements for the care and use of laboratory animals.

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