Technology Advisory Committee
April 11, 2011
Attending: Andreas Brockhaus, Rob Estes, Brian Fletcher, David Goldstein, Ted Hiebert, David Lane, Lane McKittrick, Tim Rhoades, Betsy Tippens, Lindsey Wille
Not attending: Eric Chan, Carol Leppa, Joe Shelley
Equipment Replacement Update
As part of budget discussions, Kenyon Chan asked IT to provide information about the impact of a 60% cut to the equipment replacement budget in each of the next two years. It is important to note that desktop computers are a small part of this budget. The biggest impact would be felt with regard to technology in the classrooms and backend campus infrastructure. A cut of this magnitude would seriously limit our ability to move forward with campus goals for growth in hybrid education and innovation. Additionally, technology upgrades that are delayed for a year or two would create a snowballing effect. Other upgrades and projects that are dependent on that technology would get delayed as well, resulting in a large backlog of technology requirements. Funds not spent during the coming biennium would still need to be spent later. If $600,000 is not spent on technology upgrades during this biennium, that amount would still need to be spent in a subsequent year, along with the money already allocated for that year.
The committee felt that scaling back technology seems opposed to the messages about campus strategy as we move forward. New degrees being proposed rely on technology infrastructure remaining at its current level, or being improved. The committee suggested that the campus should look elsewhere for budget cuts.
Several committee members also pointed out that a cut in this budget would entail increased staff cost in this coming biennium to maintain aging equipment and in the following biennium to complete deferred projects.
There was also a suggestion that the budget be retitled to make it more obvious that it funds backend infrastructure and classroom presentation technologies. Technology Infrastructure Update budget was suggested.
Student Technology Fee Update
Brian Fletcher attends Student Technology Fee committee meetings in an advisory capacity. Although decisions have not been made, Brian gave a brief update about the work of the committee. They are paying more attention to bylaws that suggest STF should not support technology directly related to teaching, pointing out that this should be the institution’s responsibility. This is a recent change in their decision-making, leaving us with several situations where STF originally funded technology that must now be funded through the equipment replacement budget or some other source. The Digital Media Lab was mentioned as an example.
Technology Budget Proposals
Betsy explained the list of budget proposals submitted by IT and asked for feedback. The committee felt that our prioritization of hybrid and e-learning support should change if the campus cuts back on technology spending. There was some discussion of whether any of the part time positions proposed by IT could be combined to make one full time position. The Project Manager and the E-Learning Specialist could be meshed into one.