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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 20, 1997)
Lotus e-mail system
may link NU campuses
By Erin Gibson
With the NU Board of Regents’
approval, an advanced new e-mail
system could soon connect all four
University of Nebraska campuses.
James Van Horn, NU vice presi
dent for business and finance, an
nounced the new e-mail system at
the regents’ Business Affairs Com
mittee meeting Friday. The system
would replace 30 separate current
systems, save maintenance costs
and allow an easier exchange of
materials and ideas.
“The key is a more efficient sys
tem,” Van Horn said. “We kind of
have a Tower of Babel right now.”
The 30 current e-mail setups re
quire a host of maintenance work
ers trained to handle the different
systems. Systems are not compat
ible, and prevent the transfer of
documents and other information,
The current systems cannot
handle the future of e-mail, includ
ing video conferencing, Van Horn
said. The new system, using Lotus
Notes software from Lotus Devel
opment Corp., would be able to
handle such leading-edge technol
ogy, he said.
Van Horn said he planned to
bring a contract for implementation
of the new system to the board in
the next two to three months.
In a year of legislative budget
crunching, the start-up costs of the
new system are reasonable, said
Walter Weir, NU assistant vice
president and director of Informa
tion Services. Preliminary estimates
indicate $635,000 could be required
for all software and hardware dur
ing the first year, he said.
For example, Greg Gray, NU In
formation Services specialist, said
he receives about 10 to 15 calls per
day for help with problems in a 32
user e-mail system. One efficient,
consolidated system would greatly
reduce such frequent and costly
maintenance problems, he said.
And Weir said the benefits for
users of the Lotus Notes system are
outstanding. For example, all users
could access their e-mail accounts
with an Internet browser from any
Lotus Notes technology is al
ready in place in some Lincoln pub
lic schools, Weir said, which could
eventually create a “seamless edu
cation” for Lincoln students who
later attend NU.
Regents debate budget
REGENTS from page 1
Cuts could come from administra
tion, which currently makes up
three-fourths of all university em
ployees, he said. Cutbacks in ad
ministration wouldn’t harm students
and wouldn’t require more tax, dol
lars for thd university, Miller said.
The regents would then have le
verage in trying to gain Nelson’s ap
proval on a deferred-bond initiative
that could channel $102 million into
the university’s deferred mainte
nance backlog, he said.
But Smith said cuts in adminis
tration could not make up for the
lack of increased funding.
“We can’t solve all of our prob
lems by simple administrative effi
ciency and downsizing,” Smith said.
Smith said the $18 million re
quested by the regents was still $2
million short of the amount required
to raise faculty and staff salaries 3
percent across the board. And a lack
of full funding from the Legislature
could result in raises in tuition.
Smith said he would not be con
tent with the governor’s recommen
dation and would testify on behalf
of the university’s full $18 million
increased funding request in front
of the Legislature’s Appropriations
Committee March U, A
- In other news, the board:-? •
■ Approved a $560,835 pro
posal Saturday for a new mainframe
computer for the University of Ne
braska-Lincoln. The new computer
will provide space to back up re
search and administrative files, as
well as provide a strong web server
for Virtual University initiatives and
■ Created a new committee on
Virtual University and Technology.
■ Approved a $592,060 pro
posal for renovations to an inpatient
care unit at the University of Ne
braska Medical Center’s University
Hospital in Omaha.
■ Elected Regent John Payne of
Kearney as board chairman and Re
gent Charles Wilson of Lincoln as
vice chairman for 1997.
TYSON BASSETT, 3, wheels around a Spinoza Bear that was presented to Saint Elizabeth’s Pediatric Unit by the
Jbddy bears soothe patients
with hugs of love, peace, comfort
By Lori Robison
Bringing peace of mind to a young
patient surrounded by the antiseptic
walls of a hospital can be a tall order.
But 3-year-old Tyson Bassett, a
burn patient recovering at St.
Elizabeth’s Hospital, has a new friend.
He brings messages of love, peace and
relaxation and lulls the blond-haired
little boy to sleep each night amid his
And thanks to the Lincoln Jaycees,
Tyson’s new friend will be available
for the next patient at St. Elizabeth’s,
relieving some of the stress almost ev
eryone feels while staying at a hospi
The “friend,” donated to St.
Elizabeth’s by the Jaycees Thursday
evening, is a 17-inch tall, soft, cuddly
teddy bear called Spinoza.
However, at a cost of about $200,
Spinoza is very different from his run
of-the-mill stuffed relatives found in
most children’s toy boxes.
The bear was designed in 1984 by
a communications specialist and a spe
cial education teacher in Minneapolis
as a relaxation tool for terminally ill
children. Spinoza has found a niche
working in several hospitals across the
The bear comes equipped with a
tape cassette and microphone that fits
snugly inside its stomach and an on/
off volume switch at his heart. It can
be made to play a variety of soothing
messages specifically designed to re
duce stress and tension.
David Spohr, chairman of the Lin
coln Jaycees, says it is the messages
the soft bear brings to patients that
make this relaxation tool effective.
Along with tapes about such sub
jects as friendship, apprehension about
upcoming operations, proper breathing
techniques, self-esteem and stress
about being alone in a hospital,
Spinoza also can play messages re
corded by parents or other loved ones.
All messages are specially recorded
using tones and soothing background
music designed to promote relaxation.
“Spinoza is there to be a friend,”
Spohr said. “If (patients) are calm, they
tend to heal better, and the medicines
Although the Lincoln Jaycees do
nated its first bear to Bryan Memorial
Hospital in May 1996, Spinoza already
had to be sent away for repairs because
of frequent use, Spohr said.
“They just wore it out,” he said,
adding that Bryan has used its own
funds to purchase a second bear be
cause of the high demand for Spinoza.
Responding to the positive feed
back to the bear by Bryan’s patients,
an anonymous donor made it possible
for the Lincoln Jaycees to purchase two
more Spinozas, Spohr said.
These bears have since been do
nated to Lincoln General Hospital as
well as St. Elizabeth’s, ensuring that
all the major hospitals in Lincoln have
Demand for Spinoza from patients
at Bryan Memorial and Lincoln Gen
eral has been so positive, Spohr said,
that the bears have found their way all
throughout the hospital including the
surgery recovery rooms and bum units,
as well as the emergency rooms.
“(Spinoza) can be used even for
grown-ups if they just want to hug a
bear,” Spohr said. In fact, the bear has
been used by people of all ages.
Bob Lanik, St. Elizabeth’s presi
dent, said the bear is special because it
can be personalized.
“Spinoza is a hit,” Lanik said. “We
will use it with great joy and pride.”
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