The unregulated development of new computer labs is one of the major contributing factors leading to inadequate funding for all labs. New computer labs continue to be developed without a formal approval process. Each lab justifiably expects a portion of the SCAP funds, however the $108,000 contributed by the state is a static amount of funding. The sudden appearance of new labs represents a funding obstacle that prevents proper planning.
Proposed Policy on the Development of New Computer Labs.
As the access to computing technology continues to grow, the following policy is intended to assist the campus planning process to ensure that each lab will receive adequate renovation funds on a triennial basis. It is not the intention of this policy to stimulate a escalation of proposals for new labs, but to ask those who might plan new labs to convey their intentions at the earliest time possible.
This policy recognizes that a new computer lab may be funded using either intramural (Administratively controlled one-time money), or extramural (grant) funding. The approval process for both of these labs share similarities, but the process is not identical.
- Approval for an extramurally funded lab is not required for set-up of the lab. However, because all new labs will eventually require renovation funding, authors of such proposals are strongly encouraged to make ITAB aware of their intentions at the time the grant proposal is submitted.
- Intramurally funded labs may or may not depend on partial funding from ITAB. It is possible to fund the startup of a lab based on one-time (administrative) money that exist outside the of ITAB budget. In this case ITAB would strongly encourage administrators and the new lab directors to make ITAB aware of their intentions when the funding has been committed. On the other hand, if a lab depends on ITAB funding for its setup, approval is required before the purchase or set-up of this computer lab.
- Regardless of the source of set-up funds, any lab anticipating future renovation funds must recognize that it is ITAB policy to renovate these labs only once every three-years. Each new lab expecting renovation funds must therefore be an ITAB approved lab three years in advance of any expected renovation/upgrade.
- Any group requesting funds to renovate a new lab must present a detailed plan to ITAB for consideration and further discussion.
The new lab plan must:
- Provide a rationale for the formation of the proposed lab outlining the students and departments served.
- Indicate the software expected to be used in the proposed lab. This information will be used to justify the designation of the lab as either an "A" or "B" lab designation for the proposed lab.
- A= specialty lab requiring computing intensive applications
- B= word processing, spread sheet, e-mail, internet
- Indicate if this a special or open lab. What student population will the lab serve, will students from other majors be able to use this lab when classes are not scheduled for the facility.
- Provide a list of the courses that will directly use this lab for in-class teaching.
- Provide a rationale for the number of computers proposed for the lab.
- Indicate the space proposed to house the lab.
- Provide information of the expected funding source for lab set up.
The plan submitted to ITAB will be forwarded to the ITAB student lab sub-committee for consideration. This sub-committee will:
- Estimate the cost of the plan and examine the proposed space.
- Consult with the Registrar to verify the student/class demand for such a lab and determine the current use of the proposed space.
- Forward the plan and a recommendation to ITAB for approval.
- The sub-committee may seek clarification of the proposal with those individuals in charge of the submission.
Note: It is not the intent of the sub-committee to deny approval to a new lab funded by extramural sources.
Approval of the submitted plan will require approval from a full meeting of ITAB. At a minimum, ITAB must agree to the following conditions.
- Approval of a new lab may require some money to be committed from the Technology fee.
- If no secure funding source is identified for the initial set-up, ITAB will need to consider the feasibility of funding the set-up. It may therefore be necessary to put off approval until funding is secure.
- For approved labs, ITAB will be responsible for committing the appropriate amount of additional Technology fee money to renovate this lab on the three-year cycle. (A new "A" lab, for example is currently estimated to require between $40,000 and $90,000 on a 3-year cycle.)
- Recommend the space be allocated for the lab.
- Recommendations from ITAB will be passed to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.