3.922 freebies, cont. (161)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 10 Jan 90 20:38:24 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 922. Wednesday, 10 Jan 1990.

(1) Date: Wed, 10 Jan 90 01:45:00 EST (16 lines)
Subject: Re: 3.916 rewards in heaven, not here (68)

(2) Date: 10 January 1990, 07:44:07 EDT (35 lines)

(3) Date: Wed, 10 Jan 90 09:53:34 -0800 (64 lines)
From: ruhleder@sloth.ICS.UCI.EDU

(4) Date: Wed, 10 Jan 90 10:59:06 -0800 (19 lines)
From: ruhleder@sloth.ICS.UCI.EDU

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 90 01:45:00 EST
Subject: Re: 3.916 rewards in heaven, not here (68)

Dear Prof Slatin: You answered your own question at the end of your
tale of woe in saying that in the Business School it would be taken care
of. If you were at UCLA, you wouldnt even have the Mac, if you were in
the English Department, grant or no grant. I dont. After 3 years'
wait. Seniority? UP to here, I have it. But if you were a TA in
Japanese, you would have a computer for every one of you. Not if you
were in Chinese studies, though. Who, whom? I say again, as Lenin
asked. If you asked for in IBM, though, you might get it, as they are
pushing the clunkers everywhere. Them as 'as, gits. But for the
deserving poor? GBS described it all decades ago in Major Barbara, no?
The poor dont deserve. Meritocracy? One laughs. Kessler at UCLA

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------38----
Date: 10 January 1990, 07:44:07 EDT

On freebies and the deans:
Yes, as Kessler says, we in the academic world are the tools of the
states who pay our salaries and buy our equipment--up to the point where
free will raises its proud head. I run a journal that brings prestige
(nebulously, it is true) to my department, my dean and my university,
and the journal happens to run in the black, with incoming funds nearly
exactly matching outgoing funds. The department pays for a few phone
calls, the university supports my e-mail, the dean occasionally gives me
computer equipment courtesy of state funds. The university gets
respect. I work at the editorship free, the way James Coombs describes
the academic's service to his or her community, but I am well aware that
editing a quarterly is something that the outside world generally pays
well for. I get, or the journal gets, freebie books, in return for
recognition in publishers' markets. The relationship between me and my
chair and the dean and the university is fragile and can change from
year to year. If things are tough, I would have to pay for all new
computer equipment and the university comptroller might just sweep my
rotary account of funds, before I paid the printing bills. Everything
depends on a beneficent mutual trust, which is that of the fragile
academy. If I applied to the dean and got turned down, like the gent in
Texas, that process might begin to embitter or taint the process of
editing, which might in turn cause subscriptions to go down, which would
cause less funds to come in, which would cause my chair to flag the
account, and all the rest of the bad things that cause bitterness in the
fragile academy. Incidentally, I do have to pay for peripherals and
supplies from my own budget, and the problem of the replacement or
repair of a large piece of equipment, mercifully, has not come up,
especially since the department gets the use of some of my outmoded (but
perfectly useful and functional) equipment. When things are loose
enough, or trusting enough, in the academy, freebies are traded for
freebies, relationships are guarded but peaceful and pleasant, and noone
grows bitter or unproductive. Roy Flannagan
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------74----
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 90 09:53:34 -0800
From: ruhleder@sloth.ICS.UCI.EDU

In response to John Slatkin's message of Jan. 9:

John Slatkin wrote about his attempts (futile) at getting the
department/school/university to pay for repairs to a Macintosh.

I've never thought much about the issue because my department has it's
own support staff. When I have a problem, I call support and they
deal with it. Now, I'm in a computer science department, so that
makes a big difference (I'm a grad student in a ``technology and
society'' type of program looking at the computerization of the
humanities). So, I called up our department's MSO to ask how things
get paid for in our department.

In brief, our department gets a lump sum which the Chair allocates.
This lump sum is intended to cover everything from printer paper to
staff salaries. Our department also pays for support staff who take
care of maintenance, etc. HOWEVER, there is another important source
of funding for computer service: grants. People who have grants for
equipment are expected to also purchase maintenance contracts. People
who have other kinds of research grants are ``billed'' for the
services they use. So, if someone from the departmental support staff
spends 3 hours setting up new equipment for a research group, the
grant that the group is on (if there is one) will be billed for three
hours of staff time.

Now, I'm sure it's true that CS departments start out with a larger
lump sum than most humanities departments, but two key factors in our
department have been (1) a commitment on the part of the chair to
provide computing services to all grads and faculty, and (2) a
concerted effort to look elsewhere for funds when possible. All in
all, our department is very liberal when it comes to supporting
computing-- we have a much more generous environment than many
computer sicence departments, much less other departments.

By the way, regarding business schools, my advisor is on sabbatical at
a Very Famous Business School at a Major Ivy League University (I've
been there-- I've seen the Ivy) and computing there, to put it
extremely mildly, is abysmal. You can have all the Reputation you
want, but try getting computing support, e-mail, disk space....

One concrete suggestion I would make is, any time you purchase
equipment, try to purchase a maintenance contract as well. After
that, try to work on getting those around you (above you?) to
understand that ``computing'' is more than a box on a desk, and
successful integration of computing into an academic research
environment requires committment to providing support when needed.

For more information on how our department manages computing,
interested parties may contact Tim Morgan, our Computing Resources
Manager (morgan@ics.uci.edu) or Judy Hornaday, our Department Manager
(hornaday@ics.uci.edu). Judy Hornaday is going to send me information
about a mailing list for deparment managers of computer science
departments, which I will post.

Karen Ruhleder
Department of Information and Computer Sciences
University of California, Irvine

(4) --------------------------------------------------------------29----
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 90 10:59:06 -0800
From: ruhleder@sloth.ICS.UCI.EDU

An addendum to my message earlier today:

I should probably note that faculty are not expected to pay for
maintenance on departmental machines themselves. The idea is that
every faculty, grad, and staff person in the department has (1) access
to computing, which generally means a terminal or workstation on their
desk, (the department doesn't supply PC's or modems for home use), (2)
access to electronic mail, including electronic bulletin boards and
news networks, and (3) a workspace, which generally means at least a
desk and a chair in an office or cubicle. Any problems with 1, 2, or
3, above, are department problems and are taken care of out of
departmental funds. This ``departmental computing philosophy'' has
been around for many years here, and has survived many Chairs, so I
think it is here to stay.

Karen Ruhleder