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Julian Crowe retires

Julian Crowe (c) 2008 Peter Adamson, IT Services

Julian Crowe retired from the post of manager of the User Services Group in IT Services on 31 December 2007.

Julian joined the Computing Laboratory (academic computing service) and the University in 1985 as a systems programmer. This was not his first involvement with the University of course as he had been a student here, graduating with a first-class honours degree in Greek and Logic & Metaphysics and then carrying out research in philosophy.

His main interests, as far as computers were concerned, were rather more inclined towards helping people to use them rather than tussling with the technology and when, in 1990, the opportunity arose, he transferred to the User Services group. His responsibilities there were quite wide ranging and included acting as the main support for computer users in the schools in town (mainly Arts departments) and managing the day-to-day operation of the PC classrooms in that part of the town. In due course, this latter responsibility was removed to the Systems Group.

In 2000, and not without some persuasion, Julian became User Services Manager and, for a time, Helpdesk manager as well. As User Services Manager, he pressed for more staff to address the burgeoning demand for IT support and advice, and his efforts were not without success. He oversaw the introduction of the present Helpdesk Call Management System that today underpins our user support services and, increasingly, those in other schools/units. As a result of all this, and his prodigious work rate, User Services is on a much firmer footing than when he first took over the role of manager and our sincere thanks are due to him for this.

In addition to his work for IT Services, Julian will also be remembered as a senior editor of the Staff Newsletter, taking over this role in the late 1990s from John Henderson – a predecessor as User Services Manager. A tribute to his work there can be found at: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/staff/newsletter/blog/?m=200711

As if this were not sufficient, he also found time to pursue his own research into the novels of Dickens and, in 1998, was awarded a PhD by the University.

Julian has joked that all the services he’s been involved in have improved after he’s left them. Whilst we hope this is true of course, the comment illustrates well his self-deprecating humour rather than anything else. This, his integrity and his care for others, both within and outwith the department, will be sorely missed.

Fortunately, we will not be losing Julian’s services completely as he has been re-engaged on a part-time basis. His initial task will be to assist in the review and renovation of IT Services policies and procedures and we look forward to the fruits of that work.

In his retirement, Julian will be doing a lot more reading – but not computer stuff, we suspect. We wish him a long and happy (semi-)retirement.