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Fewer computers for student use as labs close around campus

By Abbigail Overfelt
Staff writer

This semester, more than 100 computers will no longer be available to students.

Across campus, several small computer labs have closed in various departments.

24-hour lab
The 24-hour computer lab, located in D.F. Lowery, is closed due to building repairs. The lab will reopen in December 2007, where it will be combined with the commuter lab on the first floor of the University Center.

The decision to close the lab was facilitated by the Academic Support Services Subcommittee, headed by Dr. Charles Lillie.

According to Dr. Lillie, the Provost of Academic Affairs tasked the committee to evaluate computer use on campus and recommend possible labs that could be closed or consolidated, in order to reduce the number of computers that University Computing and Information Services were required to maintain.

Locations of losses
The Academic Support Services Subcommittee created a set of criteria to use to evaluate various computer labs on campus.

These included financial cost, human resources cost, teaching and research purposes, services provided by the lab, accessibility and the impact of the lab on students.

This information was then submitted to the Provost of Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles Harrington, who made the final decision to close the following labs:
• 38 computers in the math and science department, Oxendine 1258
• 20 computers in the 24-hour lab
• 18 computers in Business Administration Building, Room 111
• 10 computers in the HPER lab in Jones PE
• 10 computers in the Psychology Department, Education Building 338
• 7 computers in the Political Science Department in Dial 239
• 6 computers in the Nursing Department
• 6 computers in the Art Department
• 2 computers in the Reading Room, Old Main 247
How are the departments faring without their labs?

The Math and Computer Science Department wants to accommodate their students as much as possible, says Dr. Steven Bourquin, chair of the department. “Closing the lab makes this task more difficult.”

Associate Professor of Art Tula Lightfoot said that while upgrading technology is important, “the computer lab was important to faculty and students. The loss of the lab makes serving and teaching our students difficult.”

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Updated: Monday, November 5, 2007
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