ACC president apologizes for payroll glitch (computer payroll problems - Texas) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Wednesday, November 10

ACC president apologizes for payroll glitch

By Sharon Jayson American-Statesman Staff Wednesday, November 10, 1999

Paycheck foul-ups that have left many of Austin Community College's full-time faculty worrying about how to pay their income taxes prompted an e-mail apology this week from ACC President Richard Fonti to his 2,053 employees.

In the message issued late Monday afternoon, Fonti apologized for the computer problems that have plagued the college as it has converted to a new computer system called Datatel, which is used by some 500 colleges and universities across the country.

"While with each passing day we overcome issues of implementation, the implementation has surely inconvenienced both students and staff," Fonti said in his message.

But unlike many of its peer schools that have installed new computer systems with Y2K in mind, ACC's payroll problems have tax implications for employees.

Because the college in many cases did not withhold enough income tax from monthly paychecks, many employees find themselves owing hundreds or thousands of dollars in taxes with only a month remaining in the year.

Although some employees first noticed problems in February, it wasn't until the summer when the payroll problem became more widespread.

"People are very upset," said Joe Lostracco, president of the ACC Faculty Senate. "They are outraged, and that's not too strong a word because of what they perceive as a lack of timely response by the administration on payroll discrepancies and the fact that it does affect their livelihoods."

The Faculty Senate, elected representatives for ACC's 380 full-time faculty members, will convene Friday in a special meeting spurred by the complaints. Such a meeting is rare, Lostracco said, noting that the last time the Faculty Senate held a specially called meeting was in 1996, and it resulted in a no-confidence vote against the college's interim president.

Whether Fonti's internal apology will make a difference now is unclear. It may be too little, too late to satisfy those who were talking about a no-confidence vote at the group's Oct. 29 meeting.

"It was the ugliest meeting I've been at in my four terms," art teacher Daniel Traverso said. "People are very upset, and it all centers on the administration."

Traverso said he's confused about the amount of the difference between what was withheld and what should have been withheld from his paycheck. He has received one notice saying he owes $1,000 and another saying he owes $600, Traverso said.

At the faculty's request, ACC hired an independent accounting firm that has met with employees to review their taxes.

"Whatever the under amount is, the college will advance to them that shortage to the IRS so that the IRS does receive the proper withholding," said Jerry Miller, ACC vice president for business services.

Lostracco said Fonti's e-mail was essential to easing tension.

"The fact that such a statement wasn't made earlier exacerbated the situation," Lostracco said.

You may contact Sharon Jayson at or 445-3620.

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 10, 1999


Homer, thanks for all these links.

I was wondering if you keep track of all these glitch reports you post? Wondered too if there shouldn't be a new category to archive them.

-- (, November 10, 1999.

Schools, Hospitals Warned on Y2K &sc=0#doc


Story Filed: Tuesday, November 09, 1999 11:15 PM EST

(snip) "It warned that failures in schools could affect heating, lighting, fire alarms, elevators, student records and teacher payroll." (snip)

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 10, 1999.

Because the college in many cases did not withhold enough income tax from monthly paychecks, many employees find themselves owing hundreds or thousands of dollars in taxes with only a month remaining in the year.

This scenario is exactly the scenario Jim Lord Described in his 11/3/99 article "My Y2k Mistakes": (Got to click "What's New" then click "My Y2K Mistakes." It is a very well written article.

You may go to his article and see where he says, "The third kind of failure is the worst . . ." He says that this kind of corruption of data that is not so quickly obvious that will really harm us. He alludes to the possibility of some bugs taking years even to detect.

Jim Lord may be interested in knowing about this failure at ACC.

By the way, don't shed any tears for the full-time faculty at ACC. It is the part-time faculty that are, by far, working the hardest for a dollar, regardless of how the computers are doing.

-- Rick (, November 10, 1999.

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