ETS Concludes Successful Pilot of Computer Lab Software Matching Fund

COE classroom

The final transfer of funds hit the books, and capped a successful conclusion to a program formalizing departmental lab software requests with subsidized funding.

ETS began contracting lab support to the Division of IT in 2010, and started a two-phase lab hardware upgrade in 2011. After the final phase in the fall of the following year, it became clear that ETS needed to revisit how it handled software modification requests to the image. “Prior to the upgrade, when we had 20 to 25% downtime due to hardware failure or viruses, new software wasn’t a huge factor, since faculty interest in using the lab for teaching or student projects was on the decline; however, with better operation and reliability came increased demand, and that meant reviewing and updating our policies,” said ETS director, Steve Pragel.

That review led to the revival of a software request process that included an opportunity for matching funds to department Chairs for titles that required purchase. That process was reviewed and approved through the College governance and technology advisory structure throughout the fall and spring of 2012/2013 for use in the fall lab image in August of this year.

There were several new titles included in the fall lab image, as well as a process to review existing titles for necessary updates. “The benefits of formalizing the process, as well as providing departments with an opportunity to have their spending go a little farther through matching, seemed like a win-win for all involved, and I wish to thank all those faculty who participated in the process,” said Steve. “We will offer this program again for reimaging next fall.”