October 6, 2009
Dear Social Science Department Chairs and Center Directors:
I write today to notify you that we will consolidate research computing for the Division of Social Sciences into one group named Research Computing for the Social Sciences (RCSS). This group will report up through the Director of IQSS to the Dean of the Division of Social Science, and it will leverage the basic services provided by FAS IT. We will bootstrap RCSS by taking advantage of the extensive technical services and specialized support already available in IQSS.
Over the past several months each department has been confronted with difficult financial decisions. In many cases the result was reduced staffing levels and service offerings. This has been unfortunate but unavoidable. Dean Kosslyn and I believe that forming RCSS will enable us to mitigate the effect that recent cost cuts may have had on your technology offerings and support. Although we will likely move some personnel and budgets in order to gain efficiencies, our ultimate goal is to increase services, not to cut budgets.
As we begin to implement this model, it is important for us to better understand your specific computing needs. In the next several weeks representatives from RCSS will contact you to discuss how this new organization can best support your group’s technology needs. The process will be highly consultative throughout, and the full implementation plan will take place over a little more than a year. Additional information can be found in this document we have prepared: http:// http://www.iq.harvard.edu/rcss.
I ask that you share this message with any IT staff you may have in your department or center. You should of course feel free to discuss it with faculty or others when you think that is useful. Thank you in advance for your participation and support.
Michael D. Smith Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
cc: Department Administrators and Executive Directors