Volume 96, Issue 93
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

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ITS eliminates entire department

By Kelly Marcella
and Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff


Another Western service has gone the way of the dodo.

"Effective immediately, Hardware Services has closed," said Debbie Jones, director of Information Technology Services in an e-mail release.

ITS will no longer be accepting further requests for hardware services or equipment repair, she said, adding all current work requests will be completed.

"This was not an easy decision," Jones said, adding, with the increased frequency of three-year warranties, and computer life-spans shortening down to three or four years, the demand for hardware services has dropped steadily over the past few years.

"We've been fighting for a couple of years," said one of the hardware services technicians who chose to remain anonymous. "Administration considers it a non-essential service on campus."

The employee said the department had been gradually downsized from nine to four employees, with the last four being let go last Wednesday.

This employee explained that while, on paper, Hardware Services was losing $15,000 a year, the parts sold to customers were not included in the budget, which means the actual loss was not as great. "There are inconsistencies on the reports that didn't [give] credit to Hardware Services.

"They didn't do an evaluation of what to do without Hardware Services," the employee said, adding outside companies charge $95 an hour to repair hardware, whereas Hardware Services took care of the same work at a lower cost.

Employees were given the news and presented with a few options, Jones explained. "I do not wish to presume... whether they would be comfortable coming in to work through their notice period," she said.

–with files from Marshall Bellamy

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2002 THE GAZETTE