Funded Fiscal Year 2014
FY2013/2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014)
Vice Provost of Information Services (VPIS) Lois Brooks has accepted the recommendations of the University’s Infrastructure and Instructional IT Governance Committees on funding for FY14 Technology Resources Fund (TRF) proposals. $15M was requested for nearly 90 proposals and $7.6M was awarded to 50 proposals. Here is a complete list of the awards.
This was the second year that these governance committees have been involved with the TRF funding process, providing advice to the VPIS on which projects should be funded. To evaluate this year’s proposals, the governance committees created a TRF subcommittee that helped organize the review process. A technical group reviewed all of the proposals, and a group of faculty, staff and students reviewed the computer lab and instructional proposals. Budgets of the proposals were examined in detail.
The proposals were categorized in terms of whether they sought to maintain, refresh or expand the currently funded TRF infrastructure and services, and in terms of their functional purpose, e.g., computer labs, administrative applications, and technology enhanced classrooms. The governance committees met to determine the relative priorities among these functional categories.
An additional complexity affected the TRF process this year, and delayed final decisions about FY14 TRF awards. The TRF was considered as a potential source of funding for the technology needed in new buildings. Given the magnitude of the demands on the TRF to support current services and facilities, it was eventually determined that the TRF would not be used for this purpose.
Results and Rationale
The Governance Committees allocated the TRF funds first to administration of the TRF, $125K, and then to development of plans to implement the University’s Strategic Plan for Information Technology ($220K). These plans are aimed at the following goals:
- review of the campus’ current learning management system, Blackboard;
- making it possible for students to print from their personal devices and not just from computers in labs;
- improving the wireless network;
- expanding access to desktop software wherever students are working, on-campus and off; and
- creating an identity management system for campus.
After these smaller allocations, the Governance Committees’ next priority was to maintain the ongoing funding of current services, e.g., Student Multimedia Services, Blackboard, and Disability Access Services Technology Support. This required $5.7M. After this the priority was to meet the need to periodically (every 4+ years) refresh and replace infrastructure previously funded by the TRF. The remaining funds available ($1.3M) were insufficient to fully meet this need, so the Governance Committees made it a priority to fund the refresh of certain types of infrastructure, classrooms and computer labs. It was unable to fund the refresh of media production equipment or to fund enhancements to current facilities.
Seeking to support some of the new and innovative instructional proposals that were submitted, the Governance Committees slightly reduced the funding that had been allocated to maintain or refresh the infrastructure and services previously funded through the TRF. They created a $250K fund and re-reviewed instructional proposals to identify projects which were distinguished by their impact on pedagogy, e.g., improving large enrollment courses taken by students from multiple colleges, or their impact on student success and student retention. Five projects were funded that met these criteria and did not expand the classroom or instructional facilities.