The Language Resource Center (LRC) was organized in 1996 under the supervision of Peace Corps (PC) Volunteers Karla Sanchez and John Venecek. Among other things, it was intended to provide access to the Internet. To carry out this latter task, the Computer Center (CC) was created.
The Computer Center has been used for 5 years in a relatively intensive manner. During that time some components of the hardware became broken, the software with which the center was equipped became outdated and became incapable of operating the users' tasks in the current computational environment.
There was another issue to take care of. Although the main purpose of the CC was to provide access to Internet resources, the computers were not capable of running general-purpose software. It also lacked multimedia support tools, which made it impossible to widely employ the CC equipment in the PC volunteers' projects in the language training areas.
In March, 2002 a PC grant was obtained by PCVs Phyllis and Sigmund Penn. The financial support was spent for hardware and software upgrade of the Language Resource Center/Computer Center. It was renamed: the English Resource Center and Internet Cafe (ERC).
The main project goals to achieve were to maintain a set of workstations, running the Internet-related software, capable of:
The idea of the project was implemented with the help of Steve Witherspoon (MBA) - the American volunteer of Peace Corps, who worked in the Urals State University of Railway Transport. He assisted in writing the application form in English.
In 2001 the Urals State University of Railway Transport University together with other two European Universities (University of Wales, Lampeter (the UK) and Lund University (Sweden)) submitted the application for a 2-year TEMPUS project, which was approved and selected for funding. The sum of the grant was - 300 000 Еuro.
The project period was from 15.04.2002 to 15.04.2004.
The title of the project was "Career Resource Center in USURT": JEP_UM - Joint European Project on University Management, which is aimed at restructuring of universities' management systems and modernization of all the administration processes. The major objective is to help the Universities to effectively adapt to changing inner and outer environment.