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'DP' to inaugurate new board

(01/21/94 10:00am)

They may be short in height, but they're tall in talent. Tomorrow night, the DP will inaugurate its 110th Board of Managers and Editors, retiring the current board members to civilian life and marking yet another year in the life of one of the University's longest running traditions. As an independent newspaper with no financial ties to the administration, the DP's perennial goal is to be the advocate for the entire University community – to ensure that whatever happens on campus does not happen in secret. Among the traditions passed from board to board are persistence, accuracy, belligerence and a fervent mistrust of anything done to students without their knowing about it. The 110th Board members, who were elected to their positions by the outgoing board last fall, said they are dedicated to preserving the hard-hitting journalistic traditions of the newspaper as well as add their own innovations along the way. Leading the 24-member board will be College junior Jordana Horn, who hails from Short Hills, N.J. Horn, described as "wonderful," "kind" and "caring," carries to her position four semesters of reporting experience. As executive editor, Horn – who is 5 foot 2 inches –Ewill serve as president and CEO of the corporation and has final authority for all business and news decisions. Horn promises to make the DP more accessible and incisive. "I want the DP to be a standard of excellence, aggressively pursuing the truth," Horn said last night. Five-foot-one-inch College junior Cara Tanamachi, a three-semester veteran reporter from Mesquite, Texas, will serve as top editorial officer. Holding the DP's purse strings will be Wharton junior Marc Saiontz from North Palm Beach, Fla. Tanamachi rose through the news reporting ranks quickly after serving on the 34th Street staff during her freshman year. And five-foot-seven-inch Saiontz brings with him two years of experience in the DP's credit department. Forming editorial policy with Horn is College junior Gabriele Marcotti from Milan, Italy. Marcotti brings three semesters experience to his post. In the news offices will be College sophomores Charles Ornstein as assistant managing editor and Peter Morrison, who will serve as associate editor/campus. Morrison will cultivate new reporters focusing on recruiting and training. Ornstein will supervise the beat reporter staff, fine tuning their skills. Among the new business managers are Finance Manager Jeffrey Lieberman, Sales Manager Jane Reisman and Human Resources Manager Brigette Wolf. Wharton sophomore Lieberman will serve as treasurer of the corporation as well as oversee the newspaper's fiscal matters. Wharton junior Reisman will lead a staff of reps as they solicit their way throughout the city. And Wharton sophomore Wolf will focus on the working to maintain business staff high morale and train new staff members. David Shapiro, a College freshman, will implement and maintain the new business computer system. Running the sports staff and planning out the back page will be College juniors Joshua Friedman and Adam Rubin. Both have a deep desire to reclaim the Kamin Cup. College juniors Eli Massar and Tracy Gitnick will lead the photography department as well as coordinate the paper's design. Dennis Berman inherits the distinguished title of editor of the award-winning 34th Street Magazine. Running the magazine with College sophomore Berman will be managing editors Josh Leitner and Ben Myers. Rounding out the new editorial board is new Art Director Andrew Figel and Weekly Pennsylvanian Editor Jeremy Zweig, both College sophomores. On the business side, College sophomore Tom Damico will take over as advertising production manager, Wharton junior Mark Suter will serve as the marketing manager and Wharton sophomore William Stoesser as the associate sales manager.

Frosh fight urban ills before classes

(09/11/92 9:00am)

They came, they saw, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. And while many entering freshman frolicked in the sun during their final days at home, forty enrolled in PennCORP -- an intensive hands-on community service program that pitted them against the city's social woes. "It is a powerful experience to have within your first 24 hours at Penn," Director of Community Involvement Todd Waller said last week. "They are in some of the highest crime areas of the city, participating in intensive community service." PennCORP -- the Penn Community Outreach Program -- began four years ago to connect entering freshman with campus and city community service organizations. This year students helped Habitat for Humanity build a house for a homeless family, traveled to 5200 block of Market Street to help the Philadelphia Anti-Grafitti Network repaint buildings, and worked with senior citizen in the nearby New Ralston House. Students also played with latch-key children at the Dixon House and discussed primary care advocacy at the Community Maternity Project, according to College sophomores Kim Van Naarden and Joe Bongiovanni, who coordinated the program. In addition to the on-site service work, campus and community leaders spoke on the importance of service each evening. Students said that speakers such as Director of Penn Programs for Public Service Ira Harkavy helped them understand how to better become involved. "What's great is that all of the students here are interested in community service," College freshman Heather Gimbel said last week. "Even better is that we are all from ideological differences. Whether its conservative or liberal we all want to achieve the same ends." Many of the participants said that some of the most enjoyable parts of the orientation program were the late-night discussions where students from all political perspectives would spar over welfare and solutions to the homeless problems. "Its been a bonding experience with the other kids," College freshman Andrew Holloway added. The program, in its fourth year, invited the entire freshmen class for the first time this year. Previously only certain freshman houses were invited. PennCORP enrolled a record-high of forty students, up from fifteen last year, according to Assistant Director of Community Involvement Marcine Pickron-Davis. The application requires about six essay questions on topics related to community service and social injustice, she added.

Teenage wunderkindkind advances to U.

(06/18/92 9:00am)

CHICAGO -- Many students at the University have been called "a quick study," but entering graduate student Alkes Price may be the quickest of all. Price, a 16-year-old who graduated from the University of Chicago on Saturday, will begin pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University this fall. His life is full of early achievements, including his claim that at age nine, he became the youngest person ever to earn a perfect score of 800 on the mathematics portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test. "I can count on one hand the number of people I have seen at his level at this age," said Ted Chinburg, mathematics graduate group chairperson at the University, who will work with Price in the fall. "We are very lucky he chose to come to Penn." Not surprisingly, Price is spending his summer vacation doing what most 16-year-olds would never fathom doing -- he is conducting mathematical research for the U.S. Department of Defense in Washington, his mother said. For Price, working for the government at an age when most of his peers are just happy to be learning to drive is nothing new. All his life he has been a few steps ahead of the pack. Price has been besieged with interview requests from newspapers and did not return phone messages this week. But his mother, Dora Price, agreed to discuss her son's rapid achievements. Child prodigy It began simply enough. When Price was two, he took to picking out tunes on the family's grand piano by "crouching" over the keys, his mother said. The next year, she said, she hired a piano instructor to tutor her son. Understandably, the instructor initially said her son was too young to learn. "So the teacher stood in front of the piano -- so Alkes could not see the keys -- and each time he struck [a key] Alkes could tell him which it was," she added. "The [instructor] had tears in his eyes . . . and began the lessons." At age four, he took his brother's violin and began plucking out tunes. He soon started taking violin lessons in addition to the piano instruction. His musical interests continued growing and when he was six, he added a third instrument, the cornet. Price's mother said she can vividly remember her son's talent at composing music. "There was a rainy day when he was three that Alkes was composing on the piano by sitting on his knees so that he could reach the keys," she said. "It reminded me of Chopin's Raindrops' Prelude." Gifted student Price, whose family is Greek, attended first grade at a private school. He then entered the public school's second grade -- and began studying from a seventh grade math textbook. The following year, Price did not find elementary school "sufficiently challenging" and left to attend a school for gifted students, his mother said. The next fall, when he was eight, he returned to public school, this time spending half of his time in the eighth grade and the other half as a high school freshman. Two years later he began taking math courses at the University of Chicago, where he enrolled as a full-time undergraduate at the ripe old age of 12. His mother said she did not pressure either of her sons to accelerate their academic careers, saying that they actually begged her for permission. Price's older brother Morgan graduated from the University of Chicago when he was 15. "[Alkes] did not have any social problems at college," she added. "The University of Chicago is not a party school . . . . Alkes could participate in the conversation, so they did not mind his height." Price was elected secretary of the Commuter Students Union for two years and vice president for one. The organization has about 160 members. Future plans At the University, Price will live in an undergraduate house, according to Chinburg, so that he can pursue his graduate studies while living among students his own age. Chinburg added that Price has received a fellowship from the University, which includes full tuition and a stipend. Price's mother said her son chose the University because he was impressed with its academic program, its urban setting and the atmosphere. She said he liked the people he met here, particularly Chinburg.

Students will not change habits despite

(04/24/92 9:00am)

Shooting has little impact Students said last night that despite Wednesday's shooting in front of McDonald's at 40th and Walnut streets they would not change their walking patterns or avoid the northwestern edge of campus. "Just because a few bad guys decided to have a shootout around there doesn't change anything," Engineering sophomore Urrich Kausch said last night. "It is one incident that happened . . . This is West Philly, you just need general awareness and to be careful." Police are still looking for a man who shot and killed another man outside McDonald's at about 10:25 p.m. Wednesday night. And University Police Commissioner John Kuprevich said he thinks the incident could have happened anywhere in the city. "It literally could have happened anywhere," Kuprevich said last night. "[There is] no indication that it occured because of the area." The corner -- which is infamous on the University's campus for housing what students casually label McDeath and Burglar King -- has been the site of University safety improvements in the past few years. Most recently, the University has planned constructing a new police station joined with a parking garage on the parking lot across the street from McDonald's. The planned construction has been halted due to the current building moratorium. "The idea is that by putting the police station in the project, just by its presence, it would change the way the whole corner operates," University Real Estate Director Christopher Mason said. Mason and Executive Vice President Marna Whittington added that several years ago, the University considered putting the McDonald's in the same structure to further increase the safety of the neighborhood. However, it was later decided that the McDonald's move would not be feasible due to financial reasons and the difficulty of installing a McDonald's "Drive Thru" window in the ground floor of the parking garage. Several years ago, the University also negotiated with McDonald's to reduce their hours from 24 hours to closed evenings. "We have changed a number of things in the retail establishments by working with them," Whittington said. The University has also improved the safety of the area by negotiating with the two nearby movie theaters to stagger the times of the movies. The University does not own the property or building in which McDonald's is housed, but, through University City Associates, it controls the property east of the nearby video game arcade to the Hardee's/Roy Rogers restaurant at 39th and Walnut streets. The University has also attempted to change the area through a land swap with the Free Library of Philadelphia. The current deal gives the University control of the land and library building, while giving the library a modern location inside the new structure for 99 years at a nominal fee. Many members of the neighborhood have publicly opposed the land swap, which has been complicated since the party which donated the land to the city stipulated that if the library leaves the property its value must be given to the party's heirs. Staff writer Stephanie Desmon contributed to this story.

Mayor's scholars tell their own experiences

(04/24/92 9:00am)

Three years ago, Nursing junior Connie Ritorto waited and waited and waited . . . Ritorto applied to the University from St. Maria Goretti High School in South Philadelphia and received a letter in early April that she had been accepted to the Nursing School. But Ritorto's father said the family could not afford the $20,000-plus tuition and told Ritorto she would have to go somewhere else if she could not secure sufficient financial aid. So she waited and waited and waited. Several months later, Ritorto was notified by letter from the University that she had garnered a Mayor's Scholarship that would cover her full tuition. "My father gave me a stipulation when I applied -- don't get your hopes up because we can't afford it," Nursing sophomore Ritorto said earlier this week. "Then, my parents were thrilled because they were not going to send me to Penn if I could not pay the tuition . . . This put my financial problems to rest." Ritorto is just one of many students at the University who said this week that their Mayor's Scholarships were the key that allowed them to afford the University's tuition. But in the past few months the University's program has come under fire. Critics, who filed suit against the University in October, claim the University is not supplying enough scholarships to Philadelphia high school graduates. The plaintiff coalition of organizations, labor unions, student groups and individuals assert that the University is failing to comply with a 1977 city ordinance which requires the University to maintain the scholarships. The coalition claims the University is required to provide 125 four-year scholarships every year for a total of 500 at any given time. The University maintains that it is legally required to provide 125 at any given time. But scholarship recipients said last night that, although they were concerned about the suit's repercussions, they were not directly affected and had not been approached by either party. "At first, when I heard about the lawsuit, I was concerned about the state of my scholarship," Nursing sophomore Rosanna DeFeo said this week. "I was afraid they would take it away -- and that would cause me problems." President Sheldon Hackney has admitted that the University has not publicized the program well enough and notes that the University has already taken strides to make more Philadelphia students aware of it for next year. Ritorto and DeFeo, who graduated from the same high school class, said this week that they were informed of the program by their high school guidance counselor. The counselor insisted that everyone who applied to the University also fill out a Mayor's Scholarship application. Nursing junior Truc Vo said she discovered the scholarship opportunity when she went to City Hall to apply for a different scholarship. Vo said that the clerk behind the desk told her of the Mayor's Scholarship. Mayor's Scholars said last week that the application was simple and only one page. Although they could not remember the specifics of the application, one commented that it was not as difficult as "the Penn application."

Annenberg to host Brown teleconference

(04/24/92 9:00am)

The Annenberg School will host a nationally broadcasted teleconference with Democratic presidential primary candidate Jerry Brown on Monday. Brown will be filmed from the Annenberg School, allowing members of the University community to directly ask him questions from the auditorium. Viewers from around the country can call in questions during the one-and-one-half hour session. "He wants to address the student concerns," Annenberg School Assistant Dean Katherine Schifter said yesterday. Schifter said the Annenberg School Dean Kathleen Jameson invited all of the primary candidates to take part in the teleconference, but said only Brown accepted the offer. She added that the Democratic and Republican nominees and any independent candidate will be offered the opportunity to participate in a teleconference again before November's general election. Annenberg School Building Admistrator Deborah Porter said she believes the conference is a positive educational event that will help people to better understand the issues. "Yes, I think it is very exciting," Porter said. "It is essential that people vote and express themselves." The conference will be broadcast on Galaxy 6 so anyone with a C-band satellite dish will be able to view the program. Schifter said the C-band dish is the normal type that many people own. Tickets for the event are free and can be acquired by signing up in Room 200 of the Annenberg School. Schifter said the auditorium holds 350 people and if there is greater demand, the show will be displayed in the audio/visual rooms.

Tutoring Center stops fee waivers

(04/22/92 9:00am)

The Tutoring Center will no longer waive the tutoring costs for students who receive less than $2500 in financial aid -- forcing about 35 students to pay for themselves. The Tutoring Center had maintained a policy that a student who received little or no financial aid could apply in writing to have the costs waived if they were short of money. The tutoring charges were then paid by the Center. But according to Tutoring Center Director Bernadine Abad, the center was "running out of funds" and needed to find a way to reduce costs. Abad said the 35 to 40 students were not actually eligible for free tutoring but that the center tried to accomodate students who said they had "a particular need at the moment." "They are basically students who are not receiving financial aid," Abad said last night. "And if they receive less than $2500 in aid they are not considered eligible for tutoring." Undergraduate tutors charge $9 to $12 per hour, depending on the level of the course, while graduate tutors charge $12 to $15. But students said last night they are disappointed with the decision and had hoped the University would have found a method to pay for the tutoring. "You are talking about a few thousand dollars to fund this thing," Russell Lamb, a third-year economics graduate student said last night. "We're not talking about a million dollars or anything." Lamb, who is an economics tutor, said he is upset that a memo detailing the decision was dated April 15 and that the change was to take effect the next day. He added that it is inappropriate for the University to cut tutoring just before final exams. "If there is ever a time they need to get tutoring, it is before final exams," Lamb said. "But the problem with this is two-fold, they also gave students 24-hour notice." But Abad said the Center would offset the end of free tutoring by ensuring that all of the students who received fee waivers would be notified about the free review sessions the Center offers in some of the courses. She added that the lack of funding stems from the Center not receiving sufficient funding last year. "The problem here is that monies allocated last year were considerably less than [years prior]," Abad said. "Our decision early on was that we would not turn anyone away." She said the program ran until it was out of money, when it was then forced to terminate the fee waivers. She said the Center accepted almost everyone since they did not want to be in a position where they rejected students' requests and then had money to spare at the end of the year. She said the decision to change the policy was made on short notice because the Center discovered "late" that there was not sufficient money for the tutor payroll. She said next year's policy has not yet been decided. "It was in no way meant to be forever," Abad added. "There is only a limited pot of money and when it is gone, it is gone."

Tutoring Center stops fee waivers

(04/21/92 9:00am)

The Tutoring Center will no longer waive the tutoring costs for students who receive less than $2500 in financial aid -- forcing about 35 students to pay for themselves. The Tutoring Center had maintained a policy that a student who received little or no financial aid could apply in writing to have the costs waived if they were short of money. The tutoring charges were then paid by the Center. But according to Tutoring Center Director Bernadine Abad, the center was "running out of funds" and needed to find a way to reduce costs. Abad said the 35 to 40 students were not actually eligible for free tutoring but that the center tried to accomodate students who said they had "a particular need at the moment." "They are basically students who are not receiving financial aid," Abad said last night. "And if they receive less than $2500 in aid they are not considered eligible for tutoring." Undergraduate tutors charge $9 to $12 per hour, depending on the level of the course, while graduate tutors charge $12 to $15. But students said last night they are disappointed with the decision and had hoped the University would have found a method to pay for the tutoring. "You are talking about a few thousand dollars to fund this thing," Russell Lamb, a third-year economics graduate student said last night. "We're not talking about a million dollars or anything." Lamb, who is an economics tutor, said he is upset that a memo detailing the decision was dated April 15 and that the change was to take effect the next day. He added that it is inappropriate for the University to cut tutoring just before final exams. "If there is ever a time they need to get tutoring, it is before final exams," Lamb said. "But the problem with this is two-fold, they also gave students 24-hour notice." But Abad said the Center would offset the end of free tutoring by ensuring that all of the students who received fee waivers would be notified about the free review sessions the Center offers in some of the courses. She added that the lack of funding stems from the Center not receiving sufficient funding last year. "The problem here is that monies allocated last year were considerably less than [years prior]," Abad said. "Our decision early on was that we would not turn anyone away." She said the program ran until it was out of money, when it was then forced to terminate the fee waivers. She said the Center accepted almost everyone since they did not want to be in a position where they rejected students' requests and then had money to spare at the end of the year. She said the decision to change the policy was made on short notice because the Center discovered "late" that there was not sufficient money for the tutor payroll. She said next year's policy has not yet been decided. "It was in no way meant to be forever," Abad added. "There is only a limited pot of money and when it is gone, it is gone."

Seniors to save time, memories in a bottle

(04/21/92 9:00am)

Many have recited the phrase, "The more things change the more they stay the same," but this year's senior class may be the first University group to test it. The Alumni Relations Student Advisory Committee has begun soliciting seniors across the Unversity to donate photographs, documents and virtually anything else that represents their tenure at the University for a time capsule. "By putting them in a time capsule they are being saved," said Jennifer Goodman, ARSAC chairperson. "We'll see how things change and how they stay the same." The cubic foot box of momentos will be stored in the University's archives for 25 years and will be opened at their reunion, according to Gay Lacy, assistant director of alumni relations. College senior Goodman said the idea for the time capsule began last year, but there was not sufficient time to organize the event for the class of 1991. "The students [on ARSAC] decided they wanted to create a project that would be something which would bring the class together," Lacy said. "We hope this will be a new tradition." Lacy and Goodman said several items have already been pledged for the box including a Hey Day t-shirt, a video tape of the upcoming Commencement ceremonies and a copy of this year's yearbook. They said they also want to include memorable copies of The Daily Pennsylvanian -- probably the annual joke issue and a random issue that will give "a slice of life" -- as well as programs from performing groups. "I think it will be a neat thing. I think it should be cool," ARSAC member Whitney Stroutz said. "We're looking for items that are somewhat personable but give a real feeling for what it was like to go to school here." Goodman said the time-capsule project's slogan, "The year 2017 may seem far away, but so did 1992," may be "a little depressing" but hopes that people will remember to submit their momentos. "We'll take anything," Lacy said, noting they plan to accept the first 92 items "within reason." Lacy said for space reasons she would prefer that submissions be paper so they are flat and take up less space. She noted, however, that they do not want to limit seniors' creativity. Donations can be brought to the rear of the first floor of the Sweeten Alumni Center during regular business hours through then end of Senior Week, May 15.

Shots fired after high-speed chase near 3900 Walnut

(04/17/92 9:00am)

Shots were fired near teh corner of 39th Walnut streets early this morning after a high-speed car chase, according to witnesses. Several University students said they say Philadelphia Police cars chasing a Buick traveling west on Walnut Street at about 2:30 a.m. The witnesses said the Bucik crashed when turning north on 39th Street. At least one person ran from the vehicle, heading north toward Chestnut Street, witnesses added. Witnesses said they then heard at least two gunshots. It is uncertain whether the people in the car or the police officers fired the shots. A pane of glass ar the entrance to Cavanaugh's Restaurant was shattered. A Cavanaugh's manager declined to comment.

Alum captures headlines as accused child molester

(04/01/92 10:00am)

and ALEC SCHWARTZ Edward Isadore Savitz sang "The Red and the Blue." And the man who, nearly 30 years ago, made the front page of The Daily Pennsylvanian for his role in student government has returned to capture headlines in papers across the country -- as "Uncle Ed." Savitz, a 1963 College graduate, was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly molesting several hundred young men in his Rittenhouse Square apartment. According to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, young boys, between 15 and 19 years old, willingly sold Savitz their soiled underwear, socks and bowel movements. He is being held in lieu of $20 million bail. Savitz, during his tenure at the University, was a member of the Glee Club, Men's Student Government, Pi Gamma Mu, a social sciences honors society, and Sigma Tau Sigma, a student mentoring program, according to the 1963 Record. According to a front page article in the DP, Savitz was elected to the MSG, one of the University's student assemblies, in December 1961. Savitz was a member of the Red and Blue party, one of several student political parties. In December 1962, Savitz, a senior, did not run for the MSG. But Philadelphia Mayor Edward Rendell, also a Red and Blue party member, was elected to the MSG, according to the DP. According to the Mayor's Press Secretary Kevin Feeley, Rendell does not "know [Savitz] or recollect him." Clearly, from an academic standpoint, Savitz was an outstanding student. According to the University documents from 1963 Commencement, Savitz graduated with honors. As a member of Pi Gamma Mu and Sigma Tau Sigma, Savitz would have had to attain an excellent grade point average. PGM requires academic achievements in one of five areas -- economics, history, political science, international relations or sociology/anthropology -- according to a national spokesperson. STS, also known as the Student Teaching Society, was founded to provide free tutoring to students in 1954. According to a February 1959 article in the DP, the "standards are high" and members were accepted based on several factors, including "previous academic distinction" and "instructing ability." Also, Savitz completed his undergraduate education in three years and was voted "most likely to succeed" and "best student" in his 1960 high school class. Dozens of University alumni from Savitz's class, including members of organizations he participated in, said this week that Savitz's name sounded familiar, but could not remember details of the man who is quickly becoming infamous. "I thought the name seemed familiar," said Richard Berlinger, a Glee Club member who graduated in 1964. "I couldn't figure out where I knew it from . . . was he in the Glee Club? . . . I have a fleeting image of him, but nothing more than that." Sources and documents indicate that Savitz has not been involved in University activities lately. According to a class of 1963 newsletter, Savitz did not sign up to attend his 20th class reunion in May 1983. Doris Cochran-Fikes, director of alumni relations, said that according to alumni relations records, Savitz has not been active in University functions. And the University Development Office has no knowledge of any involvement with the University. Pamela Milcos, a member of the Alumni Secondary School Committee for Philadelphia County said Savitz was not on her list of active area alumni who interview prospective undergraduates. Since his graduation, Savitz has gone on to become a successful Philadelphia businessman. Savitz is vice president of the Savitz Organization, a firm started 20 years ago by his brother Samuel. His reputation as a savvy actuary was enough for Money magazine to quote him about the conversion of corporate retirement plan proceeds into annuities. The Savitz Organization was sold in the 1980s to the accounting firm Laventhol & Horvath, and when that company went bankrupt, Sam Savitz was able to spin off his business. It now generates an estimated $2 million to $3 million in revenue annually, according to an employee at a larger actuarial firm, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The company has five members including the Savitz brothers. Last week, Philadelphia Police arrested Savitz for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual abuse of children, indecent assault and corrupting the morals of a minor. Savitz has denied allegations that he had anal and oral sex with children. Most shocking, however, is the disclosure that Savitz has had full-blown AIDS for at least one year, according to District Attorney Lynne Abraham. According to a statement by Abraham, Savitz was HIV-positive for at least one-to-two years prior to the onset of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. City Health Commissioner Robert Ross, who was originally fearful of an epidemic, said Monday that he is relieved because many of Savitz's partners told AIDS hotlines that "Uncle Ed" required them to use condoms. "We're relieved in terms of the potential for a public health threat," Ross said. "It doesn't appear to be as bad as we feared." When Savitz was arrested, police said they found 5,000 photographs of young boys in his 23rd floor apartment on the 2000 block of Walnut Street. They also found bags of dirty socks and underwear in a storage facility he rented. Savitz had been previously arrested on similar charges in 1988, but the charges were dropped for unknown reasons. Staff Writer Stephanie Desmon and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

U. graduate student's fate tied to 'Jeopardy!'

(03/27/92 10:00am)

Answer: University graduate student who will compete on Jeopardy! tonight. Question: Who is Bill Westerman? Westerman, a folklore graduate student who said he has been "addicted" to Jeopardy! since his first grade lunch breaks, may have achieved the game-show equivalent of a dream come true. "My grandma used to sit me down and say, 'Watch this, you might learn something,' " Westerman said. "Well, I learned to become a Jeopardy! candidate." But Westerman's account of his hour in the spotlight may very well erode any Jeopardy! addict's glamourous fascination with Alex Trebek's warm smile and polite conversation. "When the credits began rolling, [Trebek] came up to me and said, 'I'm so hungry, I haven't had anything to eat today except for four Oreos, two milano cookies and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,' " Westerman said. "I tried to look as interested as I could." · Westerman's journey to trivia stardom began last year when his friend Bernie McAleer encouraged him to join a contestant search in Atlantic City. But the traffic was heavy, and after driving part of the way to the New Jersey shore, Westerman urged his friend to turn around and go home. He reminded McAleer that he had tried out for the show five years ago but had not been selected. "I kept saying, 'This is ridiculous, let's turn around,' " Westerman said. "But he kept insisting and I didn't even get to thank him on the show." Once they arrived at the tryouts, Westerman took a preliminary test of ten questions, out of which participants were required to answer seven correctly in three minutes in order to advance. Those who passed this portion were asked to return for a second exam. During the next round, the 75 to 100 people who passed the first test sat in a room watching a television monitor where Trebek read 50 answers to the hopeful crowd. Of this group, Westerman said, only 15 continued. The 15 were then brought to a hotel room where they played a mock round of Jeopardy!. This round was designed to judge contestant-hopefuls' personalities and diction, he said. "During this part they shout things like 'Don't forget to put it in the form of a question' and 'More personality' ," Westerman said. "They also ask you to say something interesting about yourself, so I said I was a folklorist." The Jeopardy! selection committee then told each of the hopefuls, "Don't call us, we'll call you." So Westerman didn't call. And this time around, the trivia buff received a phone call of acceptance. "One day, I just came home and there was this message on the answering machine," Westerman said. "It said 'Congrats, it's your dream come true.' I said, 'Who the hell is this?' " Ultimately, on December 7, Westerman said he travelled -- paying all of his own expenses -- to Los Angeles for the filming. He said he brought a 1985 edition of the World Almanac with him to to brush up on his mythology, because for a folklorist, missing a mythological question "would be real embarrasing." He also said he wanted to review the British and French monarchs because he has never taken a Eurpoean history course. When Westerman first arrived on the Jeopardy! set, he participated in a rehearsal and was read the rules, he said. Then the technical crew put make-up on him and before the actual game began, assistants showed him how to operate the pen. "I couldn't get the hang of it -- my name looks terrible and they wouldn't let me rewrite it, and in fact, Alex couldn't read my final Jeopardy answer," he said. "The buzzers were easy to operate, it's just everyone's so damn fast and if you ring in too soon you get locked out for [a few tenths of a second]." Before the show began, the contestants walked out and stood next to each other. "My two opponents were tall, 6' 5" and 6' 7". I'm 5' 10", so they had to bring out a box for me to stand on," he said. "They were enormous." The most terrifying part of the show, however, is not the rigorous competion or Final Jeopardy, according to Westerman. He said everyone agrees it is the personal interview. But when the game finally began, he said, he realized that the actual show is a far cry from the perfected version millions see at home. The game board breaks nearly every episode, and, occasionally, Trebek stumbles over a question. Camera operators film Trebek rereading some of the questions after the show so that the final version will flow better, Westerman said. Sometimes, the board reveals the wrong question, and then the contestants are asked to stop and turn their backs. He added that sometimes the board just goes blank and they have to answer to the verbal question alone. But most of the time he spent enjoying the show in the past few years, Westerman had not seen Jeopardy! on television, but rather heard it on his car radio. "When the screen went blank, I just pretended I was sitting behind my dashboard," Westerman said. "The other two guys stopped playing and I got it." But the graduate student said he did not know what part of the show would eventually get edited out. "For instance, I got a Daily Double in my worst category in a very crucial moment in the contest," Westerman said. "I just said 'Oh, this is a nightmare.' I wonder if they will keep that." Westerman added most of the contestants in the show were pleasant and encouraging, but noted that there were a few arrogant players, whom everyone rooted against. Westerman is not allowed to say if he won on the show since it has not yet aired. But he did note that he will not receive any prizes he may have won, including "departing gifts," for at least another 120 days. His "departing gifts," which are guaranteed to any contestant, include footpowder and margarine. Westerman, an eighth year graduate student, said he plans to write a scholarly article on the folklore of the gameshow experience. In the Philadelphia area, the show will air tonight at 7 p.m. on Channel 6.

U. names Wales dep. provost

(03/27/92 10:00am)

Physics Professor Walter Wales will take over as the new Deputy Provost this summer, succeeding Richard Clelland, University officials said last week. Wales will assume his post on July 1. Wales, who also serves as the School of Arts and Sciences associate dean, said last week that he is "happy" to fill the position which Clelland held for over ten years. "Clelland has done an extremely good job," Wales said. "He will be a tough act to follow." Wales said that one of the primary responsibilities of the deputy provost is to monitor personnel issues throughout the University, particularly grievances. "But mainly the deputy provost is responsible to assist the provost in any way possible," Wales added. The selection committee conducted a campus-only search which Provost Michael Aiken said looked for a candidate who exemplified fairness, trust and openness. He said there were many "outstanding" candidates and that the decision was difficult. "Anyone on this campus who knows [Wales], knows he personifies those qualities," Aiken said. "He clearly has the confidence of many people in the community." Wales joined the University as a physics instructor in 1959 and became a full professor in 1972. He has served as chairperson of the Faculty Senate and twice served as acting dean of SAS. Wales, who said he will continue to teach, won the SAS Ira Abrams Memorial Award in 1990. He has conducted research in high-energy physics and and was associate director of the Princeton-Penn Acccelerator from 1968-1971. "I am delighted by the decision," Clelland said Friday. "I've known [Wales] for many years and he is excellent." Staff writer Stephanie Desmon contributed to this story.

Outcry arises over prof's tenure denial

(03/06/92 10:00am)

Students, faculty and administrators decried an assistant English professor's tenure denial yesterday, calling the decision "scandalous" and detrimental to the department. Students and faculty said that Assistant English Professor Arkady Plotnitsky's tenure denial will leave a void in the English department, as well as several other related departments. "I think it is a grave and incomprehensible error," Associate English Professor Vicki Mahaffey said yesterday. "He's fluent in four languages, he has two forthcoming books . . . he's conversant in three disciplines. He's a wonderful teacher of both graduates and undergraduates. I can't imagine what [the committee would] want." Plotnitsky's departure from the University would affect several departments because the professor teaches a required course for Comparative Literature, Romance Languages, Slavic Languages graduate students. Plotnitsky, who is currently in his seventh year at the University, was denied this week in his second attempt to gain tenure at the University. Without tenure, the professor's career at the University will end in May. According to University policy, a tenure-track professor must receive a tenure appointment by the end of his seventh year. Many professors, like Plotnitsky, apply for a permanent appointment in their sixth and seventh years. Plotnitsky said yesterday he is confused by the School of Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee's decision because when he was denied tenure last year, the committee unanimously asked him to resubmit his request for tenure this year. Plotnitsky added that he was led to believe that the first decision was a postponement of tenure, rather than a rejection. "They had very high praise of my scholarship and led me to expect that in resubmission I would get tenure," Plotnitsky said. "I was told that I was an exceptional asset to the University." English Department Chairperson John Richetti said yesterday that Plotnitsky received almost unanimous support from his department colleagues, who sent letters of recommendation to the Personnel Committee. Plotnitsky said he received 24 votes of support from the department, no votes against him, with two abstentions. Currently, two books written by Plotnitsky have been accepted for publication, one book is in manuscript form and another is unfinished. He has also published several articles in the past year. University students said last night that Plotnitsky's tenure denial will have serious ramifications for the English department because he is a literary theory and romanticism expert. If Plotnitsky were to leave the University, the English department would be unable to replace him due to an SAS-wide hiring freeze. Katherine Milligan, a first-year comparative literature graduate student, said last night that although others have taught the theory class in the past, none have been as widely published in literary theory as Plotnitsky. "I think he is very good in the classroom and particularly in one-on-one situations, he remembers things about students," Milligan added. "Yes, I think it is a shame and I think it will be a definite loss to the departments that require his theory class." Personnel Committee Chairperson William Telfer said last night that he is bound by confidentiality rules from discussing Plotnitsky's situation. Plotnitsky said he is currently investigating an appeal procedure and is "in principle" looking for another job. Although SAS Dean Rosemary Stevens has imposed a hiring freeze for the school, Richetti said he does not believe Plotnitsky's tenure denial was economically motivated and said the Personnel Committee acted "honorably."

Harvard case opens admissions records

(03/03/92 10:00am)

Law allows students to see documents Engineering freshman Jeff Lavif did not know that he could inspect his admissions records. And neither did College freshman Deborah Green or College senior Santosh Kesari. But they and all other University students have the legal right to inspect their application summary -- which includes admissions officers' comments -- according to a Harvard University student who forced the Massachusetts university to release his records last summer. The Family Educational Records Privacy Act of 1974, better known as the Buckley Amendment, requires that enrolled students be allowed to inspect their "educational records." The law applies to any school, public or private, which receives federal funding. "The purpose of FERPA is to protect the confidentiality of records of students and their parents," a U.S. Department of Education spokesperson said yesterday. "The [Harvard] decision was based on an interpretation of the regulations and the law." An Education Department document said in a test case this summer that students are specifically allowed to read admission summary sheets, a condensed version of the information contained in their files. The sheet includes comments by the admissions officer who read the application. Admissions Dean Willis Stetson said earlier this semester that the University maintains students' admissions files for a total of six years, including the year the student applies. Joshua Gerstein, a 1991 graduate of Harvard University, used FERPA to request access to his summary sheets. Harvard officials denied the request, saying FERPA does not apply to admissions summary sheets. Gerstein subsequently appealed the decision to the Education Department, which ultimately ruled that Harvard had violated FERPA and must surrender the summary sheets to Gerstein. Harvard had argued that the summary sheets contained comments based on high school teacher and counselor recommendations, which many students, including Gerstein, waive the rights to see. But the federal department said Harvard could not withhold the admissions documents based on the confidentiality of specific items mentioned in them. The government stated that Harvard must black out sections that refer to recommendations which students have waived the right to inspect, and allow them to see the rest of the sheet. Stetson said yesterday that he is reviewing the decision with the University's General Counsel to see how it applies to the University. Associate General Counsel Neil Hamburg added that the University allows students to see admissions records which they did not waive the right to inspect. The University, however, has a clause at the end of its undergraduate admissions application which, when signed, waives students' right to inspect statements by admissions officers. "Must be read by all applicants: I understand that confidential recommendations, including interview reports and evaluation statements from members of the admissions staff . . . will be used for the purposes of evaluation of this application . . . I therefore agree that the contents of confidential appraisals shall not be disclosed to anyone, including myself," the statement reads. The waiver also states that all of the information in the application is accurate and is the student's original work. But Gerstein said last night that FERPA specifically states that a university can not require a student to sign a waiver in order to be admitted. For this reason, he said he does not believe this waiver is enough to deny students access to their files. "Waivers may not be required as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid from, or receipt of any other service or benefits from such agency or institution," FERPA states. The waiver on page 12 of the University's application does not say the statement is optional, but states that it "must be read by all applicants." Gerstein noted that applicants would be forced to sign the waiver because it also contains the statement that verifies that the application is accurate and is the student's own work. Gerstein also added that the waiver does not specify that it is optional, unlike the two items directly above it, which ask the student to state their ethnic identity and any disability. He also said that the high school counselor and teacher recommendation forms specifically state that the student can choose whether or not to waive access to those recommendations. "My feelng is in this waiver they don't make it clear that you have an option," Gerstein said. "They are implying that this is a condition for admission." Gerstein said that he had not had sufficient time to review the University's policy with an attorney but believes that the University's policy is not consistent with the spirit of the law. "The law is basically to cover recommendations from people that have interviewed you or have known you for some period of time and are therefore in a position to make a recommendation on your behalf," Gerstein said. "[The University is] trying to expand it to include admissions committee members who have never met the applicant and who know absolutely nothing about the applicant except what they can read from the paper." Students can request access to their records by submitting a letter to the office of admissions citing FERPA and providing information that will help the University locate the file. The University is required by law to respond to the request within 45 days.

U. donors could hold off on giving until state decides on funding

(03/03/92 10:00am)

Some capital campaign donors may wait to see how much money, if any, the University receives from the state this year before deciding how to direct their pledges, administrators said last month. Otherwise, the University's billion-dollar capital campaign is not expected to fluctuate greatly during upcoming legislative debates to determine whether the University will retain $37 million in state funding, they added. "It is really to early to tell what will happen," said Rick Nahm, senior vice president for planning and development. "If there is a change it would occur once it is determined definitely what the appropriations are." Last month, Gov. Robert Casey proposed eliminating all of the University's state appropriations in his budget proposal. The General Assembly will now debate and revise the proposal before returning it to Casey for his signature this spring. Among the proposals, the governor suggested eliminating all state aid to the Veterinary School, an amount equalling 40 percent of its operating budget. Nahm noted, however, that the University updates donors of the budget situation. "Some people want to wait and see what is going to happen," Nahm added. "If the money is cut, you may see people rallying with gifts to restore it." "The rallying could particularly be seen in the Vet School or with financial aid," Nahm said. "Or you may see people putting their money in other areas of the University." Executive Vice President Marna Whittington said last month she believes donors know that the University is a "quality institution" and will continue to give. "The jury is out," Whittington said. "They may be waiting until we get through the appropriation issue." The capital campaign is divided into several smaller parts. Many donors request their money be placed one of these specific areas, such as financial aid or facilities. Nahm said that when the governor proposed halving the University's state appropriation last year, donors also watched to see how the University would eventually fare. He added the campaign was not affected greatly either way because the University retained $37 million in state funding. Budget Director Stephen Golding said last month that preserving the academic core will be the highest priority in the University's upcoming plan to deal with the potential cuts. The University's five-year $1 billion campaign is several months ahead of schedule and has raised 64 percent of its goal as of this summer.

College editors like Ga. ruling

(03/02/92 10:00am)

Editors at college newspapers across the country said last night they are pleased with a Georgia court ruling allowing college newspapers access to student organizations' judicial records. Editors at both private and public schools said their school administrations frequently cite the Family Educational Records Privacy Act of 1974 to deny them access to files concerning disciplinary action taken against organizations. "We were waiting for this decision," Rutgers University The Daily Targum Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Quick said last night. "We are looking into the case." The Red and the Black, the independent student newspaper of the University of Georgia, won a partial victory last month in its lawsuit aimed at gaining access to the school's Organization Court -- the body which investigates student groups, specifically fraternities and sororities. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Frank Hull ruled the FERPA, which the University says is the backbone of its general records policy, does not apply to disciplinary records, Red and Black Editor-in-Chief Lance Helms said last month. Hull ruled that FERPA, which is commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment, only applies to academic performance records, Helms said. Under the ruling Red and Black reporters will have access to all judicial records concerning organizations in both past and future cases, but are not allowed to attend the meetings. Helms added the paper will appeal the decision to the state supreme court to gain access to meetings. "It is implicit in the term educational institution that a university will educate its students about what constitutes appropriate and acceptable behavior," the College junior said last night. "Only through opening judicial records will this crucial aspect of education be successfully fulfilled." Currently, the University's judicial records are confidential and can not be viewed by reporters or anyone else not directly involved in the case. Indiana Daily Student Managing Editor Bruce Gray said his paper does not have access to judicial proceedings concerning organizations. He noted that Indiana University claims the records are condsidered an interdepartmental investigation which is protected by state law. "But there is an arrangement [under which] they will tell us what's going on," Gray said last night. "And they have been pretty good." Gray added that his independent newspaper, however, may use this case to demand more information through the Freedom of Information Act. Daniel Restrepo, editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia's independent newspaper, said his paper has "had trouble in the past" gaining access to the records. But UVA students will vote today on a school-wide referendum to open all of the judicial records that are "nonpersonally identifiable," Restrepo said. Restrepo said the referendum may open up judicial files at UVA, but noted that Cavalier Daily will still look into the Georgia decision and see how it applies to their state school. (CUT LINE) Please see EDITORS, page 5 EDITORS, from page 1

Panel decides against junior U. said cheated

(02/27/92 10:00am)

An arbitration panel yesterday ruled against a Wharton student who claimed in a lawsuit that the University denied him a fair hearing after an investigation found he had cheated on an exam. The three-attorney panel, which deliberated the case for less than five minutes after the day-long hearing came to a close, voted unanimously against Wharton junior Mark Wallace, panel chairperson Anthony DeLuca said last night. Wallace said he did not know if he would appeal the ruling to the U.S. District Court, adding he would consult with his attorney. He has 30 days to file an appeal. Wallace claimed that the wrong University judicial board heard the case and that he could not prepare for his hearing because the University did not make certain documents available to him. Wallace sought over $50,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, including "out-of-pocket" losses such as rent and loss of financial aid for a total of $10,870. He also claimed his judicial record has hampered his abilities to gain admission to law school. Associate General Counsel Neil Hamburg, who argued the case for the University, stressed throughout the hearing that the case was important as a test of the University's internal judicial system. "I'm delighted by the decision," he said last night. "It is a vindication of the University's right to discipline cheaters through its own processes." But Weldon Williams, the student's attorney in the case, said the ruling was a blow to student rights. "Students at the University better get serious about finding out what their rights are and what the procedures are," he said last night after hearing of the decision. "You're not going to get a fair hearing. Students have to know that the University is taking their rights away." Associate Legal Studies Professor Kenneth Shropshire, who served as Wallace's advisor during the hearing, ridiculed the University's judicial procedure as a "kangaroo court" which failed to uphold appropriate judicial standards. Williams argued during the hearing that the University had violated the University Policies and Procedures, dated September 1989, by trying the case in the University Hearing Board rather than the student-dominated Honor Court. But Hamburg pointed to an amendment in the September 5, 1989 issue of Almanac which abolished the Honor Court and directed cases previously heard by the Honor Court to the Hearing Board, thus superceding the policies manual. Williams conceded that the amendment existed, but maintained that it was not legally effective. He claimed that the September date of the policies manual implied that its guidelines were valid throughout the month, ending October 1. Based on this interpretation, he concluded that the amendment was in conflict with the policies manual and that the Honor Court was the proper venue. Hamburg dismissed Williams' argument as "hypertechnical" and irrelevant, noting that past court cases have maintained the University's system provides a fair hearing. Williams also said Wallace did not receive enough time to prepare for his hearing because University officials did not make a witness list and other documents available to him beforehand, as the University Policies and Procedures stipulates. Former Judicial Inquiry Officer Constance Goodman testified that it was the student's responsibility to pick up the documents from her office. But she said she did more than required when she had her secretary call to remind Wallace to pick them up several days beforehand. "I never had a student not pick up the list of witnesses and evidence," Goodman said. She added that she was "100 percent certain" the Board would have postponed the hearing if Wallace had requested extra time to prepare. Although Wallace's complaint dealt only with the fairness of the hearing, much of the testimony actually focused on whether he had cheated. Wallace and College senior Donald Hatter were found guilty of cheating on a Statistics 101 exam in 1989 after a classmate reported seeing them share information during the test. Wallace ultimately received a one-semester suspension while Hatter received a two-year probation. Both received notations on their transcripts which were to be removed after the end of the students' junior year. Statistics Professor Edward Lusk, who referred the cheating allegations to the JIO, used a chalkboard at yesterday's hearing to illustrate numerous identical errors in the two students' exams which he said demonstrated cheating had occurred. Wallace denied the cheating, claiming the similarities in their answers were only a result of studying together for the exam and using each others notes, which was permitted. But Lusk noted that when coupled with an eyewitness report, many of the errors -- including unusual phrasing which he had never seen before and weird use of mathematical notation -- convinced him that a "transfer of information" had occurred. "[One similarity] is unlikely, twice rare and three -- no way," Lusk said. After Lusk reviewed the exams, he brought them to Statistics Department chairperson David Hildebrand, who independently evaluated the similarities and also concluded cheating had occurred. Lusk also compared the blue-books of Wallace and Hatter to a random sample of ten other exams and determined that no one else had similar responses. There were approximately 100 students in the class, Lusk said. But Williams questioned the sample, since the exams were not necessarily chosen from students who had studied together, making it less likely the professor would find similarities to vindicate Wallace and Hatter. Goodman, who was questioned at the hearing for several hours, said she was pleased with the decision. "It was a clean case," Goodman said. "The student received due process. All phases of the investigation and hearing were handled fairly."

ACTUP wins suit vs. police

(02/26/92 10:00am)

A federal judge yesterday approved a $76,500 settlement to 14 people and six groups who clashed with police while demonstrating against President Bush last fall. The lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia was filed by ACTUP -- AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, the National Organization for Women and several individuals, including at least one University student. The plaintiffs alleged that the police department used excessive violence and violated the protesters' civil rights during Bush's September visit to a Center City hotel. The lawsuit was filed in October. College junior Todd Wharton, who was one of the plaintiffs in the case, is out of the country and could not be reached for comment. During the protest, eight people were arrested as police tried to keep demonstrators away from the hotel. Four police officers and two protesters were injured when ACTUP members tried to break through the police barrier and enter the hotel. Violence broke out at the protest when about 20 ACTUP members pushed their way through the barricades. The police started to push back the rushing crowd with their hands, nightsticks and the barricades. Officers hit several people on their heads and bodies with nightsticks. The settlement was finalized on January 6, but U.S. District Judge William Yohn postponed approval of the settlement until yesterday in order to hear the Fraternal Order of Police's objections. "The cops will think twice before tangling with us again," ACTUP member Scott Tucker said last night. "However, Philadelphia has a history of police abuse. The real answer to this problem is to implement a civilian police review board." Tucker said he was "roughed up" during the rally and initiated the protesters' movement under the police baricade. The FOP challenged a provision in which the city agreed to provide police with extra civil rights training on how to handle public protesters. The FOP also challenged a statement in which the city acknowledges the First Amendment rights of the protesters and agrees to be liable for any violations of their rights. The union did not oppose the monetary compensation. The FOP asked Yohn to reject the settlement plan, contending it would unreasonably restrain and endanger police officers at public protests. It also argued that the plan would endanger the ability of city police to defend themselves in civil rights lawsuits. FOP president John Shaw said the union is happy with the final outcome. "We're glad it protects police officers, and we're pleased the judge allowed the FOP to intervene," Shaw said. The final settlement does not limit individual officers' ability to defend themselves under the law. Shaw said this point was "very critical language" for the police. Under terms of the settlement, the city and the police department agreed in the future that they would not "restrict, disrupt, punish, prevent or otherwise interfere with the free exercise of speech, association, assembly or petition for redress of grievances [which are] protected by the First Amendment." Amounts awarded to individuals ranged from a high of $12,500 to Coleman Terrell, who said he received head injuries, down to $750 for eight of the plaintiffs, some of whom were not physically harmed. Terrell said last night he was happy with the settlement. "What has come out of this is that the city is responsible for future violations," Terrell said. "There is a responsibility to be trained and act within the Constitution." The Associated Press contributed to this story.

U., gov't sign indirect cost contract Fri.

(02/24/92 10:00am)

Agreement is for 62.5 percent The University signed an agreement with a federal agency Friday that reduces the rate at which the University will recover money from the government to cover administrative costs associated with research. But administrators said the actual amount of money the University will receive for research overhead will increase next year because the amount of research funding to the University has increased. The University and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed that the federal government will reimburse the University 62.5 percent of research grants beginning in July. This means that for every $1000 the University receives in federal research grants, the U.S. government will pay an additional $625 to cover the administrative costs. The money will be used to cover administrative and maintenance costs associated with research, such as libraries, assistants and utilities. The new rate will be valid for two years, at which time it will be increased to 63.5 percent for an additional year. Currently, the University's indirect overhead rate is 65 percent. Administrators said the rate, which the University has been negotiating since November, was fair to both the University and the government. "It really represents an accurate and reasonable rate," Vice President for Finance Selimo Rael said Friday. "We considered it very carefully." Comptroller Alfred Beers added that it is particularly important that the contract was negotiated for multiple years, allowing the Univeristy to project how much money it will recover over the next three years. "It is good to have that part of the budget stabilized," Beers said Friday. "It allows us to project how much money we will receive." In the current year, Rael said the University garnered about $58 million through the indirect cost recovery contract and projects to recover approximately $60 million for the upcoming year. The University's indirect cost recovery program came under fire last year when a U.S. Congressional subcommittee discovered that it's rate was too high because it contained "questionable costs". These costs included expenditures for alumni relations, fundraising activities, entertainment, chaplain activities and public relations. Government officials have not claimed that the University misspent any money recovered as indirect research costs. They have simply contended that the amount of money the University received was too high because it was based on faulty figures. Ultimately, the University repaid HHS over $930,000 in improper overhead charges. The reimbursement amounted to less than one-half of one percent of the $219 million in federal research overhead payments the University received for the last five years. The rate was not renegotiated due to the national controversy, University officials said, but had been scheduled to be renegotiated years ago in accordance with the current contract which expires in July.