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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

EDITORIAL: Rich Graves will be missed

Published: September 2, 2005
Section: Opinions

One third of returning Brandeis Windows users have at one point or another used an epithet to describe former Network Administrator Rich Graves after he kicked their virus-ridden computer off the network. Yet Graves actions were necessary and have kept the Brandeis network secure and connected.

July marked Graves last month at Brandeis and as he starts his new job at Carleton College in Minnesota, we want to let him know that his enormous contributions and dedication to this campus did not go unnoticed. Thank you, Rich!

Six short years ago Brandeis students needed to own a modem to connect to the Internet. Then Rich Graves arrived. In his first year students discarded their modems and for the first time ever received a stable University e-mail account. In his second year he doubled the campus bandwidth. In his third he tripled it. In his forth year, there were wireless hotspots on campus. In his fifth year, Brandeis was virtually unaffected by the most crippling wave of computer virus attacks ever seen. Upon his departure this summer, Brandeis has one of the most stable and advanced college network infrastructures in the country.

Even though Graves had help in those accomplishments, he deserves a lot of the credit.

The afore-mentioned would be enough to earn the gratitude of the entire campus, but Graves contributed so much more. His commitment to student rights and privacy was unparallel. Through out his tenure here, some administrators have described him as a walking stop sign due to his meticulous observance in keeping students protected.

As the only person on campus, to have access to every single e-mail account on campus, Brandeis couldnt have asked for a better gatekeeper.

Another one of Graves projects was the constant lobbying to limit the possibility of identity theft on campus. Brandeis uses SSN everywhere. Avoid, avoid, Graves once wrote. While here, he successfully lobbied, with some student support, to eliminate the use of Social Security Numbers as student identification numbers. Now, instead of using their SSN to login to WEBREG (SAGE equivalent of several years ago), students use their UNET ID. Brandeis no longer identifies students by their SSN.

Graves was consistently the most responsive administrator on campus. Whether it was at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. if Graves was awake, a students problem was addressed, and usually solved. Graves understood that when students need the internet, the usually need it right away and that it cant wait till the next day.

Also, on a more personal note, from his other, out of school, endeavors we know he was a firm supporter of freedom of speech, which as a newspaper, is the icing on the cake.

For the rest of the world, network outages are a constant fact of life. Under Graves they were few and so far between that we dont recall the last one.

Rich Graves, we wish you the best of luck and sincerely thank you for all you have done for this campus.