Kimberly: As I acknowledged in my December letter following the major Internet and network outage during final exams (which David linked to at the time), I truly have no idea what the cause of the woeful state of our IT situation at Williams is. I am perfectly willing and happy to accept the idea that it is a question of funding and not competence. That said, it is undeniable in my estimation that the state of IT at Williams does not currently support the academic mission of the College in the manner in which it must at a school of Williams’ caliber.
In the interest of fairness, I’ve been informed that the cause of the hacker situation lies with WSO (a student-run group) and not with the Office of Information Technology. I’ve been traveling around the country for the last 10 days and therefore missed that crucial fact. So OIT should be let off the hook for this situation.
OIT cannot be let off the hook, however, for the dismal state of our network. I am told that last week the network was down again for a couple of hours. Indeed, the outage was apparently 24 hours long in Poker Flats, according to a friend of mine who lives there (again, I was off campus). He tried calling 12 networks and systems administrators during that time and not one was in their office, he tells me. This is simply not acceptable.
As I said, I’m perfectly willing to accept the argument that OIT is poorly funded. If that’s the case the administration needs to give it the funding it needs to get to the level it must be at. If it’s not a question of funding, then changes at OIT need to happen.