KU helps K-State recover after damaging library fire

After a fire caused smoke and water damage to Kansas State University’s Hale Library, including damage to much of the university’s information technology infrastructure, University of Kansas officials stepped in to help get systems back online and recover data.

Kansas State uses the data center in the Ellsworth Annex on KU’s campus to back up important data. KU officials were able to restart servers so Kansas State could continue operating. KU officials also helped by giving contact information for outside resources that could provide assistance.

“Those servers where they housed information needed to be restarted,” David Day, Director of IT External Affairs at KU, said. “We had some people go up and serve as their boots on the ground so they wouldn’t have to travel from Manhattan to physically restart those servers.”

Kansas State uses a human resource information system which electronically delivers payroll. KU officials helped restore that system so Kansas State didn’t get too far behind, said Jeff Morris, Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Kansas State.

Kansas State and KU have long-standing agreements to help with disaster preparedness and recovery, Morris said. In situations like the fire, the universities are able to rely on each other to help get things up and running.

“The teams of the Kansas Board of Regents Universities regularly collaborate and support each other,” Day said. “Those relationships are particularly important when facing a crisis. We were just happy to help our colleagues at K-State in any capacity that we could.”

“We hope things aren’t going to happen, but when they do it’s nice to have partners like KU to bend over backward to get things operational,” Morris said.

The fire started in the attic of Hale Library on May 21 and lasted three hours. A roofing project is likely the cause of the fire, however, investigations are ongoing, Morris said.

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