U of VA Closing Computer Centers

I saw this story on Ars-Technica.  This is slightly disturbing…

While at 1st look, it seems like a good idea for saving money for the university, I think they might be setting a stage for more costly issues in the future.  This is the dangerous of the “bean counters” bullying the techies in corporate/business decisions.

As a matter of fact, Leo Laporte, (I’ve blogged about him before) took my suggestion, via a chat-room session during his regular scheduled Radio Show, and discussed it on one of his podcastsThis Week in Tech – TWiT“.  Panel members included Leo, John C. Dvorak and Becky Worley. My suggestion was the lead story! 

The panel joked around a few minutes, but seemed to concur with me that this isn’t a good idea.  Without “public” computer centers, collaboration will be cut down, printer access will need to be dealt with, and niche software will be curtailed.  Now for surfing the net, e-mail, and basic “MS Office” stuff, not having a computer center is fine.  However, the loss of collaboration and information sharing will be curtailed and specialized “niche-ware”, which can be pricey, will be dumped on the student body.  Costs are likely to rise for maintaining the university’s infrastructure (intranet, Wi-Fi, print servers, etc…) as well.  Loosing the standardization will be more costly in the future than if they would stick with a centralized server situation.  Some universities even “lease” computers to students in order to maintain a cheap, easy to maintain structure for their internal networks.

That was fun…

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