Waite-Franzen is leading a campuswide renewal of computing.
BAM What is the state of computing at Brown?
W-F It's not good. Basically it needs a lot of attention, starting with infrastructure and all the way up the pyramid.
BAM Why have we fallen behind?
W-F I think it's a lack of investment. People will dispute me on that; some people will say we're spending as much as other people.
BAM What is your top priority?
W-F The campus network is what we're going to be attacking first. Everything runs on top of the network. Student areas are in very poor shape, our classrooms are not up to speed, and buildings like University Hall don't have a good backbone.
BAM Is there a price tag?
W-F Not yet. President Simmons has said she thinks the University can come up with $30-40 million in one-time funding.
BAM You have a background as a librarian. How does that help?
W-F I think it gives me a good understanding of what faculty and students do day-to-day. It also gives me a service perspective. Librarians think we ought to be serving everybody, that there are no special people. Technologists developed out of a history in which they did serve special people. I think my background helps me think in a more democratic way about technology.
- Interview by Zachary Block '99