II. 2000-2001 Priority Issues
A. General Student Labs.
1. Need reflected in survey and college plans.
Improvement of the student computer labs is the highest priority IT need at WSU according1998 faculty survey. 81% of faculty feel that resources should be reallocated for labs, or at least such reallocation should be considered. A 1999 student survey showed that 72% of students use the open labs. Student respondents said that the biggest problem with the labs was that they were full. Even though they have no direct responsibility for the general labs four of seven colleges included lab upgrades in their plans.
Nine open labs with a total of about 300 Windows and Macintosh workstations are available for WSU students: Natural Science, SL228; Library, Lib 30; Learning Support, SU310; Wattis, WB205; Education, ED15; Social Science Writing, SS40; Davis, Wasatch, Math. More than 30% of lab computers are more than 3 years old.
Labs are open for at least 40 hours a week. Some lab is available to a Weber State student for over 105 hours a week, including from 6:30 am to 1 am on weekdays.
More than 110 programs can be run in the labs. Some, such as Word Perfect, Netscape, GroupWise and SAS, are used by many students in many programs. Others are focussed toward specific disciplines. Over 25 departments, representing all colleges, make special software available in the labs. Examples are Finale, used by music students; Business Strategy, a simulation used by Business Administration students; and Diet Analysis used by students in HPHP. Most software is available in most labs.
3. 2000-2001 Plan.
a. None of the ARCC allocation of $131,000, should be used for general labs.
b. The student fee fund should be allocated under the following conditions.
i. All money will go to the 9 general purpose labs, designated in the ARCC plan.
ii. Expenditures will be consistent with the request to the student fee committee.
4. Future recommendations.
a. A plan for regular update and maintenance of student labs was approved by ARCC in 1998. This plan calls for maintaining networked labs of 500 modern computer stations with a diversity of software and sufficient technical support to maximize productivity. This plan would require a annual budget of $1,000,000. The ARCC should continue to work for the implementation of this plan.
b. A subcommittee of ARCC should monitor the status of this plan and the open labs, and make yearly recommendations concerning policy, function and funding.
c. All student money should be used for support and development of open labs.
d. The ARCC should continue to work with ASWSU to obtain lab support from the University E&G budget comparable to that provided by student fees.