Approved by ATC Feb 25th, 2009

To Faculty Senate March 9th, 2009

 

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF MEETING OF February 11th, 2009

 

The Academic Technology Committee was called to order on February 11th, 2009 at 4:04 PM.

 

Approval of the Minutes:

The minutes of January 28th were approved without any changes.  There were 12 people present.

 

Agenda Items:

 

STF Proposal

Lawson began the meeting with a discussion on where the STF proposal committee stands to date.  He mentioned there is significant interest from the Associated Students to move towards including renewal and replacement costs of computers as a portion of the base tech fee.  Thomas added the committee realizes the value of upgrading departmental labs; however, one concern that arose was what will happen when labs increase or decrease in size. 

 

Lawson suggested we present the AS with a cost breakdown of different services and provide them with options to include in the base fee.  Once again, he mentioned how it is a very difficult time to be asking students for more money; however, with current budget cuts, this tech fee vote is very important.  A recent study in WA State showed that Western has the lowest tech fee of any other university.  We currently charge $51/year and the next closest university is Central at $75/year.  Most of the schools studied require considerably higher tech fees than both of these numbers.    

 

Direction for Remainder of the Year

Lawson gave a PowerPoint presentation on “budget scenarios.”  He stated there will be a one-time reduction in the budget of 3.28%; however, there is still uncertainty as to future reductions.  On March 18th and 19th the university will have presentations to discuss the 2009-2011 budget. 

 

Lawson displayed graphs with the breakdown of costs for the ATUS and how the three budget cut scenarios will affect his department.  At a 5% cut, the systems development fund and administrative operating expenses would need to be reduced.  In addition, a few positions would possibly get cut.  At the 10% level, a more likely scenario, the systems development fund will essentially be eliminated, the maintenance fund would decline and a handful of positions would ultimately get cut.  In addition to those reductions, several big projects are in jeopardy.  Email archiving, banner upgrades and a security officer position are all important needs the university has; however, they will be put on hold for the time being.

 

One concern Lawson mentioned was the impact his department has on the university as a whole.  As he cuts costs, this will eventually begin to impact other areas of the university.  Due to the reductions, an overall increase in lead times will occur for technological support.  Patience during this economic slowdown is a key point that Lawson emphasized.

 

A few questions arose following the presentation.  Thomas asked about the status of blackboard and whether or not other alternatives are still being considered.  Lawson stated Angel has essentially been ruled out for the time being; however, Moodle is still a possibility.  There is currently a bill in legislature that will mandate a move to Angel.  In addition, the bill would create a task force to look into standardizing other areas within universities.  Whether or not the bill passes will obviously impact the decision to keep or drop Blackboard. 

Ross asked if any of our computer support could be outsourced and what the cost implications would be.  This has been looked into and is a possibility; however, switching models wouldn’t save that much money.  Currently, the university has a contract with Dell, who essentially reimburses us to fix our own computers. 

 

Michael requested to hear one positive note on the budget situation.  Lawson’s response was that we are fortunate to still have a dedicated staff that wants to see the faculty and students succeed.  If nothing else, we can learn from this situation, turn around and make better strategic decisions in the future.  We are not technologically impoverished, we are not rich, but we can still do good things.    

 

Constituent Concerns:

Printing Costs

Concerns over printing costs were once again discussed.  Chris was wondering how much it costs the university to print a poster.  She recently called the help desk to look into the matter and was told poster printing costs are covered by the tech fee and the service is free for students.  Lawson added it is a service the help desk can offer and it only costs in the range of $2-3.  Students are limited on the number of posters they can print each year. 

 

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 4:56 PM.

 

 

Academic Technology Committee, Winter Quarter 2009

 

 

Name

Area

Term Begins

Term Ends

Meeting

of 02/11/09

1

Bob Thomas

Library

2007

2009

P

2

Christopher A Suczek

CST – Geology

2006

2010

P

3

David Bover

Chair of CS (CST)

2006

2010

 

4

Derrick Mears

PEHR

2008

2009

 

5

Gary L Bornzin

Fairhaven

2007

2009

P

6

John McLaughlin

Huxley

2006

2010

P

7

Lauren G McClanahan

TeachEd-DIV

2008

2010

P

8

Madge Gleeson

CFPA – Art

2007

2009

 

9

Michael T Seilo

CSD

2008

2010

P

10

Steven C Ross, Chair

CBE – DecSci

2002

 

P

11

Vacant

Student Representative AS

2008

2010

 

X

John Lawson - VP, Info Telecom and CIO

InfoTech

 

 

P

X

Frank Roberts

Director, ATUS

2007

2009

 

X

Justina Brown

CII, Info Tech Spec

 

 

P

X

Max Knittel

InfoTech Professional Group

 

 

P

X

Rob Galbraith

ATUS

 

 

P

X

Lincoln Nesheim

ATUS

 

 

 

X

Megan Schuler

Student Recorder, Sen Office

2008

2009

P

 

Total Attendance

02/11/2009

 

 

12