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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 21, No. 11, Dec. 6, 2001

Construction and security among agenda items for board of trustees

By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

Construction projects, campus security, military leave and public relations activities were among the business brought before the UI Board of Trustees at its Nov. 14 and 15 meetings in Urbana.

The board was asked to approve a proposal for issuing $56 million in securities to fund the majority of the $60 million chilled-water construction projects on the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign campuses.

The proposal hit a stumbling block when trustee Lawrence Eppley asked Craig Bazzani, vice president for administration, and Peter Czajkowski, associate vice president for financial planning and analysis, whether the underwriting contract contained a provision indemnifying the underwriter, Morgan Stanley. Such a provision would be against public policy in Illinois, Eppley said. Bazzani and Czajkowski were uncertain whether the underwriting contract contained such a provision.

Trustee Susan Gravenhorst urged the board to take swift action on the matter, stating that time was of the essence in issuing the securities. The board voted to refer the matter to the Executive Committee so that Bazzani and Czajkowski could provide Eppley with copies of the underwriting contract and other relevant documents to review. The committee was to convene a special meeting within 10 days to render a decision.

Proposals for other construction projects won swift approval from the board, however, including one for three Fiscal Year 2002 projects on the Chicago campus. Construction will include a $6.9 million Advanced Chemical Technology Building, a $1.9 million elevator rehabilitation project in various buildings and a $1 million phase-one remodeling project at the Research Resources Center West.

The board also approved a $1.8 million contract with Turner Construction Co., Chicago, to build a $31.3 million classroom/office building on the Springfield campus. Funds for the contract will come from Fiscal Year 2001 state appropriations to the Capital Development Board and from the FY2002 state-appropriated operating budget of the Springfield campus.
Other proposals approved by the trustees include:

  • A 10-year lease contract with the Art Institute of Chicago for 11,100 square feet of office space for the Office of Publications. UIC anticipates making approximately $100,000 in improvements to the space, with funds coming from the Office of Publications’ institutional
    funds operating budget.
  • A resolution excluding certain trustees or officers at Urbana from Department of Defense personnel security clearance requirements for research facilities. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is the only department requiring such clearance, and the resolution designated Michael C. Rudzinski, associate director for finance and administration at NCSA, as the university’s security clearance officer. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will provide administrative oversight for the security clearance process.
  • Approximately $4.9 million in purchases for the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign campuses, including an $800,00 bid by Henry Schein Inc. of Melville, N.Y., to continue storeroom management and operation services for the College of Dentistry at the Chicago campus, $1.6 million for data communications routers and networking hardware and software to upgrade the Chicago campus’ computer system as part of the UI-Integrate project, and the purchase of three 2001 Piper aircraft for the Institute of Aviation at a cost of $824,926.

Chancellors Nancy Cantor, Sylvia Manning and Richard Ringeisen briefed the board on safety and security measures being implemented at each of the campuses as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Measures include an ongoing security audit at Urbana-Champaign, evacuation drills at UIC Hospital and working closely with the FBI, community police and other agencies to heighten security.

The university’s military leave policy also was reviewed briefly, with Vice President Chester Gardner telling the board that so far 31 students and two staff members among the three campuses have been called to active duty.

Gardner also reviewed the university’s strategic plans through 2006, which include $1.7 billion for the Illinois VentureTECH, the UI-Integrate and Decision Support projects, the UIC South Campus development projects and Urbana’s Research Park and agriculture programs.

Major strategic initiatives at the three campuses include community engagement projects, including expansion of Springfield’s online learning program and UIC’s Great Cities commitment, a cluster of research and development projects in Chicago and other metropolitan areas. In addition, UIC’s undergraduate academic programs will be augmented by hiring more faculty members and enhancing classrooms.

Scholarly initiatives under the strategic plan include expansion of UIS’s Capital Scholars program and enhancing the humanities at Urbana.

The strategic plan also includes development of a top-quality bioengineering program at Urbana and interdisciplinary and collaborative biotechnology research among Chicago and Urbana-Champaign faculty members.

Entrepreneurial education programs also are a priority at all three campuses, capitalizing upon technology commercialization and economic development that is under way, Gardner told the board.

Gardner told the group that significant progress toward the goals has been made, including establishing full funding for Urbana’s $80 million Siebel Center and Springfield’s $30 million classroom/office building. In addition, the new tuition increase is expected to generate $64 million at Chicago and Urbana, Gardner said.

UIC’s Vice Chancellor Charles Rice, talked about the disharmony among logos and abbreviations used to identify the UI Hospital and Clinics.

"If consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, we cannot be accused of having small minds," Rice told his audience, referring to visuals of university signage displaying varying logos and abbreviations.

Issues of identity also were discussed as public affairs staff members from each of the three campuses reported to the board on image-building and public relations activities under way at their campuses. Mark Rosati, UIC associate chancellor of public affairs, said that UIC’s initiatives include a communications audit to assess and address any problems with UIC’s public image, heightening visibility of the Great Cities commitment and a full-scale redesign of the Chicago Web site.

Bill Murphy, associate chancellor of public affairs at Urbana, said that the goals for the Urbana-Champaign campus include increasing coverage in national news media, increasing the institutional focus of coverage in accordance with Cantor’s initiatives and promoting the university as a global institution, in accordance with an initiative being launched in 2002.

In response to a question raised by trustee Jeffrey Ginsdorf, Lex Tate, interim executive director of university public affairs, said that the advertising is intended to burnish the university’s reputation and heighten awareness among alumni, the news media, prospective students, business and community leaders and donors. Some ads will feature prominent alumni.


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