Updated 10:48 a.m.
A key piece of equipment, estimated at $3,500, was stolen from the English department’s recently renovated seminar room last week.
Jeffrey Cohen, a professor and the chair of the English Department, said a projector that cost approximately $3,500 to purchase and install was stolen from room 771 in Rome Hall.
“It’s quite a shock — and quite a blow — to us to be victims of theft. Someone had obviously planned the whole operation carefully — just like when my laptop was stolen from my office a few years ago,” Cohen said in an e-mail.
Cohen said the ceiling mounted projector was stolen between the time the last class left the room at 9 p.m. Wednesday night and when he found it missing in the early afternoon Thursday.
“We likely would have discovered its being gone earlier but the two morning classes had been rescheduled due to the instructor being away,” Cohen said.
Cohen said someone cut through the lock securing the projector to the pole that mounted it to the ceiling. The connection wires of the projector were left behind, as seen in a picture posted to the department’s blog.
Cohen said he believes the stolen components of the projector plus the broken mount will cost between $2,000 and $2,500 to replace.
University Police Chief Dolores Stafford said in an e-mail Monday morning that the doors to the room were locked with no signs of forced entry. There are no cameras in that area, she said.
The seminar room was renovated this past summer using donor money and funds from the English department’s own budget.
“Many classes meet in the room, especially advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars that need the AV equipment. The room is the heart of the English Department,” Cohen said.