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March 22, 2016

Dear alumni,

We wanted to update you on some changes we are making to our online services; these changes have become necessary because of the growth of the program, and the increased complexity of the web. This may affect some of you who continue to host websites on BMC servers: we will no longer be able to provide web hosting for alumni portfolios. This change will take effect on July 21st, 2016.

If you were a student of the program within the last fifteen years, you were allotted a space on one of the BMC servers where you could share a website. Initially, we hoped to host these sites as long as we maintained the servers. In the beginning, students were building simple static HTML websites and the longterm maintenance requirements were minimal.

As the Web has evolved and become massively more complex so have student websites. No longer simple static websites, increasingly they employ more sophisticated technologies like server-side scripts, databases and content management systems. At the same time, the Web has also become a more volatile environment. Maintaining security today is much more difficult than it once was.

We discussed what we could and should do about the graduate website issue and concluded that BMC simply does not have enough people to maintain all the IT infrastructure, address security issues, police security best-practices and provide tech support. We find that we must end our support of perpetual websites for our graduates. Hosting ends July 21st, 2016.

If you currently have a site on one of the BMC servers, you have until July 20th, 2016 to find alternative hosting before we must discontinue hosting.

If you need to access to your files on either of these servers and can no longer access them, please contact me.

We will continue to host MRPs that do not employ data collection tools (databases). If you are still hosting a media MRP on a BMC server, please let us know. We will make every effort to preserve it. Please make sure that all inquiries include the name of the server your MRP was housed on.

Finally, the BMC alumni page has increasingly become a resource for employers in search of biomedical communications specialists. So, please send a link to your website to Anya Rexha so that she can create a link from your name on BMC’s alumni page to your website.

Sincerely,

Michael Corrin
MScBMC class of 2006
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
Biomedical Communications Graduate Program
Department of Biology • University of Toronto Mississauga

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