Approved by the: University Senate - December 6, 2001
Administration - no action required
Board of Regents - no action required

STATEMENT REGARDING GENERAL PURPOSE CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE PLAN

Statement regarding General Purpose Classroom Technology Upgrade Plan
Adopted November 13, 2001

The Senate Committee on Finance and Planning reiterates its strong support for assigning a high institutional priority to providing funding for the “General Purpose Classroom Technology Upgrade Plan”

The Committee views the lack of sufficient technology equipped general purpose classrooms with great concern. We note that the faculty’s needs for projection-capable Internet connected general classrooms far outstrip supply. Likewise, matriculating students are increasingly used to experiencing technology in classrooms in their K –12 education. They bring high expectations to the University of Minnesota, and we need to measure up.

The Committee has closely followed the “General Purpose Classroom Upgrade Plan” since its inception, and is on the record as endorsing the plan and recommending accelerated implementation. We also note that the Classroom Advisory Subcommittee as well as numerous governance, faculty, and student committees and groups have favorably endorsed the Tech Upgrade plan. All agree that this plan provides the critically important baseline level of classroom technology, and the foundation for future technology enhancements. The $7M, multi-year, phased plan began in FY- 00 and is scheduled to be complete at the end of FY- 04.

The Senate Committee on Finance and Planning particularly notes that the Tech Upgrade plan identifies recurring funding requirements for life-cycle maintenance, equipment replacement, and support staffing as elements of the basic plan. We support this up-front identification of life-cycle costs as a fiscally prudent approach to upgrading classroom technology infrastructure.

We note with great concern that the tech upgrade work to date has been funded only with one-time funds. The recurring life cycle costs for technology-enhanced classrooms has not been funded. We are, however, accruing these costs. Given the importance of general classrooms and their technology infrastructure, we cannot continue to defer these costs without jeopardizing our teaching and learning mission.

The committee applauds the completion of 65 tech upgrade installations by the start of the Fall 2001 semester. We note however, that the plan called for completion of 146 rooms by this time. Funding shortfalls have caused the U to fall behind the Tech Upgrade Plan’s timetable of completing 300 classrooms by end FY-04.

The Senate Committee on Finance and Planning strongly supports and urges funding of the General Purpose Classroom Tech Upgrade Plan, and its counterparts on the coordinate campuses, to complete, on schedule, the funding of recurring life-cycle classroom costs as well the establishment of a stable recurring funding stream for general purpose classrooms.

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