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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

LETTER: LTS: a group effort

Published: September 23, 2005
Section: Opinions

To the Editor:

Although I was very pleased to see such a lengthy article commending the achievements of a dear former colleague of mine, I take several issues with the Rich Graves article from September 2nd, 2005. Ignoring some unfortunate spelling mistakes not caught by the spell checker (the curse of a typo or mistake that happens to be an actual word as well), I feel the article lauds too much praise on one individual for the works achieved by a much greater team. Rich Graves was the Senior Unix Administrator on campus. In this capacity it was not his decision to install an Ethernet network nor to increase network capacity. This fell under the Network Operations

Center, who explored the option, and brought it to those who could allocate the funding for it. Likewise, Wireless Network connectivity was not his decision. I can say with certainty that he supported all these efforts, but was in no way responsible for them. We do have him to thank for implementing and maintaining a stable and modern e-mail system, replacing the VAX machines of yore (I was a former student with one of those dreaded addresses), but as the decision to depart from VAX had already been made, the kudos attributable to him directly are those of the implementation and support;

no mean feat assuredly.

I do agree with your opinion that his commitment to student rights and student protection was par excellence, and that as someone responsible for overseeing such an array of software systems he deserves every praise we can offer him, but let us not forget therest of the people involved in all of these achievements, be it the Network Operations Crew responsible for the physical layers of the network, the Administrative Information and NetSys groups responsible for enabling and implementing Sage and its use of the UNet logins, the upper management that has encouraged the growth of resources forstudent use, the Instructional Technology members for pushing the use of WebCT and technology enabled classrooms, the Student Help Desk for consistently providing an incredible service to the community at no additional cost, and for everyone involved in the support of technology at Brandeis, from Opening Sunday when over 90 percent of students get connected, to the end of Gradation filmed and formatted by Media Services.

We all miss Rich;

he was a great worker and a great all around guy. But that isnt saying that things are taking a turn for the worse, or that LTS isnt as dedicated as ever to the students. Your opinions hit the nail on the head, but your facts need checking. I hope that you will continue to see improvements to your technology experience as desirable as those already undertaken, and that the whole student body can learn to have faith in pride in the whole department, and not just one individual.
Chad Bergeron '00, LTS