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Squirrel nibbles cracker outside Williamstown Police Station

From the North Adams transcript:

Who needs nuts?
(Picture credit: Meghan Foley/North Adams Transcript; h/t Brandi ’07)

Consider this an open thread / caption contest.

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#1 Comment By hwc On October 8, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

Can anyone shed any light on cost-cutting in the IT department at Williams?

I know that they have imposed a limit on free priting by chaging 5 cents a page with the first $50 free. Seems reasonable. I have read that they are removing the public computers from the dorms. Did this happen?

Other schools I’ve seen are cutting replacement schedules for campus computers from four years to five years (Smith) or from three years to four years (Pomona).

Now, that we in in FY2010 and the budget line cuts are showing up for real, it might be useful to track them.

There are some very serious cuts taking place Smith is trimming 30 tenure-track professor lines (by attrition) and cutting visiting profs by 50%. Stanford announced today that it is cutting all of its summer term study abroad programs, a $500,000 cut. Look for widespread study abroad cuts as the falling dollar is killing the balance sheets these programs (like Williams-Exeter) at a time when colleges simply have no cushion ot absorb hits. The schools that run a lot of study abroad programs are getting killed.

#2 Comment By Jr. Mom On October 8, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

You sure that isn’t the prison yard? And those aren’t his rations? Cause he looks like a party animal to me.

#3 Comment By JeffZ On October 8, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

I think some sort of random open thread one day a week, maybe Friday, would be a good Ephblog function. A little different from Speak Up, it would be a chance for things like movie recommendations, random non-Williams news stories of note, anything whatsoever that the ephblog community wants to share, but in a dedicated, once a week thread.

#4 Comment By Dick Swart On October 8, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

Puttin’ on the Ritz?

#5 Comment By Jr. Mom On October 8, 2009 @ 4:27 pm

Jeff’s idea is great. And, it would solve the archival chore that “Speak Up” has become. And, quite honestly, the chat is important in a different way than the links.

Mr. Squirrel could be the chit-chat mascot and banner for a regular “Small-Talk” thread.

#6 Comment By Parent ’12 On October 8, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

JeffZ-

You’ve made lots of great contributions to EphBlog & have all these wonderful ideas.

If a nomination were necessary, I’d nominate you for the Board!

#7 Comment By dm ’10 On October 8, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

hwc: plans to charge for excess printing were motivated at least in part by environmental concerns, and have been in the works for at least the past two years, before the endowment plummeted. I’m sure it hasn’t escaped notice that this also saves the college money, but it’s not a direct response to recent financial pressures.

There haven’t been public computers in dorms in at least the past three years that I’ve been at Williams. Everyone has their own computer, so what would the point be? If they did exist at any point in the past, they’re long gone.

#8 Comment By hwc On October 8, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

There haven’t been public computers in dorms in at least the past three years that I’ve been at Williams. Everyone has their own computer, so what would the point be?

Thanks.

I was reading some stats from another college that did have pubic computers and printers in every dorm. They recently cut from two (Mac and PC) in each dorm to just one based on network software that tracks the use of every college owned computer. They found that they dorm computers were almost never used for more than 5 minutes at a time, suggesting that they were just being used to print stuff. So, they cut down to one computer in each dorm and wrote new instructions for printing to the dorm printers from any networked computer, i.e. from a dorm room.

Interestingly, they found that the fleet of a couple dozen laptops that are available for no-charge borrowing from the library gets very heavy use — averaging four or five hours a day. They also found that the public computers in the two coffee bar/lounges get heavy usage, which makes sense, I guess.

The biggie is the replacement cycle for all the computers on campus. I haven’t seen any details of whether Williams has been on a four year cycle like Smith or a three-year cycle like Pomona or whether they have increased the cycle as an easy IT budget cut. There aren’t many places to trim IT because most of the cost is fixed — software, internet bandwidth, etc.

#9 Comment By JeffZ On October 9, 2009 @ 7:17 am

Thanks Parent! Were I a masochist, I might solicit such a nomination :). And I too like this picture as the random talk about anything prompt — definitely random enough.