Health Sciences Information Technology
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**FLASH: HSIT to offer UNIX support to health science school constituents in summer 2002**
**FLASH: SENS announces on 6/27/2002 that 7/1/2002 will mark the abrupt end of its UNIX support for health science school constituents**
HSIT to offer UNIX support via Health Sciences Unix Support Group (HSUSG):
Historically, the health science schools received UNIX workstation support from CIT. In 1997 the 'nodes' were formed and CIT used the occasion to remove itself for the most part from UNIX workstation support. Since the health science schools' node (HSIT) was not provided the resources to replace the functions of the CIT UNIX group, an outcome of this action was that constituents were left to their own devices to locate support for their UNIX environments.
Given the newly arriving bioinformatics initiatives on campus, internal discussions with HSIT senior leadership in late 2001 lead the health sciences node (Health Professions IT Partnership) on a course to assemble a core UNIX support group in a joint venture with the health science schools. The Health Sciences UNIX support group (HSUSG), when created, will set about to take on the responsibilities of offering UNIX support to its constituents. This group will consist of one new hire (Asst. Director, Health Sciences Unix Support Group) and existing IT professional staff / resources tapped from health science schools requiring this support.
The Asst. Director of HSUSG will be starting work on July 18, 2002. Her initial tasks will be to familiarize herself with the UNIX support resources available on campus, the support needs of health science school UNIX users, to work with health science school IT leadership on the form and substance of a UNIX support group, and to finally deploy a support service.
If you are currently a constituent of the health science schools, and would like to be contacted regarding your UNIX support needs, please contact Brian Murphy (bwmurphy @ buffalo.edu) for further information.
CIT and SENS withdrawing UNIX support:Constituents in the health science schools have, up until now, been on their own to locate UNIX support for their endeavors. A few have sought support from CIT and a few others have sought support from the Science and Engineering Node (SENS). On 6/27/2002 SENS sent this Email formally announcing their intent to withdraw UNIX support for health science school constituents (and is apparently sending this more ominous email directly to supported faculty). We interpret the statement "In the event that you choose to not have SENS support your sytems it is likely that your system(s) will stop responding as soon as service is disabled." as an unacceptable threat which states in effect, we (SENS) have configured you machines is such a way that you are dependent upon us, and we are willing to break the operation of your machines in order to extract a usage fee from you rather than work with the UNIX support group in your area to effect a smooth support transition. The abrupt timing of this announcement, giving affected individuals one day to find alternate service provision, is quite harsh. Although the HSIT lead UNIX person will not be hired until 7/18 - a fact the SENS leadership has been aware of as it participated in the search process - their decision to proceed in this manner appears to be absolute. Subsequent conversations with SENS have yielded this concession: "Until Sept 1 any faculty member who needs continued support from SENS and cannot enter under the support agreements (for example, grant is not renewed yet,etc) simply has to contact Corky and ask for a delay in support agreement." We have requested a list of impacted users from SENS - they apparently have one since they are using it to send the bullying email out. Until we receive that list, we must rely on users to contact us with relevant concerns.
If this deliberately abrupt withdrawal of service leaves you in a critical lurch (as it appears to have been designed to do), please contact your school IT head (follow 'HELP!' link at top of page) and we will see what steps can be taken to address your immediate problems. We specifically recommend that you *NOT* utilize the services offered by SENS in their notice letter so that they are not rewarded for their actions with your funds which will be used to grow their infrastructure. If you require backup services, contact your school IT head who will be able to direct you to no-charge backup services (vs. $200 that will be charged by SENS).
CIT also supports some machines, but CIT has indicated that it will be working with the HSUSG to promote an orderly transition from CIT support to HSUSG support.
Content last reviewed: 2002/07/01
University at Buffalo, State University of New York