VOLUME 31, NUMBER 14 THURSDAY, December 2, 1999

Hinrich Martens, associate vice president for computing and information technology, chairs the Y2K Risk Assessment Subcommittee that conducted a five-month assessment of UB's risk exposure to Y2K problems and formulated recommendations for a transition plan.

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What is the role of UB's Y2K Emergency Response Team?

The Emergency Response Team will be called into action should major problems arise, such as recurring power failures or a telephone-system breakdown. This team of approximately a dozen people is managed by Senior Vice President Robert Wagner.

Martens Who will be on duty when the clock strikes midnight?

Approximately 20 people monitoring critical services in such areas as Facilities Operations, Chilled Water Plant, Computing and Information Technology and University Residence Halls. A full shift of University Police also will be on duty.

Can you give a brief summary of the university's transition plans for this potentially destructive moment?

Essentially, all computer systems will be taken down, with the exception of a few, which will be scaled back to reduced capacity. Only restricted email and limited access to the Internet will be available probably from approximately 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, until noon Saturday, Jan. 1.

What do you anticipate to be the most significant potential problem for UB when Y2K hits?

The event with the most feared consequence is a prolonged power failure or a prolonged period of unstable power. This would put UB at the mercy of external forces.

There are only 30 days left until the big moment. In your opinion, how well-prepared is UB?

We are well-prepared. Barring any adverse development external to UB, we should move smoothly through the midnight hour. There are still many activities going on to prepare, but mostly to test out provisions and remediation steps.

If problems do occur, how will funding be allocated at UB for fixing Y2K problems?

I am afraid to say that there is none. We need to keep our fingers crossed to hope that nothing serious or costly would emerge.

What about students who own their own computers? Is the university offering any help or guidance to students?

Students have received several bulletins and helpful recommendations from the Division of Student Affairs.

Should faculty and staff members be running Y2K compliance tests on their individual workstations on campus or taking any other steps to prepare?

As with the students, repeated efforts have been carried out to alert and remind faculty and staff to test, check or otherwise take precautionary steps. Many have done so.

Some people say the whole Y2K issue is being overplayed. Others think the workings of the modern world will fail at that one moment. What do you think?

The Y2K issue is taken very seriously by all establishments whose livelihood depends on computers. We all know this includes just about everything and everybody in today's world. A huge amount of effort has gone into remediation. Some estimates put this as high as $600 billion when measured in equivalent economic activity.

Where can members of the campus community go if they have further questions?

There is a Y2K public briefing session titled "Y2K: Crossing the Date Line at UB" for members of the university community from 10-11 a.m. on Dec. 8 in 120 Clemens Hall on the North Campus. The session will feature members of the Y2K Emergency Response Team who will provide details on the university's preparation for service interruptions that may occur. There also is a UB Y2K Web site that can be reached at .

What question do you wish I had asked, and how would you have answered it?

Are there people at UB we should thank for all their efforts toward preparing for the Year 2000 changeover? Yes, there are many people to thank in University Facilities, CIT, University Police and in the many research laboratories across the academic departments. The list is long. When it is all behind us, we will let out a large sigh of relief

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