ARCC Summary of Activities 1997-1998

The ARCC held seven meetings during the 1997-1998 year. During this time the ARCC:

established a web site that currently lists college computing plans for this year and last. It contains history and philosophy of ARCC, survey information on IT issues with responses from faculty and students. Additionally it information about funding, mail links to ARCC representatives, and information on available resources, such as projection systems, software, etc. The site is located at

initiated and completed a 46 question survey of faculty on their IT needs and usage. Of the 100 randomly selected faculty 75 responded. The survey is intended to help the ARCC better understand the technological needs of the faculty.

enlisted Institutional Research to survey student lab needs and PC ownership and usage. This research confirmed that the student labs are a valuable resource and a large majority of students are willing to direct a significant amount of student fee money to maintain and improve these labs.

asked the student fee committee to raise the the fee allocation for computing from $9 to $30, reflecting the attitudes in the student survey. The student senate approved increasing the fee to $20.

established subcommittees
1.) to develop a template for the status and goals report
2.) to draft the priorities section of the report
3.) to establish a procedure/budget for faculty computers and student labs
4.) to review software

distributed $70,347 to discipline specific projects, $35,000 toward projection systems, and $10,066 for electronic resources.

allocated $200,000 from student fees toward open computing labs.

distributed $100,000 to colleges to replace faculty computers that are 4 years old or older.

closed out ARCC budgets for the past two years 1995-1996 and 1996-1997.

Eric Jacobson and Bob King compiled tables of information on portable and fixed projection systems on campus. This information includes type and location of system, contact people and phone numbers, seating available, etc. These tables are available at the ARCC web site.

Summary of Recommendations
(for additional recommendations see the ARCC status and goals report)

The ARCC should survey students and faculty in the future. This provides information that is valuable to ARCC, college committees, and student committees.

The ARCC web site should be maintained and updated regularly.

College committees should be encouraged to meet on a regular basis rather than meeting just to develop the yearly plan.

Coordination between departments, colleges, and other IT groups on campus should continue to develop. Because of limited resources, coordination is extremely important.

Student Computer Labs
Faculty view the improvement of student computer labs as the highest priority IT need at Weber State University. Students also recognize the the labs value. A majority of students are in favor of allocating significantly greater amounts of student fee money to support the labs. The expense for labs is partially satisfied by the student support through student fees; however, student fees are inadequate to fully support the labs. And the student fee allocations do not go toward discipline specific labs, another major IT need on campus.

Student Computer Lab Cost: $1,000,000 annually (this includes networking, software and support) If this amount were funded soley by student fees it would represent a 500% increase over the amount allocated this year.

Some schools are experimenting with the requirement that all students must purchase their own computers, generally laptops. This would cost WSU students approximately 2000% more annually than their current allocation for computing. The package would include no specialized software. This scenario assumes that all students purchase the same computer configuration, if students made various purchases the cost and difficulty of networking and support would significantly rise.

ARCC should continue to work with the Student Fee Committee to fund the open student labs. These labs provide exceptional value for the students.

Faculty Computers
Unless a permanent E&G budget is established for faculty computers, or there are major periodic funding infusions, faculty computers will continue to age faster than the University can replace them.

Faculty Computer Cost: $200,000 annually. This number reflects a four year replacement schedule for contract faculty and includes no costs other than workstations. The University needs to determine the level of IT support it will provide for adjunct faculty. While we recognize the importance of the web and email in education it is unclear how we provide opportunities or encourage adjunct faculty to use technology. There should be a number of computers available on campus for adjunct faculty use. The cost of providing this support to adjunct faculty should considered in the total cost of faculty computing.

Faculty computers should be funded next year; however, the following year funding should be provided through the CIOs budget. Faculty computers need to be updated on a regular basis. The faculty should not compete against each other for office computers. ARCC spends its time inefficiently trying to divide limited resources for this recurring expense. In the future ARCC and Academic computing will provide a suggested schedule of replacement and track the status. The CIO should pursue and provide funding for faculty computers.

The funding that ARCC spends on faculty computers should be directed toward discipline specific projects. This year 58K was allocated for discipline specific projects while the total discipline specific requests were over 2M. Consequently this year ARCC can only fund 2.5% of these requests.

Discipline Specific Computing
Discipline specific instruction occurs both in disciplinary labs and general open labs. Departments that depend on general labs for discipline specific instruction rely heavily on academic computing staff to insure that software and hardware operate properly. Technical support for this area is severely understaffed. A a minimum there should be six new technical support positions for discipline specific computing.

Discipline Specific Support Cost: $240,000 annually (6 staff @ 40K)

More projects in the college plans fall in the discipline specific category than any other. They represent more than $2,000,000 in costs. If one assumes conservatively that 50% of these projects are worthy, then the minimum funding should be set at $1,000,000.

Discipline Specific Projects Cost: $1,000,000 annually

(This page was updated July 7, 1998)