CCC Computer Labs in Fuller to be Closed During Third Shift
Letter to the WPI Community regarding Fuller Computer Labs Third Shift Closure
At the beginning of A term in August 2005, the CCC will discontinue 24 hour operation of the CCC Labs in Fuller Laboratories. It was not an easy decision to make, but we do have alternative services that we will provide. IT, like every division at the university, has been adapting to operate as efficiently as possible to retain the services our community is dependant upon.
For the past three years, we have noticed a pattern of decreased student usage of the Fuller computer labs after midnight for most weeks in every term. We have also extended other services in ways that did not require additional staffing costs to address requests for access at times when CCC was not staffed. The combination of these factors has caused us to reassess the cost-benefit equation of this service and we found that relative to other budget reductions for next year, elimination of this service had the least overall impact.
The computer labs on the 2nd floor of Kaven Hall (KH202 and KH207) are available 24x7 to all WPI community members via a swipe of their WPI ID card. We have not heavily advertised this service to students yet because the staffed labs were open in Fuller. We are planning on adding a print station in Kaven Hall to enable students to get laser printer output in those computer labs through the option to put money on the auxiliary account associated with their ID card (this option is currently available in the ADP lab and Library).
Furthermore, as mentioned above, we have noticed the usage of the labs in Fuller after midnight has been very limited except during the last week of term. We anticipate offering extended hours in the CCC Labs in Fuller to address high demand periods at the end of term. The hours/day may not be 24, but will be adjusted to the demonstrated need. We have taken the same approach in the library. Last term we extended evening-to-morning hours during the last week of the term by 4 hours per day to address similar concerns.
We feel that the accessibility of these 2 computer labs in Kaven Hall addresses the primary issues raised by students which have included: (1) access to high speed computers and network software for off-campus dwellers or when your computer crashes in the middle of the night, (2) the need for a quiet place to get work done, and (3) the need for group meeting space.
We have introduced other technologies that work to alleviate the pressures and costs of maintaining open access labs 24x7. Although not all WPI students living off campus have broadband access, a large percentage do and the introduction of the VPN a few years ago has made access to many of the network-based computer services on campus available from remote/home locations. We have also extended wireless access throughout the campus over the last couple of years to enable community members with portable equipment to take advantage of WPI computing services from most congregating areas across campus, rather than going to a lab.
We hope that the student body now has a better understanding of the constraints and challenges facing the IT organization and knows that our primary objective is serving the WPI community. Input from students gives us the information we need to provide the best support. If we haven't addressed some of your concerns feel free to communicate with any of the staff managing these services: Ben Thompson (email@example.com) or Mary Beth Harrity (firstname.lastname@example.org); direct communication with us will enable us to address your issues quickly. Thanks again for your thoughts.
Vice President for Information Technology and CIO
Last modified: May 03, 2005, 12:48 EDT