GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONSBased on the projections described above, we offer the following general recommendations:
A. That SFSU adopt the "textbook model" of access, i.e., that we expect students to have access to a computer and modem in the same way that we expect them to have access to textbooks. Equipment may be purchased, leased, shared, borrowed, or accessed via campus based facilities, but there is no requirement per se about how it is to be obtained.
B. That SFSU increase support for on-campus computer labs, both central and college based. As noted above, student demand for well equipped and well staffed campus computing facilities will continue to grow. Both central and college based facilities must be well equipped and include support services provided by well trained staff.
C. That SFSU build the cost of a computer and modem into financial aid packages where possible. (Note, however, that it is likely the estimated 15% of students who will need equipment will have already maximized their use of grants and subsidized loans, so the effect on them will be to increase their immediate debt burden. Also, students who live on or near campus may not be able to get such financial aid "budget extensions" since they will be deemed to have access via the 24-hour on-campus lab.)
D. That SFSU negotiate with computer manufacturers and the campus bookstore for low-cost purchase and/or lease agreements for our students. Such agreements should include higher- as well as low-end equipment. Note also that the CSU implementation plan (see Appendix A) recommends that "the Office of Information Resources and Technology coordinate and facilitate efforts to seek special low cost financing arrangements with personal computer vendors leveraging the size of the CSU."
E. That SFSU provide 24-hour access to at least one on-campus computer facility. Since most students will not return to campus at night, we believe that one well equipped, well staffed, and accessible computer lab will be sufficient to begin with. Safety of students and staff as well as security of equipment should be carefully planned.
F. That SFSU include computing facilities wherever feasible in new capital outlay building projects.
G. That SFSU provide increased training and support services for faculty, both centrally and in the colleges. In the use of computing resources, faculty success is crucial to student success. Among the essential services for faculty is guaranteed Internet access, off campus as well as on.
H. That SFSU support the revision of the current library requirement to an information competence requirement coordinated with discipline-specific proficiencies defined and taught by the departments and colleges.
I. That SFSU support the development of student success programs where students who need to can develop the proficiency necessary to use the Internet. Examples of such programs include EOP, summer orientation programs, and a first time student orientation/seminar program.
We do not recommend:
J. requiring all students to own or possess their own computer and modem. Institutions that have attempted this have encountered serious problems (e.g., affordable machines quickly become obsolete while the need for labs and support staff remains), and some (n.b., Drexel, which requires ownership and bundles the cost into fees) are considering rescinding this requirement.
K. committing University funds to purchase computing equipment for individual students or subsidizing student purchases of such equipment.
L. providing a pool of computers for personal loan to individual students who cannot afford to purchase one. Such computers tend to be low-end or "hand-me-down" machines with high maintenance costs and rapid obsolescence.
M. requiring students to subscribe to off-campus network access provider services.
N. negotiating student access to "satellite" locations
(branch libraries, community centers, high schools, churches, etc.)
Ths may prove useful later, however, as the need becomes apparent (a)
for groups of students who have difficulty commuting from particular
neighborhoods and/or (b) at remote delivery sites for "distance
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