July 19, 2024

Princeton Ignores Strauss, Makes Sensible Decisions

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) here at Princeton has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement distancing itself from the views expressed by one of its employees, Howard Strauss, in a column in Syllabus magazine.

(OIT operates the campus network and other shared computing facilities. It is not to be confused with the Computer Science Department, which is the main site of information technology teaching and research at Princeton.)

Mr. Strauss’s column, which really has to be read to be believed, likens open source products to fraudulent Nigerian spam emails.

Fortunately the grownups in charge at OIT responded by reiterating the university’s non-Straussian procurement policy, which is based not on a rigid pro- or anti-open source rule but instead involves – listen carefully, ’cause this might be hard to follow – looking at all of the available products and choosing the best one for the job.


  1. I suspected universities were out of touch with reality, but choosing products because they are the best for the job? Whatever happened to good, old fashioned bribery and power?

    I miss the good old days.


  2. Wow, that’s some of most strident, inarticulate ranting I have seen in years: I didn’t know people still held those attitudes, and this is someone on the IT staff? I’m not sure what’s more amazing, that someone wrote that for publication or that anyone published it.