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2006-12-22 - 9:08 a.m.

...still in lab limbo...

A quick response to comments left on my last entry (especially because I'm not sure who one of them is):

(1) "Lock and Tightly Close this Door" signs are printed and posted.

(2) Technically, since this is a brand new building that is not even completed yet, there should be NO history of thefts. But the *university* does have a history of theft, and already there were several laptops stolen from the new building last weekend. So this is not just my problem. My labs sit RIGHT on the public open space, with nice big glass windows. So everyone can look in at the stuff there. So I think it is quite a nice target.

(3) I am not commanding people to behave to a different standard. I am asking that my doors be kept locked when I am not there, which is exactly what the administration has suggested that everyone do. Furthermore, the administration has told me directly that, by rights, I am the only one with the key, so no one should even be entering my rooms. As a result of this fact (and the fact that it is now clear that my lab materials WERE stolen out of the lab), I repeatedly report when the door is left unsecure because no one should be going into my labs. There are no people to command, essentially! It shouldn't be happening!

(4) I have been trying to get information on how to change the locks, and just yesterday requested card readers (at my own expense). I will also be investing in a separate security system. The hydraulic door closer is a good idea - I haven't heard of that before. I will make another suggestion.

(5) I do agree that $60k ($72k and three years of time if you count what has already been stolen) is not a lot of money from the perspective of a university budget - but it is a full quarter of my total budget, and all of my research is at risk. Of course I'm setting up backups, but my experience thus far suggests that there is no way to reclaim the funds through insurance. I have to protect the money.

I haven't vented the same way with the administration as I have in this diary. I am direct with the people involved; I let them know that I am frustrated; I am also friendly with them, and constantly trying to remain constructive. My goal is to find a solution so that the doors stay locked, because I will likely never have the money to replace the equipment once it is stolen.

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