The $4.17 per credit computing fee set back in the 1990s was originally made to benefit the students; there is now a question as to whether that is hurting students. Technology is advancing and a proper budget is needed to effusively help students’ academic success.
College campuses across the country typically have set a $10 per credit fee for their students. Setting the fee this high allows for the Universities to be able to repair, set up and upgrade software that will be beneficial to their students. These students will have the opportunity to access the necessary tools they need to be successful in their classrooms. At Western, with the price nearly six dollars less, it is hard to accomplish everything that faculty would ideally vision for their students.
When it comes to computing fees Missouri Western is the cheapest in the MIAA. Schools such as Lindenwood and Northwest Missouri State have technology fees over four times as much as Western. Dean and Executive Director of Western Institute Gordon Mapley talked about his solution to helping Western improve on its technology around campus.
“A typical technology fee among sister schools is $10 per credit”, Mapley said. “If MWSU had a $10 per credit technology fee, an additional $600,000 would be generated annually. This would allow the campus to address computer technology needs such as the aging infrastructure and equipment used for classroom presentations, and to partially cover computer lab expenses that are currently charged to the general university budget.”
Instructional Technology Director Cori Criger spoke on what the school is doing to preserve our computers and what is coming in the future.
“When you think about what was done in the 90’s and what we support now there’s really not funding for a lot of things”, Criger said. “We have to do a lot of working around and making stuff work. We try to be as efficient as we possibly can be. We try to roll machines down. They get hand-me-downed about five times before they just can’t run nothing anymore.”
Vice President of Financial Planning Cale Fessler talked about plans for the future if an event like the AC failures in Murphy last semester were to happen again.
“We had some worries relative to the potential of any damage to those labs”, Fessler said. “So we did some things to try to keep air flow moving and to reduce some of the humidity. As I recall we didn’t have permanent damage to the machines of any kind. They weren’t damaged such that we had to replace them. One plan is to have our own backup building-wide HVAC chiller that we would have on a trailer that we could take to any of our buildings that are on a single chiller system.”