A mechanism has been put in place for the long term maintenance and support of the student funded technologies on campus. On April 15, 2010, the STEP Council approved a STEP Sustainability Plan designed to ensure that laboratories, smart classrooms, and infrastructure funded by STEP [that typically have a five year life-cycle] can be maintained and continue to provide satisfactory service to students long term. The Plan allocates one third (33%) of STEP revenues to a fund for the following six primary purposes:
- Hardware Maintenance and replacement
- Software licensing, maintenance, and assurance
- Network infrastructure (core and distribution)
- Wireless data network services on campus
- Managed laboratory printers
- Adequate and uniformly trained lab managers
In addition to providing a stable and steady revenue source, the STEP Sustainability Plan provides for a committee of faculty, students and staff to oversee and set priorities for lab maintenance, management and software licensing. This team will be appointed by the CIO and serve a two-year membership on the committee.
To assure accountability and transparency the committee created above will produce an annual report that 1) documents the initiatives and priorities of committee; 2) provides laboratory utilization data; and 3) summarizes STEP Sustainability expenditures by category. In addition, the committee will begin to work to supplement student opinion surveys with questions regarding laboratory satisfaction.
How will Sustainability Fund eligibility be determined and managed?
Eligibility for participation in the Sustainability Program will include the following: 1) STEP Funded laboratory equipment (including computers, printers, peripherals, and software) that are available for all students to utilize and follow Information Technology standards and guidelines; 2) Smart Classrooms (including computers, projectors, bulbs, cameras, and other peripherals) that follow the existing Information Technology standards and guidelines; and 3) Infrastructure equipment (including computers, printers, peripherals, software, network switches, wireless access points, etc.) that serve students directly or indirectly. A list of these sites (Labs and Smart Classrooms) can be found on the STEP website: SMART Classrooms by Building and Open Use STEP Labs by Building.
During each STEP funding cycle, proposals will be evaluated for eligibility in the program. For those proposals that are determined eligible, an annual cost will be calculated and presented to the STEP Council for approval. The annual cost will be determined by the CIO using the total equipment cost and useful life and will approved as a component of the proposal. Upon approval by the STEP Council, TAC and the President of the University, the revenue allocation will be adjusted to reflect additions to the annual maintenance and support costs.
Laboratory and Smart Classroom capacity planning will be handled by the STEP Sustainability Advisory Council (defined in the program definition of the STEP Plan). Reductions of the allocation must be recommended and approved annually by the STEP Sustainability Advisory Council and the CIO. These reductions will use the same calculation mechanism as the STEP Council for approval of new projects.