Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC)

Report of the
Technology Fee Task Force
April 25, 2002

  • Ronald Aaron (Associate Dean of Students)
  • David Birdsell (Executive Director of Academic Programs, School of Public Affairs)
  • Robert Ducoffe (Acting Associate Dean, Zicklin School of Business)
  • Arthur Downing, Chair (Acting Assistant Vice President for Information Technology/CIO)
  • Andreas Grein (Associate Professor, Marketing)
  • Shamsul Haque (Undergraduate Student Representative)
  • Rajeev Narang (Graduate Student Representative)
  • David Potash (Acting Associate Provost)
  • Seymour Schulman (Professor, Natural Sciences)
  • John Wahlert (Acting Associate Dean, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences)

Baruch College
City University of New York

Background

On February 25 the CUNY Board of Trustees adopted a technology fee of $75.00 per semester for full-time students and $37.50 for part-time students, effective fall 2002. The revenue from the fee will be returned to the colleges to be applied toward the improvement of computer services for students.Provost David Dannenbring subsequently appointed a Technology Fee Task Force with input from the presidents of the undergraduate and graduate student governments, the President of the Faculty Senate, and the deans of the three schools. The task force was charged with developing a plan for allocating Baruch Colleges portion of the revenue to improve academic computing resources for students giving priority in the distribution of funds to resources that directly support curriculum-based learning opportunities.

The task force members met in person and via e-mail to discuss the immediate computing needs of Baruch students, strategies for addressing the needs, and the associated costs. As a result of these discussions the task force recommends the areas listed below as spending priorities for Year 1. The percentages represent estimates of the portion of the total revenue that are likely to be applied to each area. The preliminary funding allocations to each priority area may be adjusted as work plans are refined and more accurate price quotations are obtained from vendors.

Student Technology Fee Priorities for Year 1

New Student E-Mail System (5%)

The current student e-mail system will be replaced by one that provides students with functionality that meets or surpasses that of the most popular free, web-based systems. The system will also offer alumni lifelong forwarding of e-mail messages to an address of their choice, which they will be able to update through a web interface. The student technology fee will support the hardware, software, and maintenance fees associated with this project. The Baruch Computing and Technology Center (BCTC) is designing the system based on the information obtained from a student focus group arranged by the task force.

Staffing for Student Computer Laboratories (24%)

The student technology fee will be used to hire students to serve as computer laboratory assistants. This will enable the College to open departmental and general computer laboratories for longer hours. The deans representatives to the task force are working with the chair to develop the new computer laboratory schedule.

Desktop Computers for Student Computer Laboratories (30%)

In year 1 the College will replace all desktop computers in the student computer laboratories that were acquired prior to 2000. This initiative will upgrade one-third of the 1,300 computers currently deployed in student laboratories. In planning for future replacement the College will take into account the increased wear, tear, damage, and theft associated with longer hours of service proposed for the laboratories. A subcommittee is preparing the specifications for the new desktops.

User Education and Support (10%)

Two full-time staff will be hired in the BCTC to provide students and faculty with technology training, as well as user support. A regular schedule of workshops will cover topics such as the equipment in the smart classrooms, Blackboard, the new student e-mail system, digital multimedia, and presentation software. Temporary services staff will be hired as needed to teach special topics (e.g., SPSS). Computer-based tutorials may also be acquired.

Student Laser Printing (6%)

Student computer laboratories will be equipped with networked laser printers controlled by the print management software that currently handles the BCTC computer laboratories. Each student will receive an account with annual allocation of free laser printing. Facilities will also be provided for students to print their rsums. The user education program listed above will include faculty training on how to reduce instructors reliance on the printing of class assignments by using Blackboard and other paperless alternatives. Student technology fee revenue will be applied toward the purchase of printers, the license for the print management software, toner, and paper. The BCTC will work with the deans' representatives to identify the computer laboratories that will be included.

Assistive Technology (3%)

The College is committed to ensuring that the benefits afforded through the technology fee are available to students with disabilities. The Colleges Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and the Computing Center for Visually Impaired People have prepared a list of needs that include hardware, software, and part-time computer laboratory assistants.

Software for Student Computer Laboratories (8%)

Software licenses will be obtained to enable students to access the latest versions of a core set of applications across campus. The task force is compiling a list based on recommendations from students and faculty.

Digital Library Services (10%)

The Newman Library will create a comprehensive electronic reserve service, so students can access their course readings via the web. Additionally, the library will subscribe to a larger collection of full-text electronic resources and online reference services.

Wireless Access (4%)

Funds will be applied toward extending areas of the Newman Vertical Campus that are covered by the wireless network, installing wireless service in other buildings on campus, and helping students enable their laptops to access the network. The BCTC will work with the units of the College that will be included in this expansion of service to manage the installation.

Implementation

The task force recommends that the chair be responsible for managing the implementation of its recommendations in his role as Acting Assistant Vice President for Information Technology/CIO. The chair will submit timely progress reports to the student government presidents, the deans of the three schools, and the Dean of Student Development. In addition, the BCTC will post an accounting of the use of the student technology fee revenue on the Colleges website. Although funds from the student technology fee will not be available until the fall, the task force recommends that implementation be scheduled to the fullest degree possible during the summer. Consequently, the College may have to advance funds from the operating budget or non-tax levy sources.