Committee on Finance to Consider Energy Contracts; Review Report on Student Financial Aid

ADELPHI, Md. (January 24, 2006) --- The Committee on Finance of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents will review proposals for cost-effective methods of procuring natural gas and electricity for USM institutions, and hear a report on student financial aid at its next meeting, Thursday, January 26, 2006. The public meeting, which starts at approximately 9:30 a.m., will be held in Annapolis at the government relations office of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). The office is located at 44 West Street, second floor. Attendees must ring the buzzer to be admitted.

Several items on the agenda are part of a USM Board of Regents initiative referred to as Effectiveness and Efficiency or E&E. Implemented in 2004, E&E is an ongoing effort to contain costs and maximize resources while, at the same time, maintain high academic quality.

The agenda items considered part of the E&E initiative are:

            a request from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) to solicit contracts for the supply of electricity to all USM institutions. The strategy of purchasing electricity as a consortium rather than individually by institution has resulted in major cost savings for USM in the past.

            authorization request from UMCP to solicit contracts competitively to purchase natural gas. These contract(s) would be made available to other System institutions at their discretion.

            approval for UMCP to solicit contracts for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment and service, new technology which allows the transmission of voice through the Internet. The university anticipates long-term savings through reduced operating costs.

The committee will also hear a summary on financial aid provided to USM undergraduates and graduates from FY 2000 FY 2004. Specifically, the report provides information on the sources of financial aid (federal, state, institutional), and the types of aid (need vs. non-need) awarded. Gradually reducing the amount of debt accrued by low-income students upon graduation is one of the stated goals of the Tuition Task Force, convened by USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan in 2004.

Full agendas and background information will be available at the meeting. Sign language interpreters and/or other appropriate accommodations for eligible individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request. Please call 301.445.2756 (voice) or 301.314.7683 (TTY/ITT) to make special arrangements.

Contact: Liz O'Neill
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: loneill@usmd.edu