A Safe Landing for Penn in Y2K

To the Penn Community:


When a jumbo jetliner makes a safe landing on a dark night, most of us take it for granted that we made it home in one piece. But even such an everyday occurrence draws on the highest professional skills of literally thousands of people to assure success.

Now that the Y2K rollover has come and gone so quietly, some people are wondering what the fuss was about. But this was no routine event. The risks were very real and the effort that thwarted them was truly monumental. We wish to congratulate publicly the many members of the University's team who put in heroic efforts to have us ready for that safe landing. We were led in this effort by Robin Beck of ISC and Ward Keever of UPHS, and they were backed by dozens of members of their staffs, notably ISC's Michael Kearney, who led development of University-wide contingency plans, but beyond the central technology offices, hundreds more Penn people contributed. Facilities Services and Public Safety both made major efforts, while all across the University individuals and teams in affected offices and laboratories took time from work they would rather have been doing to assure their colleagues of an uneventful new year.

To all these people, we express our thanks and admiration. The Y2K effort was Penn at its best -a broad community of professionals working together across organizational boundaries to achieve excellence for the University as a whole. We can and should learn from this success how to build such powerful and effective teams for the future.

So to all those who worked so hard, many thanks, and to all the members of the University community, best wishes for a happy and technologically uneventful new year!

--Judith Rodin, President

--Robert Barchi, Provost

--John Fry, Executive Vice President

--James O'Donnell, Vice Provost Information Systems & Computing

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 16, January 11, 2000

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