"We will have succeeded
--author unknown, translated from the Finnish.
If you're a regular reader of Almanac or various Web sites, you know that the University has been "making a fuss about this" (the Year 2000) for more than two years--preparing our critical information systems and infrastructure to operate properly in the next century. This work is now as complete as any work of this nature can be. We have fixed and tested our critical systems to the best of our ability, given risk assessment, resources and time. And, as an added precaution, we have put contingency plans in place in the event that we haven't gotten it completely right.
The Year 2000 Project has cleared many hurdles in getting to this point, and it hasn't been easy. Under the leadership of the people comprising the Year 2000 Working Group, hundreds of people in the University community have made contributions, large and small, public and private, to bring the project to a successful conclusion.
Ironically though, for a problem so closely associated with time, only time will tell how successful we've been. In an ideal world, the transition to the next year will come and go without incident. However, we are sufficiently experienced with information systems to know that we can only approach this ideal in practice. We also freely admit that we will be absolutely delighted if the ideal actually comes to pass. This is, perhaps, the ultimate irony of the Year 2000 project: that the ideal result is a null one. Approaching it has required a significant effort on the part of many of your University colleagues: long days, weekend work, vacations delayed, careers put on hold, opportunities deferred.
Recognizing this, I would like the University community to join me in thanking my colleagues in ISC and Development for their dedication to the task of bringing our core administrative systems, computing and network infrastructure into compliance; to the members of the Year 2000 Working Group for their leadership in the difficult task of bringing the resources of 29 schools and centers to bear on Year 2000 problems in their respective areas; to the members of the Year 2000 Contingency Operations Group who developed and implemented the University's Year 2000 Contingency Plan; to the Office of Audit and Compliance as they helped us all identify risks and potential problems; and to the Year 2000 Executive Committee for their strong support and encouragement. Their efforts deserve our thanks and celebration.
Finally, at the risk of delivering the message once too often, I encourage you to continue to take actions to limit Year 2000 risks. Even at this late date, concerted action can help us approach the ideal result. Recent articles in the October 26 and November 23, 1999 issues of Almanac contain helpful recommendations for action such as backing up systems, taking security precautions, and updating your critical contact lists. As always, you can contact your Year 2000 coordinator for guidance. The current list is available at:
Further, you can consult the University's Year 2000 web site at:
and the sites linked from there.
In closing, on behalf of all the participants in the University's Year 2000 Project, I wish you a happy holiday and an uneventful New Year.
--Robin Beck, Associate Vice President, Information Systems and Computing, University Year 2000 Project Manager
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 15, December 14, 1999