Y2K Is Still Coming!

Manuel A. Esteban
It seems as though you can't read a newspaper or magazine, listen to the radio, watch television, or go to meetings or parties without having to deal with the Y2K issue. Some, probably the most pessimistic among us, see Y2K as a problem of catastrophic proportions. Others believe that Y2K will be no worse than the consequence of a bad storm, flood, or other natural disaster. According to a recently released senate panel report on Y2K, Japan and Germany have not made preparations. The panel is concerned that that lack of preparation of these two super powers will impact the rest of us. It is probably wise to take Y2K seriously and attempt to be ready for it. You'll be happy to know that here at CSU, Chico, we have been hard at work for a long time and are probably ahead of most CSU campuses in our preparedness.

As you know, glitches may appear in some computers that cannot handle the date change from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. The problem is caused by computers and programs not being able to distinguish between the years 19XX and 20XX. This can have an impact on almost every area of the campus since so much of the work we do, including how our buildings operate, makes use of computers or computer chips.

We have been preparing for the Year 2000 roll-over for several years and are well along in converting our mainframe systems to Y2K compliant versions. Facilities Management, with the Chancellor's Office assistance, is performing an embedded systems inventory and compliance review. The Y2K team under the leadership of Vice Provost Fred Ryan is surveying computer programs used, equipment necessary for instruction, and contingency plans in case of failure. Communications Services is investigating the Y2K status of all supported desktop hardware and software and posting the information on its Web pages.

As campus employees, you can prepare by assessing the risk to your area and preparing contingency plans in case of computer failures or power outages. Contingency plans can include ordering more paper, printing a hard copy of critical documents, or upgrading hardware and software. The Y2K team will be asking for contingency plans as required by the administration and the Chancellor's Office.

Based on industry and government oversight committees, the power, telecommunications, and banking industry's Year 2000 readiness programs are well under way, and there should not be any significant problems for the general population. We are confident that if we continue to prepare diligently we will be able to provide the same quality education services in January 2000 as we do now. For more information on CSU, Chico's readiness, see the CSU, Chico Y2K Web site at | Other Stories| Credits| Archives| Front Page| Publications Home Page