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Print management system to take effect

Posted on 04.10.2013

One million, fifty-six thousand, five-hundred and eighty-five—that is  how many sheets of paper University of Indianapolis students printed via public printers during the fall 2012 semester, which brought the cost of paper and toner for these printers to $24,581.81.
After a year of collecting and analyzing data, as well as consulting the campus community, Associate Vice President of  Information Systems and Instructional Tech Services Steve Herriford said that a print management system will take effect in the 2013-14 academic year.
“When we attempted to look at putting in print management last year, part of the problem was some questions came back in terms of how much printing students were really doing,” Herriford said. “So we delayed this for a year, so we could actually go out and collect data … to see what students were really using in terms of printing, to allow us to make a better decision on how to move forward with print management.”
Students will be allotted 500 sheets every semester, including summer. Herriford said that this will encourage students to print double-sided. If students exceed 500 sheets in a semester, they will be charged 5-cents per sheet, to be paid with Crimson Cash. Unused sheets, however, will not roll over from semester to semester.
“For one thing, there are a number of technical issues on the side that make rollover difficult,” Herriford said. “There was some talk about making this an entire academic year, say 1,500 pages, but we worried that students would get into problems if they used too much in the first semester. Then they get to the second semester, and they don’t have anything left. So we thought it was better to do a cut-and-dry 500 per semester.”
According to junior psychology major Mariya Townsel, who worked as the Indianapolis Student Government liaison to IS, this system was developed using input from people on every side. Townsel said that the system was well thought out and most students will not even notice it.
“Steve [Herriford] and IS—they’re not trying to charge people for printing. They’re trying to make people more responsible with it,” Townsel said. “And it shouldn’t affect most of the students.”
The data collected by IS showed that among the 4,273 students who used public printers, 85 percent of them will not be affected, because they already use less than 500 sheets. In fact, 95 percent of students use less than 800.
Only 114 students printed more than 1,000 sheets during the fall semester of  2012, with two of these printing more than 3,000 sheets.
According to Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Nursing Anne Thomas, for nursing students who are typically at the higher end of the printing spectrum, the issue is less about quotas and more about changing how they do business. Thomas said that it makes sense for nursing students to switch to an e-business model, because professional nurses already use electronic charts and records.
She said that faculty members often feel that students need a physical copy of everything, but that is changing.
“As we find more of the students [who are] coming in being digital natives, they’re taking their electronic books and they’re writing notes in their electronic books. They’re writing notes not even on paper,” Thomas said. “So part of this is a shift in the way the faculty teach, and it opens up the door to opportunity to come up with different teaching methodologies that don’t rely on paper …”
Faculty members will not have a printing limit, but Thomas said that they should think about just how much printing they are doing and whether there are electronic alternatives. Thomas said that she has encouraged faculty in the School of Nursing to use ACE for assignments.
“It really has been a constant discussion, because you can’t expect one part of this campus to do one thing, and another part not to do that,” Thomas said. “So it has been a discussion, because as the faculty have learned to do more e-business, that has translated into their teaching methodology, too.”
Increased ACE usage, according to Herriford, may require more infrastructure, but that is something that IS plans to expand this summer as it installs printers in the remaining residence halls and Campus Apartments.
According to Herriford, the campus has talked about e-books and other ways to be more environmentally friendly. But Herriford said that he realizes not all students can afford to pay tuition and buy a tablet or e-reader, and the students’ needs continue to be the most important factor.
Townsel said that she has heard rumors about taking away free printing since she was a freshman, but that simply is not true.
“They’re really not trying to do that.  So I’m actually very comfortable with what Steve [Herriford] and his team have come up with,” Townsel said. “It’s very smart, it’s very reasonable and I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with it.”


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